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Sneak Preview: New Features in Microsoft SQL Server 2012

(Don Conrad, a.k.a. “Don SQL”, is’s resident database wizard and expert in all things Microsoft SQL related. In this post he examines the next version of SQL Server. Missed an installment of The Next Byte? Check out Don’s complete Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server series.) 

The Next Byte – Special Edition

Microsoft is busy promoting its next version of SQL Server, the database that powers the SharePoint platform. The RTM (“Release to Manufacturing”) edition of SQL Server 2012 is already available for download, and Microsoft will publicly unveil this new database technology before the end of March. As a result, SQL Server database administrators – and DBAs-in-training – are occupied studying up on the differences between SQL Server 2008 and this new version. For this “Special Edition” post, I’ve taken a break in my on-going talks about SQL Server to cover the highlights of new features in SQL Server 2012.

Introducing SQL Server 2012

Perhaps the most pressing questions for SQL Server DBAs are:

1) What are the major enhancements?
2) What editions are available?
3) Did the pricing change?

Many of the feature updates in this version are truly significant and really enhance the usefulness of SQL Server. They are less about storing more, faster. Instead, they are more about how can I use my data quicker and better. They also directly address the massive increase in information that has been ongoing for 10+ years and is now threatening to be unmanageably large. How can we store, and access in a meaningful manner, the incredible quantities of data we already have stored and continue storing the increasing magnitude of data that we will have accumulated in the next few years?

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Microsoft SQL Server: The Database Behind SharePoint


A high-level overview of what databases are, and how SQL Server fits the mold.

SQL-Server-2012What is a database?
Why do we need one?
How does SQL Server fit the mold?

In my last blog, I outlined the series of discussions I want to have about SharePoint and SQL Server. I said I would start at the beginning, which is ‘what is a database?’ (To complicate life,”Database” often refers both to the management program and to the data itself. Hopefully my usage will indicate which we’re referring to.)

The best generic definition of a database I’ve found is in Wikipedia. I’ll copy it here as it is succinct and spares me the trouble of trying to say in many of my own words what is already stated in fewer words:

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