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Why Can't We Go Backwards?


Why Can't We Go Backwards?

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Why Can't We Go Backwards?

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Randolph West
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While it would be a nice feature, I don't think it serves us well, especially with differences in datatypes between versions.

Sure you could try to force compatibility levels, but what happens if you have, say, a 2008 DB that you want to restore to 2005, and it has datetime2?
rwilkes-1123382
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Interesting.
I currently have a situation which is perhaps similar. I want to go forwards compatible.

We have a server on SQL 2005 and we want to upgrade it to SQL 2008. It would be really nice if we could just detach the databases, uninstall SQL 2005, install SQL 2008 and then reattach the databases.
But the question: is it that simple or will I encounter the issues you describe for backwards compatability when I go forwards?
Mark Harr
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rwilkes; Depending on the versions, it can be that simple. When the databases from the previous version are attached, SQL Server will upgrade the databases to the current version. Actually, it can be more simple. You can upgrade in place, and the installation will upgrade the databases during its process. But check the installation compatibilities. For instance, you cannot upgrade SQL Server 7 databases directly to SQL Server 2008.



Mark
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Wow, thanks Mark. That almost sounds too good to be true!
We are going from SQL Server 2005 to 2008 so that probably helps make things fairly straight forward.

My only concern though is that you have suggested we could just upgrade with the dbs in place. I had heard it wasn't advisable to just upgrade, but that it was best to uninstall SQL Server 2005 before installing SQL Server 2008. Do you have a view on this?
(Obviously I'm all for the simple upgrade provided it doesn't have complicated connatations!)
Randolph West
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You can do an upgrade. I don't see the sense in uninstalling 2005 first.
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I have done both, with no noticeable problem either way. If it were a dedicated DB server, and running an older server OS, I would consider wiping it and installing latest OS (Windows Server 2008 R2) and a fresh clean install of SQL Server 2008. If the server has other functions/programs on it, an in-place upgrade may get you the benefits of SQL2008 quickly without reconfiguring other applications.



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Steve Jones
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Going backwards is an issue if you have changed the database. However in many cases, it isn't that you've changed the database, it's that you moved it to the next version and without changing it, and having it in a lower compatibility mode, you want to go back.

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Steve, agreed, which is why I think it would be a useful feature, but difficult to implement for the alternative (i.e. using the new features). For that amount of effort, scripting the DB out is "good enough". Yes?

EDIT: Clarified my statement.
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I will have to disagree on this one. What are the reasons to go back? The big one is that problems pop up in the new version and you need to go back. But, isn't that what testing is about? Test the database on the new version of SQL and find those issues before migrating the production database.

Are there are other reasons to go back to a prior version?

What kind of support nightmare do you have when upgrading some customers then moving them back?
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