SQLAuthority News – SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide – A Comprehensive Whitepaper – (454 pages – 9 MB)

Microsoft has just released SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide. This guide is very comprehensive and covers the subject of upgrade in-depth. This is indeed a helpful detailed white paper. Even writing a summary of this white paper would take over 100 pages. This further proves that SQL Server 2012 is quite an important release from Microsoft. This white paper discusses how to upgrade from SQL Server 2008/R2 to SQL Server 2012. I love how it starts with the most interesting and basic discussion of upgrade strategies: 1) In-place upgrades, 2) Side by side upgrade, 3) One-server, and 4) Two-server. This whitepaper is not just pure theory but is also an excellent source for some tips and tricks. Here is an example of a good tip from the paper:

“If you want to upgrade just one database from a legacy instance of SQL Server and not upgrade the other databases on the server, use the side-by-side upgrade method instead of the in-place method.”

There are so many trivia, tips and tricks that make creating the list seems humanly impossible given a short period of time. My friend Vinod Kumar, an SQL Server expert, wrote a very interesting article on SQL Server 2012 Upgrade before. In that article, Vinod addressed the most interesting and practical questions related to upgrades. He started with the fundamentals of how to start backup before upgrade and ended with fail-safe strategies after the upgrade is over. He covered end-to-end concepts in his blog posts in simple words in extremely precise statements.

A successful upgrade uses a cycle of: planning, document process, testing, refine process, testing, planning upgrade window, execution, verifying of upgrade and opening for business. If you are at Vinod’s blog post, I suggest you go all the way down and collect the gold mine of most important links. I have bookmarked the blog by blogging about it and I suggest that you bookmark it as well with the way you prefer.

Vinod Kumar’s blog post on SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide

SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide is a detailed resource that’s also available online for free. Each chapter was carefully crafted and explained in detail. Here is a quick list of the chapters included in the whitepaper. Before downloading the guide, beware of its size of 9 MB and 454 pages.

Here’s the list of chapters:

Chapter 1: Upgrade Planning and Deployment
Chapter 2: Management Tools
Chapter 3: Relational Databases
Chapter 4: High Availability
Chapter 5: Database Security
Chapter 6: Full-Text Search
Chapter 7: Service Broker
Chapter 8: SQL Server Express
Chapter 9: SQL Server Data Tools
Chapter 10: Transact-SQL Queries
Chapter 11: Spatial Data
Chapter 12: XML and XQuery
Chapter 13: CLR
Chapter 14: SQL Server Management Objects
Chapter 15: Business Intelligence Tools
Chapter 16: Analysis Services
Chapter 17: Integration Services
Chapter 18: Reporting Services
Chapter 19: Data Mining
Chapter 20: Other Microsoft Applications and Platforms
Appendix 1: Version and Edition Upgrade Paths
Appendix 2: SQL Server 2012: Upgrade Planning Checklist

Download SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide [454 pages and 9 MB]

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Developer Training Kit for SQL Server 2012

Developer Training Kit is my favorite part of any product. The reason behind is very simple because it give the single resource which gives complete overview of the product in nutshell. A developer can learn from many places – books, webcasts, tutorials, blogs, etc. However, I have found that developer training kits are the best starting point for any product. Start with them first, see what are the new features as well what is the new message a product is coming up with. Once it is learned the very next step should be to identify the right learning material to explore the preferred topic.

The SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit includes technical content including labs, demos and presentations designed to help you learn how to develop SQL Server 2012 database and BI solutions. New and updated content will be released periodically and can be downloaded on-demand using the Web Installer.

Download SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit Web Installer.

This training kit was available earlier this year but it is never late to explore it if you have not referred it earlier. Additionally, if you do not want to download complete kit all together I suggest you refer to Wiki here. This wiki contains all the same presentations and demo notes which web installer contains.

Refer to SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit Wiki

Wiki contains following module and details about Hands On Labs
Module 1: Introduction to SQL Server 2012
Module 2: Introduction to SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn
Module 3: Exploring and Managing SQL Server 2012 Database Engine Improvements
Module 4: SQL Server 2012 Database Server Programmability
Module 5: SQL Server 2012 Application Development
Module 6: SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Information Management
Module 7: SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence
Hands-On Labs: SQL Server 2012 Database Engine
Hands-On Labs: Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0
Hands-On Labs: SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Information Management
Hands-On Labs: SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence
Hands-On LabsHands-On Labs: Windows Azure and SQL Azure

As I said, if you have not downloaded this so far, it is never late to explore it. Trust me you will atleast learn one thing if you just explore the content.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Migration Guide: Migrating to SQL Server 2012 Failover Clustering and Availability Groups from Prior Clustering and Mirroring Deployments – Part 1

Migration is always a challenge. How many times we have stayed away from migrating product to another server or next version because we are worried what will happen once we migrate. There are two main reasons we stay away from migration 1) Everything is working fine at this moment. 2) Fear of everything will not work fine after migration.

Let us address two of this fear in brief words.

1) Everything is working fine

Even though everything is working fine there are need to upgrade to next version because new version often brings improved features as well new enhancement which can help in many ways, i.e. scalability, manageability etc. There are often cases when something is often done very complex way in current version and in next version right away out of the box the same thing is supported. I am big fan of the going to next version when it is stable.

2) Fear of application not working on next version

This is very common and we all have faced it one time or another time. We always have fear of unknown. We often worry too much because we do not know things.

The best way to solve above two problem is – Knowledge. Here is the whitepaper which talks about migration from earlier solution of the Mirroring to SQL Server 2012 solutions. This is first part of the whitepaper and second part of the whitepaper release soon.

Following is the abstract of the whitepaper.

This paper provides guidance for customers who prior to SQL Server 2012 have deployed SQL Failover Clustering for local high availability and database mirroring for disaster recovery, and who want to migrate to SQL Server AlwaysOn. It describes the corresponding SQL Server AlwaysOn scenario and the migration paths to SQL Server AlwaysOn. It also contains the important knowledge and considerations that you must know in order to successfully migrate to a HADR solution based on SQL Server AlwaysOn technology, which implements AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances for high availability and AlwaysOn Availability Groups for disaster recovery.

Download Whitepaper.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Cheatsheet – Released for SQL Server 2012 Edition

SQL Server Cheatsheet has been extremely popular download from my blog. There are plenty of request for me to update it with SQL Server 2012 features. I have finally upgraded the cheatsheet with SQL Server 2012 features. The new cheatsheet has following updates

  • SSMS Shortcuts
  • Columnstore Index
  • SQL Server 2012 Datetime Functions
  • SQL Server Ranking Functions
  • SQL Server 2012 Analytic functions
It has been excellent experience to upgrade the cheatsheet. However, as the new cheatsheet contains way more information than earlier version of the cheatsheet, the size of the page is also increased. The page size is now no more A4 size, it has been increased to A3 size. When printed on A3 page it looks very clean and easy to read. If you print that on A4, you will find the pages are bit small.
Cheatsheet is free for anybody and everybody to download and print it, as long as you do not modify it. However, it is now allowed to store, host or upload anywhere without prior permission. 
Previous cheatsheet was very popular and I have received many good comments. I am eagerly waiting for your feedback about this new updated cheatsheet.

Download SQL Server Cheatsheet

I have printed limited copies of the cheatsheet on photo quality laminated A3 size page. This looks AWESOME!

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Download SQL Azure Labs Codename “Data Explorer” Client

Microsoft SQL Azure labs has recently released Data Explorer client. I was looking forward to visualizing tool for quite a while and I am delighted to see this tool. I will be trying out this tool in coming week and will post here my experience. I have listed few of the resources which are related to Data Explorer at the end. Please let me know if I have missed any and I will add the same.

With “Data Explorer” you can:

  • Identify the data you care about from the sources you work with (e.g. Excel spreadsheets, files, SQL Server databases).
  • Discover relevant data and services via automatic recommendations from the Windows Azure Marketplace.
  • Enrich your data by combining it and visualizing the results.
  • Collaborate with your colleagues to refine the data.
  • Publish the results to share them with others or power solutions.

The Data Explorer Client package contains the Data Explorer workspace as well as an Office plugin that integrates Data Explorer into Excel.


Download Data Explorer
Data Explorer Blog
Desktop Client
Video of  Contoso Bikes and Frozen Yogurt (Data Explorer)

Please note that this is not the final release of the product. Please do not attempt this on production server.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Install Samples Database Adventure Works for SQL Server 2012

AdventureWorks is a Sample Database shipped with SQL Server and it can be downloaded from CodePlex site. AdventureWorks has replaced Northwind and Pubs from the sample database in SQL Server 2005.The Microsoft team keeps updating the sample database as they release new versions.

For SQL Server 2012 RTM Samples AdventureWorks Database is released:

You can download either of the datafile and create database using the same. Here is the script which demonstrates how to create sample database in SQL Server 2012.

CREATE DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
ON (FILENAME = 'D:\AdventureWorks2012_Data.mdf')

Please specify your filepath in the filename variable. Here is the link for additional downloads.

Watch a quick video on the same subject.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Download Microsoft SQL Server 2012 RTM Now

SQL Server 2012 enables a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well as quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by capabilities for mission critical confidence:

  • Deliver required uptime and data protection with AlwaysOn
  • Gain breakthrough & predictable performance with ColumnStore Index
  • Help enable security and compliance with new User-defined Roles and Default Schema for Groups
  • Enable rapid data discovery for deeper insights across the organization with ColumnStore Index
  • Ensure more credible, consistent data with SSIS improvements, a Master Data Services add-in for Excel, and new Data Quality Services
  • Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with Data-tier Application Component (DAC) parity with SQL Azure and SQL Server Data Tools for a unified dev experience across database, BI, and cloud functions

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)