Sql server 2016 new features

As of 2020, we see many advancements and improvements in technology. With the increase in the demand for the latest technologies, we see that the organizations are striving hard to develop and run their business efficiently. To manage the organization effectively, the analysis of the data and try to gain insight into the business and its deliverables. Managing large databases has become a tedious task for business teams. Hence, the business organizations opted for the tools and software that would help in managing the vast databases and delivering the business requirements. In this blog, you will gain an understanding of the different features available in the SQL server 2016 version.

What is the SQL server?

SQL Server is a software or a platform that is designed and developed to perform the operations related to the extensive database. As the organizations deal with a massive amount of data related to different departments, handling and managing the data of the organization is easier in SQL server. SQL server is a specification of a relational database management system that includes a command-based and graphical user interface model.

SQL Server is a software that helps in creating, managing, analyzing, and generating the databases and the reports as and when required on a real-time basis. SQL Server is used as a standard programming language for the interaction between the database. SQL Server works on the windows environment for more than 20 years which is an impressive fact. SQL has come up with many features and implementations, keeping the business teams in mind and their requirements.
SQL server 2016 new features:

SQL Server is known for its innovative features that have brought up a high chance for businesses to develop,implement, and improve business leads by meeting the business objectives and goals.In the SQL server 2016,it includes the features that have significance in the business industry. Microsoft has revised the SQL server 2016 with its main aim to build the applications and programs by using a hybrid database platform.The primary need for this version is to provide a value resolution with advanced security and highly scalable performance.Let us have a quick review of the new features available in SQL server 2016.

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Always encrypted feature:

SQL Server has come up with the feature called always encrypted, which helps you to keep your sensitive data in an encrypted format. It could be either in the local environment or remotely via the cloud. It allows the users to protect the data from the malicious attacks, or the people who would play around it like the database administrators, cloud operators, or any other unauthorized users. SQL Server allows you to set up the always encrypted feature to the individual column in which the sensitive data exists. You will need to define the encryption key and the master key. The encryption key is used for the column data for encrypting the data of a specific column. The master key is used for encryption of the column encryption keys. So, SQL Server is utilizing the dual encryption protection where the data can be encrypted and decrypted when you are using the database.


SQL Server 2016 has come up with a feature called Polybase that provides the multi-connection functionality, allowing you to connect to all the relational and non-relational data from a single point. It also helps you in establishing the connectivity between the Hadoop database and Azure blob storage. The primary function of the always is to create a bridge between the data that is outside of SQL scope while querying on Hadoop or Azure storage. It also does not require any installation or additional knowledge. All you need to do is an import and export the data to and from Hadoop or Azure storage. It also allows you to integrate with business intelligence.

Stretch Database:

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 has come up with the feature that provides its flexibility to the user with the stretch database. It allows you to store the portion of the database to remote (cloud or Azure). This portion of the database is called as cold data. It is considered as a cost-effective solution database, which also helps and managing and querying the data anytime. It also allows you to access data without changing any query either in the present or stretch database. You need to have an Azure account and database instance that you need to stretch.

Query Store:

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 has come up with a feature called query store which will help you to go through the query plan, statistics, and query execution of the current and past query. We were using the dynamic management views in SQL to check the query plan and execution statistics till now. But it will not give the plan that is executed by the restored old queries or will not store them anywhere so that you can later review them. Hence query Store helps in reviewing the current and old or past queries.

JSON support:

The SQL 2016 provides extensive support to JSON (Java Script Object Notation) directly. SQL Server 2016 is designed and developed with the facility to allow you to read the JSON format data, load the data into the table, support all the index properties in the JSON columns you can also select or Fetch the data for JSON from the SQL by using the below syntax


SELECT column, expression, column as alias 
FROM table1, table2, table 3

This command will allow you to format each cell or row value and return as a JSON object.

Dynamic data masking:

Dynamic data masking is another security feature in SQL server 2016. This feature will wrap the masks on your data. In simple terms, it will allow you to hide the confidential data that you would not like to display to any other unauthorized users. It avoids the disclosure of sensitive data to the outside people. After masking is performed, unauthorized users or SQL users will have limited access and will not be able to view the original text. He will be able to view only The Masked text. SQL has also come up with masking functions that are predefined, and you can apply them on different columns.

Row-level security:

Row-Level Security is a security feature in SQL 2016 that will help you to secure the data row-wise. In short terms, you can define the road that will be viewed by a particular SQL user only. This feature allows you to restrict access by setting some user access permissions to the users. So based on the SQL user, you can restrict the root level data. Example: You will be able to restrict the data by allowing the employees to view only the department data.

Multiple temp DB:

SQL server 2016 also came up with the feature of allowing us to maintain the multiple temporary databases. It allows you to add temporary database files to your database till now manually. With the SQL server 2016, you can use the configuration settings that will help you to add the temporary database files at the time of SQL installation. The default number of files that can be used is 8, with the default size of 64mb. 

Temporal table:

Sometimes history would help you in performing some functionalities or operations. History would play an essential role in the business organization when you deal with a large amount of data. SQL Server 2016 provides a feature of Record version facility that will help you in keeping the history of the change record and maintain it for timely analysis. This will help you in reviewing the data or all records after the table updation. This feature can also be used for checking the data trend, audit purposes, accidental update for deletion of data, etc.

R introduction:

Till now, we have not Stored the statistical data in SQL. We have not used any programming language like R to analyze it. SQL server 2016 has come up with the feature to analyze the data using R programming language and run the script on SQL. You will need to install this feature at the time of the SQL setup or installation.

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Advantages of using SQL Server 2016:

As we have gone through the different features in SQL server 2016, let us also have a quick review of The benefits and advantages of using server 2016.

1. Enhanced security features:

SQL server 2016 has come up with the enhanced security features that use secure policy management to detect non-compliant policies. The security features available in the SQL server 2016 will allow only authorized users to access the database. The security audits and events can be written automatically to the log files.

2. Low cost of ownership:

SQL server data mining tools and data management tools that include disk partitioning. The maintenance can be ensured by following the data management policies. These practices will help to ensure the availability and recoverability of the data.

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3. Improved performance:

SQL Server 2016 has an inbuilt feature of data compression along with encryption. With this, the users don't need to modify the program to encrypt the data. It has controlled couple access with efficiency for management tools. It has paved the way for improved performance when it comes to data collection.

4. Installation is streamlined:

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 that can be installed using a setup wizard, also allowing the updates to be detected and downloaded by the installer automatically. It also provides flexibility to install the software easily because automatic updates take place. It also reduces maintenance costs significantly.

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Best practices to be followed for the Microsoft SQL Server database:

The database has to be dedicated to the SQL server:

It is essential for you to run the SQL server instances on a dedicated server. Users has to continually check a number of applications like in services or file running on the system simultaneously with your server instances. It is also recommended not to run the multiple server instances on a single server.

Management of the logs and data files:

Autogrow should be enabled on your log and data files, and it is also important for auto shrink to be turned off. It is recommended to create the logs using enough space to reduce the possibility of autogrow events.

Always test your backup plan before implementing:

Sometimes you will need to look back for the data that is stored in the past.If you want to restore the data at a given point of time, you need to make sure that you are using full recovery model databases. It is recommended to perform the backups daily on your system databases. The large organizations will perform the file backups at regular intervals of time throughout the day. It is recommended to back up the transaction log to maintain its size. It would help if you also make a habit of performing the test database restore to make sure that they are working fine.

Using verification options:

As you will be handling a large amount of data, you will need to ensure that you are utilizing the verification options given to you by the backup utility such as T SQL backup command,solutions to backup software.You can also use some additional features a light backup checksum,which will help you in tracking the number of problems related to the media backups.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is the software that is used by most organizations.Expertise on such tools or the software will help you in leading a promising career.I hope the above information is helpful to you. As an organization is looking for experts who have an in-depth knowledge of the Microsoft SQL Server database,you can become an expert as well. If you would like to become an expert,you can get trained and certified in administering the Microsoft SQL server database.

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4. Exception Handling in SQL Server

5. SQL Server Joins

6. SQL Server Data Tools

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As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.