For those of you that love to stay on the bleeding edge of technology, SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2 was released earlier this week. The downloads are available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-sql-server-2016. I noticed that there are also several wonderful online Virtual Labs for hands-on training already posted covering a few of the new features in 2016. Virtual Labs are a fantastic option to take a quick peek at what is new and exciting without having to spend any time on server set up or installs.

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What is New for BI in CTP2

While exploring the preview, I noted that there is not much there yet in this specific CTP for BI and analytics enthusiasts. Updatable ColumnStore Indexes and Analysis Services Tabular Model parallel processing caught my attention thus far for us reading through the Books Online topics. Row Level Security might also be interesting to test. For a summary of what is new in the preview, check out:

SQL Server 2016 Release Notes
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn876712(v=sql.130).aspx

What’s New in the Database Engine
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb510411(v=sql.130).aspx

What’s New in Analysis Services
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb522628(v=sql.130).aspx

What’s New in Reporting Services
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms170438(v=sql.130).aspx

What’s New in Integration Services
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb522534(v=sql.130).aspx

Want More Details

The official SQL Server 2016 datasheet summarizes more goodness on the way. I also wrote a recent blog that covers the BI and analytics related investments announced in May 2015 during various IGNITE sessions that you can freely watch now on Channel 9.