SQL Server 2012 has proved to be an exciting release on several fronts. In Chapter 1, Richard Waymire provides an overview of SQL Server 2012’s new features and packaging options. He tells you about the system requirements, upgrade process, and some changes in the setup program. In two sidebars to the chapter, you’ll learn about SQL Server 2012 editions and SQL Server 2012 high availability.
In Chapter 2, Michael K. Campbell talks a powerful new database containment feature that makes databases much more portable. He explains why this new feature is needed, then shows you how to work with contained databases. Michael also addresses the pros, cons, and potential gotchas associated with their use. SQL Server 2012’s support for database containment, Michael argues, is simply one of the best things to happen to high availability and disaster recovery in a long time. It can greatly simplify environmental and failover concerns.
In Chapter 3, Jamie Thomson talks about SQL Server DataTools (SSDT), which he says holds promise for assisting development projects using SQL Server or Windows Azure SQL Database. He discusses SSDT from the perspective that it is as a collection of features that aid in the development of SQL Server databases. Jamie covers what he believes to be the most important features of SSDT, but notes that many more features remain for you to explore. For example, the SQL Server 2012 Data-Tier Application Framework (incorporating .dacpac files), sandbox development using LocalDB, F5 deployment to LocalDB, static code analysis, MSBuild support, connections to SQL Server instances within SQL Server Object Explorer, and pre- and post-deployment scripts.
In Chapter 4, Michael Otey provides a step-by-step SQL Server 2012 migration guide. The majority of businesses, Michael says, will deploy SQL Server 2012 by upgrading existing instances of SQL Server. Microsoft provides a couple of different methods for upgrading to SQL Server 2012. You can use the installation wizard, or you can use a configuration file. The SQL Server 2012 installation process supports upgrading from SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, and SQL Server 2005. However, it can’t be used to upgrade older versions of SQL Server, such as SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 7.0, and SQL Server 6.5.
Michael walks you through the process of upgrading a SQL Server 2008 SP2 instance running on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 x64 to SQL Server 2012 Enterprise using the installation wizard. First, he covers the SQL Server 2012 hardware and software requirements. Then, he steps you through the actual upgrade process. Following the steps Michael outlines will help you know what to expect during your migration to SQL Server 2012, making your migration easier and helping you avoid errors.