SQL Server 2016 : CTP 2.1 is here!

Aaron Bertrand

Published On: June 24, 2015

Categories: SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2

Last month, the SQL Server team delivered CTP 2.0. This was the first CTP release of SQL Server v.Next to be made available to the general public.

Now, CTP 2.1 is available to the public as well (the build number is 13.0.300.44). This is another first: in previous beta cycles, only major milestones were released publicly, but I get the feeling we're in for a much more regular cycle of updates going forward.

A couple of things to note with CTP 2.1:

  • There is a new DMV, sys.dm_exec_function_stats, for tracking performance metrics of scalar UDFs.
    I blogged about this today.
  • Trace flags 209 and 219 are no longer necessary to use Dynamic Data Masking (these trace flags were necessary in CTP 2.0).
  • A few features are now officially supported: Stretch Database, Query Store, and Temporal. There have also been performance improvements for ColumnStore. For more details, see this blog post.
  • There weren't a whole lot of other changes to the core engine between 2.0 and 2.1 except for the addition of a few columns to add additional support for temporal.
  • Management Studio has a whole bunch of changes (see this post for more details), including:
    • A new release model, independent of the SQL Server product (you might suspect that this is so that SSMS can stay on pace with updates to Azure SQL Database). You may also notice that they've made Management Studio somewhat easier to find, providing both the new 2016 version as well as previous releases (2012 SP2 and 2014 SP1).
    • A functional "Check for updates" menu item (and taskbar notifier):
      SSMS Update Available
      SSMS Check for Updates
    • A new, lightweight web installer, which only downloads the components you actually need. You can download this separate installer here. Note: do not try and install this if you are running an earlier CTP (though it should work fine if you don't have any 2016 products installed):
      SSMS Setup Error
    • A new option to avoid prompting for saving unsaved files, which should make Erland Sommarskog very happy (see Connect #308372, which replaced Connect #124686, which was deleted for some reason).
    • Much greater support for connecting to and managing Azure SQL Database v12 (all the way through to the import/export wizards).
  • CTP 2.1 documentation is available here.
  • Download CTP 2.1 here.
  • Download the June 2015 release of Management Studio here.

Aaron (@AaronBertrand) is a Data Platform MVP with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. He is editor-in-chief of the performance-related blog, SQLPerformance.com. Aaron's blog focuses on T-SQL bad habits and best practices, as well as coverage of updates and new features in Plan Explorer, SentryOne, and SQL Server.