Nakul Vachhrajani is a Technical Specialist and systems development professional with iGATE having a total IT experience of more than 7 years. Nakul is an active blogger with BeyondRelational.com (150+ blogs), and can also be found on forums at SQLServerCentral and BeyondRelational.com. Nakul has also been a guest columnist for SQLAuthority.com and SQLServerCentral.com. Nakul presented a webcast on the “Underappreciated Features of Microsoft SQL Server” at the Microsoft Virtual Tech Days Exclusive Webcast series (May 02-06, 2011) on May 06, 2011. He is also the author of a research paper on Database upgrade methodologies, which was published in a CSI journal, published nationwide. In addition to his passion about SQL Server, Nakul also contributes to the academia out of personal interest. He visits various colleges and universities as an external faculty to judge project activities being carried out by the students. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are his own personal opinions and do not represent his employer’s view in anyway.
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Those who have been following my blogs would be aware that I am recently running a series on the database engine features that have been deprecated in Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Based on the response that I have received, I was quite surprised to know that most of the audience found these to be breaking changes, when in fact, they were not! It was then that I decided to write a little piece on how to plan your database upgrade such that it works with the next version of Microsoft SQL Server.
Please note that the recommendations made in this article are high-level markers and are intended to help you think over the specific steps that you would need to take to upgrade your database.
Change is the only constant in this world. Therefore, whenever customer requirements, newer architectures and designs require software vendors to make a change to the keywords, functions, etc; they ensure that they provide their end users sufficient time to migrate over to the new standards before dropping off the old ones. Microsoft does that too with it’s Microsoft SQL Server product. Whenever a new SQL Server release is announced, it comes with a list of the following features:
Once a feature appears on the list, it moves from bottom to the top, i.e. it is first marked as “Deprecated” and then “Discontinued”. We know of “Breaking change” comes later on in the product life cycle.
What this means is that if you want to know what features would not work with SQL Server 2012 (and you are currently using SQL Server 2008 R2), you need to refer the list of breaking changes and discontinued features in SQL Server 2012.
There are a lot of tools and technologies around us, but it is rarely that I find teams using these tools religiously and to the best of their potential. Below are the top two tools, from Microsoft, that I use every time I plan a database upgrade.
Ever since SQL Server 2005 was announced, Microsoft provides a small, very light-weight tool called the “SQL Server upgrade advisor”. The upgrade advisor analyzes installed components from earlier versions of SQL Server, and then generates a report that identifies issues to fix either before or after you upgrade. The analysis examines objects that can be accessed, such as scripts, stored procedures, triggers, and trace files. Upgrade Advisor cannot analyze desktop applications or encrypted stored procedures.
Refer the links towards the end of the post to know how to get the Upgrade Advisor.
Another great tool that you can use is the one most SQL Server developers & administrators use often – the SQL Server profiler. SQL Server Profiler provides functionality to monitor the “Deprecation” event, which contains:
You can learn more using the links towards the end of the post.
There are a lot of finer points that need to be taken care of when upgrading your database. But, it would be worth-while to identify a few basic steps in order to make your database compliant with the next version of SQL Server:
Remember this: Change management is a continuous process. Keep revisiting the product release notes and incorporate recommended changes to stay prepared for the next release of SQL Server.
May the power of SQL Server be with you!
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)