This Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 10am, EST, MIcrosoft will host Data Driven, a live virtual conference. This is slated to be the launch event for SQL Server 2016, though there has been no information released about whether this is also when the platform will RTM. To date we have had a number of CTPs (CTP 3.3 is the latest), but no Release Candidates (RC) (as of the time of this writing), which we usually see before the final product is released.
However the CTP has been running well for me. The areas I’ve been testing and looking at seem to work well and I’m rather excited about this version of SQL Server. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a new version this much since 2008. The in between versions have been somewhat meh, without a substantial number of changes. SQL Server 2012 was better than the R2 and 2014 releases, but still, a limited number of changes.
However SQL Server 2016 really feels like Microsoft has refocused on the platform, made substantial engineering investments, and is really changing the capabilities of the product. From the Query Store to Always Encrypted to the Stretch Database, we’ve got quite a list of thing to learn about SQL Server 2016. I know I’ve been working through some of these areas and each time it seems I’ve caught up with the changes, there are more items to learn.
This event is scheduled for two hours on Thursday, so it’s not an all day commitment. I’m sure many of you aren’t looking to upgrade to SQL Server 2016 right away, but this is a chance to learn a bit about what you may look forward to in the future, as well as an opportunity to get excited about the new Data Platform changes from Microsoft. Satya Nadella, the CEO will speak, as well as other executives, and I’m sure, a number of demos. So consider scheduling a meeting for yourself this Thursday and getting excited about the future of data on the Microsoft platform.