Archive for February 5, 2016

SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.3 update is here | download now

February 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Microsoft (on 4-Feb-2015) announced the CTP 3.3 update of the recently and initially released Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.x & 3.0 versions of SQL Server 2016.

[Register and Download the CTP 3.3 Evaluation version (180 days) here]

–> Direct download link (~2.6 GB):

– Download the single ISO: SQLServer2016CTP3.3-x64-ENU.iso

– Or download both EXE & BOX files:
   – Box file
   – EXE file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.exe

–> Check version and SQL build:

select @@version

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (CTP3.3) – 13.0.1000.281 (X64) Jan 28 2016 15:11:40 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Evaluation Edition (64-bit) on Windows 10 Enterprise 6.3 (Build 10586: )

–> This CTP 3.3 release has major enhancements on:

1. Stretch Database improvement includes:
   – Alter and drop index support for stretch tables.
   – Add, alter and drop columns support for stretch tables.
   – Query performance improvement.
   – Azure Stretch database edition preview with support for up to 60TB
   – Point-in-time restore and geo-failover support.
   – Improved SSMS visualization with StretchDB icons.
   – Added support for stretching using federated accounts in SSMS.

2. In-Memory OLTP enhancements, which dramatically improves transaction processing performance.
   – Automatic update of statistics on memory-optimized tables
   – Sampled statistics for memory-optimized tables
   – Use of LOB types varchar(max), nvarchar(max), and varbinary(max) with built-in string functions (‘+’, len, ltrim, rtrim and substring) in natively compiled modules, and as return type of natively compiled scalar UDFs.
   – Support also larger rows using types varchar(n), nvarchar(n) and varbinary(n)
   – OUTPUT clause can now be used with INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE statements in natively compiled stored procedures.

3. Foreign Key enhancements , increased the number of supported incoming foreign key REFERENCES to a table:
   – Till SQL Server 2014 the recommended maximum was 253, now the new maximum is 10,000 references, while maintaining good performance for DML operations in both the referencing and the referenced table.

4. Autostats enhancements, Previously, statistics were automatically recalculated when the change exceeded a fixed threshold.
   – Now the algorithm is refined such that it is no longer a fixed threshold, but in general will be more aggressive in triggering statistics scans, resulting in more accurate query plans.


–> Few more enhancements in other areas:

1. SSAS (Analysis Services) DirectQuery models, Tabular Models running in DirectQuery mode now also allows:
   – DAX filters when defining roles and creation of calculated columns.
   – Apply row level security to a DirectQuery model.
   – Translating your tabular model into different languages to be consumed by any client tool connecting to SSAS.
   – and many more, [check here].

2. SSRS (Reporting Services) web portal, updated preview of the new web portal now enables you to:
   – add the KPIs and reports you use to your Favorites, to create and edit shared data sources for your KPIs and reports, and to perform other management tasks.
   – access the reports you need on your Favorites page – without the clutter.
   – and many more, [check here].

3. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) Jan 2016 Release, [check here].

I’ve covered very few and important points here, you can check all the updates here in [SQL Server blog for CTP 3.3] with details.

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

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

SQL Server 2016 CTP2 Install

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