Take a tour through the improvements in SQL Server 2016

Vu Anh Nguyen

Following the announcement of a release date for SQL Server 2016, Microsoft has published a new post on its IT professional-focused TechNet blog, detailing the enhancements that come in the new version of its database management software.

Specifically, improvements have been made in accessing popular tools, new tool release cycle, development, guidance, and automated database building and deployment. Tools like SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) among others, having been a pain to find and install in the past, have now been centralized and can be found at the new download page, with full backward compatibility for earlier SQL Server versions. SSMS, in particular, can be installed in one click and without an Internet connection. SSDT is the new unification of all Visual Studio-installed SQL tools. Updates will be pushed out on a faster monthly cycle, bringing new features, bug fixes and more.

Two practices drive successful modern applications today – a fast time to market, and a relentless focus on listening to customers and rapidly iterating on their feedback.

-Ayo Olubeko, Program Manager, Microsoft Data Developer Group

Another highlight is the “new connection experience” with databases. Users can now connect to their database assets anywhere through browsers with guides for working with firewalls: with SMSS, for example, firewall rules can be set up during connection to the database and not prior, eliminating the need to login to the Azure portal beforehand. Database pinning should also be another helpful feature.

All these new enhancements, along with several announced others like Always Encrypted, Stretch Database may confuse users, which is why Microsoft has put in some helpful step-by-step wizards to guide you along. Finally, developers can automate database lifecycle management in SQL Server 2016 in conjunction with Visual Studio 2015 and other software.

Microsoft Program Manager for Data Developer Group Ayo Olubeko also shares some information regarding the next steps in the near future for SQL Server 2016, specifically SSMS and SSDT, both of which will expand Visual Studio’s 2015 shell-powered capabilities as well as provide performance improvements in the future. The faster release cycle should also mean more rapid iterations to address issues or customer feedbacks.

SQL Server 2016 official version is set for a release on June 1, 2016. Stay tuned for more SQL Server 2016 development news in the future.