Upgrading from SQL Server 2012 Evaluation Edition

This article provides a step-by-step instruction on how to upgrade a SQL Server 2012 RTM Evaluation Edition server to a BI edition. Similar steps can be used to upgrade to any other licensed editions, Developer/Standard/Enterprise.

Long story short, changing the edition from the Evaluation edition to another one does not require building and migrating to a new server with the intended edition. As the Evaluation edition is a 180-day trial edition of Enterprise edition, there can be some issues when changing the edition to a non-Enterprise edition due to incompatible features used. This article assumes that the features used in the sample SQL Server instance with the Evaluation edition are non-Enterprise only features.


  1. A SQL Server 2012 RTM instance in Evaluation mode to be upgraded.
  2. A Developer/Standard/BI/Enterprise License Key or the ISO file of the SQL Server 2012 RTM installation that contains the license key.


In the sample below, the SQL Server instance is running on Evaluation mode, and it is to be upgraded to the BI edition. None of the Enterprise only features are installed.

1. Run the SQL Server 2012 RTM ISO file.

2. Choose Maintenance > Edition Upgrade.

3. Click Next on Setup Support Rules.

4. Follow the Upgrade the Edition for SQL Server 2012, which starts with Setup Support Rules.

5. On the next screen, choose Enter the product key and type in the product key of the new license. This is usually pre-filled for Developer edition; or if the licensed ISO file is used.

6. Accept the License Terms on the next screen.

7. Select the instance to be upgraded to the new edition.

8. The installation will then continue with running Edition Upgrade Rules. This is where feature compatibility is being checked.

9. Click Upgrade on the next screen.

10. Once the upgrade is successful, click Close.

11. Verify that the existing SQL Server instance has been upgraded to the correct edition by checking via SQL Server Management Studio. For more information on how to check the edition, see my blog post here.


Wrap Up

This post provides a step-by-step instruction on how to upgrade a SQL Server 2012 RTM instance with Evaluation edition to a different edition. It is a relatively easy process when only the compatible features are used. To check when the Evaluation edition expire, please see my earlier post here.

If you have had some curly experience in upgrading, please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!


Further Reading

Upgrade to a Different Edition of SQL Server 2012 (Setup) on Technet

Retrieving SQL Server 2012 Evaluation Period Expiry Date



Sydney SQL User Group Presentations

Below is a list of slide decks from my past presentations at Sydney SQL User Group. I plan to update this post within a few days of the presentation.

Hope to see you at the next User Group meeting. Remember, it’s held every first Wednesday at lunch time and every second Tuesday evening of the month at Sydney Mechanics’ School Arts.


11 Sep 2012 – Direct Query vs Vertipaq in BISM

7 Mar 2012 – High Volume Data Processing Techniques Without Driving Your DBA Crazy

13 Sep 2011 – Important Trace Flags Every DBA Should Know


PASS Summit 2012 Lightning Talk Session

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who voted for my “TRY CATCH in a Nutshell” Lightning Talk session for PASS Summit 2012. I am very honoured and thrilled to be selected.

I’d like to congratulate all the selected speakers and I’m very excited to meet you all at the Summit.

Lastly, I hope you’d be able to join SQL Family in PASS Summit this year. It’s not too late to register!


PASS Summit 2012 - Nov 6th - 9th 2012


24 Hours of PASS Summit 2012 Preview

How awesome is it to be able to watch 24 out of the 190+ upcoming PASS Summit 2012 sessions from your own home?

Very awesome! I’m excited about the 24 Hours of PASS Summit Preview.  It’s 24 consecutive hours of great sessions for SQL Server Professionals delivered by outstanding speakers in the SQL Community around the world, and best of all FREE!

I am also thrilled to be a moderator for Session 22, with Peter Myers on Big Data Analytics with PowerPivot and Power View.

The tracks in 24 Hours of PASS event include

This event starts on 20 September 2012 at 12:00 GMT. So, be sure you check the schedule in your time zone.

Below is a list that I’ve created for Australia Easterm Standard Time (AEST). Also see more info here: http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/fall2012/SessionsbySchedule.aspx


** 20 Sep 2012 GMT **

Session 01 (BIA) – Starts at 12:00 GMT (Thu, 20 Sep 2012 at 22:00 AEST)
Choosing the Right Reporting Platform 
Presenter: Brian Knight, Devin Knight

Session 02 (DBA) – Starts at 13:00 GMT (Thu, 20 Sep 2012 at 23:00 AEST)
Best Practices for Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 
Presenter:Robert Davis

Session 03 (AppDev) – Starts at 14:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at Midnight AEST)
Three Ways to Identify Slow Running Queries 
Presenter: Grant Fritchey

Session 04 (AppDev) – Starts at 15:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 01:00 AEST)
Fasten Your Seatbelt – Troubleshooting the Most Difficult SQL Server Problems 
Presenter: Klaus Aschenbrenner

Session 05 (CLD) – Starts at 16:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 02:00 AEST)
SQL Server Private Cloud != Azure 
Presenter: Allan Hirt, Ben DeBow

Session 06 (AppDev) – Starts at 17:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 03:00 AEST)
What are the Largest SQL Server Projects in the World? 
Presenter: Kevin Cox

Session 07 (AppDev) – Starts at 18:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 04:00 AEST)
Practical Demos of Text Mining and Data Mining using SQL Server 2012 
Presenter: Mark Tabladillo

Session 08 (DBA) – Starts at 19:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 05:00 AEST)
PowerShell 101 for the SQL Server DBA 
Presenter: Allen White

Session 09 (BID) – Starts at 20:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 06:00 AEST)
Mobile Business Intelligence 
Presenter: Jen Underwood

Session 10 (BID) – Starts at 21:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 07:00 AEST)
Slow MDX Queries: The Case of the Empty Tuples 
Presenter: Stacia Misner

Session 11 (DBA) – Starts at 22:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 08:00 AEST)
Using SQL Server 2012 Always On 
Presenter: Denny Cherry

Session 12 (PD) – Starts at 23:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 09:00 AEST)
Leadership – Winning Influence in IT Teams 
Presenter: Kevin Kline

** 21 Sep 2012 GMT **

Session 13 (BIA) – Starts at 00:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 10:00 AEST)
BI Architecture With SQL 2012 & SharePoint 2010 
Presenter: Rod Colledge

Session 14 (DBA) – Starts at 01:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 11:00 AEST)
DBCC, Statistics, and You 
Presenter: Erin Stellato

Session 15 (BIA) – Starts at 02:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at Noon AEST)
SSIS Design Patterns for Fun and Profit 
Presenter: Jessica Moss, Michelle Ufford

Session 16 (AppDev) – Starts at 03:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 13:00 AEST)
Characteristics of a Great Relational Database 
Presenter: Louis Davidson

Session 17 (BIA) – Starts at 04:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 14:00 AEST)
What’s All the Buzz about Hadoop and Hive? 
Presenter: Cindy Gross

Session 18 (AppDev) – Starts at 05:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 15:00 AEST)
Taking SQL Server Into the Beyond Relational Realm 
Presenter: Michael Rys

Session 19 (BIA) – Starts at 06:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 16:00 AEST)
Agile Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2012 
Presenter: Davide Mauri

Session 20 (AppDev) – Starts at 07:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 17:00 AEST)
Digging Into the Plan Cache 
Presenter: Jason Strate

Session 21 (BIA) – Starts at 08:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 18:00 AEST)
Introduction to Microsoft’s Big Data Platform and Hadoop Primer 
Presenter: Denny Lee

Session 22 (BID) – Starts at 09:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 19:00 AEST)
Big Data Analytics with PowerPivot and Power View 
Presenter: Peter Myers

Session 23 (CLD) – Starts at 10:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 20:00 AEST)
Best Practices and Lessons Learned Using SSIS for Large Scale Azure Data Movement 
Presenter: Steven Howard

Session 24 (PD) – Starts at 11:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 21:00 AEST)
Mentoring for Professional Development 
Presenter: Andy Warren


Also, check out what the PASS Director, Rob Farley has to say about the upcoming 24 Hours of PASS http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rob_farley/archive/2012/09/09/24-hours-of-pass-coming-up-soon.aspx 

See you there!


PASS Summit 2012 - Nov 6th - 9th 2012

Power View Map in Excel 2013 Preview

With Office 2013 preview launched in mid July 2012, there have been ubiquitous posts on the new Power View feature in Excel 2013. This is a very welcomed feature and I would sense that it will win Business adoption as an easy to use and “hopefully” affordable Self Service BI.  Here’s my thought on a fairly early version of Power View feature in Excel 2013 Preview.

Power View

Since the first time Power View introduced in SQL Server 2012 and made available in SharePoint 2010, I’ve always been fan of it. With most tools if you have analytical mind and are great with visualization / design, most reports you’ll create will be useful and used – and in my opinion – Power View is definitely one of these tools.

Using the Australia Broadband Guarantee data set provided from http://data.gov.au/dataset/australian-broadband-guarantee/, I am able to quickly and painlessly create an interesting Power View Map in Excel 2013 that I can analyze the investment the Australian government has made, at country level and down to specific Suburbs / Postcodes. The map feature is currently not available in SQL Server 2012 RTM with SharePoint 2010. I do hope that it will be introduced as a Service Pack 1 to SQL Server 2012.

Sample Data and Map

The Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) was an Australian Government initiative designed to help residential and small business premises access high-quality broadband services regardless of where they were located. The program targeted premises unable to access commercial metro-comparable services, particularly those living in remote parts of Australia

More information on the project: http://www.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/128204/Australian-Broadband-Guarantee-2010-11-Guidelines-July-2010.pdf

The dataset I’m using has a very straight forward data structure. My motive here is to see which areas have the funding gone to? Does the amount of funding yield many connections? Is there any isolated area that gets funding?

Zoomed at the Nation level:

Australia Broadband Guarantee Map - Nation Level


Zoomed at a State level, with funding > $1 million filter: (hovering on one of the bubble gives me a descriptive tooltip)

Australia Broadband Guarantee in NSW


I can zoomed in further to the actual postcode as the granularity of the location is postcode, as shown below:

Australia Broadband Funding in Aarons Pass NSW


Advantages and Disadvantages of Using PowerView Map

Although it’s still at its early stage as Office 2013 is only released in a Preview version, I consider Power View Map feature has the following advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of PowerView in Office 2013 preview as at the time this post is written:

1. It integrates with Excel. So it allows for rapid prototyping and development.

2. No knowledge of Power Pivot is required. Power View can be created based on a table on a worksheet and it automatically creates Power Pivot data based on the table. Knowing Power Pivot and being able to configure relationship and data categories, will help for performance (so it seems based on my testing).

3. The map feature recognises longitude and latitude pairs which are easily attainable. It can also use information such as Suburb and State.

4. It uses Bing Map as the map layer, so there is no need to acquire ESRI shape files or converting to Spatial data type.

5. Performance of the Power View map feature is amazing. When plotting over 2000 locations, I could barely notice the wait time.

6. Most importantly, the ability to interactively zoom in/out the map – from world to road level – is fantastic. This is something that is not available in Report Builder or SSRS yet.


Disadvantages of PowerView in Office 2013 preview as of the time this post is written:

1. No support for Spatial Data type. So there is no user defined zone that can be layered on top of the map.

2. Location, Longitude and Latitude values are all needed. Location could be PostCode, City/Suburb or Country.

3. The Location category is US Centric. This meaning that if State is used as the Power View Map Location, and there is a State with the same name or abbreviation in US, it would point to US. As an example, “WA” is Western Australia in Australia (http://binged.it/QzFaDn), but it is also Washington in US (http://binged.it/QzF7HG); which is over 9,000 miles away or over 14,000 kilometers.

4. Unable to connect directly to the Analysis Services; i.e. it is required to import the data into Power Pivot first or Excel table, then create a Power View map based on the imported data.

There are a few areas that still don’t work properly. The application crashed a few times on me when converting the initial pre-built table created by Power View to a map, as well as when the column detects text (larger size) instead of numbers for aggregation. I think in time, these issues will be ironed out.

Wrap Up

Office 2013 seems to offer a number of nice features, especially for self-service BI solutions using Excel 2013. I have no doubt that small businesses will start adopting Excel 2013 more and more in the near future, for data analytics using the new readily available Power View feature in Excel.

Further Reading

Excel 2013 Preview with PowerPivot and Power View by Kasper De Jonge

Microsoft Business Intelligence in Excel 2013, SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server 2012 SP1 by Microsoft BI Team

Building a Simple BI Solution in Excel 2013, Part 1 by Chris Webb

Shark Week Special: Mapping Shark Attacks (Drillable Maps and Hyperlinks) by Sean Boon