What’s new and coming in SQL Server 2016



What’s new and coming in SQL Server 2016

Today at Ignite, Microsoft announced the soon to be released preview of SQL Server 2016.




That’ right – SQL Server v.Next has a name, it’s SQL Server 2016

I am very excited about the continuing announcements brought into the key areas of mission critical, data insights, and a cloud first/mobile focus.

Some of the announcements where actually already at Build,  last week and have been covered in the blog by Corporate Vise President. T.K Ranga.


SQL Database – Stretch DB

One of the amazing features on Azure SQL Database is the Stretch Database, a new technology to dynamically stretch data to Microsoft Azure, with enhancements from in-memory being used on the platform for real time analytics. Torsten Grabs will be running a presentation on later this week.

As expected by the Revolution-R acquisition it is actually no surprise that SQL Server will have in-database analytics and R integration in the database.

Enhancements to column store indexing and in-memory OLTP

Columstore indexing was already fast, and provided blazing fast performance, with SQL Server 2016, based on the Ignite shown demo it will be even faster. I can’t wait for the session presented by Sunil Agarwal later in the week that drills down into the in memory architecture. I’ve always found in-memory to be phenomenal on the way it was integrated, directly into the engine of SQL Server compared to separate products or technologies by competitive vendors.

Polybase coming to SQL Server 2016

In SQL Server Parallel Datawarehouse (APS), you have the opportunity to query in T-SQL across structured and unstructured data with data stored on Hadoop Clusters. It’s just great to see this feature becoming mainstream with direct integration in SQL Server 2016. Now this  might not be significant to people, but for those integrating Hadoop just imagine, being able to query in a single statement, all based on the T-SQL Syntax you are familiar with.

Row level security and data masking

Compared to other database products, it took quite some effort to have row-level security to work in SQL Server. Looks like that is no longer an issue with SQL Server 2016, and actually the feature is now in preview as part of Azure SQL Database. Really Cool!

Tools Enhancements

SQL Server Data Tools has recently been subject to a lot of confusion and frustration. I wrote a series of blogs on it prior on where to download, where to install. Being able to bring a new version of SQL Server Data Tools that fully integrates a both Database Projects and the BI project capabilities will finally put the tooling back on track like they initially should have been intended to be. Can’t wait to play with SSDT in Visual Studio 2015

Major other areas of investments

I heard some rumors that SQL Server 2016 was going to be a big and major release, and looks like that’s happening. Some of the other features that will get love and improvement:

  • Native JSON support (woohoo! They are getting serious)
  • Enhancements to Analysis Services making it Enterprise Grade
  • Enhancements to MDS and SSIS
  • Azure Virtual Machines templates allowing you to even deploy a fully integrated AlwaysOn scenario including domain controller, a really cool feature on which I will be writing a blog pretty soon.
  •  Always Encrypted


More information is available on the SQL Server 2016 preview page to read about the capabilities of SQL Server 2016 and you can sign-up to be notified on when the preview is out and available



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