by Jonathan Gardner
US Partner Technology Strategist for Microsoft Azure
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is coming soon, and you can get an early look at the next Microsoft data platform in Community Technology Preview (CTP) 3, available for download from the evaluation center. This is a 180-day evaluation, and the English version I downloaded is 2.6 GB in size. The installation will feel very familiar to those who have installed previous versions.
My favorite, and arguably better, way to deploy SQL Server 2016 CTP 3 is to add it as a virtual machine on Microsoft Azure. This is now an option for CTP 3 in the Azure Marketplace. To deploy it this way on Azure, add a new compute resource and select SQL Server in the Database Servers section. There are many different versions that can be deployed, but at the bottom of the list is CTP 3 deployed on Windows Server 2012 R2.
- SQL Server 2016 overview, datasheet, white papers, and more
- Save the date of March 10 for Data Driven, a live virtual event, to hear Satya Nadella share how data insights are driving business transformation
- SQL Server 2016: Everything built-in, by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate VP of the Data Group at Microsoft
Get hands-on with sample scripts and databases
If you’re looking for a way to test out the new features like I always am, and don’t have your own demo database, our old friends AdventureWorks and AdventureWorksDW have new sample databases and scripts for SQL Server 2016 CTP 3. The download of these sample databases also contains files that can be used to test some of the new features in SQL Server 2016.
Here are some of the scripts included in the download:
- Advanced analytics
- Always encrypted
- Clustered columstore index
- Data masking
- In-Memory OLTP
- PolyBase row level security
- Query store
- Stretch DB
- Temporal tables
Further your SQL Server 2016 knowledge with technical videos
In addition to the always-important hands-on learning you get with these sample databases and scripts, I recommend supplementing that with training videos from Microsoft experts, like those in the Data Exposed series on Channel 9.
How available is SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 Encryption
SQL Server 2016 scale and diagnostic engine enhancements
PolyBase in SQL Server 2016
Why you should be thinking Hybrid with SQL Server 2016