SQL Server 2016 To Hit General Availability in June

Microsoft's next-generation relational database operating system will become publicly available on June 1, the company announced Monday.

SQL Server 2016 will come in four versions when it hits general availability next month, according to a blog post by Tiffany Wissner, senior director of Microsoft's Data Platform Marketing group. The versions are:

  • SQL Server 2016 Enterprise: This version will be Microsoft's most complete, with support for an unlimited number of cores, advanced data integration, mobile BI capabilities and support for the advanced "R" statistical computing programming language, to name a few of the exclusive features.

  • SQL Server 2016 Standard: Microsoft is touting this as a lighter version of the system, with support for 24 cores and basic security enhancements.

  • SQL Server 2016 Express: This is a very basic and stripped-down version of the database system, with support for just four cores. Microsoft said this version will be perfect for the creation and deployment of small-scale database applications.

  • SQL Server 2016 Developer: This version will provide the full feature set found in the Enterprise edition for developers looking to build data solutions on top of SQL Server. In March, Microsoft made the SQL Server 2014 Developer edition free for Visual Studio Dev Essentials members. The same will be true when SQL Server 2016 is released.

"SQL Server 2016 is the foundation of Microsoft's data strategy, encompassing innovations that transform data into intelligent action," said Wissner. "With this new release, Microsoft is delivering an end-to-end data management and business analytics solution with mission critical intelligence for your most demanding applications as well as insights on your data on any device."

Microsoft also pointed to a newly released benchmark from Lenovo that showcased SQL Server 2016 Enterprise running on the Lenovo System x2950 X6 rack server. The results showed that SQL Server 2016 outperformed database solutions in terms of speed and accuracy.

"SQL Server 2016 owns the top TPC-E performance benchmarks for transaction processing, the top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, and the top performance benchmarks with leading business applications like PROS and KPMG," said Microsoft. "Customers can also gain tremendous performance improvement by simply upgrading to SQL Server 2016 without application changes (e.g. queries will run up to 34x faster). In addition to leading performance benchmarks, SQL Server 2016 also delivers top price/performance for both workloads."

Along with claiming better performance with SQL Server 2016 to attract new customers, Microsoft is also looking to convert Oracle database users by bringing them onboard for free. Until June 30, Oracle customers can switch to SQL Server 2016 with the appropriate licenses for free (Software Assurance subscription is required).

Microsoft's latest SQL Server 2016 has been in the testing stage for over a year now. The latest and final beta release, SQL Server 2016 RC3, was released in mid-April. Microsoft said that RC3 is "essentially feature complete," and has not indicated if any additional features will make it to the final release.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.