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SQL Server 2012

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
This definition is part of our Essential Guide: SQL 2014: Investigating Microsoft's latest database release

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a relational database management system (RDBMS) designed for the enterprise environment. Like its predecessors, SQL Server 2012 comprises a set of programming extensions to enhance the Structured Query Language (SQL), a standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012, which supplants SQL Server 2008 R2, offers new capabilities, notable among them the following.

  • ColumnStore indexes: Read-only indexes that group data, streamlining the processing of large data warehouse queries.
  • Support for Windows Server Core: This is a stripped-down version that places a far lower demand on computer resources than a full install does.
  • PowerView: Makes it possible to generate mash-ups of business intelligence (BI) reports.
  • Enhanced Auditing: Users can customize their audit logs to accommodate a wider range of events with greater flexibility than was previously possible.
  • AlwaysOn: Users can fail over multiple databases and read secondary copies, enhancing disaster recovery (DR) operations.
  • Distributed Replay: A workload can be taken from a production server and played on another server to test it under realistic conditions before deploying it.

The original SQL Server code was developed by Sybase. In the late 1980s, Microsoft, Sybase, and Ashton-Tate collaborated to produce the first version of the product, SQL Server 4.2 for OS/2. Subsequently, both Sybase and Microsoft have offered SQL Server products.

This was last updated in November 2012

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