Michael J. Swart

March 7, 2012

SQL Server 2012 Launches Today

Filed under: SQLServerPedia Syndication,Technical Articles — Tags: , , — Michael J. Swart @ 1:08 am

Question: What just arrived today, has been months in the making and makes me super-excited today?
Answer: It’s my new nephew! I’m an uncle again as of early early this morning!
Question: Okay, what else?
Answer: What? That’s not enough? okay… (Original article follows)

Today is March 7th, 2012 and SQL Server 2012 launches today. Woohoo!

Here’s the scoop:

  • We’ve had the Community Technology Previews (CTPs) to mess around with for a while now.
  • We’ve had a Release Candidate (RC0) for a little bit.
  • Today the product launches.
  • April 1st, (no kidding) the product is released to general availability.
  • But don’t wait until then. Today you can download the RTM evaluation copy.


  • SQL Server Data Tools is now RTW! More on that below.

The Virtual Launch

... it's just an illustration of one

Microsoft is marking the event with a virtual launch here. An online event that lets you watch them demo what they’ve been working on since the last release (And unless you’re a BI professional, that means since 2008)

Personally What I’m Most Excited About: SSDT

The code I work with gets deployed to a large number of systems which run on multiple versions of SQL Server. In order to avoid maintaining multiple code-lines, I can’t make use of the new features until we de-support all the older versions.

For example, I can’t use the IIF function (new in 2012) if I’m worried that the code could be deployed to a 2008 instance somewhere. So there’s going to be some waiting for me and probably some of you …

Not so fast, there are still a few things we can use today. And I want to focus on one of them. It’s called SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and it was Released To Web (RTW) today.

What’s SSDT do? It’s a free development environment. It lets you develop SQL for any version of SQL Server (including SQL Azure) whether you’re connected or not. It supports Intellisense (and as far as I can tell, even against 2005). It does schema comparisons and data comparisons.

The clincher for me is that the table designer is the first one I’ve ever preferred over a plain old text editor.  It’s that slick. Check it out.


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