Microsoft SQL 2016 New Features Business Intelligence Stack

Microsoft SQL 2016

Microsoft SQL 2016 is officially released this month October 2015 and there are a host of Microsoft SQL 2016 new features for Business Intelligence BI Stack users.

Microsoft SQL 2016 New Features

One of the key features for developers is the ability using a tool called Polybase which enables Microsoft SQL 2016 to attach  to Hadoop using T-SQL programming. This is a ground-breaker for Microsoft since they have not previously offered analytical tool-sets as an integrated feature of Microsoft SQL.

Another key feature is the JSON1 integration of the R language. The inclusion of R is important for data scientists and data analysts because they won’t have to take code out of the database in order to run the R programming language 2. R allows the user to run queries directly on the server data making new data sets directly available for reporting and detailed analysis. As Big Data platforms increase and Hadoop adoption widens this is an important feature

One of the most important new features in SQL 2016 are further upgrades to performance and security which SQL 2014 built the foundation for with the Hekaton functionality.

The inclusion of Hekaton in Microsoft SQL 2014 really accelerated performance of queries and database response times – 90% performance improvement was certainly attainable for some queries on Microsoft SQL 2014 compared to SQL 2008 and this gave notice of Microsoft’s intention to really get into Enterprise IT data warehousing. The in memory processing engine can rapidly improve query and user response times.

Microsoft have built on Hekaton to provide more performance features including enhancements to in-memory that increase data by a hundredfold and the support for indexes in in-memory. The query data store and live query statistics will be welcomed by SQL DBAs since it allow DBAs to see which queries are taking up the most resources and plan resource allocations accordingly.

For data warehouses needing increased levels of security there are new  security features like Always Encrypted. Security is becoming increasingly an embedded component in all database technology as hacking and security breaches continue to make headlines. Always Encrypted keeps data encrypted even during transactions and queries.

Microsoft skill sets are often more readily available and easier and cheaper to find than other technologies such as Oracle, Teradata and SAP and this lowers the total cost of ownership for organisations that choose Microsoft SQL 2016 as their BI platform.

Microsoft SQL 2016 is a further solid progression, building on the enterprise BI foundations laid in Microsoft SQL2012.

1 JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language

2 R is a programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis.