SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 0

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This month Microsoft came closer to a release date for SQL Server 2016 with releasing Release Candidate 0. To download SQL Server 2016 RC0 visit the evaluation centre. This now takes us out of the CTP phase and closer to the actual feature set that will be available come the release of the full product hopefully not too far away. With the Release Candidate now being available there has been some enhancements and additional features that were not previously available in the CTP versions. So what’s new?

Database Engine

  • Support for UTF 8 (BCP, Bulk Insert and OpenRowset all now support this code page)
  • New String Functions (String_Split, String_Escape)
  • New JSON_Modify function
  • New/Improved Stretch Database features
    • New preview on Azure that now supports 60 TB of data
    • Azure Active Directory Authentication
  • Compression delay for columnstore indexes
  • Group by performance enhancements on non-clustered columnstore indexes
  • New Alter Table options allowing for a columnstore index to be created on an already memory-optimized table
  • Parallel scan of non-clustered indexes on memory-optimized tables
  • Changes to the Model database defaults (Initial size now 8 MB with auto-growth set at 64 MB)
  • Auto Grow options (Alter Database options Autogrow_Single_File & Autogrow_All_Files replace TF1117)
  • Allocation of mixed extents (Alter Database options Set Mixed_Page_Allocation replaces TF1118)
  • Sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats are retained as they were prior to SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Sys.dm_exec_input_buffer is a new DMF that will return information for statements submitted to the input buffer
  • SQL Server Management Tool is no longer installed from the main feature tree.


Analysis Services

  • PowerShell for Tabular models at 1200 compatibility level
  • SSIS Tasks for Tabular models at 1200 compatibility level
  • Microsoft.AnalysisServices.Tablular namespace for Tabular 1200 programability in AMO
  • Display folders for Tabular models at 1200 compatibility level


Integration Services

  • SSIS Designer creates and maintains packages for SQL Server 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Support for server-wide default logging level
  • HDFS file destination now supports ORC file format


Master Data Services

  • Derived Hierarchy Management experience improved

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I am a Microsoft Data Platform MVP as well as a Microsoft Certified Master working as the Principal Consultant here at SQL Masters Consulting. When I am not working with the SQL Server Stack I like to get away to the Snow and spend time Snowboarding.