My school is using SQL Server 2008. Last time I used it I only installed (at home) SQL Server Management Studio 2008 part, and used VPN to connect to school's server.

Now I want to install SQL Server Management Studio again, but this time the 2012 version is available.

Will SQL Server Management Studio 2012 work on the school's SQL Server 2008? Or do I need the 2008 version?

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    Basically backward compatible but you may come across the odd issue such as this one regarding treatment of numbered stored procedures. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 8:40

3 Answers 3


SSMS2012 is backwards compatible:


Edit Giving out Aaron's link instead of the old one! Thanks Aaron.


As Kenneth mentioned, you could copy the 2008 BOL (Books online) so when you search the help it'll be relevant to 2008 instead of 2012.

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    I would probably opt to download just 900MB of Management Studio (now free) than the entire Eval edition (4GB) - especially since the latter will expire and will also likely lead to an inadvertent engine install as well. microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35579 Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 14:45
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    (SQL Server 2012 SP1 marks the first time the free version of Management Studio wasn't limited in feature set. Previously you had to have a valid license to have a full SSMS install, and no, installing SSMS from an eval image is not a perpetual license and I strongly recommend that you not imply that it is.) Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 14:47
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    I would make a point of getting a copy of the 2008 BOL, or a link to the on line BOL since when you hit F1 you are going to get 2012 help. Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 15:57
  • Good point Kenneth, that's good to note! Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:50

No problem, I have SMS 2012 installed connecting to both SQL 2008 and 2005 servers with no issues.


Infact SSMS 2012 is better than 2008 and it is really worth the change

Some useful features

Usability : SSMS 2012 is powered by visual studio so the UI looks lot similar with Visual studio

I always have issues with 2008 intellisense (autofill) which is very slow and sometimes even manual refresh take longer time to refresh the metadata. But 2012 is very impressive and i am much surprised about the meta data management.

In 2012 intellisense accept part name search. E.g . If your table name is abc_xyz_ETL then you can type xyz which will pick all the tables which contains the xyz while writing the query

The new improved MDX query editor is very useful for SSAS testing.

New Source safe integration - the SSMS 2012 can be easily integrated with team foundation server with a free plugin. I am really hoping to see some free plugin for subversion soon.

Projects are easy to create and maintain

In built SQL Beautifier will help you to format your SQL quickly. This tool also comes with formatting options, so you can customize based on your organisation standard

Check this Blog


  • Is that your blog? If so the image is broken. It links to https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=409ef1a375&view=att&th=13f9423b7e888024&attid=0.1&disp=emb&realattid=ii_13f940bb183bfc61&zw&atsh=1 Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 16:32
  • Also what is this SQL Beautifier you speak of? Sure this isn't an addin you installed. I don't see any such thing. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 9:49

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