SQL Server 2016 offers a wealth of new and improved features that enhance key areas including speed, scale, security, uptime, analytics, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) support, development capabilities, deployment flexibility, and more granular management. New features include PolyBase with Hardoop support for combining structured and unstructured data simultaneously from multiple locations, columnstore indexes for real-time analytics, Always Encrypted for enhanced security, integrated development support for JSON and R language, and Mobile Reports for making business intelligence (BI) insights available anywhere on any device.
Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified SQL Server consultants have worked extensively with all versions of SQL Server since its inception and can help you assess the benefits of migrating to SQL Server 2016 from previous releases of SQL Server, including legacy versions no longer supported by Microsoft, or from other database systems. Progent offers the talents of a Microsoft Certified Solution Master: Data Platform and Microsoft Certified Trainer for SQL Server and can help you transfer data and applications to SQL Server 2016, enhance your network architecture for on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid deployments, develop or debug application software, provide DBA services, enhance and verify security and compliance, and train individuals or teams to manage and use your SQL Server 2016 ecosystem productively.
Progent also offers Wi-Fi consulting and mobile integration services and can help you build a secure BYOD environment for SQL Server 2016 by offering services such as Apple iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet management, and RIM BlackBerry consulting.
SQL Server 2016 supports mobile business intelligence (BI) with SSRS and Power BI
Progent offers on-premises and online consulting and troubleshooting services to organizations of all sizes for creating a robust and secure SQL Server 2016 solution. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can also assist you to integrate SQL Server 2016 with all other key platforms from Microsoft such as Windows Server, Hyper-V, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business or Lync, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP, and System Center Operations Manager.
Progent's experienced application developers can help you design, build, test, deploy and debug applications powered by SQL Server 2016 and offer expertise in data modeling, OLTP, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, ETL, performance tuning, backup and disaster recovery, business analytics (BI) and reporting, and integration with Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS). To learn more about Progent's SQL Server application development and troubleshooting services, refer to SQL Server software development and DBA services.
Editions of SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 is available in a range of editions that vary considerably in cost and capability. Progent can assist you to decide which versions of SQL Server makes sense for your applications and Progent can help you understand SQL Server 2016 licensing options.
SQL Server 2016 Express is free and is designed for desktop and light server applications. Versions of SQL Server Express include SQL Server 2016 Express with Tools, which includes SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and SQL Server 2016 Express with Advanced Services, which includes Basic R integration.
SQL Server 2016 Standard is designed to provide data management and business intelligence capabilities for small business and departmental environments and can support on-premises or cloud deployments. Added features include delayed durability, row-level security, dynamic data masking, analysis services, basic data mining support, and backup encryption. The value-priced SQL Server 2016 Web edition is designed for hosting web sites and provides less scale and fewer features than the Standard edition.
SQL Server 2016 Enterprise is intended for line-of-business applications and offers world-class scale and performance with unlimited virtualization. Availability features include online page and file restore, online indexing, and online schema change. Scalability and performance features include real-time operational analytics, In-Memory Column Store, table and index partitioning, data compression, Partition Table Parallelism, and In Memory OLTP. SQL Server 2016 Developer edition is free and has all the features of the Enterprise edition but is not licensed for production use.
For a more detailed description of the different editions of SQL Server 2016, see SQL Server 2016 editions and licensing consulting.
New and Enhanced Features of SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 offers an abundance of new features and enhancements associated with the Database Engine, SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Master Data Services (MDS).
The Database Engine, which is responsible for secure data storage and processing, is used to create and manage databases for OLTP or online analytical processing. New or improved features to the SQL Server 2016 Database Engine include:
- Columnstore Indexes
- Database Scoped Configurations
- In-Memory OLTP
- Query Optimizer
- Live Query Statistics
- Query Store
- Temporal Tables
- Striped Backups to Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
- File-Snapshot Backups to Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
- Managed Backup
- TempDB Database
- Built-in JSON Support
- Stretch Database
- Support for UTF-8
- New Default Database Size and Autogrow Values
PolyBase is a headline enhancement in SQL Server 2016. PolyBase allows users to query non-relational data in Hardoop, Microsoft Azure Storage blobs and files and join the results with existing relational databases in SQL Server 2016. PolyBase allows users to run analytics and BI on data residing on premises or in the cloud, enabling powerful hybrid scenarios. (Learn about Progent's Microsoft Azure planning and cloud integration consulting services.)
PolyBase lets you query relational and non-relational data on premises and in the cloud
For more information about the new and enhanced features of the SQL Server 2016 Database Engine, refer to SQL Server 2016 Database Engine consulting.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) 2016
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) 2016 provides the analytical data visualization tools for business reports and client applications like Power BI, Excel and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). New or improved areas of SSAS 2016 include:
For details about improvements in SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services, go to SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services (SSAS) consulting.
- Tabular 1200 Models
- Instance Management
- Data Analysis Expressions (DAX)
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) 2016
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) 2016 helps you to create enterprise-class data integration and workflow applications such as ETL (extraction, transformation, and load) packages for data warehousing. SSIS 2016 introduces new and enhanced features that simplify management, expand connectivity, and improve usability. Improved areas include:
To learn more about improvements in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) 2016, visit SQL Server 2016 Integration Services (SSIS) consulting.
- Always On in the SSIS Catalog
- Incremental Package Deployment
- ATOM and JSON data formats for OData V3 protocol
- Explicit support for Excel 2013 data sources
- Hadoop file system (HDFS) support
- Azure Feature Pack
- Connectors for SAP BW, Oracle and Teradata
- TMSL commands
- R language support
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2016
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2016 allow you to build, publish, manage and access reports. Depending on your deployment topology, administrators and users can interact with an SSRS 2016 report server via the Reporting Services Web service, WMI provider, URL access, or scripts. SSRS 2016 provides important enhancements in areas that include:
- Reporting Services web portal
- Mobile Reports and Mobile Report Publisher
- Support of SharePoint mode and SharePoint 2016
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Support
- Report improvements
- Subscription Improvements
- SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
- Report Builder improvements
Mobile Reports is another headline innovation in SQL Server 2016. The new Mobile Report Publisher allows you to build reports that dynamically adjust the layout of content to fit different screen sizes and that also adjust automatically to screen rotation. This makes it easy to create reports that display equally well on desktops, notebooks, smartphones and tablets.
The Mobile Reports feature provides dynamic screen formatting for mobile devices
For a fuller description of the improvements in SSRS 2016, see SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services (SSRS) consulting.
Master Data Services (MDS)
SQL Server 2016 Master Data Services (MDS) allows model administrators to create and manage models, entities, attributes and attribute groups, explicit and derived hierarchies, business rules and metadata, to deploy models, and to perform other master data management (MDM) functions to simplify data integration. Microsoft SQL Server 2016 offers a wealth of new and improved features that enhance MDS performance, scale, security and manageability. Enhanced areas include:
For more details about enhancements to SQL 2016 Master Data Services, refer to SQL Server 2016 Master Data Services (MDS) consulting.
- Granular Security
- Microsoft Excel Add-in Performance
- Transaction Log Maintenance
- Tracing Log for Troubleshooting
- Business Rule Management
- Derived Hierarchy
- Attribute Filters
- Entity and Member Revision History
- Change Management
- Tools and Samples
How Progent Can Help You with SQL Server 2016
Progent's consultants offer online and onsite consulting services to help you plan, deploy and maintain your SQL Server 2016 ecosystem. Progent can help you assess the benefits and risks of migrating to SQL Server 2016 and can help you determine a deployment strategy for an on-premises, cloud, or hybrid solution. Progent can assist you to migrate your data and applications, configure test systems to confirm SQL Server 2016's support for your key workloads, streamline management, define and validate a comprehensive security plan that meets industry and government standards, integrate handheld devices to enable BYOD computing, and develop a disaster recovery plan that utilizes the advanced high-availability mechanisms incorporated into SQL Server 2016. Progent can also help you design, program and debug applications based on SQL Server 2016.
Consulting services available from Progent for SQL Server 2016 include:
- Project Management: Progent offers project management outsourcing and co-sourcing to assist your organization to follow leading practices to keep your Server 2016 initiative on schedule and within budget. Project can help with any facet of project management by providing services that include preparedness assessment, needs evaluation, system architecture design, rollout strategy, pilot testing, integration, performance tuning, comprehensive documentation, training, and ongoing online and/or onsite support.
- Database Migration Services: Progent's DBA consultants offer support for all current and legacy versions of SQL Server and can also provide Oracle consulting services, MySQL application development and debugging, and Microsoft Access programming and training. Progent's experience in relational database solutions can help you save time and money in your SQL Server 2016 migration project.
- Integrating SQL Server 2016 with Other Microsoft Products: Microsoft's extensive family of servers and business applications rely on SQL Server as their data engine. Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified consultants can help you integrate SQL Server 2016 with your other Microsoft products by providing services such as Microsoft Windows 2016 Hyper-V hybrid cloud solutions, Windows Server 2012 R2 integration, SharePoint Server 2013 development, Office Excel and Power BI reporting expertise, Exchange Server 2016 integration, Active Directory design and configuration, and Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM development and support.
- Reporting and Business Analytics: Progent's Business Intelligence (BI) reporting consultants can help you use Microsoft's BI stack including SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2016 to build, publish, and maintain business intelligence reports that can be accessed anywhere from any device. Progent can help you develop PowerPivot models and use SQL Server Analysis Services 2016 for tabular databases. Progent can also help you work with popular reporting tools like Crystal Reports, FRx, and Report Writer and integrate them with SQL Server 2016.
- Network Infrastructure Consulting: Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network infrastructure consultants can help you deploy, maintain, tune and secure a high-availability network architecture to support your SQL Server 2016 solution for any deployment model including onsite, cloud or hybrid.
- Security and Compliance: Progent's security consultants have been awarded advanced certifications including CISA, CISM, CISSP, and GIAC. Progent offers organizations of any size a variety of security evaluation and mitigation services to protect against threats and to validate compliance with government regulations and industry standards.
- Virtualization Expertise: Cost vs. performance issues are key in determining which SQL Server-based applications should be virtualized, just as they are major factors in determining which applications should be run on-premises rather than in the cloud. Progent can help you plan and implement a sensible virtualization strategy for SQL Server 2016 and can provide the expertise of certified Windows Hyper-V consultants, VMware vSphere and vCloud specialists, VMware NSX virtual network consultants, and Citrix XenServer experts to help you carry out your virtualization plan.
- SCOM Support: Progent's System Center 2016 Operations Manager (SCOM 2016) consulting experts can assist you to configure the SCOM Management Pack for SQL Server 2016 so you can monitor and enhance the performance of your SQL Server 2016 environment from a centralized portal that spans local and cloud deployments and proactively warns you about potential problems that could impact system availability.
- Disaster Recovery Preparedness: Progent's disaster preparedness consultants can help you create and test a disaster recovery plan that utilizes SQL Server 2016's advanced mechanisms for high-availability and recoverability in order to maximize uptime for business-critical applications. Progent's business continuity consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive strategy to keep your business functioning in case of a catastrophic event, defining operational logistics in additional to addressing IT issues. For enterprises environments, Progent offers the support of a VCDX certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consultant and VMware NSX network virtualization expert to help plan, configure and manage a secure, world-class disaster recovery/application mobility solution for private cloud and hybrid-cloud deployments.
- Online Consulting and Troubleshooting: Progent has more than 15 years of experience providing advanced consulting, development and troubleshooting support online. Remote consulting saves time, cuts costs, and improves productivity. Progent has provided online help to business of all sizes in every state in the U.S. (See Progent's customer testimonials.) Progent also offers on-premises support in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and in the Toronto area of Canada.
Contact Progent for SQL Server 2016 Consulting and Development Services
To find how Progent can help your organization with SQL Server 2016 integration, troubleshooting or development, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
If you need immediate online help from a Microsoft-certified consultant, see Progent's Online Network Support.
Learn more about Progent's Consulting Services for Microsoft .NET Server Platforms.