April 23, 2014 | SQL Server

Yes, you can install SQL Server 2014 Books Online locally

Update 2014-08-01: Below I mention that the T-SQL and XQuery references were not available locally with the initial release; they have now been provided (see this post for more details).

I've seen people complain that SQL Server 2014 did not ship with documentation you could install locally. While true, it is just because the publication lagged; the local Books Online option is available now.

First, make sure you have the documentation components installed. (Note that these use the old, icky, Help Viewer 1.0/1.1 – if you'd like to see this changed, vote here.)

Go to Control Panel / Programs and Features, select SQL Server 2014, right-click and choose "Add" and then point it at your ISO or installation folder. On the Installation Type screen, choose "Add features to an existing instance", select any 2014 (RTM or better) instance, and select Next.

On the Feature Selection page, make sure Documentation Components is checked. If it is already checked, hit Cancel to exit out of setup. Otherwise, check the box and hit Next. Setup will skip the remaining steps and offer you an Install button. You know what to do next. Should take less than a minute on an SSD.

Once it's installed, open SQL Server 2014 > Documentation & Community > Manage Help Settings (I almost suggested the Start Menu – which I still have, but you may not):

Click "Install content from online" and sit back and wait:

Enumeration here takes almost as long as the installation (depending on your bandwidth, I suppose). Scroll down to SQL Server 2014 and add Books Online (and the other two, if you wish):

Click Update:

This should take some time too.

When it's done, don't click Finish; click Settings, and make sure you've chosen local help:

Now you can launch the help viewer from SQL Server 2014 > Documentation & Community > SQL Server Documentation:

And voila:

Now, there is some important content missing; SQL Server Database Engine > Transact-SQL Reference / XQuery Reference both yield "topic not found" – you may want to monitor this connect item and also periodically click the "check for updates" link in the Manage Help Settings app. In the meantime, you'll have to hit those topic online for real (Transact-SQL | XQuery).

12 comments on this post

    • Rob Volk - April 23, 2014, 9:13 PM

      Hi Aaron-
      The Connect item URL for the missing 2014 content is malformed in your blog, there's some extra stuff at the end and it generates an error.

    • AaronBertrand - April 23, 2014, 9:16 PM

      @Rob sorry, should be fixed now

    • retracement - May 12, 2014, 1:14 PM

      Thanks for raising this Aaron.

    • Assaf Fraenkel - May 26, 2014, 6:50 PM


    • Paul Storm - June 18, 2014, 10:36 AM

      Thanks for the tip Aaron.
      I've downloaded both "Books Online for SQL Server 2014" and the "Developer Reference for SQL Server 2014", and there doesn't seem to be a "Transact-SQL Reference" in either.
      I might have failed to notice that it's been moved somewhere else in the heirarchy, but I've had a pretty good look. If it is missing, it seems a strange thing to have left out…

    • LucX - June 18, 2014, 5:58 PM

      I have the same issue as Paul Storm:
      Its godd to have a local T-SQL-Reference, when you are not online.
      But that part is now missing. In the past, I could highlight a TSQL-command, and press SHIFT+F1 to show the reference of this command.
      Any idea?

    • AaronBertrand - June 18, 2014, 6:15 PM
    • Paul Storm - June 20, 2014, 6:43 AM

      I should've learned by now to read all the way to the end before posting.
      Thanks Aaron

    • Bill Lescher - June 27, 2014, 12:57 AM

      Thanks Aaron!  I'm with Paul, though I would say it's beyond strange to leave T-SQL out of BOL.

    • AaronBertrand - August 1, 2014, 10:50 PM

      T-SQL and XQuery references have now been added, see the following post for details:

    • Ashish singh - August 28, 2014, 7:19 PM

      Can any 1 help me with the error
      the error-Could not load file or assembly
      Culture=neural,PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91' or one of its dependencies .the system cannot find the file specified.

    • Hsao - November 18, 2014, 7:55 PM

      Thank you so much for the instruction! I finally got the local SQL 2014 BOL. I didn't realize "Install Content from online" will take time and automatically load bunch updates.
      Your help is greatly appreciated.

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