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SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 generally available

This post was authored by Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director of Data Platform Marketing

Microsoft is pleased to announce the availability of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 (SP1). With SQL Server 2016 SP1, we are making key innovations more accessible to developers and organizations across all SQL Server editions, so it will be easier than ever to build advanced applications that scale across editions as your business needs grow. Developers and application partners can now build to a common programming surface across all editions when creating or upgrading intelligent applications and use the edition which scales to the application’s needs.

With SQL Server 2016 SP1, we want to make it easier than ever for developers and partners to build and upgrade applications that take advantage of advanced performance, security, and data mart capabilities.  SQL Server 2016 with Service Pack 1 also offers the most consistent platform from on-premises to cloud with industry leading TCO for applications of all sizes.  Standard edition sets the bar for rich programming capabilities, security innovations, and fast performance for mid-tier applications and data marts. You can also easily upgrade to Enterprise edition for mission critical capabilities as your workload scales, without having to re-write your app. Enterprise edition continues to deliver the highest levels of mission critical scalability, availability, and performance as well as maximum virtualization through licensing rights that come with software assurance.


The capabilities in SQL Server 2016 SP1 which are now being make available to Standard edition and Express edition for the first time include:

  • Faster transaction performance from In-memory OLTP, faster query performance from In-memory ColumnStore, and the ability to combine the two for real-time Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing, also known as Operational Analytics;
  • Data warehousing or data mart performance features such as partitioning, compression, change data capture, database snapshot, and the ability to query across structured and unstructured data with a single node of PolyBase; and
  • The innovative security feature Always Encrypted for encryption at rest and in motion, as well as fine-grained auditing which captures more detailed audit information for your compliance reporting needs. In addition, row-level security and dynamic data masking are being made available to Express edition for the first time.

This is also exciting for customers and partners who are currently using older versions of SQL Server Standard edition, and now have more great reasons to modernize or upgrade their applications and take advantage of the new features in SQL Server 2016.

We encourage SQL Server 2016 customers to start taking advantage of the great capabilities in Service Pack 1 today. In addition to the features newly available to your application, Service Pack 1 also contains fixes released in Cumulative Updates (CUs) 1, 2 and 3 and the supportability and diagnostics improvements first introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2. All SQL Server 2016 customers can download Service Pack 1 from the Microsoft Download Center.

If you haven’t moved to SQL Server 2016 yet, but are ready to start evaluating all the great features now available, you can create an Azure VM with SQL Server 2016 SP1. For additional details about the capabilities of SQL Server 2016, read more at www.microsoft.com/sql or for more information on editions, learn more See how the capabilities of SQL Server Stack up at our feature and editions comparison page. To hear more about opportunities that SQL Server 2016 SP1 create for your organization, you can reach out for additional information at this SQL Server Standard edition page.