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According to Microsoft SQL Server documentation, a "Subscriber to a transactional publication can be any version within two versions of the Publisher version." In this context, are versions named versions (e.g. 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2) or numerical versions (like 9.x, 10.x, 12.x)?

I'm trying to figure out whether a 2012 server can publish transactional replication to a 2005 subscriber. If, in the above context, versions are named versions, the answer appears to be no, for 2005 is three versions behind 2012; if they are numbered versions, the answer appears to be yes, for 2005 (9.x) is only two version behind 2012 (11.x).

Based on the example in the documentation, it appears the answer is numerical versions; however, I don't have a system of my own with instances of both versions to test this on and I'd like to be sure I have this down correctly before I advise someone else about it.

If Counting by Named Versions

Versions Back    Can 2012 transactional     Server Version 
                 replicate to?         
1                Y                          2008 R2
2                Y                          2008
3                N                          2005

If Counting by Numerical Versions

Versions Back    Can 2012 transactional     Server Version 
                 replicate to?         
1                Y                          10.x (2008 R2 & 2008)
2                Y                           9.x (2005)
3                N                           8.x (2000)
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  • I you don't have systems where you can test this, where are you actually going to implement it? – Aaron Bertrand Feb 23 '15 at 13:42
  • I'm not. :-) LOL! The other day, I gave someone several ideas on how to get data from 2012 -> 2005. Replication was one of the ideas but I wasn't positive if it would work so I thought I would check here. Hopefully, someone who's tried this particular scenario before can give a quick yes or no. – Ben Gribaudo Feb 23 '15 at 23:38
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The SQL Server 2012 version of the MSDN page you have linked says (emphasis mine):

A Subscriber to a transactional publication can be any version within two versions of the Publisher version. For example: a SQL Server 2005 Publisher can have Subscribers running SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 (including SQL Server 2008 R2), or SQL Server 2012; and a SQL Server 2012 Publisher can have Subscribers running SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 (including SQL Server 2008 R2), or SQL Server 2012.

So, apparently you need to look at numerical versions in this case – meaning that for a SQL Server 2012 publisher the subscriber version should be 11.* ± 2.

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