By now you’ve probably heard the exciting news announced at today’s Microsoft Connect conference; SQL Server licensing is changing, significantly, from SQL 2016 SP1.
The functionality of SQL Server Standard, Web & Express editions are being brought up to [almost, 99%] match that of Enterprise Edition. This has a number of critical impacts:
- Developers can write applications using a single set of SQL Server functionality, and can now make use of previously Enterprise only features without imposing the cost on their customers.
- The customer now decides whether to use Express, Web, Std or Ent based on scaleability, not functionality.
- It follows the pricing model already used by most cloud services; pay for usage rather than features.
- This brings security to the masses – possibly one of the biggest impacts is that now we can use Row Level Security, Dynamic Data Masking and Always Encrypted in ALL editions of the engine – huge news.
There are some limitations to this though:
- It currently only applies to the SQL engine, not to SSIS, SSAS or SSRS – Please Microsoft, follow suit with the BI tools asap!!!
- Some features are not [yet] available in the Express and/or Local DB editions, including Change Data Capture, In Memory OLTP and Polybase to name a few.
- The trigger to move to Enterprise will now be [almost] purely driven by size and performance requirements.
As if that isn’t enough, other huge announcements include:
- SQL Server 2016 SP1 is now available
- New functionality in 2016 SP1, including
- CREATE OR ALTER functionality for Stored Procs, Views, Functions, etc.
- DBCC CLONEDATABASE – To easily clone a database schema without the data (love this!!)
- NUMA support for Analysis Services Tabular – I’ll be checking this out in more detail soon and will blog my findings
- SQL Server v.Next CTP1 (Community Technology Preview) is now available, which includes SQL Server running on Linux! Note that only the engine is available on Linux at this time, not the BI tools but watch this space, the plan is to offer matching functionality on both
For full details, check out the Microsoft blog post here