System Center 2016 Coming At Microsoft Ignite, SQL Server 2014 SP2 And More Available

System Center 2016 sechedule to release at Microsoft Ignite in late September.

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SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2014 deployments through Microsoft Download Center, MSDN, Eval Center, MBS/Partner Source and VLSC.

The update includes a rollup of released hotfixes as well as more than twenty improvements centered around performance, scalability and diagnostics based on feedback from customers and the SQL community.

"These improvements enable SQL Server 2014 to perform faster and scale out of the box on modern hardware design," says SQL team.

To obtain SQL Server 2014 SP2, check the options below:

Mobile Report Publisher for SQL Server 2016

In addition, the team has also release the July 2016 update of the Mobile Report Publisher for SQL Server 2016. This update comes with over forty bug fixes and optimizations.

Microsoft recommends to install Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) for SQL Server 2016 on any report server you are publishing your mobile reports to. Becasue, several of the fixes are specific to this version of the runtime, "so you won't see the full benefit of these updates unless you download the new Mobile Report Publisher publication AND install CU1 on your report server," the team notes.

"This includes the latest mobile report "runtime", and matches the version included in the Mobile Report Publisher." You can find the download below:

Microsoft also made available an updated ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server, that provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for C/C++ based applications.

The updated driiver includes:

  • Always Encrypted, a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that prevents sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL instance.
  • "You can now transparently encrypt the data in the application, so that SQL Server or Azure SQL Database will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. If a SQL instance or host machine is compromised, an attacker can only access ciphertext of your sensitive data," explained SQL team.
  • Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentication is a new mechanism of connecting to Azure SQL Database v12 using identities in AAD.
  • Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) allow a web server to use Unicode characters for server name, enabling support for more languages. Using the new Microsoft ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server, "you can convert a Unicode serverName to ASCII compatible encoding (Punycode) when required during a connection," explains the team.
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG) support is added to the new driver. "The driver quickly discovers the current AlwaysOn topology of your server infrastructure and connects to the current active server transparently," SQL team explained.

You can also download ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server from the download center.

In addition, Microsoft also announced that the System Center 2016 will be launched at the Microsoft Ignite conference in late September.

"With the launch of System Center 2016 and Windows Server 2016 in September, you will have a cloud-ready platform and the operations management tools you need to run a secure, efficient, and responsive datacenter," the company noted.

In addition, this release also "unlocks new technologies available in Windows Server 2016 that will enhance the software-defined datacenter and provide new layers of security for your operating system," added company.

Some highlights of System Center 2016 include:

  • Support for new Windows Server 2016 technologies, including lifecycle management for Nano server-based hosts and virtual machines, Storage Spaces Direct, and shielded virtual machines
  • Performance and usability improvements, including all the update rollups since System Center 2012 R2, improved UNIX and Linux monitoring, and ability to tune management packs and alerts
  • Native integrations with Microsoft Operations Management Suite to give you expanded analytics, data correlation, orchestration, archival, and hybrid management capabilities

To get started, you can download System Center 2016 Technical Preview 5, or refer these documents What's New in System Center 2016 and Windows Server 2016.

The company also made available .NET Framework 4.6.2! The release is packed with lots of great improvements in the following areas: "Base Class Library, Common Language Runtime, ClickOnce
ASP.NET, SQL, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation," says Microsoft.

You can download the .NET Framework 4.6.2 now: