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SQL Server 2016 SP1 GA and SQL Server v.Next on Windows, Linux, and Docker in Public Preview

The gerneral availability of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 (SP1) announced at the Connect() 2016 in NYC, making it easier to build advanced scalable applications.

“Developers and application partners can now build to a common programming surface across all editions when creating or upgrading intelligent applications and use the edition which scales to the application’s needs,” writes SQL team.

SQL Server 2016 SP1 also offers’ most consistent platform from on-premises to cloud with industry leading TCO for applications of all sizes. While Standard edition “sets the bar for rich programming capabilities, security innovations, and fast performance for mid-tier applications and data marts.”

Now customers without having to re-write app, can upgrade to Enterprise edition as your workload scales—and enjoy highest levels of mission critical scalability, availability, and performance as well as maximum virtualization through licensing rights that come with Enterprise editiion software assurance.

In addition the SP1 also contains fixes released in Cumulative Updates (CUs) 1, 2 and 3 as well as supportability and diagnostics improvements introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2.

SQL Server 2016 SP1 also now make following capabilities available to Standard and Express edition:

  • Faster transaction performance from In-memory OLTP, faster query performance from In-memory ColumnStore, and the ability to combine the two for real-time Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing, also known as Operational Analytics
  • Data warehousing or data mart performance features such as partitioning, compression, change data capture, database snapshot, and the ability to query across structured and unstructured data with a single node of PolyBase
  • Innovative security feature Always Encrypted for encryption at rest and in motion, as well as fine-grained auditing which captures more detailed audit information for your compliance reporting needs.
  • Row-level security and dynamic data masking are being made available to Express edition for the first time.

If you haven’t moved to SQL Server 2016 yet, but are ready to start evaluating all the great features now available, you can create an Azure VM with SQL Server 2016 SP1.

And, to download SQL Server 2016 SP1, visti Microsoft Download Center.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1.

Public preview of the next release of SQL Server, available to both Windows and for the first time ever on Linux was unveiled enabling you to develop applications with SQL Server on Linux, Windows, Docker, or macOS (via Docker). The app then can deploy to Linux, Windows, or Docker, on-premises or in the cloud.

Getting started with SQL Server is now much easier with native Linux installations in RPM and APT packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu. “Packages for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will be coming soon as well,” Microsoft said.

This release will also soon available on Azure Virtual Machines and as images available on Docker Hub, offering a quick and easy installation within minutes.

In addition, this release includes in-memory, advanced analytics, columnstore, and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) enhancements as well as incredible efficiency, and removes the need to architect the scale of your application.

SQL Server also owns multiple top TPC-E performance benchmarks for transaction processing and top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, as well as top performance benchmarks with leading business applications. In-Memory OLTP today delivers up to 100x faster reads and 30x faster writes.

Also, Microsoft recently showcased SQL Server running more than one million R predictions per second.

In addition updates to SQL Server tools including: SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Visual Studio SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and SQL Server PowerShell with support for the next release of SQL Server on Windows and Linux has also been made available.

SQL Server extension for Visual Studio Code is now available on the Visual Studio Code marketplace to help developing on macOS/Linux/Windows with SQL Server running anywhere (on-premises, on Linux and Windows, in any cloud, in virtual machines, Docker, SQL Server 2016 or the next release of SQL Server preview) and with Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW.

Native command-line tools are also available for SQL Server on Linux.

The new SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 7.1 release helps you quickly convert Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, and DB2 databases to SQL Server on both Linux and Windows.

You can download SSMA 7.1 for Oracle MySQL Sybase DB2 Access.

Database Migration Assistant 2.1 release-to-manufacturing (RTM) is a free tool that reduces the effort required to upgrade SQL Server by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality after an upgrade.

This version introduce ability to assess databases at scale in an un-attended mode using dmacmd.exe utility, performance improvements when starting and closing the application, and SQL connection time-out is now configurable, microsoft explained.

“Database Migration Assistant automates the potentially overwhelming process of checking database schema and static objects for breaking changes from prior versions.” “It also recommends performance and reliability improvements for your target environment.”

Open source SQL Server JDBC Driver in general availability enable developers to be more productive with SQL Server across Linux, PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, and Node.js and include a JDBC Driver which is now 100 percent open source.

The open source JDBC Driver not only gives developers more flexibility in how to deploy it, but a chance to contribute to the driver.

Update 11/23: Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA), a new A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades enters into Technical Preview, “assist in evaluating a targeted version of SQL for a given workload.”

“Customers upgrading from previous SQL server versions (starting 2005 and above) to any new version of the SQL server can use these analysis metrics provided by tool, such as queries that have compatibility errors, degraded queries, query plans, and other workload comparison data to build higher confidence and have a successful upgrade experience,” writes SQL Server team.

With DEA, you can:

  • Capture Trace: you can automatically capture a production workload trace with only a few inputs. Learn how to capture trace.
  • Replay Trace: you can replay a trace on current and new/proposed instances of SQL. Learn how to replay trace.
  • View Workload Analysis Reports: you can generate new reports to gain insights on how workload performance changes across versions of SQL. In addition to generating a new report, you can view previously generated reports.

DEA can be used through command line: learn how to use DEA command line here.

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