Since the stable and mainly feature-complete versions of SQL Server 2012 have been available, I have been heads-down on multiple BI projects using this software. SQL Server 2012 is not just the next, incremental build of the same database platforms with a few added features here and there. No, SQL Server 2012 ushers in a new era of user-driven BI analytics and data visualization.
Here’s a little information about my upgrade experience. First of all, let’s talk about where we are in the pre-release cycle. Release Candidate 0 was made available to the general public about a month ago. There was talk about another, internal build with bug fixes and some added BI model functionality & Power View features. If this internal release were to actually exist and if it had been made available to yours truly, the existence of such a product build would be protected under a non-disclosure agreement with Microsoft and I would not be at liberty to tell you that I had it installed not to discuss any details.
I started with a completely working install of SQL Server 2008 R2, including all SQL Server services and a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition farm with Reporting Services & PowerPivot integration. When attempting to upgrade from 2008 R2 to 2012 RC0, setup would freeze and become inoperable. There were several issues, all of which I don’t remember but the a did not go well. At that point, I rolled my machine back to a snapshot and performed a side-by-side installation of 2012 with all services, alongside the existing 2088 R2 install. Both cohabitated and worked well. Moving the content databases was done manually but it went smoothly. I then manually migrated all the user databases by detaching them from the 2008 R2 instance and then attaching them to the 2012 RC0 instance. I got there but it was on the long road.
What about the alledged more-recent, internal, super-secret build that no one knows about? If it did in-fact exist, and if I did in fact have a copy; it would have installed seamlessly and the upgrade from 2012 RC0 would have gone very smoothly. If that did indeed happen, I would hev been quite pleased that the upgrade from RC0 went quite well. Nudge nudge, wink wink - it looks like the upgrade story is good news.