Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Summary: New preview brings in-memory OLTP engine closer to public release.

TOPICS: Data Management
SQL Server Thumb

At the opening keynote for this week's PASS Summit, Microsoft Corporate VP Quentin Clark announced the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of SQL Server 2014, the upcoming version of the company's flagship relational database management system.

SQL Server 2014's headline new feature is its addition of the in-memory OLTP engine, formerly code-named "Hekaton."  This engine allows for in-memory optimized tables within a conventional relational database.  Furthermore, stored procedures that operate on memory-optimized tables, though written in Transact SQL, are in fact compiled to native machine code.  The combination of in-memory data manipulation and native code execution makes for highly accelerated operations with certain workloads, and certain types of queries.

Another feature of SQL Server 2014 is the addition of updatable columnstore indexes to the product.  Don't let the name "index" fool you -- this feature lets SQL Server Enterprise function as a full-fledged column store database while continuing to operate as the conventional row store database it has always been.  While columnstore indexes were introduced in SQL Server 2012, they were not updatable, making it tricky to keep data warehouses tables using these indexes updated.  With SQL Server 2014, that significant shortcoming is eliminated.

Make no mistake, with these two features, Microsoft is pushing a "one-stop-shop" approach to database management.  SAP and other vendors offer separate, specialized products for in-memory operation, and may require the purchase of high-end appliances to take advantage of column store technology.  Microsoft's take is that these capabilities can be offered in situ, in its flagship relational database.

With that in mind, Microsoft is also bringing interesting hybrid cloud capabilities to the SQL Server platform.  Today the company is announcing the availability of compressed, encrypted backups of on-premise SQL Server databases to Windows Azure cloud storage for SQL Server 2005 and later.  This should help companies maintain data privacy while also utilizing a backup regime that is based on off-site, replicated storage.

The download of SQL Server 2014 CTP 2 and a SQL Server blog post (published by Quentin Clark) with more information on the release should both be live by the time you read this.


Topic: Data Management

Andrew Brust

About Andrew Brust

Andrew J. Brust has worked in the software industry for 25 years as a developer, consultant, entrepreneur and CTO, specializing in application development, databases and business intelligence technology.

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  • years behind FOSS offerings

    it took years for M$ just to steal FOSS innovations.
    LlNUX Geek
    • M$?

      Hm... I remember that insult.

      People were using it, what... 12 years ago?

      I don't mind people hating companies, but do you really have to invade EVERY Microsoft article just to post your rubbish?

      If you're really that happy with Linux, why don't you try saying something good about it, instead of putting down its competition?

      Instead of polluting ZD|Net, how about you say something constructive for once?

      This is a forum, not a diary. If you want to cry, then cry to your cat.
    • Linux Geek or Linux troll?

      Give it a rest nut case.
  • My question is

    Why does there need to be a separate in-memory DBMS?

    Surely suppliers like Microsoft should simply change the optimizer of their existing standard product to do more in memory?

    I am not clear how this additional logical complexity benefits the customer in any way whatsoever.

    I hear Hekaton has even less adequate support for constraints than standard SQL DBMSs. This is not good.

    However, on the plus side it is good to see that the modern approach to data management (relational) is prevailing against traditional hierarchical (MongoDB, 1960s vintage IBM IMS, Pick) and key value pair (Hadoop, 1970s vintage minicomputers) approaches.
  • This is the only one good Microsoft product update in years.

    Nice to see that SQL Server 2014 UI, colors, icons, etc. is not affected by the ugly and unuseable Windows 8, Visual Studio 2013 or Metro UI design.

    Its the only Microsoft software in years that really updates with new and interesting features.

    Windows 8.x, Windows Server 2012 R2, Office 2013, Visual Studio 2012,2013, Exchange Server 2013 removed interesting and critical features and are affected by the ugly and unuseable Windows 8, Visual Studio 2013 or Metro UI design.