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SharePoint, SQL and Office together – Part 1

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With the recent releases of software products from Microsoft, there have been many questions about compatibility and deployment for SQL Server, SharePoint Server and the Microsoft Office suite.

The questions of particular interest are whether a particular version of SQL Server will work with a particular version of SharePoint Server, and then will Office work with it? Can I upgrade some parts of SQL and leave the rest as-is? Do I have to upgrade?

In this blog post I have tried to answer these questions and to simplify the answer to what works and what does not. The table below will provide a high-level summary of compatibility of SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Office.

SharePoint Server 2010 SP1

SharePoint Server 2013

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 DB

SQL Server 2012 DB

Office 2010

Office 2013

 

The next question is, from a Business Intelligence standpoint, what is the compatibility for the PowerPivot Add-in for Excel? So, as you can see, for a database server, both SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 and SQL 2012 are supported by SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. SharePoint 2010 supports a few earlier versions of SQL Server as well.

Office/PowerPivot Add-in

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1

SQL Server 2012

Office 2010/Excel 2010

Office 2013/ Excel 2013

NA

NA

With Excel 2013, the PowerPivot functionality is built into the Excel data model. This functionality to import and analyze millions of rows of data required an add-in to be installed in Excel 2010.

Now, all the new software releases, beg the question – how does one upgrade?

Microsoft has excellent documentation on the TechNet and MSDN sites that has a step-by-step description of how to upgrade SQL and SharePoint Servers.

A few considerations while upgrading SQL Servers to SQL 2012:

  1. Run the database upgrade advisor tool
  2. New features cannot be added to a SQL installation until the upgrade is complete – features can be added after the upgrade is complete
  3. Refer to the Microsoft whitepaper on upgrading to SQL Server 2012:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/5/3/9533501A-6F3E-4D03-A6A3-359AF6A79877/SQL_Server_2012_Upgrade_Technical_Reference_Guide_White_Paper.pdf

This upgrade whitepaper is a must read for anyone who is planning to upgrade their SQL Servers to SQL 2012. It also lists out details on when to consider an in-place upgrade vs. a side-by-side upgrade.

In the following blog posts, I will have more details on what learning gained while doing these upgrades as well as trying to use different versions of PowerPivot add-ins with SharePoint servers and Office.

 
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