Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guiding you and your app's toward SQL Server 2012 upgrade nirvana

US ISV Evangelism - Guide for How to Test Your Application for Compatibility with SQL Server 2012

ISVs are getting ready for the release of SQL Server 2012 by checking code to be sure it will support the new release. Microsoft provides tools that will help you in your testing.

This article provides the steps you can take to be sure your application is customer-ready for SQL Server 2012.

Customer Expectations

For your customers, upgrading to SQL Server 2012 may be as simple as upgrading a couple of instances for a small company or department, but large companies might have hundreds of SQL Server installations, some of which the IT department may not even be aware of. Customers will use tools such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (also known as the MAP Toolkit) to find applications to be upgraded.

Your customers can even upgrade to SQL Server 2012 in place. In-place upgrade are supported for the following versions of SQL Server (note minimum required service pack level):

  • SQL Server 2005 (SP4)
  • SQL Server 2008 (SP2)
  • SQL Server 2008 R2

You can your customers can also do side-by-side upgrade.

Because your customers can easily upgrade your application onto SQL Server, you will want to check to be sure your application will not break.


Review the Changes

There are just a few breaking changes, so it is likely that your application will work as expected. But you should still review your application to spot if it will break.

See Backward Compatibility for the detailed information on SQL Server components including information about deprecated features, discontinued features, breaking changes, and behavior changes


How to Test Your Application for SQL Server 2012 Compatibility

So as ISVs, you will want to check your code to support SQL Server 2012.

To systematically test your database take these three primary steps:

  1. Check for configuration issues using SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer.
  2. Use SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Advisor to test for common blockers. Use Upgrade Advisor for Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services.
  3. Test your data workload at scale using Upgrade Assistant Tool for SQL Server 2012 (UAFS).

Here are the details:

Test Your SQL Installs For Best Practices

Your Database Admins use the SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer to scan your instance and databases for potential violations of best practices. ISVs can use it to check that your installations support best practices out-of-the-box. It's a good idea to clean these up before doing an upgrade. You should also check to see if you might have left your instance with any special trace flags and whether you still need them.


Run Upgrade Advisor

Next, you should scan the instance and all of its databases for potential upgrade blockers using SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Advisor . This tool runs a set of rule-based checks to identify common upgrade blockers, and produces a nice actionable report as its output.


Perform AppCompat Testing

The final step is to use the Upgrade Assistant Tool for SQL Server 2012 (UAFS) to perform AppCompat testing for you applications. UAFS allows you to capture the interaction between your application and SQL Server and save it as a test workload. You then replay the test workload against the original SQL Server version to establish a baseline, and then again against SQL Server 2012.



SQL Server 2012 is coming... it's coming... it's coming!!! And here's a guide to help you get you ready for it.

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