With much fanfare, SQL 2016 SP1 was released! (Please read these release notes in depth before testing and deploying!)
The original blog post talks about PROGRAMMABILITY features and post RTM+CU2 enhancements added in.
“SQL Server 2016 SP1 also includes all the fixes up to SQL Server 2016 RTM CU3 including Security Update MS16–136.”
So if you are coding up a new application, and only need SQL Express, you can use columnstore indexes, or in-memory tables, or Always-Encrypted!
So why would anyone need SQL Enterprise with all these features in SQL Standard?
The following is my own notes gathered around the edition differentiation:
SQL Enterprise allows for the following:
Online database access 24×7:
Index rebuilds – Tables are accessible during table and index maintenance
Schema Changes – tables online while adding columns or other structure
File, page, or piecemeal restore is online by default – tables online while restoring corrupt pages, files, etc.
Disaster Recovery Scenarios: AlwaysOn Availability Groups with Local HA and remote Asynchronous copy
Scalability Scenarios: AlwaysOn Availability Groups with Readable or multiple secondary copies, and offloading backups to secondary
Larger datasets for in-memory or columnstore data
Better throughput optimizations for data warehousing and high-throughput OLTP
More than 24 cores needed
More than 128 gigs of RAM needed
Resource Governor (Control those difficult queries or applications via IO, CPU, or Memory, MAXDOP etc)
Standard and Enterprise post SP1 of SQL 2016 can use the following now:
Polybase to access Hadoop and other sources
Always-Encrypted data from client to server
Here is the full reference feature-by-feature for each edition of SQL 2016 SP1:
Datasheet (shiny!) for SQL 2016 SP1 editions