With every new release of SQL Server, Microsoft claims that it is a game changer. However, in some ways I think it might be true regarding SQL Server 2016. Here are some of the things Microsoft is saying to promote it:
Although the marketing material is nice, there is another reason to be excited about this version of SQL Server, which was developed following a different model:
Personally, out of all the features that have been included, the following items stand out to me as reasons why you may want to adopt this release sooner, rather than later.
From MSDN, “The SQL Server Query Store feature provides you with insight on query plan choice and performance. It simplifies performance troubleshooting by helping you quickly find performance differences caused by query plan changes. Query Store automatically captures a history of queries, plans, and runtime statistics, and retains these for your review. It separates data by time windows so you can see database usage patterns and understand when query plan changes happened on the server.” (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn817826.aspx)
I have seen this demoed a few times and have played with it a little with some of the release candidates, and it seems to be something that will make DBA’s and consultants lives a lot easier. Here some additional information regarding these items:
- The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Overview and Architecture (https://www.simple-talk.com/sql/database-administration/the-sql-server-2016-query-store-overview-and-architecture/)
- Understanding SQL Server Query Store (http://rusanu.com/2016/04/01/understanding-sql-server-query-store/)
- SQL Server 2016 Query Store Introduction (https://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/4009/sql-server-2016-query-store-introduction/)
Finally, it seems like reporting services was given some attention in this release of SQL Server! And the changes are NOT trivial. There are some fundamental enhancements that I feel make reporting services a true competitor in this space again. I have been testing out the release candidates and I am very excited to get this into production. Here are some useful posts that will help you get excited about these enhancements:
- What’s new https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlrsteamblog/2016/03/18/sql-server-2016-rc1-whats-new-in-reporting-services/
- Roadmap https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/dataplatforminsider/2015/10/29/microsoft-business-intelligence-our-reporting-roadmap/
- Brand SSRS website https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlrsteamblog/2016/03/20/how-to-create-a-custom-brand-package-for-reporting-services-with-sql-server-2016/
Well, I have to say that I am probably as excited about this release as Microsoft is!
Link to SQL Server 2016 download: