The history of SQL Server – the evolution of SQL Server features February 2, 2018 by Daniel Calbimonte Introduction This article will explain the main features in SQL Server 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2008, 2005, 2000, 7, 6.5, 6.0, 4.2, 1.1 and 1.0. In the past, the first SQL Server versions supported OS/2 (an operative system created by Microsoft and IBM) and Windows. Now, the new versions of SQL Server (vNext and SQL Server 2017) can be installed in Linux. 15 years ago, it was impossible to think that. Linux and Microsoft were just like oil in water and now, Microsoft loves Linux. Also, we now enjoy full integration with Azure, Tabular Databases, SSIS, SSAS and more. In this article, we will talk about all these changes and improvements. Let’s take a look at the features of each version. SQL Server 2017 Year: 2017 I think that the main feature is that now SQL Server can be installed in Linux and Docker, which is huge. There is no universal installer. In fact, the installers for Red Hat, Ubuntu and SUSE are different, but it is a huge step to support Linux. In this version, CLR assemblies can now be added to a white list. SQL Server 2017 includes Python support, as well as … Identity Cache, Graph Database, Resumable Indexes, New string functions, Adaptative Query Processing, Automatic tuning, New dynamic Management views (DMV) like the sys.dm_db_log_stats, sys.dm_tran_version_store_space_usage and sys.dm_db_log_info. SSIS is now supported in Linux. In SSDT, you have now a DAX editor and tabular databases are the default installation. In SSRS, you can run native DAX queries. R Services changed the name to Machine Learning Services and access to Python libraries. For a complete list of changes in SQL Server 2017, refer to this link: What is new in SQL Server 2017 SQL Server 2016 Code Name: Helsinki Year: 2016 In SQL Server 2016, PolyBase support was introduced. With PolyBase, you can query NoSQL data like csv files stored in Azure Blob Storage or in HDInsight. Another interesting feature is JSON support which includes new features to handle JSON data. Stretch database is another feature that allows to archive data in Azure SQL. It is also possible to use temporal tables to save data changes. SQL Server Management Studio is separated from the database engine. It includes its own versions. Always encrypted is introduced as a new feature that allows to increase your security. Dynamic Data Masking helps you to protect sensitive data. Also, you can apply now Row Level Security. SSRS now supports a web Report Portal and a Mobile Report Publisher. SSIS now supports Always On Availability Groups. For a complete list of changes, refer to this link: What’s new in SQL Server 2016 SQL Server 2014 Code Name: Hekaton Year: 2014 The main features in SQL Server 2014 were the integration to Azure and Memory Optimized Tables. You can for example migrate your Database on-premises to a Virtual Machine in Azure. It is possible to migrate a database backup to Azure. Your Data files can be stored in Azure. There are enhancements in AlwaysOn, Columnstore Indexes. You also have Power View reports for multidimensional models. For a complete list of new features, refer to this link: What’s New in SQL Server 2014 SQL Server 2012 Code Name: Denalli Year: 2012 In this new version, the BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) was replaced by SSDT (SQL Server Data Tools). This SQL Server version can be installed in Windows Core Edition, a secure operative system. Business Intelligence edition for SQL Server was introduced; An edition that supports the most important features related to Business intelligence. Another big feature is the AlwasyOn SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances, AlwaysOn Availability Groups. SSMS includes IntelliSense features and a Database Recovery Advisor. FileTable support to handle system files in SQL Server. The semantic search is a feature included in Full text search to search in unstructured documents. Columnstore Indexes is another powerful feature to get faster query responses in tables like Data Warehouse tables. Online index creation is now supported. In Business Intelligence, the support of Tabular Models and the DAX functions was a very significative change. The same the support of Power Pivot. For more information about all the features in SQL Server 2012, refer to this link: What’s New in SQL Server 2012 SQL Server 2008 Code Name: Katmai Year: 2008 In SQL Server 2008, Adventureworks was not included in the Database installer like in SQL Server 2005. Another important difference was the backup compression. It was possible to create customized audits using Auditing. Another important feature was the CDC (Change Data Capture) to track changes in a table. Data Collector was a feature to collect monitoring information in a Data Warehouse. SQL 2008 also offered compressed indexes and tables. In data types, it was introduced the hierarchyid data type and spatial data types. Also, some new date and time data types and User-Defined data types. You can also implement in this version filtered indexes and statistics. Another big feature was the Transparent Data Encryption and some encryption functions like the CRYPT_GEN_RANDOM and KEY_NAME. For more information about SQL Server 2008, refer to this link: What’s New (SQL Server 2008) SQL Server 2005 Code Name: Yukon Year: 2005 This version introduced the SSMS that we use now. The BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) was created in this version. SQL Server included the Adventureworks database in the installer. This version introduced the Service Broker to handle message queue. SSIS was introduced. In the past, it was used the Data Transformation Services with a different technology used which was completely changed. The Reporting Services and Analysis services used a completely new platform. This version introduced the XML enhancements, CLR support, Failover Cluster Enhancements, Database Mirroring, Database Snapshots. For more information about SQL Server 2005, refer to this link: What’s New in SQL Server 2005 SQL Server 2000 Code Name: Shiloh Year: 2000 SQL Server 2000 was an important version where the OLAP Services in SQL 7 was replaced by the Analysis Services. It was also introduced the XML support, User Defined Functions, Indexed Views, Replication enhancements, Log Shipping and more. For more information about SQL Server 2000, you can download the documentation from this link and check the What is new in Microsoft SQL Server 2000: SQL Server 2000 retired documentation SQL Server 7.0 Code Name: Sphinx Year: 1998 This version included tools for query analysis like the Query Analyzer (which was replaced by the SSMS in SQL 2005). It introduced OLAP Services (SSAS now) and Data Transformation Services (SSIS now). This code base was now fully independent from Sybase. Nice wizards to create tables, indexes, stored procedures, replication and schedule backups. It was also introduced SQL Profiler, which is still in the last versions but will be removed soon. For more information about SQL Server 7, refer to these links: What’s New in SQL Server 7.0? SQL Server 6.5 Code Name: Hydra Year: 1996 This version was ANSI Standard Compliant, and it was based on Sybase codebase. SQL Server 6.0 Code Name: SQL95 Year: 1995 In this version, SQL Server was an important database in the market. This version was supported in Windows 95. The main feature in this version was the replication. SQL Server 4.2 Code Name: SQLNT Year: 1993 Yes, there was no version 2 or 3. Why? Some experts think that the Microsoft guys do not know how to count and that is why there was no Windows 9 😊 This version started to support Windows NT. SQL Server 4.2 was supported in Windows NT and OS/2 (an IBM-Microsoft OS). SQL Server 1.1 Code Name: Pietro Year: 1991 This version was available in Windows 3.0 and OS/2. In this version there was no more relationships with Ashton/Tate (the creator of dBASE). SQL Server 1.0 Code Name: Filipi Year: 1989 In this year, Microsoft joined Sybase. They granted permission to access the code and create a new database. Sybase created the code for Microsoft. The also joined Ashton/Tate, the creators of dBASE, to help in the marketing. There are still some stored procedures with the same functionality than Sybase. It was a nice database with networking support. It used the SAF (SQL Server Administrator Facility) to create databases, set parameters and run SQL queries. It had no documentation. See more Consider these free tools for SQL Server that improve database developer productivity. References History of Microsoft SQL Server The History of SQL Server OS/2 EE: The Server Messing with the Microsoft JDBC Driver About Latest Posts Daniel CalbimonteDaniel Calbimonte is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified IT Professional for SQL Server. He is an accomplished SSIS author, teacher at IT Academies and has over 13 years of experience working with different databases. He has worked for the government, oil companies, web sites, magazines and universities around the world. Daniel also regularly speaks at SQL Servers conferences and blogs. He is also a writer for SQL Server training material for certification exams.View all posts by Daniel Calbimonte Latest posts by Daniel Calbimonte (see all) Step by step installation of SQL Server 2017 - May 23, 2018 FAQ and examples about the SQL Server Agent - May 11, 2018 How to simulate the Azure SQL Database storage account behavior using the emulator - April 30, 2018 Related posts: The evolution of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Business Intelligence development The evolution of SQL Server towards Digital Transformation challenges Hybrid Cloud and Hekaton Features in SQL Server 2014 Stretching temporal history tables in SQL Server 2016 SQL Server vNext – Does Microsoft love Linux?