New Features In SQL Server 2016

watch_later 7/04/2024

SQL Server 2016 is leaping forward in technology for database management, with loads of new features and improvements created to meet the needs of modern data-driven organizations. This release places a great deal of emphasis on better performance, higher security and ease of management, so it is the best solution for database administrators, developers, and business analysts.

New Features In SQL Server 2016

Today's world is data-driven; the need of the hour is for database solutions that will effectively handle significant data volumes, offer beefed-up securities, and yet allow advanced analysis. To this extent, SQL Server 2016 rises to the challenge with innovations such as enhanced in-memory processing, improved query performance monitoring, integration with popular tools and applications, and many more built-in security features to keep data safe at any point.

Second, SQL Server 2016 continues to build with an eye toward the growing demand for business intelligence and mobile access. Tools such as Mobile Report Publisher and enhanced Power BI integration enable users to create, publish, and interact with reports and dashboards using any device anywhere at any time to make agile and informed decisions.

This release is also focused on high availability and disaster recovery, with continued enhancements to AlwaysOn Availability Groups for increased flexibility and resiliency. These new capabilities will help ensure that even if things go wrong, critical applications continue to run, and valuable data continues to be protected.

The article explores key features of SQL Server 2016 and elaborates on how they can help any organization optimize its data management process, increase security, and gain deeper insight from the data. Whether you're upgrading from a previous version or looking for a new database solution altogether, SQL Server 2016 offers a very comprehensive set of tools that is bound to meet any need that the modern data-driven enterprise faces.

In a recent article, I covered topics such as sending DataTable to a Stored Procedure in C#, retrieving records in batches from a SQL Server table, understanding SQL Server cursors, finding created and modified stored procedures in SQL, and creating/executing dynamic stored procedures.

Performance Improvements

In-Memory OLTP Enhancements

The In-Memory OLTP feature in SQL Server 2016 has been massively enhanced to drive transaction processing efficiencies by keeping the data in memory rather than on disk. This version now includes a more significant number of T-SQL constructs, plus it is better scalable, and thus migration of current applications is more straightforward.

Query Store

Query Store is a new feature that provides the ability to you to monitor query performance over time, making it easier to pinpoint and fix problems in your queries. It stores query execution plans and runtime statistics so that you can analyze and compare different execution plans to help choose the best for your workload.

Advanced Analytics

R Integration

SQL Server 2016 includes native support for R, a popular statistical programming language. R Services can run R scripts directly in the database, opening up advanced analytics and machine learning in SQL Server without moving data. This is another integration to boost in-database analytics with minimal data movement, meaning better performance and security for data.


PolyBase enables users to query Hadoop and Azure Blob Storage data using T-SQL. This feature bridges both unstructured and structured data. This functionality makes the analysis of large data sets easier by eradicating complex ETL processes. It provides ease in working with big data within your SQL Server infrastructure.


Always Encrypted

Sensitive data are always secured using this new feature, both at rest and on the wire. It ensures that plaintext data should never be visible within the database system, which is essential not only due to compliance with data protection laws but also for protecting sensitive information.

Row-Level Security

Row-Level Security (RLS) helps control access to data based on a specific row based on the user's role. In simple terms, users get the power to view multiple subsets of the data inside one table, offering detailed permissive access and boosting security.

Business Intelligence

Mobile Report Publisher

SQL Server 2016 includes the Mobile Report Publisher, a component for developing responsive and mobile-friendly reports. This feature meets the need for an expanded mobile business intelligence user base and enables end users to view and interact with reports across any device.

Power BI Integration

SQL Server 2016 has strengthened Power BI integration, making it more straightforward to author, publish, and share interactive reports and dashboards. Power BI provides a solid data visualization and business intelligence platform for organizations to make informed decisions.

High Availability and Disaster Recovery

AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Enhanced for high availability and disaster recovery, enhancements to SQL Server 2016 AlwaysOn Availability Groups include support for up to three synchronous replicas and enable automatic failover on database health. All these enhancements make the system even more flexible and reliable for high availability and disaster recovery solutions.


SQL Server 2016 is a comprehensive, full-featured database platform that has brought about breakthrough performance, security, analytics, and business intelligence; it enables an organization to maximize data management, adequate security measures, and deeper insights from the data using new features. Whether upgrading from an older release or considering a new database altogether, SQL Server 2016 delivers a robust set of tools.

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