After SQL Azure was introduced, I made a side by side view of SSMS when connected to SQL Server and also when connected to SQL Azure. Somebody asked me if I was going to do the same to compare SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2012, so here it is. Where there is a gap on one side and not on the other, that’s a feature unique to one of the two versions of SQL Server being compared. There are more differences than are shown here – these are the major differences. SQL Server has additional facets and more system views, among other things.
Figure 1. SQL Server 2008 R2 on the left and SQL Server 2012 on the right.
The SQL Writer Service works with the Volume Shadow Copy Service. Winmgmt works with WMI.
Database Mirroring is deprecated and is replaced by AlwaysOn Availability Groups. In the side by side comparison shown above, I abbreviated the 14 AlwaysOn system policies and 14 AlwaysOn system conditions into single line entries.
Notice that Data Transformation Services and SQL Mail, which were previously deprecated, do not appear in SQL Server 2012 at all. Did you know that SQL Server Profiler is deprecated in SQL Server 2012? A list of all deprecated features is found here. In the future, you will use Extended Events to collect and replay traces.
There are many changes to SSIS including new Integration Services Catalogs.
Figure 2. Integration Services Catalogs.