SQL Server 2012Microsoft recently released the latest version of SQL Server (“Denali”) 2012. With every new SQL Server release, hundreds of new features and improvements are added, and this is a major one! Enhancements can be found throughout the product, across all components including the Database Engine, Analysis Service, SSIS, Reporting and Master Data Services. Like previous releases, SQL 2012 brings along faster performance, great availability, improved data exploration, more consistent data, and optimized productivity.

So what does all this mean? And more importantly, should you upgrade? The new release of SQL Server comes with many new and cool features. So many that it is outside the scope of this article to go through them all, but here are a few highlights:

  • Always On: A new feature that improves database mirroring allowing you to fail over multiple databases instead of individually.
  •  SQL Server Data Tools: SQL Server Management Studio now runs in a Visual Studio Shell. This is cool for developers because we now have a more code-centric approach to database design. All of the SQL Objects (eg. Tables, view, stored procs) can be developed and tested against a private “localdb” and managed easily in source code control. There are also enhancements to intellisense introduced in SQL 2008.
  •  BI Semantic Model: The new model in conjunction with the xVelocity engine and columnstore indexes, makes both the development of multidimensional and tabular models faster, and at the same time improves performance significantly.Power View
  • Power View: A powerful web-based reporting client that allows the end user to do Ad-hoc reporting and mashup reports from across all aspects of an organization. It is considered an SRS Add-in for SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition.

These are just a taste of the new features and enhancements SQL 2012 offers. Visit Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for a full list.

So back to the original question; should you upgrade your CRM 2011 or Dynamics GP system to SQL Server 2012? The short answer – maybe. Every implementation and environment is different and everyone has different needs. Neither CRM 2011 or Dynamics GP have new features specifically designed for SQL 2012. The advantage of upgrading now would be improvements in performance and reliability, with additional tools for future development of solutions. So if you have a BI initiative or Disaster Recovery project on the horizon, upgrading to SQL 2012 now could be beneficial.

Not every version of CRM 2011 and Dynamics GP are compatible with this new version. With Microsoft CRM, only Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (Update Rollup 21) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (Update Rollup 6) are compatible with Microsoft SQL Server 2012. There are some reported issues with the CRM Data Connector and Reporting Extensions, so please use caution before upgrading. With Dynamics GP, only Dynamics GP 2010 with Hotfix KB 2654242 Version 11.00.1914 or later is compatible.

If you are considering upgrading or want more information about SQL 2012, please contact FMT Customer Care; they are up to date on any issues regarding SQL Server 2012 and the Dynamics product line.

Written by:
Jeff Fenn, Senior Consultant, FMT Consultants, LLC

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