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Buck Woody

Carpe Datum!

Upgrades from Beta or CTP SQL Server Software is NOT Supported

As of this writing, SQL Server 2008 R2 has released, and just like every release, I get e-mails and calls from folks with this question: “Can I upgrade from Customer Technical Preview (CTP) x or Beta #x or Release Candidate (RC) to the “Released to Manufacturing” (RTM) version?”


Right up until the last minute, things are changing in the code – and you want that to happen. Our internal testing runs right up until the second we lock down for release, and we watch the CTP/RC/Beta reports to make sure there are no show-stoppers, and fix what we find. And it’s not just “big” changes you need to worry about – a simple change in one line of code can have a massive effect.

I know, I know – you’ve possibly upgraded an RC or CTP to the RTM version and it worked “just fine”. But hear this tale: I’ve dealt with someone who faced this exact situation in SQL Server 2008. They upgraded (which is clearly prohibited in the documentation) from a CTP to the RTM version over a year ago. Everything was working fine.

But then…one day they had an issue. Couldn’t fix it themselves, we took a look, days went by, and we finally had to call in the big guns for support. Turns out, the upgrade was the problem. So we had to come up with some elaborate schemes to get the system migrated over while they were in production. This was painful for everyone involved.

So the answer is still no. Just don’t do it.

There is one caveat to this story – if you are a “TAP” customer (you’ll know if you are), we help you move from the CTP products to RTM, but that’s a special case that we track carefully and send along special instructions and tools to help you along. That level of effort isn’t possible on a large scale, so it’s not just a magic tool that we run to upgrade from CTP to RTM. So again, unless you’re a TAP customer, it’s a no-no.

Published Monday, April 26, 2010 7:08 AM by BuckWoody



Gene said:

When will the bits be available for MSDN subscribers?

April 26, 2010 12:50 PM

Glenn Berry said:

Great advice. I am always amazed at how many people want to upgrade in place, whether from a beta/CTP/RC to RTM, or from one major version to another (which is actually supported).

Ideally, you want a fresh install of the OS with a fresh install of SQL Server. At the very least, uninstall old version of SQL Server, do some cleanup, then install fresh new version.

This is not a web server here, we need to do what we can to have a clean, fresh environment for a database server.

April 26, 2010 2:39 PM

BuckWoody said:

Gene - I've been told within the first two weeks of May.

April 26, 2010 3:15 PM

Antony said:

Just out of curiosity, what is a "TAP" customer?

April 26, 2010 4:57 PM

BuckWoody said:

Antony - it's "Technical Adoption Program". It's a large organization that agrees to put the CTP into production and let us learn from it. We offer support for that process. We only have a few we do that with so we can support it.

April 26, 2010 5:14 PM
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