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5 New SQL Server Features That Increase Operational Efficiency

If you keep up with the latest in technological advances, you have probably already heard about Microsoft's announcement to create SQL Server for Linux. Sure, this is a huge announcement, but now what? We're going to go through some of the top features of SQL Server and see how you can use them to increase operational efficiency.

Operational Efficiency | SQL Server | Big Data

Always encrypted

Has your company ever had a data breach? If not, you have been lucky. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 781 data breaches in the United States in 2015. SQL Server includes the Always Encrypted feature which makes sure that your SQL Server data will be just that, always encrypted. It not only protects your SQL Server reporting service while it's in motion (during transactions and queries), it keeps it encrypted when it is at rest (stored) as well. This keeps it safe from anyone who might have wandering eyes.


If you have been in business for any amount of time, you would probably agree that Big Data is key. You also know how valuable Hadoop is in storing and processing huge amounts of data. Now that Polybase is integrated into SQL Server, you don't have to go elsewhere to find some type of analytical tool to bridge the gap between Hadoop and Big Data. This inclusion of Polybase allows users to run SQL queries over data they stored on the Hadoop server. The benefit here is that you don't have to use up all of your storage with Big Data anymore, and it isn't a pain to access your data.

Row-Level Security 

When Microsoft added Row-Level Security to SQL Server, they caught up with databases that have had this feature for awhile. Row-Level Security gives the ability to control who has access to row data. If someone runs a query that includes restricted data, that user won't even know there was anything filtered. This is another layer of security added by Microsoft.

JSON support

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) support is another big feature for SQL Server. It gives SQL Server the ability to dissect data formatted with JSON so it can be stored in a relation format. You can also take relational data and transform it into JSON formatted data. This will allow SQL Server the ability to more quickly move JSON data into and out of tables.

Stretch database

Microsoft was trying to alleviate storage pains when they added Stretch Database to SQL Server. When you are storing Big Data, you need big storage. On top of a lot of storage, you want data to be able to move in and out of it quickly. Stretch Database, broken down to its basics, takes some pieces of your databases and stores them in an Azure SQL database on the cloud, so it frees up your local storage. The beauty is that when you run a query, it knows whether the data your are accessing is in the cloud or in your local storage, and it processes it in its respective locations. This means a faster retrieval time for queries.

These are just five of the top features offered by SQL Server 2015. Designed with Big Data in mind, it will definitely help your business take advantage of all Big Data has to offer in order to help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. When your data is not only secure but easy to access, you can do more and do it better than your competition.

Are you using SQL Server in your organization now? If not, are these top 5 features something you are looking for? Ask me a question or leave a comment below, I can't wait to hear your thoughts. 

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