In the Business Intelligence and reporting space, SQL Server 2016 was a big step forward. Aside from significant relational engine improvements, Analysis Services Tabular matured considerably. Components of Reporting Services were completely re-architected and several new features were added, which include modern HTML5 rendering for all browsers, the new web portal, mobile reports, KPIs, Power BI integration, native browser printing, parameter layout control and PowerPoint export. With new features, there are always loose ends to tie up – and that’s what service packs are for. I am aware of a few enhancements in SP1 to the Reporting Services web portal, and general improvements to the SSRS platform.
As of today, SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 is generally available for all product editions. The service pack can be downloaded from here. For the official announcement, read this post on the SQL Server Blog from Microsoft. From the announcement…
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.