Monday, May 14, 2012

SQL Saturday #142–Waltham, MA

SQL Saturday is a one-day, jam-packed, educational event organized by and for local SQL Server Professionals, with the help of corporate and personal sponsors. It is free of charge, although you will need to register to reserve your spot. SQL Saturday #142 is going to be held in Waltham, Massachusetts. Here’s the detail:

What: SQL Saturday #142
When: Saturday 19th May 2012 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Where: Microsoft Office, 201 Jones Rd., Waltham, MA 02451 (Map)

To register, please go to Currently, there are about 30 sessions scheduled for SQL Saturday #142. For a complete schedule and description of the sessions, you can check it out at

Why You Should Attend?

If you are in the area, I would recommend you to attend this event. There are 3 main reasons on why you should attend this event:

  1. Educational – SQL Saturday is a great place to learn different aspects of SQL Servers. If you look at the list of sessions for this SQL Saturday, you will see a wide variety of topics related to SQL Server. You can learn anything from SQL in the cloud (SQL Azure) to the newly released SQL Server 2012. There are also sessions on SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Analysis Services. Each session is scheduled to run for about 1 – 1.5 hours. Obviously, you will most likely not be able to master the session topic within that short time period. However, it can help to get your feet wet on the subject.
  2. Networking – This event is a great way to meet fellow local SQL Server Professionals. We can always learn from each other experiences.
  3. Meet with Vendor(s) – There are going to be a few vendors that are coming to this SQL Saturday. This is a chance to see some of their product demo, ask questions about their product(s) and possibly see if any of their product(s) can help your organization.

Not in the Area?

SQL Saturday might be coming to a city near you. You should check SQL Saturday site for a list of upcoming SQL Saturday events in various location.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

SQL Server 2012: Merged Product Updates (Slipstream)

Yesterday I blogged on the Product Updates feature in SQL Server 2012, that blog entry can be found here. In that blog entry, I talked about firing the SQL Server 2012 setup along with the Product Updates parameters option from the command line. But what if we want to automatically run the setup with the Product Update feature every time we run the SQL Server 2012 setup? This article will show how to create a new SQL Server 2012 distribution media that will run the SQL Server 2012 setup and SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update 1.

Here’re the steps:

  • Create a new folder. For this example, I create a new folder called SQL2K12 on C:\Setup
  • Copy the folders and files from the SQL Server 2012 media onto C:\Setup\SQL2K12 folder.
  • Create a new folder called Updates on C:\Setup\SQL2K12 folder.
  • Download the SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Updates 1 from Microsoft. You might want to download the 446573_intl_i386_zip.exe (SQLServer2012_RTM_CU1_kb2679368_11_0_2316_x86) and 446572_intl_x64_zip.exe (SQLServer2012_RTM_CU1_kb2679368_11_0_2316_x64 ).
  • Run both files to extract the update files. When it asks for the extract location, specify C:\Setup\SQL2K12\Updates as the location. Once you’ve done with this steps, you should have SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x86.exe and SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x64.exe on C:\Setup\SQL2K12\Updates folder.


  • Go to C:\Setup\SQL2K12\x64 folder. Locate and edit (open in notepad) the DefaultSetup.ini file. On this file, you can specify the parameters that you want to have when running the setup.exe. To enable the Product Updates feature and have it get the update from the Updates folder, you can put the following on the DefaultSetup.ini file (once the file has been updated, save and close it) :

;SQL Server 2012 Configuration File


Notes: With the above DefaultSetup.ini file, when you run the Setup.exe, it will present you with the SQL Server Installation Center screen.


Now, say that you want to bypass the SQL Server Installation Center screen and go right ahead to the installation process, you can add the parameter Action=Install. So your DefaultSetup.ini file would look like the following:

;SQL Server 2012 Configuration File



  • Do the same thing to the DefaultSetup.ini file on C:\Setup\SQL2K12\x86.


You are done, so when you run the Setup.exe and do the SQL Server 2012 install, after the Setup Support Rules screen, you should see:


Then again on the Ready to Install page, you should see the following:


After the installation process, when you check for the installed SQL Server 2012 version, you should see version 11.0.2316.0.


Friday, May 4, 2012

SQL Server 2012 Product Updates (Slipstream)

Microsoft has released the first cumulative update for SQL Server 2012 last month (April 2012). It can be found here. There are about 50+ fixes that are being addressed by this cumulative update package. In order to get the cumulative update package, you will need to provide your e-mail address to request for the files and Microsoft will then send the link to download those files thru e-mail.

The cumulative updates come in two flavor, for 32-bit (x86 platform) and 64-bit (x64 platform). In addition, for each platform, there are 3 update files:

  • SQL Server 2012
    • SQLServer2012_RTM_CU1_kb2679368_11_0_2316_x86
      • Self-extracting file name: 446573_intl_i386_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x86.exe
    • SQLServer2012_RTM_CU1_kb2679368_11_0_2316_x64
      • Self-extracting file name: 446572_intl_x64_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x64.exe
  • PowerPivot for Excel
    • 2012_RTM_PPExcel_CU1_KB2679368_11_0_2316_x86
      • Self-extracting file name: 446568_intl_i386_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: PowerPivot_for_Excel_x86.msi
    • 2012_RTM_PPExcel_CU1_KB2679368_11_0_2316_x64
      • Self-extracting file name: 446571_intl_x64_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: PowerPivot_fot_Excel_amd64.msi
  • Data-Tier App Framework
    • 2012_RTM_DACFX_CU1_KB2679368_11_0_2316_x86
      • Self-extracting file name: 446569_intl_i386_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: DACFramework.msi
    • 2012_RTM_DACFX_CU1_KB2679368_11_0_2316_x64
      • Self-extracting file name: 446570_intl_x64_zip.exe
      • Extracted file name: DACFramework.msi

Installing SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update 1

Installing the cumulative update for SQL Server 2012 is pretty straightforward.

  • After you get the e-mail from Microsoft, download the appropriate file (in my case, I have the 64-bit version of SQL Server 2012, so I downloaded 446572_intl_i386_zip.exe).
  • Then I just run that file that I have just downloaded. It will run the Microsoft Self-Extractor and ask for the folder location on where you want to extract the file package. This should extract an exe file. In my case, it is SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x64.exe.
  • After that, I just run the exe file on the server where Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is installed.

Product Updates (the successor of Slipstream)

Now let say you need to deploy SQL Server 2012 with cumulative update 1 to several new servers. Obviously you can just install SQL Server 2012 on each of the new servers and then apply the cumulative update 1 after the SQL Server has been installed.

Alternatively you can combine them into one process. So basically, you would tell the install process to also apply the update(s). This process is known as slipstream. Although, as per Deprecated SQL Server Features in SQL Server 2012 article, Slipstream is being replaced by Product Updates. You still can use the command line parameters associated with Slipstream but it might be gone in the future.

The command line parameters associated with Product Updates in SQL Server 2012 are UpdateEnabled (either True or False) and UpdateSource (Specify the directory location where update file(s) are located). For more information on how to use the parameters, it can be found here.

Putting it to Practice

Using Product Updates to apply cumulative update package 1 for SQL Server 2012 is fairly simple. Let say that you want to set up SQL Server 2012 with cumulative update package 1, you can do the following:

  • On the server where you want to install SQL Server 2012 with cumulative update 1, create a new folder. Let say you create the following folder C:\Updates (don’t have to be local, it probably makes sense to run put this on a network share).
  • After you have download and extract the cumulative update file SQLServer2012-KB2679368-x64.exe, put that file onto C:\Updates.
  • Insert SQL Server 2012 installation DVD. Let say that your DVD drive is on D drive.
  • Open your command line, navigate to D drive and type in the following command:

Setup.exe /Action=Install /UpdateEnabled=True /UpdateSource=”C:\Updates”


  • SQL Server 2012 Setup process should then start. After the Setup Support Rules, you should then see the following screen:


  • Then again on the Ready to Install page, you should see the following:


  • And if you scroll down, you will see the following:


  • Once the installation has been completed, if you check the SQL Server 2012 version, you should get 11.0.2316.0.