Archive for October 1, 2015

SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4 update is here | download now

October 1, 2015 Leave a comment

As pert of Microsoft’s rapid release model for SQL Server, Microsoft today announced the CTP 2.4 update of the recently and initially released Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.2 version of SQL Server 2016 and the CTP 2.3, link.

[Register and Download the CTP 2.4 Evaluation version (180 days) here]

–> Direct download link (~2.3 GB):

– Box file
– EXE file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.exe


–> Check version and SQL build:

select @@version

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (CTP2.4) – 13.0.600.65 (X64) Sep 20 2015 01:45:59 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Evaluation Edition (64-bit) on Windows 10 Enterprise 6.3 (Build 10240: )

–> Enhancements and Issues fixed in this release:

1. Operational Analytics and In-Memory Data Warehouse improvements

– Existing Non-Clustered ColumnStore Indexes (NCCI) are updateable without requiring index rebuild.

– Parallel Index build of Non-Clustered ColumnStore Index (NCCI), leveraging available cores/logical processors available on the server for significant performance improvement.

– INSERT operations performance in delta Row Group. (Prior to CTP2.4, the delta rowgroup data was PAGE compressed, which added overhead for Insert operations. With CTP2.4, the data in delta rowgroup is no longer PAGE compressed.)

– Better Query performance with Non-Clustered ColumnStore Index (NCCI), with:
a. String predicate pushdown.
b. Improved query path when processing deleted rows by bypassing delete buffer when possible.

2. SQL Server Smart Maintenance Plans for effective database maintenance

– Consistency-checking strategy

– Backup strategy

– Index and statistics maintenance strategy

3. Tempdb scalability improvement

– Now provides a separate tab for tempdb files configuration.

SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4 Setup 02

– optimistic latching of system pages when dropping temp tables.


–> Integration Services (SSIS) improvements:

1. Complex data feed including Data Streaming destination.

2. Balanced data distributor (BDD).

3. Excel 2013 source and destination (requires Access runtime 2013).

4. AlwaysOn support.

5. oData v4 source component in addition to oData v3.

–> Reporting Services (SSRS) improvements:

– Design-time control over layout of report parameters

– Export to PowerPoint

– A new printing feature that works across modern browsers.

– Check more at:

–> Deprecation:

– x86 Server deprecation, although all the x86 client tools and components are still available.

For all other new features released in SQL Server 2016, please check my blog posts here.

So, download the Preview today and start playing with the new features and plan your DB migration/upgrade.

Check the [SQL Server blog] for all these updates in detail.


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