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RichardArnold-1221 avatar image
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RichardArnold-1221 asked RichardArnold-1221 commented

Can I use SSMS 2016 Express to upgrade SQL Server 2012 Express

I have a SQL Server 2012 Express database in a C# WinForms application and would like to upgrade it to SQL Server 2016 Express.
I also have both SSMS 2012 Express and SSMS 2016 Express i.e.(Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio-18.8)

Can I use SSMS 2016 Express to upgrade the existing database, or do I need to install a separate instance of SQL Server 2016 Express?

In other words, would attempting to use SSMS 2016 Express to attach to the database, perform an upgrade to 2016?

Or, what steps do I need to take to upgrade the database?

sql-server-general
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JeffreyWilliams-3310 avatar image
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JeffreyWilliams-3310 answered RichardArnold-1221 commented

No - SSMS is a client tool and does not upgrade SQL Server. To upgrade the database engine, you need to download SQL Server 2016 Express Edition and run the setup - which will then prompt you to upgrade the existing instance.

But - that version is already 5 years old and you should be considering SQL Server 2019 Express (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-downloads).

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@JeffreyWilliams-3310 I took your advice, downloaded and installed SQL Server 2019 Express. My sql 2012 already had SP4 installed.
It turned out that I already had SSMS 18.8 installed from a few days ago. I thought it was version 2016. Now I understand about 18.8.

After the install, I was able to logon to SSMS 18.8, select my database and could see that the data had carried over from version 2012, so I should be good-to-go.

One last question: As my C# App uses a SQL instance of SQLEXPRESS, I noticed that the install created an instance of SQLEXPRESS01.
Will this present a problem in connecting to it via my C# App?

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If the name of the instance has changed - then your connection string in your application will have to be updated with the new name. An upgrade should not have created a new instance though - so I am a bit confused as to why the name is different.





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@JeffreyWilliams-3310 The install file I used is named SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe. I wanted to confirm that SQL had in fact been upgraded.
I found a suggestion to query it using the following syntax: DBCC CHECKPRIMARYFILE ({'FileName'} [, opt = {0|1|2|3}])

However, this provided the value 706, which, from what I read online, is still a 2012 version. I am somewhat confused as to why the SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe executable installed, but may not have actually upgraded the database. However, I can connect to the DB using SSMS 18.

Do you have any suggestions on how to verify the Db is upgraded, or what steps I still need to take?

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Cathyji-msft avatar image
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Cathyji-msft answered Cathyji-msft edited

Hi @RichardArnold-1221

Can I use SSMS 2016 Express to upgrade the existing database, or do I need to install a separate instance of SQL Server 2016 Express?

No, you can’t. SSMS is a tool to manage SQL server instance, you can not use SSMS to upgrade SQL server instance.

what steps do I need to take to upgrade the database?

According to MS document, to upgrade SQL server 2012 Express to SQL 2016, you need to apply SP2 for SQL server 2012 Express at least. Then download SQL server 2016 Express from here and run the setup file as administrator to upgrade SQL 2012 SP2 to SQL 2016 . Please follow the steps from the blog or MS document to upgrade SQL server instance.

SQL server 2019 Express is the latest version, you can also upgrade SQL 2012 Express to SQL 2019 Express. But according to MS document, you need to apply SP4 for SQL 2012 at least. Then download SQL 2019 Express from here and run the setup file as administrator to upgrade SQL 2012 SP4 express to SQL 2019 Express.

SSMS 18.8 is the latest general availability (GA) version of SSMS. Suggest you using it.


If the response is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it, thank you.



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OlafHelper-2800 avatar image
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OlafHelper-2800 answered

Additional see Upgrade SQL Server for more details about the upgrade process.


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