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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Features

Microsoft SQL Server 2012, code name SQL Server Denali has some new enhancements and improvements as well as totally new features for sql developers, SQL Server administrators and Business Intelligence (BI) professionals.
Let's check Microsoft SQL Server 2012 features and what is new in SQL Server 2012.

SQL Server installation features have some changes. With release CTP1, Microsoft SQL Server 11 (SQL2011) has a new concept in SQL Server Setup application.
This is some SQL Server 2012 requirements are not included in the SQL Server Setup wizard.
SQL Server installer should install these prerequisites before starting to install SQL Server 2012, Denali.
For example, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is a requirement for SQL Server 2012 CTP1 but not included in the Setup program.
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 is also a MS SQL Server 2012 requirement, on the other hand it is not included in the install package either.
Also before installing .NET 4.0 Framework, if you install Update package, a reboot during SQL Server installation will be avoided.
This information is very good since you have the possibility to prevent disturbance during Microsoft SQL Server 2012 installation process.
For CTP3 updates on SQL Server setup, please also read guide How to Install SQL Server 2012 Denali CTP3

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Management Studio powered by Visual Studio 2010

One interesting but understandable feature is Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Denali SQL Servee Management Studio has very similar graphical user interface (GUI) like MS Visual Studio 2010. Especially after the first introduce of Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) in MS SQL Server 2005 with every new version of SQL Server, the GUI is getting more like Microsoft Visual Studio.
And these two products now meet with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.


Microsoft has improved T-SQL for sql developers with new SQL Server engine in MS SQL Server 2012, Denali.
SQL Server 2012 CTP 1 introduces Ad-hoc Query Paging as a new sql paging using ORDER BY clause with OFFSET n ROWS and FETCH NEXT n ROWS options.
What is new in SQL Server 2012 with Ad-Hoc Query Paging implemenation is developers can define a range of rows which are returned by the executon of a SELECT statement. Ad-hoc Query Paging enables developers to specify row offset value and row count value in the ORDER BY clause in SELECT statements.
I know, .NET programmers and sql developers will like this feature just like other MS SQL Server 2012 features. Paging of records during display on a web page or on any application always consume valuable resources of SQL Server. In SQL Server 2000, this was a critical performance issue. With SQL Server 2005 enhancements, T-SQL has TOP(n) and ROW_NUMBER features enabling an advanced paging patterns in sql scripts. And now with Ad-hoc Query Paging implemenation, paging in sql has its final improvement I guess.

An other new feature among T-SQL improvements of SQL Server 2012, Denali CTP1 is Sequence of Numbers or Sequence Objects.
SQL Server Sequence Objects are just like Identity columns of a SQL Server table.
A Sequence Object generates numeric values in sequence that can be shared between different sql objects.
This means SQL Sequence Objects produce numeric values in order but not restricted with a single SQL Server database table.

One of the major t-sql improvements is SQL Analytic Functions in SQL Server 2012 introduced with Denali CTP3. A list of 8 SQL Server analytic functions is included into T-SQL programmability for TSQL developers with Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Denali CTP3 version.

Another programmability enhancement introduced to T-SQL developers with SQL Server 2012, Denali CTP3 version is new additional 14 built-in functions. These new Transact-SQL functions include string functions, conversion functions, logical functions, date and time functions. Developers can find the list of these New T-SQL Functions in SQL Server 2012 for T-SQL Developers.

One of the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 features for sql developers and administrators is the sql intellisense features of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Also the addition of sql code snippet manager tool, SQL Server 2012 Code Snippet Manager is the right tool for rapid and without error code development in t-sql.


SQL Server Management Studio with SQL Server 2012 Denali CTP1 also introcudes Surround With enhancement which enables t-sql developers to enclose a lines of t-sql code with IF conditional block statements, WHILE loop block and with BEGIN END blocks.
Please check the sql tutorial on how to use Surround With in SQL Server 2012 Denali.

Microsoft also introduced a new edition with SQL Server 2012 Denali CTP3 especially targeting developers who are not focused on database administration. SQL Server Express LocalDB is a lightweight database for programmers who can use LocalDB for writing and reading data directly to the database without interfering with administration issues. Here is a short tutorial about this new SQL Server tool What is SQL Server Express LocalDB enhancement with SQL Server 2012 Besides for LocalDB setup, please refer to SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB installation guide

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