SQL Server pros settled into SQL Server 2012 this year, and this year's top SQL Server stories reflected that. They no longer are just about whether to upgrade to SQL Server 2012, or how to upgrade. Now they are about management tools for the database, and in one expert tip, little-known features.
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Two of these top SQL Server stories aren't about SQL Server 2012. The first deals with SQL Server 2014, which is expected to be generally available early next year. The last article -- the most popular on SearchSQLServer in 2013 -- is a guide to one of the most important features in any database. Can you guess what it is?
Useful SQL Server 2012 features to become familiar with. This tip from expert Roman Rehak details the four major features of SQL Server 2012, and how database administrators can use them. For example, more data types are supported for online indexing, which will allow you to do online indexing on more tables and possibly improve uptime. One downside: Online indexing still isn't available in the Standard Edition.
Six top SQL Server 2012 management tools you should know about. Basit Farooq sums up his favorite six management tools for SQL Server 2012. The right management tool can make a DBA's job much easier. Farooq examines such tools as SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Profiler and PowerShell.
Little-known features of Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Andrew Novick wrote this column back in January, and the two little-known features he mentioned then might possibly be the two best-known features today. Column-based indexing and in-memory processing are touted features, not just for SQL Server, but for many other database platforms as well today.
SQL Server 2014 due out in late 2013, in-memory online transaction processing a big feature. Moving on from SQL Server 2012 brings us to the next version in line: SQL Server 2014. Microsoft announced the update at its TechEd conference in New Orleans, and followed that up with a technology preview that is currently available for download. The production version of the database is expected early in 2014.
Basic SQL Server security best practices. Despite all the hype around SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014, DBAs still look for the basics, and it doesn't get any more basic than making sure your database is secure. Ashish Kumar Mehta goes over some SQL Server security guidelines, such as using Windows authentication rather than SQL Server authentication, making the sysadmin's password complicated and disabling unused features.