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Microsoft is pleased to announce that the Analytics Platform System (APS) appliance update 7 (AU7) is now generally available. APS is Microsoft’s scale-out Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) system based on SQL Server for data warehouse specific workloads on-premises.

Customers will get significantly improved query performance and enhanced security features with this release. APS AU7 builds on appliance update 6 (APS 2016) release as a foundation. Upgrading to APS appliance update 6 is a prerequisite to upgrade to appliance update 7.

Faster performance

APS AU7 now provides the ability to automatically create statistics and update of existing outdated statistics for improved query optimization. APS AU7 also adds support for setting multiple variables from a single select statement reducing the number of redundant round trips to the server and improving overall query and ETL performance time. Other T-SQL features include HASH and ORDER GROUP query hints to provide more control over improving query execution plans.

Better security

APS AU7 also includes latest firmware and drivers along with the hardware and software patch to address the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability from our hardware partners.

Management enhancements

Customers already on APS2016 will experience an enhanced upgrade process to APS AU7 allowing a shorter maintenance window with the ability to uninstall and rollback to a previous version.
AU7 also introduces a section called Feature Switch in configuration manager giving customers the ability to customize the behavior of new features.

Flexibility of choice with Microsoft’s data warehouse portfolio

The latest update is an addition to already existing data warehouse portfolio from Microsoft, covering a range of technology and deployment options that help customers get to insights faster. Customers exploring data warehouse products can also consider SQL Server with Fast Track for Data Warehouse or Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a cloud-based fully managed service.

Next Steps

For more details about these features, please visit our online documentation.