So, what's the TL:DR? Big news from Microsoft Connect! SQL Server 2016 SP1 means Developers and partners can now build to a single application programming surface to create or upgrade new intelligent applications and use the edition which scales to the application’s needs. For Developers and ISVs, it's exciting to have more tools for the toolbox.
What problem are Microsoft trying to solve?
Previously, the issue with developing applications for SQL Server is that there is a disparity across editions, which can affect how your application runs. Until now, developers have used the SQL Server development version as it will allows them to develop with features that are available on all of the production versions. You can read more detail over at my technical blog at jenstirrup.com
Now, the problem is solved - developers can take advantage of the new SQL Server 2016 SP1 programmability feature by using the same code base, and things are simpler because the customer chooses which edition they use, and it will scale accordingly.
How can you get it?
I believe that this will be a primary driver for the uptake SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1, which will be available on Windows Update. Yes, it will be that simple, people!
Why are Microsoft doing this?
It's a huge benefit for ISVs. It's my opinion that Microsoft had lost the way with their partners. Customers started to look sideways at other vendors to fulfil their needs, such as Tableau. In response, partners expanded their toolkit in order to include crème de la crème vendors such as Tableau in order to build solutions. I think that this move is a gesture to the ISVs, since it will remove friction when they choose to develop solutions.
Being better than Open Source - you get what you pay for. With the advent of open source, developers have gotmore choice than ever before. Postgres doesn't have in-memory capability, for example - it has "running with scissors" mode whereby you switch off all the disk storage features. Sound scary? Yes… the clue is in the name. If you want to have this sort of thing running in production in your organisation.... good luck with that.
Increased productivity - it removes an obstacle to development, support and deployment.
The Prodigal Developers Return
This solution means that Microsoft SQL Server is back on the table for many developers, who may have started eyeing MySQL and Postgres for this reason.
To summarise, I think that this is a smart move and I'm excited to see that the 'voice of the developer' has come back into SQL Server Land. It's also a huge benefit for ISV partners, and let's see how they democratize their data in new and exciting applications. Let's look for more exciting things coming from Microsoft.