A week late and more than a few dollars short, this blog post is focusing on a few of the features announced for SQL Sever 2014. I’ve watched the Keynote and a few of the videos from the sessions at TechEd North America 2013, and read the whitepapers and datasheets. Information is still limited though, like which versions the features will be added to, so it’s certainly not a deep dive into the features. Nor is it an exhaustive list of the features; moreover, it’s a look at those ones that immediately piqued my interest in the Mission Critical Performance category of improvements.

(Update: I’ve written about SQL Server CTP1 here)

SQL Server 2014 was announced during the keynote at TechEd in New Orleans. Makes me wish I went all the more now. The features in this release are categorized into 3 areas:

Columnstore Indexes

Columnstore indexes were a big feature of SQL Server 2012, limited by the fact that they were static, meaning that you had to disable or drop and then enable/rebuild once updated. With SQL Server 2014, Columnstore Indexes are now updateable: Prior to SQL Server 2014, if you ever wanted to update a table without dropping/disabling the Columnstore index, the fastest process was to leverage partitions by switching in tables that used the same columnstore index design.

Compression for Columnstore indexes as also been improved: we can apply a new compression called COLUMNSTORE_ARCHIVE for greater compression and storage space savings of (reportedly) as much as 90 percent.

So other than the exciting new features above, there was also information around some of the features that were introduced SQL Server 2012: