I was thinking about it today. We are in 2015. Close to SQL Server 2016, but almost every company I see, is still using SQL Server 2008 R2.

I'm studying SQL Server 2008, 2012 and now, 2014 (5 months school).

My main focus now is SQL Server 2008, because I'm currently working with it, but, should I be worried about it? It would be better to start to focus on SQL Server 2012+?

My company don't even think about an update. We have a lot of software here, and we have 0 problems. And I think, even with 0 problems, is there a need to update?

One good blog I read: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Editorial/116525/

  • 3
    Please read This Blog the mainstream support ended on 7/8/2014 but you would get extended support till 7/9/2019. Please make sure SQl Server 2008 is patched to SP4 to get extended support
    – Shanky
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:53
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    You have asked a question about SQL Server 2008, but have tagged it SQL Server 2008 R2. These are two different releases (albeit with the same support end dates) Sep 23, 2015 at 13:09
  • the time has come.
    – Racer SQL
    Jul 29, 2019 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


It very much depends on what you mean by obsolete, especially from the point of view of what you are learning. Even when SQL Server 2008 (and 2008r2) drop out of their extended support windows (as 2005 will do next year) a lot of what you are learning is almost certainly still going to be relevant to 2012/2014/2016 especially if you are learning from a beginner level: building tables is much the same, SELECTing data too, even with the more advanced options like CTEs and XML output, views, stored procedures, triggers, and so forth also.

It is worth having a clue of what was added in the other versions of course, while the core is the same there were additions like 2012 adding support for more windowed functions (like LAG and LEAD and some other related syntax - I'd love to use those for some reports but can't as some of our client installs are still 2008r2).

From a DBA point of view things are more different: changes in mirroring, clustering, always-on and friends have been significant in places through the versions from 2008 to 2016 for example, and then there are differences in 2014 between the local editions and the azure variety. But still, a lot of stuff is pretty much the same so learning 2008 will still not be a complete waste of time by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Thank you for your answer. Yes, that's my fear. To learn about index, backup\restore, migration and etc, and then can't use it on future SQL versions. As obsolete I say companies not using SQL SERVER 2008 anymore.
    – Racer SQL
    Sep 23, 2015 at 14:20
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    @Rafael Very few features are removed from SQL Server (and even less syntax), and those that are are usually given deprecation notices at least three full versions in advance (Notification Services being the notable exception in my career). I don't think your fear is justified - where most people hit snags is learning syntax that works in a modern version and then trying to deploy it to an older version. Sep 23, 2015 at 15:53
  • Thank you for both answers. I will focus on deprecated commands and fix them to be usefull on future SQL Servers versions. I don't want to apply to a job, and make sintax mistakes using old tables/commands.
    – Racer SQL
    Sep 23, 2015 at 16:11

Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy and from here you can search for specific products lifecycle information. Specific for 2008 family here.

Interestingly enough it was announced on the 18th of July this year that SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 4 update is to be supported until 7/9/2019. Source

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