First Preview Of SQL Server 2016
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 11 June 2015

Microsoft has released a public beta of SQL Server 2016 with better data analysis and improved performance.

Other interesting additions to the new version include the ability to have your data encrypted both at rest and when being transferred; and the ability to ‘stretch’ your warm and cold transactional data from a local server to Microsoft Azure.

 

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Some of the improvements in the new version (row level security and dynamic data masking) have been introduced in Azure, and are only now being added to SQL Server, showing perhaps that Microsoft sees the need to make Azure better is more important than improving SQL Server.

The ability to encrypt data no matter where it is currently located means, SQL Server can perform operations without you having to decrypt data; all encryption happens transparently inside the application. The ‘Stretch Database’ feature means you can move (or dynamically stretch) warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, including encrypted data.

According to a blog post from T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, the Microsoft VP who leads engineering for Microsoft’s Database and Big Data businesses, the analysis improvements mean that in-memory OLTP can be used with “a significantly greater number of applications”.

He says that the enhancements:

"introduce the unique capability to use our in-memory columnstore delivering 100X faster queries on top of in-memory OLTP to provide real-time operational analytics while accelerating transaction performance”.

Other improvements include the ability to have up to three synchronous replicas, DTC support and round-robin load balancing of the secondaries. Row level security is finally being added, so you can control access to data based on the characteristics of the user. Native JSON support has also been added, so you can parse and store JSON data, and export relational data to JSON.

There’s an interesting sounding addition in the form of Query Data Store, which stores a log giving full history of query execution so DBAs can pinpoint expensive/regressed queries and tune query performance.

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More Information

Download SQL Server 2016 Preview

SQL Server 2016 first public preview now available!

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 June 2015 )