SQL Server 2012: Books Online

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In previous versions of SQL Server you could install Books Online (BOL) as part of your installation process. In SQL Server 2012 this has changed with the introduction of a new Help Viewer, which was released in Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Now you have 2 options :

    • View Online
    • Download as a local help collection

As BOL does not ship with the product. During installation time if you select the documentation feature to install this will install the requirements for you to be able to utilise Help Viewer.

Help Viewer Configuration

The first thing you need to do is configure your Help Library manager. Select Help | Manage Help Settings. Choose which type you would like.


Chose which type of help you would like. Click Ok.


Check for Updates if they are available, Click Update.


Install Content From Online, Select the components you wish to install, Click Update


Click Finish and you are ready to start using SQL Server 2012 BOL on your newly Installed SQL Server 2012 Instance.


Help Viewer

Now that we have completed the configuration of Help Viewer, we are now ready to utilise our new BOL. The look and feel is a little different to previous version but like anything a little change keeps us learning and growing. The usual suspects of:

  • Contents
  • Index
  • Favourites
  • Results

Are available for your search preferences.


Enjoy using your new Help Viewer for SQL Server 2012.


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I am a Microsoft Data Platform MVP as well as a Microsoft Certified Master working as the Principal Consultant here at SQL Masters Consulting. When I am not working with the SQL Server Stack I like to get away to the Snow and spend time Snowboarding.