Before upgrading to 10.4, I was using 10.1 and joining my shapefile parcels to the data in our 2008 SQL database. Now that I'm at v.10.4, I can see the database and apparently join to it, but the data fields come out blank. I've heard from ESRI that 10.4 and above is no longer compatible with 2008 and I need to upgrade my database to 2012 or newer. That is not possible at this point.
Certainly this one upgrade can't render my whole database useless now. Is there some kind of compatibility tool?
Although not supported, you can use the SQL Server 11.0 client to connect to older releases of the database. From your ArcGIS Desktop machine, which client are you using?:
1. From the start menu search for and run ODBC Data Sources (32-bit)
2. When the window appears, click the tab: Drivers
3. Look for SQL Server Native Client