This post was authored by Jos de Bruijn, Senior Program Manager, SQL Server.
A release the magnitude of SQL Server 2016 deserves a new sample. AdventureWorks, which has been around since the SQL Server 2005 days, has had a good run, but it is time for an upgrade.
Wide World Importers is the new sample for SQL Server. It illustrates how the rich SQL Server feature set can be used in a realistic database. It does not attempt to use every single SQL Server feature, as that would not be realistic. It also showcases the key SQL Server 2016 capabilities and performance enhancements.
Latest release of the sample: wide-world-importers-release
Documentation for the sample: wide-world-importers-documentation
The sample is structured as follows:
WideWorldImporters is the main database for transaction processing (OLTP – OnLine Transaction Processing) and operational analytics (HTAP – Hybrid Transactional/Analytics Processing). Here are some examples of the use of SQL Server capabilities with this database:
- Real-time operational analytics of sales data is enabled through the use of nonclustered columnstore indexes.
- Archive tables can be stretched to Azure for long-term retention, reducing storage cost and improving manageability.
- Query Store is used to keep track of query performance.
- Temporal tables are used to conveniently keep track of the history of reference data, as well as some of the main entities.
- JSON is used to enable AJAX calls to some of the key tables, and also to extend the relational schema to record such things as application settings and user preferences.
- Advanced security features like Always Encrypted, Row-Level Security and Dynamic Data Masking are used to secure data.
- In-Memory OLTP is used to optimize the performance of table-valued parameters (TVPs) and to optimize ingestion of sensor data.
- Clustered columnstore indexes are used to reduce the storage footprint of large tables with insert-only workload.
- Partitioning is used to improve the manageability of large tables.
- For more detail, see WideWorldImporters use of SQL Server features and capabilities.
WideWorldImportersDW is the main database for data warehousing and analytics (OLAP – OnLine Analytics Processing). The data in this database is derived from the transactional database WideWorldImporters, but it uses a schema that is specifically optimized for analytics. Here are some examples of the use of SQL Server capabilities with this database:
- Clustered columnstore indexes are used to reduce the storage footprint and improve query performance for the fact tables.
- PolyBase is used to correlate data in the local database with a public data set in Azure Blog storage.
- In-Memory OLTP is used to improve the performance of the ETL process.
- Partitioning is used to improve manageability of the fact tables, which can grow very large in a data warehouse.
- For more detail, see WideWorldImportersDW use of SQL Server features and capabilities.
- A SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package, Daily ETL.ispac, is used to move data from the OLTP database WideWorldImporters to the OLAP database WideWorldImportersDW. The package is designed to use bulk T-SQL statements wherever possible to enhance performance. For details about the ETL workflow, see the WideWorldImportersDW ETL workflow.
The sample also includes a number of scripts that can be used to explore some of the features used in the sample database. In addition, the sample includes two workload drivers, which are small applications that simulate a workload running against the database.
The databases contain sample sales and purchases data starting January 1st, 2013, until May 31st, 2016. The sample includes procedures to generate more sample data, so you can always bring the sample up to the current date. For details, see WideWorldImporters data generation.
The data size is limited to keep the download size reasonable. If you desire a sample database with a larger data size, use the source scripts to create a new sample database, and tweak the parameters in step 6 to increase the data size.
- Download and install a free trial of SQL Server 2016 or configure a test environment using an Azure SQL VM.
- The Developer Edition is free if you sign up for the free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program.
- Download the sample and review the sample documentation.
Send any feedback on the sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org.