Upcoming SQL Server 2016 will better integrate with Microsoft Azure

Microsoft's new product will also offer improved analytics and business intelligence

Microsoft has announced SQL Server 2016 will be available for companies to start using from 1 June, meaning they will soon be able to take advantage of its improved integration with the organisation's cloud services suite.

Additionally, new analytics and business intelligence features mean customers will be able to gain better insights into their business health, boosting their app power and making noticeable improvements to their organisation as a whole, claimed Microsoft.

SQL Server 2016 will be available in four flavours: Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer, aimed at different sizes of organisations.

Developer will be offered for free in order to encourage developers to create applications Microsoft may be able to offer companies as add-ons later down the line.

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Tiffany Wissner, Microsoft's senior director of data platform marketing, explained: "With this new release, Microsoft is delivering an end-to-end data management and business analytics solution with mission critical intelligence for your most demanding applications as well as insights on your data on any device."

New features include built-in advanced analytics and in-memory technology to boost business intelligence, while Always Encrypted means data is protected both when idle and when being moved. Both relational and non-relational data structures are supported, while Stretch Database tech means businesses can access historical data by stretching warm and cold online transaction processing data to Microsoft Azure on-demand.

"With this new innovation, SQL Server 2016 is the first born-in-the-cloud database, where features such as Always Encrypted and Role Level Security were first validated in Azure SQL Database by hundreds of thousands of customers and billions of queries," Wissner added.

Eric Fleischman, chief architect and vice president of platform engineering at DocuSign, said: "We picked SQL Server for our platform because of its performance and ability to manage all types of data.

"With the largest banks, insurers and other financial institutions counting on us we need to deliver secure software for our environment. New features in SQL Server 2016 like Always Encrypted allow us to deliver on this promise."

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