SQL Server 2016 launched last week to great reviews and with a ton of great new features. I have been working with this version for well over a year now and extremely happy to see it hit RTM and be broadly adopted. So as DBAs it always sucks when you get excited about new features, only to find out the price changed, or vendor “O” made that feature a cost option. So what’s new with SQL Server 2016 licensing? (you won’t this as a session title at any upcoming SQL Server events). Well first the good news—SQL Server 2016 is the same price and 2012 and 2014 (roughly $6800 core for Enterprise Edition). That’s definitely good news—Microsoft gave us a bunch of new functionality and didn’t raise the price. Additionally, if you see my below post on what is in Standard Edition, they added a lot of functionality there, too.
But we know finance and marketing employees have jobs to do as well, and there is no way they were letting a major version release happen without some changes. So let’s take a look at the one’s Denny Cherry (b|t) and I could glean out of the licensing guide. Please download and read for yourself.
There are a couple of interesting nuances that you’ll want to read up on.
SQL Server 2016 went RTM this week and so naturally, we’re going to write about it. Here are a few writing prompts for you:
Check out what’s new. Microsoft has written a lot about their new features. Thomas Larock has written a really nice landing page for those posts, SQL Server 2016: It Just Runs Faster – Thomas Larock. Look through those links. Do you feel optimistic about 2016? Or maybe a bit disappointed? Let us know either way
Haven’t had time to download the bits, install them, explore and form thoughts on 2016 yet? Have no fear, check out Microsoft’s Virtual Labs. It lets you explore features without worrying about all the setup. In minutes you’ll be typing
SELECT 'hello world';
I’m not a fan of the filename “SQLEXPRADV_x64_ENU.exe”. It’s not very descriptive IMO. But if you hover your mouse over the file, there’s a helpful file description tool tip. I’ll probably rename the file anyway.
The download process has changed significantly and I have to admit I’m surprised that I like it so much. I can be set in my ways and averse to change. But once I launched that initial “SQLServer2016-SSEI-Expr.exe” download, everything made sense.
Think back to SQL Server 2012 Express. Remember the “Choose the download you want” dialog? Those file names aren’t very intuitive. I had to Google them every time to make sure I picked the right one. It was slightly better for SQL Server 2014 Express. But still. Yuck!
Sounds like they’ve improved the download experience for Express edition.
Note the “(SQL Server 2014)” beside the project name in Solution Explorer.
If I want to deploy this project to an SSIS Catalog on a SQL Server 2016 instance, I should update the project to SSIS 2016. How do I do this? In Solution Explorer, right-click the project name and click Properties
There are some nice screen shots to walk you through this. I’m happy that SSIS is moving in a multi-version direction. That makes it easier for me as a developer to upgrade my tools without needing three versions of Visual Studio (or SSDT).
Everyone, should validate if they need to apply KB 3138367. msvcr120.dll should be version 12.0.40649.5 or higher.
This is a nice walkthrough with a lot of screen shots, making it easy to follow.
As of today, the latest release of SQL Server is available as a Virtual Machine on Microsofts Azure Platform.
In a matter of minutes you’ll be able to try out all the new featuresthat was added.
If you can’t provision a local server and have Azure credits, this is another way to use SQL Server 2016.
Today is the day: SQL Server 2016 is available for download! You can download all the versions(enterprise, standard, web, express with advanced services, express, developer) of SQL Server 2016 now if you have a MSDN subscription, and you can also create an Azure VM right now that includes SQL Server pre-installed with one of the versions (enterprise, standard, web, express). Lastly, you can also experience the full features through the free evaluation edition (180 days) or the developer edition(you have to sign in to Visual Studio Dev Essentials, a free developer program, before you can download the developer edition).
Even though it’s a day old now, it’s not too late to grab a copy…
Before 2016, you had to manually opt-in by checking a checkbox during installation.
With SQL Server 2016, there’s no checkbox – you’re opted in by default.
I’m actually a huge fan of app telemetry – sending crash reports and usage data back to the application developers in order to help make the app better. I want developers to know how I use their apps, because I want them to improve the parts of the app that I use the most. Heck, I’d be fine if SSMS turned on the microphone while I worked, and then did sentiment analysis. (They would see a very high number of four-letter words tied to the term “IntelliSense.”)
I’m generally fine with sending telemetry results, but I also think the option to disable this should be easier than a registry setting.
Dear SQL DBA,
What are your thoughts on the early adoption of new SQL Server versions? Specifically, if the business is willing to assume the risk of early adoption just to get one new feature that they can probably live without, should DBAs be happy and willing to assume that risk too? Or, is it our responsibility to “just say no” until it has been tested? I would like to hear about any experience you have with this. Thanks.
Bleeding in Edgeville
Go read Kendra’s answer because it’s a good one. My answer is, I want to be on the edge. I’ve run into V1 bugs and had to spike projects before they made it to production, but if there’s a good benefit to moving, and if your business side is supportive, I’d lean heavily toward fast upgrades.