As a person administering or supporting a SQL Server install base you will get asked this question very frequently: Which build of SQL Server are you using? If all the SQL Server instances that you manage are at the same build level then you will know exactly what that build number corresponds to. Also you need to be aware of the translation of a specific build number to its corresponding service pack level and cumulative update/security update levels. But in reality you are managing multiple versions of the product at different service pack levels and cumulative update/security update levels. So normally what people do is either go to the internet to query for the build number or create quick reference cheat sheets for some frequently used build numbers in their organization.
How will you react if we told you that starting today you will not need to worry about all that anymore? Extremely excited? Yes. We are too. Download and install the CU released today and you will notice what we are talking about. Starting with this month CU – SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 2 Cumulative Update 7, you will notice a very visible change in 2 places: SELECT @@VERSION and SQL Server Error log.
Here is a quick snippet of the outputs with the change highlighted:
So now with this change you will be able to quickly identify the servicing update level of your SQL Server installations. You will be able to determine the version of the product, the service pack level, cumulative update level or security update level.
You will notice that this change will propagate to all future servicing updates released from this point onwards. This was the outcome of great collaboration between the product group and the support team combined with great feedback from the community members. Keep your feedback flowing and we can continue to enhance this information and make it available through other interfaces that exist in the product to make it easier for you to perform identification and inventory management easier.
Suresh Kandoth [SQL Server Escalation Team – Microsoft]