Use Product Documentation for SQL Server

Microsoft Books Online covers the concepts, procedures, and language references like Transact-SQL and MDX required to use SQL Server. Developer reference documentation also includes reference material that documents programming interfaces for storing, retrieving, reporting, and modifying data by using SQL Server. Installation documentation provides information about installing SQL Server.

Note that if your environment is configured to run only IPv6, Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1, the Help Viewer for SQL Server will crash. This issue applies to all environments running with only IPV6 enabled. IPV4 and IPV4 with IPV6 enabled environments are not impacted.

In an IPV6-only environment, you will be presented with the following error message:

HelpLibAgent.exe has stopped working.

To avoid this issue, enable IPv4, or use the following steps to add a registry entry and create an ACL to enable the Help Viewer for IPv6:

  1. Create a registry key with the name “IPv6” and a value of “1 (DWORD(32 bit))” under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Help\v1.0.

  2. Set the security ACL’s for the port for IPv6, executing the following from an admin CMD window:

    netsh http add urlacl url=http://[::1]:47873/help/ sddl=D:(A;;GX;;;WD).

To download PowerShell scripts that do this configuration for you, download the configuration scripts from the Microsoft Download Center.

Install SQL Server Documentation

Note the following important changes to the Help experience in this SQL Server release.

  • Product documentation does not ship on SQL Server installation media. To view product documentation for SQL Server, either configure Help Viewer to display online content from the MSDN Library, or select local Help and then download product documentation to a local computer.

  • Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1, along with Help management tools, is installed when you select Documentation Components in SQL Server Setup. The final dialog in SQL Server Setup provides instructions about configuring the Help viewer, and the first time you launch SQL Server Documentation you will see a dialog that will assist you to configure the Help viewer.

  • If your computer is connected to the Internet, use Help Library Manager to download SQL Server product documentation for this release of SQL Server. If your computer is not connected to the Internet because it is behind a firewall or proxy, you must download the product documentation from the Download Center, copy it to the computer running SQL Server, or download it to a network share, and then install the product documentation using Help Library Manager.

  • For more information about installing and enabling SQL Server product documentation, see Add or Remove Product Documentation for SQL Server.

Accessing SQL Server Product Documentation

Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1, the viewer for SQL Server product documentation, includes many features designed to make it easier and faster to find download content, and to check for documentation updates.

You can access SQL Server documentation in the following ways:

  • Run SQL Server Documentation. From the Windows 7 Start menu, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2012, point to Documentation & Community, and then click SQL Server Documentation.

  • From SQL Server Management Studio: On the Help menu, click View Help.

  • From SQL Server SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT): On the Help menu, click View Help.

  • From F1 or Help buttons in the user interface: For context-sensitive information, press F1 on your keyboard, or click Help in the user interface dialog box.

SQL Server and Help Viewer 1.1 include the following features to help you find information:

  • Navigating the table of contents.

  • Searching on words and phrases in local and online Help topics.

  • Pressing F1 while viewing a user interface element to display a topic about it.

  • Using the index.

  • Mark topics as favorites for easy retrieval.

Using Online Help Features in Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1

In Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1, you can specify whether you want to view local content or online content. Use Help Library Manager to toggle between local and online settings.

  • Local. Help Viewer 1.1 will display downloaded content when you select Local in Help Library Manager.

  • Online. Online versions of topics in the MSDN Library will be displayed in your default web browser when you select Online in Help Library Manager. Note that if you specify online documentation, you must accept the “Online Use Consent” agreement.

To change the setting for online or local help, use the following steps:

  1. Launch the Manage Help Settings dialog. In Windows 7, click Start, then All Programs, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Documentation and Community, and then Manage Help Settings.

  2. Click Choose Online or Local Help.

  3. Use the radio buttons to specify your preferred setting: Online or Local.

  4. Click OK to close the dialog.

For information about Microsoft Help Viewer 1.1, see Microsoft Help System 1.1 Documentation.

SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Data Tools share Help Viewer settings, but they don’t share content sets. For example, content installed in the context of SQL Server Data Tools won’t be available from SQL Server Management Studio and vice versa unless the user goes through the steps to install content for each component.

Using Features Within Help Topics

This table contains information about features within Help topics.

  • Collapse All
    Click Collapse All to show or hide content in the major sections of a topic.

  • See Also
    Click See Also to browse a list of related topics.

  • Provide Feedback
    For more information about how to provide feedback on product documentation for SQL Server, see Providing Feedback for SQL Server 2012.

  • Copy Code
    Click Copy Code to copy a code sample to the clipboard on your computer.