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SQL Server Blog

From Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director, Data Platform

In the SQL Server CTP 2 blog, T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, CVP of SQL Server engineering, discussed bringing cloud first innovations to SQL Server 2016. This includes a rapid preview model that exists in Microsoft Azure today.  With the release of SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.1, for the first time customers can experience the rapid preview model for their on-premises SQL Server 2016 development and test environments.  This born in the cloud model means customers don’t have to wait for traditional CTPs that are released after several months for the latest updates from Microsoft engineering, and can gain a faster time to production.  The frequent updates are also engineered to be of the same quality as traditional major CTPs, so customers don’t have to be concerned about build quality.  In addition, customers have the flexibility to choose which CTP they will deploy for the development and test environment and are not forced to upgrade to the most recent preview release. 

In SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.1, available for download today, customers will see improvements to the Stretch Database technology released in CTP 2, along with improvements to the Query Store, Temporal Database and in-memory columnstore.  To learn more about the specific improvements for each feature please view the SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview 2.1 blog.

In addition to the new CTP model, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is now being offered as a stand-alone install outside of the SQL Server release.  This means Azure SQL database customers can use SSMS for the new features being released in cloud as well as their on-premises SQL Server.  SSMS as a standalone tool will also follow the rapid preview model with frequent updates to keep pace with the new features being released in Azure SQL Database.  You can download the first Preview release of the standalone SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) June 2015 Preview, here. To learn more about the features included please take a look at SQL Server Management Studio June 2015 Release Blog.

Download SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.1 preview today!

As the foundation of our end-to-end data platform, with this release we continue to make it easier for customers to maximize their data dividends. With SQL Server 2016 you can capture, transform, and analyze any data, of any size, at any scale, in its native format —using the tools, languages and frameworks you know and want in a trusted environment on-premises and in the cloud.

To learn more about the release, visit the SQL Server 2016 preview page.  To experience the new, exciting features in SQL Server 2016 and the new rapid release model in place download the preview or trial the preview using a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure and start evaluating the impact these new innovations can have for your business.  Also, be sure to share your feedback on the new SQL Server 2016 capabilities using Microsoft’s Connect tool.  We look forward to hearing from you!