New Features in SQL Server 2012

Microsoft Corporation released SQL Server 2012 (codenamed “Denali”) on April 2012. Microsoft includes lot of new features and enhancements with SQL Server 2012 including a new look for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). The SSMS is now similar to Visual Studio with greatly improved Intelligence support. This article describes what’s new in SQL Server 2012? or what are the new features of SQL Server 2012? Here new features are segregated into some sub categories and major features  are discussed.

SQL Server Installation
SQL Server 2012 introduces some changes to SQL Server Setup:

  • Datacenter edition is no longer available as a SQL Server 2012 edition which was introduced in SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2012 introduces a new edition of SQL Server named Business Intelligence
  • In order to install SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1, the minimum requirements of operating system has changed to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Using the SQL Server 2012 Setup we can now install Data Quality Services (DQS), SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework, Microsoft Books Online for SQL Server is no longer included in the SQL Server 2012 installation media
  • Multi-subnet Clustering, Product Updates are included

Database Engine
SQL Server 2012 Database Engine introduces new features and enhancements that increase the power and productivity of administrator’s, designers, and developers of data storage systems. Some enhancements are given bellow:

  • It allows backup and restore with the Windows Azure Blob storage service using TSQL or SMO
  • It support Power Shell, Cumulative Update
  • It introduces the AlwaysOn Availability Groups feature that provides a high-availability and Disaster-recovery solution
  • The Query Editor introduces enhanced functionality for Transact-SQL debugging and IntelliSense
  • SQL Server Management Studio supports Page Restore Dialog, Database Recovery Advisor
  • It supports UTF-16
  • It introduces 14 new built-in functions (PARSE, EOMONTH, CHOOSE, IIF, CONCAT, FORMAT etc.)
  • THROW statement can be used that raises an exception and transfers execution to a CATCH block
  • It introduces Column store indexes, Sequence objects, Pagination

Data Quality Services
SQL Server 2012 introduces Data Quality Services (DQS) which provides data-quality solution. DQS is a knowledge-driven solution that provides both computer-assisted and interactive ways to manage the integrity and quality of data. It enables us to discover, build, and manage knowledge about our data. We can use that knowledge to perform data matching, cleansing, profiling.

Replication
SQL Server 2012 introduces several new features and improvements to replication. Some features are given bellow:

  • Now replication supports AlwaysOn Availability Groups, Extended Events
  • We can partitions tables and indexes up to 15,000

Integration Services
Some new features of SQL Server 2012 Integration Services (SSIS) are given bellow:

  • We can deploy our projects to the Integration Services server
  • In the SSIS Designer, we can undo and redo up to 20 times
  • Merge and Merge Join transformations are now more robust and reliable
  • DQS cleansing transformation is included that enables to improve the quality of data.
  • In SSIS Designer the Getting Started window provides some links of tutorials, samples and videos

Analysis Services
Some new features of SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services (SSAS) are given bellow:

  • It introduces PowerPivot for Excel
  • It improves PowerPivot for SharePoint
  • It includes Tabular Modeling, Multidimensional Modeling

Reporting Services
SQL Server Reporting Service 2012 (SSRS) introduces lot of new features. Some main new features available in SSRS 2012 are given bellow:

  • SSRS 2012 includes data alerts facilities which allow a user to create alert thresholds which are triggered on a user defined schedule. Also these threshold rules can contain complex criteria. The messages are sent by email
  • It allow users to render a report into Excel document that is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Excel 2003
  • It allow users to render a report into Word document that is compatible with Microsoft Word 2007-2010 as well as Microsoft Word 2003
  • It provides Power View which allows drag-and-drop ad hoc reporting for business users such as decision makers, data analysts, information workers etc
  • In order to improve the SharePoint administrator & end user experience, the SharePoint integration has been re-architected
  • It allows viewing the reports on Apple iOS devices

All major new features of SQL Server 2012 are discovered in this article. Hope these enhancements will be very helpful for developers to increase theirs T-SQL experience and better data storage. Beside this MS SQL Server 2012 have some new features also. We should learn and utilize them. It is always better to go with latest technology.

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