Nisarg Upadhyay
SQL Server version number in ERRORLOG file

Different methods to identify the SQL Server version number

December 11, 2019 by

In this article, I am going to show different methods to identify the SQL Server version number and its edition. Also, I have included the list of known SQL Server version numbers, Service Packs (SP), and Cumulative Updates (CU of MS SQL Server 2019, 2017). I have not included the hotfixes and CUs of SQL Server 2008 R2 and earlier versions.

Before going through the list, let us understand the terms RTM, Service Packs, and Cumulative Update.

RTM: RTM is the acronym of release to manufacturing. It is also known as “going gold”. This term is used when the product is ready to be delivered. This build may be digitally signed that allows users to verify the authenticity of software which they had purchased. RTM is the precedence of the General Availability (GA).

Service Pack: A Service Pack (SP) is a collection of updates, hotfixes or it can be the enhancement to the existing software program. Prior to SQL Server 2017, Microsoft often released service packs based on the issues and feedbacks reported by the users. The service pack is considered a stable version and usually released after one or two years after the product’s release. Service packs are delivered in the single installable package.

Cumulative Update: Cumulative Update is a rollup of multiple hotfixes. Cumulative updates are tested as a group. When you’re building a new SQL Server from scratch, then it is advisable to apply all the recent service packs and cumulative updates.

The following is the list of SQL Server version number, release type, and release date:

SQL Server release

Version Number

Type

Release Date

SQL Server 2019

15.0.2000.5

RTM

2019-11-04

SQL Server 2017

14.0.1000.169

RTM

2017-10-02

CU 17

Cumulative Update (Note: After SQL Server 2017,
Microsoft does not release the service packs.

2019-10-08

SQL Server 2016

13.0.1601.5

RTM

2016-06-01

13.0.4001.0

Service pack 1

2016-11-16

13.0.5026.0

Service pack 2

2018-04-24

SQL Server 2014

12.0.2000.8

RTM

2014-04-01

12.0.4100.1

Service pack 1

2015-05-14

12.0.5000.0

Service pack 2

2016-07-11

12.0.6024.0

Service pack 3

2018-10-30

SQL Server 2012

11.0.2100.60

RTM

2012-03-06

11.0.3000.0

Service pack 1

2012-11-06

11.0.5058.0

Service pack 2

2014-06-10

11.0.6020.0

Service pack 3

2015-11-23

11.0.7001.0

Service pack 4

2017-10-05

How to identify the SQL Server version number

We can identify the SQL Server version numbers using the following methods:

  1. SQL Server Management Studio
  2. SQL Server Configuration Manager
  3. Windows Registry
  4. T-SQL query
  5. SQL Server error log file
  6. PowerShell command

Method 1 – Identify SQL Server version number using SSMS

First, open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the Database Engine. See the following image:

Connect to database engine

Right-click on an instance name and select Properties. See the following image:

Open SQL Server database engine properties

In the Server Properties dialog box, you can see in opposite to Version. Alternatively, you can see the version in Object Explorer. See the following image:

SQL Server version number in Database engine properties

Method 2 – SQL Server Configuration Manager

To obtain the SQL Server version numbers, open SQL Server Configuration Manager. Click on SQL Server Services. Right-click on SQL Server instance, SQLServer (SQL2017) in my case, and choose Properties. See the following screenshot:

SQL Server configuration manager

In Properties dialog box, click on the Advanced tab. You can see the SQL Server edition in Stock Keeping Unit Name text box and its version number in the Version text box. See the following image:

SQL Server version numbers in SQL Server properties

Method 3 – Using Windows Registry

To obtain the SQL Server version numbers, open Registry Editor and find the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL14.MSSQLSERVER\Setup

In the key, the value of PatchLevel indicates the current version number of SQL Server. See the following image:

SQL Server version number is mentioned in Patch level and version text box of Windows Registry

Method 4 – T-SQL query

To obtain the SQL Server version numbers using T-SQL, execute the following query in the SQL Server Management Studio:

Following is the output:

Microsoft SQL Server 2017 (RTM) – 14.0.1000.169 (X64)
      Aug 22 2017 17:04:49
      Copyright (C) 2017 Microsoft Corporation
      Developer Edition (64-bit) on Windows 10 Pro 10.0 (Build 17763: ) (Hypervisor)

If you run the same query on Azure instance, the following should be the output:

Microsoft SQL Azure (RTM) – 12.0.2000.8
      Oct 12 2019 22:46:48
      Copyright (C) 2019 Microsoft Corporation

Method 5 – SQL Server error log file

To obtain the SQL Server version numbers from the error log file, open the ERRORLOG.txt file of SQL Server. The default location of the ERRORLOG file is C:\<InstanceRootDirectory>\<MajorBuildVersion>.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log. I have installed the SQL Server using default settings; therefore, the ERRORLOG file is in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL14.SQL2017\MSSQL\Log directory.

Open the ERRORLOG file using Notepad or any other text editor, and you can see the SQL Server edition, its version number, and build number on the first line of the ERRORLOG. See the following image:

SQL Server version number in ERRORLOG file

Method 6 – PowerShell Command

To obtain the SQL Server version numbers using PowerShell, execute the following command:

Following is the screenshot of the output:

Windows PowerShell

Conclusion

In this short article, I have explained what RTM, Service Packs, and Cumulative Updates are. I have also included the list of major SQL server versions and their service packs with respective build numbers. Furthermore, I have explained the different methods to identify the SQL Server build number and its edition.

Nisarg Upadhyay
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