SQL Server 2012 Virtual Labs


Want to play around with SQL Server 2012 but don’t have an environment to play around in?  Check out the following SQL Server 2012 Virtual Labs:

SQL Server 2012: AlwaysOn Availability Groups (SQL 142)

In this hands-on-lab you will learn take advantage of the new AlwaysOn features in SQL Server 2012. You will learn how to implement High-Availability and Data Recovery using SQL Server 2012 Availability Groups.

SQL Server 2012 – Working with Contained Databases (SQL 145)

In this lab, learn how to implement Contained Databases in SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server 2012 – What’s new in Manageability (SQL 147)

In this hands-on-lab you will learn about new manageability features in SQL Server 2012. You will learn how to take advantage of new features in SQL Server Management Tools, PowerShell, and features that will increase your productivity.

SQL Server 2012 – Installation and Configuration (SQL 149)

In this hands-on-lab you will build out a network environment that includes a Domain Controller, an multiple instances of SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server 2012 – Security and Compliance (SQL 150)

In this in hands-on-lab you will learn how to implement security and compliance in SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server 2012 – Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 (SQL 151)

In this hands-on-lab you will learn on how to upgrade to SQL Server 2012.You will learn how to use SQL Server Upgrade Advisor and Distributed Replay to upgrade a SQL Server 2005/2008 database to SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2012 – What’s new in T-SQL (SQL 152)

In this hands-on-lab you will learn about the new T-SQL enhancements for SQL Server 2012.You will learn about new scalar functions, T-SQL constructs and how to take advantage of these new features.

SQL Server 2012 – Installing and managing SQL Server 2012 on Windows Server Core (SQL 153)

In this hands-on-lab you will learn how to deploy SQL Server on Windows Server core, and how configure connectivity and management of a Windows Server core based installation.

SQL Server 2012 – What’s new in Data warehousing and EIM

In this hands-on-lab you will learn about the enhancements in SQL Server 2012 for Data warehousing.

Free “Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012” eBook (2nd Draft)


The second draft of the free Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 eBook will be released on 1st February 2012 and will contain the following chapters:

PART I   Database Administration
 
2. High Availability and Disaster Recovery Enhancements
3. Scalability and Performance
4. Security Enhancements
 
PART II   Business Intelligence Development
 
6. Integration Services
7. Data Quality Services
8. Master Data Services

The complete free eBook (containing all 10 chapters) will be released in March 2012.

More information about this free eBook can be found at @MicrosoftPress and on the Microsoft Press blog

Rule “SQL Server "Denali" CTP3 Feature Upgrade” Failed


UPDATE: Thanks to l.torres (Comment #1) for information regarding An update is available to add support for testing the Product Update feature in SQL Server "Denali" CTP3

UPDATE: Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  If I had remembered that you can’t upgrade ANY current edition of SQL Server to an evaluation edition, I wouldn’t have wasted time building a SQL Server 2008 R2 VM and then trying to upgrade it to SQL Server 2012 CTP3 Evaluation Edition.  I also wouldn’t have written this post 🙂

Tonight I decided to look into what work may be required to upgrade our SQL Server 2008 R2 environment (with SSAS, SSIS and SSRS features) to SQL Server 2012 (CTP3).  Given that I have a MSDN Subscription, I thought the easiest way of testing this would be to download Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Edition and use these to create a Windows Virtual PC.  I could then configure my VM to match our development environment and run the SQL Server 2012 CTP3 Upgrade Wizard to see what happens.  Well, I hate to say it but this process turned out to be far from easy. 

After spending a couple of hours waiting for my downloads to complete (ADSL sucks where I live) and then spending about another hour setting up my VM, my heart broke when the SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Wizard failed with a Rule “SQL Server "Denali" CTP3 Feature Upgrade” failed error.  Hmmm, perhaps I should have read the release notes to see what editions could be upgraded.  Wait a minute, I did read the release notes and saw nothing about upgrade restrictions!

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Ok, maybe I should have run the Upgrade Advisor first. Nope! Did this and it told me that everything was sweet and that there were no issues stopping me from upgrading to CTP3.  BTW, to run the upgrade advisor you need to download and install Microsoft® SQL Server® code name ‘Denali’ Transact-SQL ScriptDom CTP 3 (you get told this via a non-hyperlinked URL in a dialog box when you try and run the advisor). Ok, time to read the real CTP3 release notes.

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I launched my favourite search tool and searched for Rule SQL Server "Denali" CTP3 Feature Upgrade failed.  What I found was a thread on the Microsoft Connect site titled Rule "SQL Server "Denali" CTP3 Feature Upgrade" failed. Here I was told that I can’t upgrade a previous version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2012 Evaluation Edition.  Feeling tired and a little miffed, I decided to stop with the upgrade and write this post instead.

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It makes me wonder why Microsoft let you select "Evaluation" as an upgrade path when you can’t upgrade a previous version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2012 CTP3 Evaluation Edition.  Perhaps I’m being a little too critical as I was trying to install a CTP after all.  That said, how difficult would it have been to remove the “Evaluation” upgrade path or at least add a line to the release notes which states “You cannot upgrade a previous version of SQL Server to SQL Server 2012 CTP3 Evaluation Edition”. 

Anyway, I guess I’ll need to wait until Microsoft releases a Product Key that enables version upgrades.

Night all…… 

New Certifications Coming for SQL Server 2012


Microsoft will be releasing the beta versions of the new SQL Server 2012 exams next spring (For those outside of the Good Ol’ US of A, spring starts around the 20th or 21st March so I’m assuming the exams will hit beta in March 2012.).  The following exams are scheduled for release:

70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server
70-462: Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database
70-463: Building Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
70-464: Developing a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database
70-465: Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server 2012
70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Platform

For news about release dates, check out the Microsoft Learning blog at http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/ or subscribe to the SQLPass newsletter.

Recertification

With the release of the new SQL Server 2012 exams comes the requirement for recertification.

Recertification will apply to Professional-level SQL Server 2012 certifications (i.e. Non-MCTS certifications) and will need to be undertaken every three years. Read the recertification policies for more information.

Want to Learn More About SQL Server Code Name “Denali”?


Then take a look at the Microsoft SQL Server code name ‘Denali’, Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP 3) Product Guide.

“The product guide download contains various datasheets, white papers, click-through and auto-running demonstrations, hands-on lab previews, technical presentations, and other useful links to help you evaluate the SQL Server code name ‘Denali’ CTP3 release.”

A detailed description of what’s included in the download can be found at LessThanDot.

Don’t forget to provide product feedback here and to visit the SQL Server (Pre-release) forums for up-to-date discussions on product features.

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