Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SQL Server 2016 versus 2014 Business Intelligence Features

Hello, SQL Server 2016
Yesterday, Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2016 on June 1st of this year: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/dataplatforminsider/2016/05/02/get-ready-sql-server-2016-coming-on-june-1st/.  Along with performance benchmarks and a description of the new functionality, came the announcement of editions and features for the next release.

Good-bye, Business Intelligence Edition
The biggest surprise to me was the removal of the Business Intelligence edition that was initially introduced in SQL Server 2012.  Truthfully, it never seemed to fit in the environments where I worked, so I guess it makes sense.  Hopefully, fewer licensing options will make it easier for people to understand their licensing and pick the edition that works best for them.

Feature Comparison
Overall, the business intelligence services features included with each edition for SQL Server 2016 are fairly similar to SQL Server 2014.  Nothing has been "downgraded" from 2014, in that nothing previously included in Standard edition is now only in Enterprise edition.  A few features previously only in Enterprise edition are now included in Standard edition though!  And we gained a lot of new features across all the editions!  Here are the highlights as currently shared:

  • 2014 Enterprise features now in 2016 Standard:
    • Multidimensional DAX queries
    • BI Semantic Model for Tabular (except perspectives and DirectQuery storage modes) is now available in Standard edition
  • New features included in 2016 Enterprise:
    • Report Services mobile reports and KPIs
    • SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher (.rsmobile)
    • Power BI apps for mobile devices (iOS, Windows 10, Android) (.rsmobile)
  • New features included in 2016 Enterprise, Standard, and Express variations:
    • Integration Services Azure data source connectors and tasks and Hadoop / HDFS connectors and tasks
    • Reporting Services Pin report items to Power BI dashboards
Talk to the Licensing Folks
For all licensing question, contact your licensing specialist - they have the best information!  For detailed information to talk to them about, see: