I have a client that wants to run on the latest and greatest version of SQL Server. We have been testing on RCs (Release Candidate), and we are in the process of upgrading non-production environments to
RTM GA (General Availability) as it was released today on June 1st, 2016 . When SQL Server 2014 RTM’ed (is that a word?) upgrades from the latest RC was supported. I expect the same with SQL Server 2016. Currently, this isn’t specified in the SQL 2016 Release Notes. I will update the post when it’s confirmed. I am not a SQL Server MVP so I have one sending a message to their message board to see if we can get confirmation on if this upgrade will be supported. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend doing this with your live production instances of SQL Server until it is confirmed. Even, if this isn’t supported, I have a automated install process so it wouldn’t take us much time to start fresh.
Read The Release Notes
Please read the release notes. There actually might be a few things you need to complete before upgrading to GA especially if you are using Stretch Databases.
Everyone, should validate if they need to apply KB 3138367. msvcr120.dll should be version 12.0.40649.5 or higher.
Here are screen shots of validating that even Windows 2012 R2 Server with SQL 2016 RC3 needs the .NET update.
Here I am applying KB 3138367.
This is restart number one for anyone who is counting at home.
This validates that msvcp120.dll is on the recommended version 12.00.40649.5 by the SQL Server 2016 Release Notes (Seriously, please read these..)
Questions You Should Ask Before Upgrading?
Does the business need to or wants to upgrade? Will this upgrade even be possible? Just because it was allowed in SQL 2014 doesn’t mean it will be possible with SQL Server 2016. Will it be supported? Can I change editions from Evaluation to Developer (Now free in SQL 2016) or Enterprise, Standard?
Upgrading SQL Server 2016 RC3 to GA
The following are the screen shots. I will add some more detailed text in here tonight per step.
I am using the developer edition for testing here. It’s cool that I can flip from evaluation to developer mode.
Here we can see that it is possible to upgrade RC3 as its detected as an existing upgradable version of SQL Server for SQL 2016 GA.
The instance ID changes even though we are able to keep the same named instance. This gets up a separate root folder for the SQL 2016 GA install.
The server configuration caught be off guard as I expected seeing the database engine and sql agent services listed as well.
Finally, you can see the SQL 2016 RC3 Evaluation Edition was able to be upgraded to SQL Server 2016 GA. I was also able to change this from Evaluation Edition to Developer Edition as well.