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Next SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate Rolls Out

Microsoft has issued another release candidate (RC) of SQL Server 2016, signaling that the upcoming database system is nearly feature-complete.

Microsoft announced SQL Server 2016 RC1, which can be accessed here, last Friday. Although Microsoft is calling it RC1, it's actually the second RC of SQL Server 2016; the first, dubbed RC0, was released earlier this month.

Microsoft said in its RC1 announcement that it is "publishing multiple release candidates on a more frequent cadence" as part of its new, quicker product release model.

Upcoming capabilities in SQL Server 2016 include real-time operational analytics, the ability to present visualizations on mobile devices, integrated analytics, new security technologies, and new hybrid scenarios that help enterprises stretch data to the cloud.

Microsoft touted SQL Server 2016 at its Data Driven event earlier this month in New York City, making the case for customers switching to its database offering from that of competitor Oracle. Microsoft also recently announced that SQL Server was being targeted for Linux porting next year.

"We are building this broad, deep, digital data platform," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Data Driven. "This platform is going to help every business become a software business, a data business, an intelligence business. That's our vision."

The SQL Server team didn't expound much on new capabilities in RC1, but it did highlight new enhancements to SQL Server Reporting Services, including:

  • An updated preview of the new Web portal. It's now the new default Web portal, and the classic Report Manager is now removed. Users can open the Mobile Report Publisher and Report Builder from the new Web portal using any modern browser.

  • Custom branding. Users can customize the Web portal with an organization's logo and colors.

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) and mobile reports. Users can click a KPI and see a view with more details, and connect KPIs and mobile reports to parameterized datasets.

  • Modern paginated reports. Users can design modern paginated reports with new, modern styles for charts, gauges, maps and other data visualizations.

More details about SQL Server 2016 can be found on its preview page.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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