Resolving Issues Identified by SQL Server Upgrade Advisor

on June 24, 2013

The SQL Server Upgrade Advisor’s report contains a wealth of information. The key is to understand how this information appears, what you need to resolve, and when. The first column indicates the importance of a finding or a recommendation, the second column tells you when you need to address it, and the Description column tells you about the issue.

Approach this analysis by first categorizing the information by Importance and When to Fix the items. Specifically, the sum of the indicators should dictate whether you need to address issues before or after the upgrade process. Table 1 provides recommendations of when to address these issues.

Table 1: When to Address Upgrade Issues

Importance When to Fix Our Recommendation
Red Before Resolve Before Upgrade
Red Anytime Resolve Before Upgrade
Red After Resolve After Upgrade
Yellow Anytime Resolve After Upgrade
Yellow After Resolve After Upgrade
Yellow Advisory Resolve After Upgrade


Issues that have been flagged with an Importance of Red, and a When to Fix of Before or Anytime should be addressed before starting an upgrade process. Typically, these issues require remediation because of SQL Server 2012 functionality changes, such as discontinued features. You can usually resolve the remaining issues after the upgrade process because they either have a workaround within the upgrade process or do not affect it at all. If you expand the error in question, additional information appears.

The Show Affected Objects link shows the exact objects flagged by the Upgrade Advisor process as affected, whereas the Tell Me More About This Issue and How to Resolve It link takes you to the corresponding section of the Upgrade Advisor Books Online (UABOL). The UABOL describes the conditions and provides guidance about corrective action to address the issue. The UABOL is a true gem because it provides guidance for problem resolution in areas beyond the scope of the tools (such as replication, SQL Server Agent, and Full-Text Search).

The This Issue Has Been Resolved check mark is for your personal tracking of resolved issues. This metadata check mark is in place to support remediation processes by enabling the report to be viewed by filtered status of resolved issues or pre-upgrade (unresolved) issues.

If you prefer command-line scripting, the viewer is nothing more than an XSLT transformation applied to the XML result file located in your My DocumentsSQL Server 2012 Upgrade Advisor Reports directory. You can find individual component results and configuration files in each server’s name-based directories. You can even export viewer-based reports to other output formats such as CSV or text.

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