Its been a long wait, well almost exactly the same 2 year wait that the last version took to release but with all the latest and greatest features available in SQL 2016 it has been a very exciting wait indeed.

[h2_heading]SQL Server 2016 commeth on June 1st[/h2_heading]

It might seem a bit weird for a DBA to be championing BI (Business Intelligence) features however they are just to exciting to ignore so lets start with those. You may have heard of DataZen a company Microsoft bought in April 2015. They create platform independent BI dashboards and using their dashboard server everything would be rendered in html 5. It was and is a fantastic product and Microsoft have only gone and integrated it with SQL 2016 as mobile reports giving businesses two ways to view and consume reports the other being the standard paginated reports.

So what other features appear as SQL Server 2016 commeth? Built in support for R but what is R? R is a programming language used for statistical reporting bit of a mouthful and not something I have much experience with however noise about R has been getting louder and louder over the last few years especially with the growth of Big Data and SQL 2016 is certainly a platform that is all about data.

I feel the need for speed. SQL 2016 comes with serious speed increases. If I told you that you could gain up to a 34x increase in query performance on your current hardware would you be interested? If your reports or applications are currently running slowly this could be a reason for you to at least test out your current apps to see if you can get a very decent performance increase. Personally I prefer to dig into the code if there are any issues with application performance however up to 34x improvement for a migration to the latest version could save you time digging through code although you will still need to take some time to do thorough testing prior to migration.

I love encryption so should you and now Microsoft have finally given us encryption to get excited about. The aptly named Always Encrypted technology protects your data at rest and in transit with zero database performance impact. I think someone has been peeking at my Christmas list.

So now we know the date it might be time to put some serious thought into should I upgrade to SQL 2016? I will write another post on exactly this topic very shortly.