As you probably know, the next release of SQL Server will be out sometime in 2014 and will be named SQL Server 2014. This is only two years after the last release, SQL Server 2012. I have been presenting on 2012 topics since before it was released. I generally ask the audience if they are using SQL Server 2012, and very few are actually using it in production. When they learn about the new T-SQL features and AlwaysOn Availability Groups from the presentations, hopefully, that knowledge helps them make a case for upgrading.
This may seem really quick for a new release, but it is actually what we have seen since 2008. In 2010, Microsoft released SQL Server 2008 R2, so we actually have had a new release every two years. What we didn’t have with 2008 R2, are new editions of all the SQL Server books nor changes to the certifications. Even though 2008 R2 was packed with new features, especially for business intelligence, it didn’t quite feel like a completely new release.
Microsoft stayed with the R2 nomenclature with Windows Server. We have Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. For some reason, they chose to eliminate the “R2” for SQL Server and name the next version 2014 instead of 2012 R2. My guess is because of the difference in the name, you will see new editions of many books, even in areas where there are not many changes.
I was recently wondering if there were any announced changes to certifications and found out that the MCSE level exams (464,465,466 & 467) will be updated with 2014 material beginning in March 2014. If you are working on the MCSE: Data Platform or MCSE: Business Intelligence certifications, you may want to get them completed before March.
Of course, this is just my opinion, but it seems like this is a bigger release than it would have been if the name had been 2012 R2 instead.