Get a head start on SQL Server 2016 with this how-to guide

For the past several months we’ve been talking about the advances in SQL Server 2016. Now, at last, the wait is over. SQL Server 2016 is now generally available and brings with it a feature set designed for the modern-day enterprise, in which data can be located in a variety of locations, both on-premises and in the cloud.

To get a taste of the most advanced version of SQL Server yet, download a free trial version of SQL Server 2016. And to help you get the most out of this release, download the SQL Server 2016 e-book, for which we enlisted the help of some of the industry’s leading experts and SQL Server community MVPs:

  • Stacia Varga is a consultant and trainer with more than 30 years’ experience helping companies generate business data that leads to improve business processes and better decisions. Stacia has also been a frequent presenter at Microsoft events, including PASS and DevConnections.
  • Denny Cherry is a seasoned designer and administrator of SQL Server solutions. In addition to having a deep and wide knowledge of SQL Server products and services, Denny has extensive experience with hardware, based on nearly 20 years’ experience as a consultant and DBA.
  • Joseph D’Antoni is a specialist in the design and architecture of database, infrastructure, storage, hybrid cloud, and disaster recovery solutions. During his 15 years’ of IT experience, Joseph has worked on a variety of platforms, including SQL Server, Oracle, Hadoop and others.

Stacia, Denny and Joseph joined forces to write “Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2016,” a practical guide to developing mission-critical apps and hyperscale BI solutions, which lead to deeper business insights. You’ll find in-depth discussions on virtually every facet of SQL Server 2016:

Chapter one: Faster queries

Get up to speed on how to perform real-time transactions and ultra-fast analytics using new features like in-memory transaction processing and in-memory updateable column stores.

Chapter two: Better security

Explore three new principal security features in SQL Server 2016—Always Encrypted, Row-Level Security and Dynamic Data Masking, and learn how to use each one of these features to its fullest potential.

Chapter three: Higher availability

Learn how to deploy more robust, highly available data management solutions using the new features in AlwaysOn Availability Group and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster.

Chapter four: Improved database engine

Find out how to optimize query performance, how to take advantage of hybrid cloud architectures, and how to stay in control amidst growing volumes of data.

Chapter five: Broader data access

Discover how SQL Server 2016 can help you manage, maintain, integrate and import data of all types, leading to richer business insights.

Chapter six: More analytics

Learn how to more quickly build secure, advanced analytics solutions, how to create predictive models with R functions, and how to generate better business outcomes by incorporating these models into application and reporting tools.

Chapter seven: Better reporting

Explore the new data visualization and layout options in Reporting Services, and how Mobile BI lets employees easily access business intelligence, whether in the office or on the road.

Chapter eight: Improved Azure SQL Database

Learn more about Microsoft Azure SQL Database and how features such as elastic database pools and rapid development cycles make it a natural complement to your on-premises DB solution.

Chapter nine: Expanding your options with Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Find out how to exponentially increase your data management and analytics capabilities, without the usual overhead.


In addition to the insight you’ll receive from Stacia, Denny and Joseph, the e-book also includes sample code and links to MSDN videos, articles and other resources where you can get additional guidance on tasks such as creating, dropping and altering scalar user-defined functions, or how to set security parameters for a Stretch Database.

To get started, download a free trial of SQL Server 2016 and the SQL Server 2016 e-book, or visit the SQL Server 2016 product page to learn more.

E-book download