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Microsoft Previews SQL Server 2016, Azure Data Lake

Microsoft today announced a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2016, a preview of Azure Data Lake Store and Analytics services and a preview of Azure SQL Database In-Memory OLTP and Operational Analytics.

The SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.0 will be available this week during the PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) Summit, where Joseph Sirosh, head of the Data Group, announced the previews.

Microsoft said highlight features of its flagship RDBMS include:

  • Always Encrypted, based on technology from Microsoft Research, that protects data at rest and in motion.
  • Built-in SQL Server R Services, a new workload for fast, predictive, in-database analytics.
  • PolyBase -- built into SQL Server to extract value from unstructured and structured data using T-SQL.
  • Stretch Database for the active archiving of cold data to the Microsoft Azure cloud.

"This preview also includes new Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities for SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services, and we plan to include mobile BI capabilities in the coming months to deliver end-to-end BI solutions for on-premises implementations," said Sirosh, who was just recently promoted to head the newly combined Data Group.

Azure Data Lake, a component of the Cortana Analytics Suite, has previews available now for the Store and Analytics service. "Azure Data Lake offers unbelievable analytic processing power and an exabyte-scale Big Data store as a fully managed service," Sirosh said. "It includes all the capabilities required to make it easy for developers, data scientists and analysts to store data of any size, shape and speed, and do all types of processing and analytics across platforms and languages."

The Azure SQL Database preview highlights In-Memory OLTP and the general availability of Operational Analytics. "In-Memory OLTP dramatically improves transaction processing performance," Sirosh said. "Our In-Memory Columnstore and In-Memory OLTP can naturally be used together in the same cloud solution for high-throughput transaction processing and real-time operational analytics."

Sirosh noted the company's move to a cloud-first product development model that sees new features proven and optimized in the cloud for a better on-premises experience. "In addition, we offer a consistent experience across on-premises and cloud with common development and management tools and common T-SQL," he said.

As the summit progresses, more news will be available on the company's Server & Cloud Blog.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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