Get Your Hands on the SQL Server 2016 Preview!

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In the last two months, at Build and Ignite, Microsoft offered a taste of the new features and capabilities they would bring to SQL Server 2016. Now is your chance to download the bits and check out the new features! Here is what I'm most excited to try out in SQL Server 2016. Updates to Availability Groups. AGs have been a hot feature since they were introduced in 2012. Now, they will be even more highly-available by allowing up to 3 synchronous replicas. They will also support applications that require DTC! Support for temporal data. Data changes over time. Enabling temporal tables will allow you to track the data changes over time. Live query statistics. Query execution plans are a fantastic tool, but they're generated after the query executes. Using tools like STATISTICS IO and STATISTICS TIME can be helpful for troubleshooting, but again, they aren't shown until after the query is finished. Live Query Statistics will show how a query is performing in real-time. This isn't meant to be run in production systems, but it will be a useful tool! Mobile BI. I hope this will be one of the defining features for 2016. There will be applications for use on Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Users have long complained that support was limited to Windows desktops; hopefully this is going to change. Stretch database. This feature will enable table data to be stored on-premises and in Azure. Use the Azure storage for older or archived data that rarely needs to be accessed, where performance isn't crucial. Enhanced backup to Azure. I like the idea of using Azure as a storage location for backups - having them off-site is a great idea. Up to this point, however, performance has been a drawback. With enhancements, this should be faster! SQL Server 2016 offers features for administrators, developers, and BI users. There is something for everyone to be excited about. Don't delay - download SQL Server 2016 preview today, set up a virtual machine, and see how it can make your business more powerful and efficient!
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