If you work in a corporate environment, the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition offers premium, comprehensive high-end database capabilities such as fast performance, unlimited virtualisation and end-to-end business intelligence.
While Polybase was formerly part of the Microsoft Analytics Platform Service, it has never been a part of Microsoft SQL Server until now. As a transparent access layer that enables the database engine to connect to unstructured external data, Polybase provides developers with the same ability to connect to and query unstructured data that they query data in a traditional data. Polybase also gives developers access to data in Azure blob storage and in Hadoop systems.
In-Memory OLTP (Online Transaction Processing)
In-memory OLTP, which lets online transaction processing be done against database tables that are stored in memory rather on the hard drive (improves I/O throughput), was a new feature in Microsoft SQL Server 2014, but its capabilities have been greatly enhanced in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition.
Larger scalability and improved performance are the keynotes of in-memory OLTP in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition. The recommended size of memory-optimized tables has increased, and multiple log threads and the capability to create multiple query plans to access in-memory tables. You can now also change memory-optimized tables after you’ve created them.
AlwaysOn Availability Groups
AlwaysOn Availability Groups was a new feature in Microsoft SQL Server 2012, This is an alternative to database mirroring that supports disaster recovery and high availability.
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition enhances AlwaysOn Availability Groups with facilitating optimized log transport, initiating failovers when hard drives are failing, creating synchronous replicas, providing support for the Distributed Transaction Coordinator service, and balancing the load across replicated databases.
Stretch Database is a brand-new feature in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition. It is a very nice feature because it gives you not only the capability of using your onsite instances of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition to extend (stretch) your data into your Microsoft Azure SQL database, but also complete and very precise control over how much data you stretch into the cloud. You can choose to extend part of a database table, a whole database table, or the entire database.
SQL Server R Services
R is an open-source programming language designed to create applications that can do very complex analytics. SQL Server R Services now supports the R programming language.
This is a new security feature in Microsoft SQL 2016 Enterprise Edition. Until now, database administrators (DBAs) have had full access to all data, including highly-sensitive data, which poses a huge security risk internally and externally.
Always Encrypted was designed specifically with the functions of DBAs in mind, allowing them to work with encrypted data without decrypting it first. This ensures that your data is encrypted all the time, whether it is being used or not.
Dynamic data masking
Another new security enhancement to Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition is dynamic data masking. This function gives DBAs the ability to, based on user privileges, control how much data can be seen by end users. If a user has basic privileges for accessing and viewing all the data, they will see blanks on their screens where the high-privilege data would be, while users with full access to the data can see everything on their screens.
The SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a free to download and integrated environment which you can use to query, configure, design, and manage your databases and data warehouses in every SQL Server component, wherever they are - on your local computer, or in the cloud.
Make better decisions with the improved business intelligence which helps collect, summarise and analyse raw data straight from your websites or applications.
With SQL Server 2016, you get an excellent product that has everything you need for data-driven purposes. Integrated with Visual Studio and ASP.NET, SQL Server 2016 makes it easy to use and reach your data anytime, anywhere. You can take advantage of the integration of Microsoft Office products as well.