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Top 12 Features of SQL Server 2012

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The SQL server 2012, launched by Microsoft in April 2012, has become a favorite amongst IT professionals. Let’s discuss here some of the exclusive features of this highly anticipated version.

1. AlwaysOn Availability Groups:
Users can experience an entirely new level of database mirroring with this particular feature. Instead of individual use, it is possible to utilize manifold databases in groups with the help of AlwaysOn. Moreover, users can have access to secondary copies which are readable and are capable of being leveraged for database backups. One of the crucial aspects is that the DR environment does not have to sit idle.

2. Support by Windows Server Core: Core refers to the version of Windows that is GUI less and utilizes PowerShell and DOS for user interaction. The footprint is much lower with 50% less disk space as well as memory utilization. Fewer patches are required and in terms of the security quotient, it is more efficient than the full install. Starting from SQL 2012, the SQL Server renders support to Windows Server Core.

3. Columnstore Indexes: This particular feature is totally unique. The Columnstore Indexes constitute a special category of read-only index created to be utilized along with Data warehouse queries. On the whole, it involves grouping of data along with storage within a compressed, flat column index, reducing memory as well as I/O utilization for large queries to a great extent.

4. User-Defined Server Roles: Custom database roles can always be created by DBAs, but it is usually not possible to create the same server wide. For instance, in case the DBA intends to render read or write access to the development team for each database across a shared server, conventionally it is done manually or through procedures that are not documented. Both of these are poor solutions. Presently, the DBA is empowered with the capability of role creation, thereby enabling read or write access to all databases present over the server. Other customized server wide roles are also possible.

5. Superior Auditing Features: Presently, every edition of SQL server comes with the audit feature. In addition to this, custom audit specifications can be defined by the users for composing custom events within the audit log. Increased flexibility is attained through new filtering features which enable one to choose the proper event for writing into the log.

6. BI Semantic Model: Unified Dimensional Model is being replaced by this. The BI Semantic Model is in fact a hybrid model which facilitates the support of all BI experiences within the SQL Server through one data model. Moreover, this makes room for some clean text Infographics.

7. Sequence Objects: For users who have experience in working with Oracle, this one is a much sought after feature. A sequence refers to an object that serves well as a counter for activities such as augmenting values within a table. SQL has always maintained functionality similar with identity columns, however presently this is a distinct object.

8. Increased PowerShell Support: PowerShell scripting skills are indeed essential for SQL Server and Windows admin. Microsoft is taking lots of initiatives in order to instrument all the server based offerings with PowerShell.

9. Distributed Replay: This feature facilitates the capturing of a workload across a production server and replaying the same on a different machine. In this way, changes within hardware, support packs or underlying schemas can be conveniently evaluated under production conditions.

10. PowerView: This refers to a potent BI self-service toolkit that enables users to build mash ups of BI reports across the Enterprise.

11. SQL Azure Enhancements: Microsoft is considering certain key enhancements within SQL Azure. The Reporting Services pertaining to Azure would be available in addition to a backup for the data store of Windows Azure, which serves for a great enhancement. The Azure database comes with a maximum size of 150G. Moreover, Azure data sync makes room for a superior hybrid model of on-premise and cloud solutions.

12. Big Data Support: Microsoft’s venture with Hadoop provider Cloudera involves release of an SQL Server ODBC driver capable of running on a Linux platform. In addition to this, Microsoft is coming up with connectors for Hadoop, which serves as a highly acclaimed NoSQL platform. This declaration of Microsoft marks the company’s clear move towards a swiftly growing space.

For Microsoft, SQL 2012 marks a big step towards becoming a leader in the ever increasing space for big data. Web and database development professionals can always rely on this version to deliver innovative solutions to their clients.

We provide SQL server development services. If you would like to discuss with an expert database application developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

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