Microsoft released SQL Server 2012 RC0 (Release Candidate) this week – just in time for those of us traveling over the holidays to have something to do as we head to Grand-Ma’s (assuming we aren’t the one driving). With any new release, I suspect most of us do the same thing – run as fast as we can through the install process and open SSMS and start playing! If you haven’t been previously playing with “Denali” CTP3, then I encourage you to get the RC0 install (on a test server, of course) – if only for the new SSMS.
The first time you connect to an instance in Object Explorer, you’ll immediately notice differences from SSMS 2008 R2.
Oh look! There’s a folder called “AlwaysOn High Availability” – let’s go click it!
Yikes! That wasn’t nice. It seems like SSMS should already know this and have a “not available” icon showing like it does for my SQL Server Agent which is currently disabled.
OK – let’s try the other new folder “Integration Services Catalog”. That’s interesting because I do have SSIS 2008 installed, but haven’t upgraded it. The only option here when I right-click is to “Create Catalog”. However, then I see that I need CLR enabled and once I do that then I need to make some other decisions.
Ok – I guess this will be something I need to do some more research on to know when we’ll want to use this and exactly how to use it. But, that is the whole purpose of this exercise, seeing what is new and where to focus future in-depth investigation.
So, back to drilling down through Object Explorer to see what else looks new…
Looks like I’m going to have to study up on Extended Events now that they’ve made it into SSMS; and Microsoft appears to be setting up some default entries here.
Now, I’ll start drilling down to the next layer of some of these objects. We use PBM (Policy-Based Management), so let’s see if anything is new there. Yep! Looks like Microsoft is installing policies by default in preparation for AlwaysOn usage. So, when I get around to playing with AlwaysOn, it will be interesting to revisit these and see if they are automatically enabled when setting up AlwaysOn.
I didn’t show it in the image, but there are new Conditions created upon install for the AlwaysOn policies to use. And, obviously with new features in SQL Server 2012, new facets related to those features have also been added (76 facets in SQL Server 2008 R2 versus 84 in SQL Server 2012). Interestingly, if I connect to a SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 instance from SSMS 2012, I see all the facets for SQL Server 2012. I think this means I’ll be able to keep using my central PBM repository from SQL Server 2008 R2, but run policies specific for SQL Server 2012 (using our version of EPM). More to investigate!
Lastly for this initial drive-by look, I checked out the Management\Legacy folder. Here’s the comparison of SQL Server 2008 R2 SSMS (first) and SQL Server 2012 (second):
Looks like DTS and SQL Mail are finally gone as promised!
Until next time, Happy Exploring!