Using SQL Server 2012 tools with older database versions

Last week, while teaching a class based around SQL Server 2008 R2, I happened to "brag up" the new tools in SQL Server 2012, mainly the Extended Event graphic user interface in SSMS and the ability of Database Tuning Advisor to tune from the plan cache. This, of course, immediately brought up the question: "Do the new tools/features work with pre-SQL Server 2012 instances". So, I had to try it.

Database Turning Advisor's "tune from plan cache" feature works just fine with a SQL Server 2008 R2 database. I'd assume that this means it works against SQL Server 2008, not so sure about SQL Server 2005, but the plan cache hasn't changed that much since 2005. It's worth a shot. Don't have a 2005 instance handy.

The Extended Event graphic user interface, however, was another story. This node just didn't appear when connecting SQL Server 2012 RC0 SSMS to a 2008 R2 instance. Since I knew that the Extended Event GUI just used new SQL Server 2012 SMO XEvent classes, I tried writing a simple PowerShell script to get a XEStore class against a SQL Server 2008 R2 instance. The error message "Operation not supported on version 10.50.2500" appeared. And, of course, a similar error message appeared when attempting to use the PowerShell SQL Server provider XEvent "directory". Strange, as most SMO classes are supported against older versions of SQL Server, some of them back to SQL Server 2000.

Well, one out of two ain't bad, I guess. Enjoy tuning from the plan cache.


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