SQL Server 2012 features: Weighing the benefits, limitations

Last updated:March 2014

Editor's note

New features of SQL Server 2012, such as column-based querying, high-availability enhancements, and improved Excel-based analytics and reporting capabilities, have impressed many Microsoft customers, particularly in smaller organizations. This version offers much more than SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 in terms of wielding big data sets and supplying valuable business intelligence (BI) information. Organizations seeking to expand their BI platform must consider newly baked SQL Server 2012features, including the BI Semantic Model, Data Quality Services and Power View.

However, the cost and inconvenience associated with migration is prohibitive at this time for many businesses. Large businesses with homogeneous database environments may not be enticed to dismantle their whole database infrastructure in order to deploy SQL Server 2012, despite its many enhancements. Furthermore, not everyone understands the licensing changes that come with this version, and licensing in a virtual environment is even more complicated than usual, though the costs may be reduced.

On the fence about whether your organization is ready for SQL Server 2012? Explore all that SQL Server 2012 has to offer in this guide, which delivers tips, advice and information on its benefits and limitations.

1Evaluating SQL Server 2012 features' pros and cons

Industry watchers agree that SQL Server 2012 is one of Microsoft's strongest SQL Server versions to date, but does that mean it's right for your business? Research and evaluate the best features, including BI tools and data warehouse appliances -- but also learn why experts say this version isn't a game-changer and isn't necessarily right for all organizations.

2How SQL Server 2012 accommodates big data needs

With the release of SQL Server 2012, Microsoft increases its features for big data sets. Rather than go it alone, Microsoft partnered with Hadoop to support the processing of large data sets, a smart move according to users. Column-based querying and improvements to Excel-based analytics are among the benefits to this integration. The articles in this section offer more details.

3Tips for purchasing, licensing and installation

If your organization is seriously considering an upgrade to SQL Server 2012, you'll want to learn about the pricing and licensing changes that come with this release. The articles in this section offer insights into the details related to purchasing, licensing, installing and configuring SQL Server 2012.