Browsing Posts tagged SQL 2012

Spring is upon us!  And that means…stay indoors, avoid the sun, and read up on technical stuff!

And of course Microsoft is there to make sure you don’t catch any of those pesky UV rays.

How so?  Why, by making a ton of technical eBooks on all aspects Microsoft available and free for the download.

SharePoint?  Check.  SQL?  Got it.  Azure?  Even so.  And it’s a combination of the latest versions (Windows Server 2012) as well as the more popular versions (Server 2008 R2).

Did I mention they’re free?

Click here, and thank Microsoft for helping you keep that tan-free body of yours as pasty as possible!

Windows Server 2012 eBookBob here.  Ok, we’ve posted a few notices here and there about Microsoft making some eBooks available at no charge.

And when the “Dog Days of August” come around, we realize it’s the one month that doesn’t have any major holidays associated with it.  Ok, besides August 8th’s “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day,” of course.

So Microsoft has decided to make available (for those of us not enamored by Zucchini nor neighbors who are themselves enamored by it) a ton of eBooks.  For free.

And we’re talking the full IT Gamut here.  SQL 2012, Office 365, Windows Server 2012, SharePoint, and more.

There are books for both experienced and entry-level folks.  Microsoft has been extremely generous making these eBooks available in the past.  This time they’ve really outdone themselves.

Microsofts IT book for TeensMy personal favorite title:  “Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online Digital Book for Teens.”  Just the kind of grabby title kids will not be able to resist.  Makes you wonder if Microsoft had created the title for the first Harry Potter Book(Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and titled it:  “Harry Potter, which is a fictional character who has some forms of magical abilities (which are also fictional), looks for a piece of rock (fictional) with a Liberal Arts background:  V3.1”

So, the choice is Zucchini or Microsoft eBooks?

Here’s your first clue:  I’m ordering a meat lovers pizza.

Want the books?  Click here.  Or here for additional choices!

(Thanks to Sarah Dutkiewicz for pointing this out)

Microsoft is once again making available a goodly amount of free (yup, free) learning/training resources.  And it’s just in time for picking out that summer reading for on the beach!

Yup, you know how it goes.  The summer breeze, sun beating down on you, listening to some nice tunes on your Zune…ok, skip the Zune part.  But you know what would make it better.

Yup, an ebook on Microsoft SQL 2012.  Or Windows 7 Deployment.

Quit your dreaming and click here.

Bob here. Doug and I had the opportunity last week to check out Microsoft’s new version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2012, at a special event in Columbus.

SQL 2012

Microsoft is now ramping up their events regarding SQL 2012. This event was part of a “Special Ops Tour” (, which will be going to 12 cities all told. Unfortunately, the days of Cleveland being a primary target for these kind of events seems to be long gone. Actually, you could make the point that Microsoft doesn’t make the last word put on huge events for their releases anymore. The days of the mega-launch such as Windows 95 are long gone, I’m afraid. I might even have to (shudder) buy my own T-shirts! Sad days, indeed.

But Microsoft is still trying to put a little bit of “coolness” into the events. If you go to the main website for this event you can watch a YouTube video that seems to be a combination of “24,” various reality programs, and Microsoft TechNet webcasts. The idea of DBAs running around in camouflaged fatigues, well, concerns me.
Actually, I’m sure it was all in good fun. Believe me, I’ve seen worse.

At the event itself, all of the presenters were outfitted in black pants, white long sleeved shirts, and dark ties. Yeah, I know, they were shooting for that “Men in Black” special ops look. But with all the presenters being essentially middle-aged white guys, I suddenly felt like I was back in an IBM presentation back in the 90s.

But at least we got sunglasses (draft, no T-shirts!).

Thankfully though, once we got to the actual presentation of the product, things got more interesting. SQL 2012 will have several new features, as always. For the most part, however, it seems to be building and extending an existing 2012 platform. So I would use the term “evolutionary” rather than “revolutionary” to describe the upgrade.
High-availability (now referred to as “always on”) is getting some significant enhancements and improvements. This is especially true in some of the tools available to manage the clusters and sets of servers.

There seems to be in a fair amount of interest in placing SQL instances on Windows 2000 8R2 server core implementations. Two significant benefits come from this. First is the significant amount of memory that is freed up by using the core, and second is a server core instance of Windows server requires 50 to 60% less patching than the full implementation. This is especially helpful in the high-availability environment (whoops, “always on” environment… my bad).

There will also be some improvements in the tSQL world as well. An example of that would be a new type of index called the “columnstore” index. When properly used, this new type of index can significantly improve query performance by minimizing disk I/O.

And what would a new version of SQL Server be without significant improvements to the SSRS environment? The front end tools given to the people who are actually developing the reports seems to have gotten some significant enhancements. One of the items that I thought shows some interesting potential is the ability to actually include SSRS report controls inside PowerPoint.

So if you want to take a look at SQL 2012 and get a feel for it, you don’t have to wait. As always, Microsoft makes a lot of resources available for people to take a look at either new technology or soon-to-be new technology. And SQL is no exception. There are a number of online labs that are available at (from there click on “Learning Center”, followed by “SQL Server virtual labs”). And these are available at no charge. To learn more about the launch in general go to

There will be some changes in how Microsoft licenses SQL Server starting in 2012. Prior to 2012, licensing was sold based on the number of processors. Starting with 2012 however, the licensing will shift from processor-based to core based. The price of a core license will be approximately 1/4 of what the processor-based license was.

The bottom line is this. Anyone who is currently running SQL Server 2000 hopefully already knows how incredibly out of date that is. But what about folks running SQL Server 2005? Will the features that are available here in 2012 be enough to convince them to upgrade? Of course Microsoft will claim yes, absolutely, but the proof is in the pudding. The fact is that a high percentage of database applications are run with little or no regard to the database server’s capabilities beyond that application. For those folks, the new features show nothing really exotic.

But more and more companies are looking to pull information out of their databases. Similarly these same companies are providing information directly to their customer base, and want to have that information available 24×7. SQL 2012 makes these requirements much easier to implement.

Want to know more? Check out the websites that we’ve referred to here, or join us at our May Lunchinar where we’ll discuss SQL 2012!