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SQL Server 2016 Developer: Features, Benefits, and Download Options


SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition: A Free and Full-Featured Database Platform




If you are looking for a free, full-featured, and scalable database platform for developing and testing your applications, you might want to consider SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition. This edition is designed for developers who need access to all the features and capabilities of SQL Server 2016, including in-memory performance, advanced security, in-database analytics, and hybrid cloud support. In this article, we will explain what SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition is, how to download and install it, how to use it, and how to upgrade to a paid edition of SQL Server 2016 if you need to deploy your applications in a production environment.


What is SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition?




SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition is a free edition of SQL Server 2016 that is licensed for use as a development and test database in a non-production environment. It has the same features and functionality as the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2016, which is the most comprehensive and powerful edition available. This means that you can use SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition to build intelligent, mission-critical applications that leverage the latest innovations in data management and analytics. You can also use it to learn about the new features and enhancements in SQL Server 2016, such as:




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  • Stretch Database, which allows you to dynamically stretch your on-premises databases to Azure for cost-effective storage and backup.



  • Always Encrypted, which enables you to protect your data at rest and in motion with transparent encryption and decryption.



  • Temporal Tables, which let you track and analyze the historical changes of your data over time.



  • JSON Support, which allows you to store and query JSON data natively in SQL Server.



  • PolyBase, which enables you to query relational and non-relational data sources using T-SQL.



  • R Services, which integrates the popular R language and environment with SQL Server for advanced analytics and machine learning.



You can download SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition from the official Microsoft website. You can also download other tools and components that are compatible with SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, such as SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).


How to use SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition




Once you have downloaded and installed SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, you can start using it to create and manage databases, develop and test applications, and perform advanced analytics. Here are some of the common tasks that you can do with SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition:


How to create and manage databases with SQL Server Management Studio




SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a graphical tool that allows you to create, configure, administer, monitor, and troubleshoot your databases. You can use SSMS to perform various tasks, such as:


  • Create databases, tables, views, indexes, stored procedures, functions, triggers, etc.



  • Import and export data from various sources and formats.



  • Execute queries and scripts using T-SQL or other languages.



  • Analyze query performance and optimize execution plans.



  • Manage security settings and permissions for users and roles Backup and restore databases, or use Stretch Database to migrate data to Azure.



To launch SSMS, you can either click the Start menu and search for SQL Server Management Studio, or you can go to the installation folder of SQL Server 2016 and run the Ssms.exe file. You will need to connect to a SQL Server instance using your credentials or Windows authentication. Once connected, you will see the Object Explorer pane on the left, where you can browse and manage your databases and other objects. You can also open a new query window by clicking the New Query button on the toolbar, where you can write and execute your queries and scripts.


How to develop and test applications with SQL Server Data Tools




SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to design, develop, debug, and deploy your database applications. You can use SSDT to create various types of projects, such as:


  • Database projects, which let you create and modify your database schema and objects using a declarative model.



  • Business Intelligence projects, which let you create and deploy reports, dashboards, cubes, and data models using SSRS, SSAS, and SSIS.



  • SQL Server Database Tools projects, which let you create and manage Azure SQL databases and SQL Data Warehouse.



To install SSDT, you can either download it from the official Microsoft website, or you can use the Visual Studio installer if you already have Visual Studio 2015 or later. Once installed, you can launch SSDT from the Start menu or from Visual Studio. You will need to connect to a SQL Server instance or an Azure SQL database using your credentials or Windows authentication. Once connected, you will see the Solution Explorer pane on the right, where you can create and manage your projects and files. You can also open a new query window by clicking the New Query button on the toolbar, where you can write and execute your queries and scripts.


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How to perform advanced analytics with R Services




R Services is a feature that integrates the R language and environment with SQL Server 2016, allowing you to perform advanced analytics and machine learning on your data. You can use R Services to:


  • Run R scripts on your SQL Server data using stored procedures or external scripts.



  • Use R packages and libraries to perform statistical analysis, data visualization, text mining, sentiment analysis, etc.



  • Create and deploy predictive models using machine learning algorithms such as regression, classification, clustering, etc.



  • Scale up your R computations using parallel processing and distributed computing.



To use R Services, you need to install both the R Services feature on your SQL Server 2016 instance, and the R components on your client machine. You can do this by using the SQL Server setup wizard or by running the SQL Server setup command-line utility. You also need to enable external script execution on your SQL Server instance by running the sp_configure stored procedure. Once installed and enabled, you can use SSMS or SSDT to write and execute your R scripts on your SQL Server data. You can also use other R tools such as RStudio or R Tools for Visual Studio to connect to your SQL Server instance and run your R scripts.


How to upgrade to a paid edition of SQL Server 2016




While SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition is free and full-featured, it is not licensed for use in a production environment. This means that you cannot use it to host or distribute your applications to end users or customers. If you need to do this, you will need to upgrade to a paid edition of SQL Server 2016 that suits your requirements and budget. In this section, we will explain why you might want to upgrade to a paid edition of SQL Server 2016, how to choose the right edition for your needs, and how to upgrade from SQL Server 2016 Developer


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