Like any newly released version of software, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 brings a host of significant changes to Microsoft’s enterprise data platform. And, in this case, the changes are not only in the features but in the editions that are being offered as well. And there is a new certification model .And many performance, business intelligence and development enhancements. So take a look at the list of features and see which ones matter to you.
Data Quality Services – Clean data is happy data. And Data Quality Services (DQS) is a knowledge-based tool that helps ensure your databases contain high-quality, correct data. DQS performs data cleansing, which can modify or remove incorrect data. It also does data matching to identify duplicate data and profiling that intelligently analyzes data from different sources. Keeping your data happy has never been easier.
Changes to T-SQL – There are a number of T-SQL enhancements that have been introduced in SQL Server 2012. My personal favorite is TRY_CONVERT for data conversions. But that’s a personal preference. Others might be partial to OFFSET and FETCH (for data paging), a new FORMAT() function (data formatting made easier), and a new THROW operator (exception handing .NET style).
SQL Server Data Tools - SQL Server Data Tools uses the Visual Studio 2010 shell, and enables model-driven database development. This is on top of more traditional T-SQL and SQLCLR development and debugging. From a connectivity perspective, SQL Server Data Tools can connect to SQL Server 2005 and later as well as to SQL Azure. That last features makes it particularly useful, as I have found myself putting more and more database into the cloud.
Windows Server Core Support - Windows Server Core is designed to support server-based, infrastructure applications. We’re talking about applications such as SQL Server that provide back-end services but don’t need a GUI on the same server. Previously, SQL Server could not be run on Windows Server Core. This seemed to be ironic (and not in the Alanis Morrisette way) . SQL Server 2012′s support for Windows Server Core allows you to have a leaner and more efficient SQL Server installations, reduces potential attack surface and minimizes the need to apply non-relevant updates and patches.
These are not all of the features, but they are the ones that spring to mind for me. Included in SQL Server 2012 are features such as new SKUs (Enterprise, Business Intelligence, Standard and Express), contained database, a columnar index used to support high performance data warehousing scenarios, Power View and AlwaysOn Availability Groups.
Want to learn more? View the new SQL Server 2012 courses (and SQL Server 2008 courses) that are being offered at ObjectSharp right now!
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