SQL Server 2016 general availability and Feature-Support
Finally: The new SQL Server 2016, in my eyes the best release since many, if not ever, is generally available. (See Blog article by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group, Microsoft)
The Built-Number is 12.0.1601.5.
One can download the respective version (Enterprise, Standard, Web, Developer, Express – the Business Intelligence Edition ceases to exist) at MSDN. The Developer Edition is even free of charge by now (Blog-Article on that).
I wrote about the new Database-Engine-Features before here: SQL Server 2016 – the Security & Performance Release
Here a look at the Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2016:
I want to highlight that the rumors about the support of Availability Groups in Standard Edition have been proven true and so-called „Basic Availability Groups“ with support of 2 nodes and one replica per AG – similar to Database Mirroring – can be used there.
In the Security area „Row-level Security“ and also „Data Masking“ made it into Standard Edition, but „Always Encrypted“ did not – this feature is only available in Enterprise-Edition.
The much-praised „Query Store“ is available in all Editions(!) (“Thank you, Connor”),as are „Temporal Tables“, and JSON. „R“ is available only as a „Basic-variation“ generally available, „Stretch Database“ on the other hand in all in Editions.
„In-Memory OLTP“ and „Operational Analytics“ unfortunately remain reserved for Enterprise-Edition.
It should be pointed out that from the BI components the Analysis Services Tabular-Mode is now available in Standard Edition as well. This is very helpful as this type makes a lot of sense especially in small Projects.
You can find the official Page on SQL Server 2016 with further information and links to Whitepapers here: www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server/
Enjoy the next generation of Microsofts Data Platform Flagship: SQL Server 2016