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New features for SQL within SQL Server 2012
Part one of a four-part series of blogs

SQL 2012 has 14 new functions, a new FileTable construct and new ways to sequence and fetch records - as this blog explains.

  1. SQL Server 2012 - What's New when Writing SQL (this blog)
  2. Storing Files in SQL Server 2012
  3. What's New in SQL 2012 - New Functions
  4. Sequences and Page Data using OFFSET / FETCH NEXT

Posted by Andy Brown on 08 May 2012

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SQL Server 2012 - What's New when Writing SQL

SQL Server 2012 has introduced many improvements and enhancements, but this blog focuses solely on those which will impact on SQL programmers (I've also blogged recently on what's new in Reporting Services 2012).

The main areas of improvement are:

  • The introduction of 14 new functions.
  • The ability to store and query Windows files in SQL Server databases.
  • A new feature to create and use sequences of numbers.
  • A new feature to fetch blocks of rows offset a given number of rows from the first record in a table.

In addition, SQL Server 2012 has much better support for spatial data, whether for storing geographical maps or for holding details of geometrical figures.  However, this is a fairly specialist area which won't be of much interest to mainstream SQL programmers.

I've covered the listed features above in separate parts of this blog.  To be honest, it's the FORMAT function which has excited us all at the owlery!


The intellisense first introduced into SQL Server 2008 is still present in Management Studio, and is probably the biggest reason to upgrade the client interface (ie the bit where you write SQL):

Intellisense in SSMS

You can choose tables (and then columns) from a list.  It mostly works!


I'm not sure that Microsoft have improved this at all (the above diagram was taken from SSMS 2012, so you can judge for yourself), but I thought it was worth mentioning as a quick reminder to users of version 2000 and 2005 databases.

A PS: at the time of writing, I overlooked two small extra features - I've rectified this with an additional blog on code snippets and code surround.  As always, don't forget that we offer a full range of SQL training courses too.

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