Microsoft SQL Server Internal Database Versions and Compatibility Levels

A database created by a more recent version of Microsoft SQL Server cannot be attached or restored to an earlier version. This restriction is there because an older version cannot know about file format changes that were introduced in the newer release.

If you attempt to attach a database to an earlier version, you will get SQL Server error 948 with the internal version numbers listed in the error message text.

The internal database versions for SQL Server aren't clearly documented in the Microsoft documentation.

SQL Server Version Internal Database Version Database Compatibility Level
SQL Server 2019 CTP 895 150
SQL Server 2017 869 140
SQL Server 2016 852 130
SQL Server 2014 782 120
SQL Server 2012 706 110
SQL Server 2012 CTP1
(a.k.a. SQL Server 2011 Denali)
684 110
SQL Server 2008 R2 660 / 661 100
SQL Server 2008 655 100
SQL Server 2005 SP2+
with VarDecimal enabled
612 90
SQL Server 2005 611 90
SQL Server 2000 539 80
SQL Server 7.0 515 70
SQL Server 6.5 408 65
SQL Server 6.0 ? 60

Legend: ? = still investigating, RTM = Release to manufacturing, SPn = Service Pack n, CTP = Community Technology Preview (beta release).

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