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SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence tools and training

Posted on 2016-09-06
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We are looking for an installation of SQL Server where it serves a data warehouse, runs ETL jobs on the data, and provides Business Intelligence information by using dashboards, reports, etc. From my research, it looks like SQL Server 2014 had a specific BI edition but for 2016 all BI tools are only offered in the Enterprise edition. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Is there a place to find specific SQL Server 2016 BI tools documentation and specific training?

Thank you for your help.
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Question by:Daaniyal Kalim
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by:lcohan
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I think is just misleading as they can now be downloaded/installed separately as per this link:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231681.aspx
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231722.aspx

where it never says Enterprise SQL 2016 is a prerequisite.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms144275.aspx

Enterprise The premium offering, SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition delivers comprehensive high-end datacenter capabilities with blazing-fast performance, unlimited virtualization, and end-to-end business intelligence — enabling high service levels for mission-critical workloads and end user access to data insights.
Standard SQL Server 2016 Standard edition delivers basic data management and business intelligence database for departments and small organizations to run their applications and supports common development tools for on-premise and cloud — enabling effective database management with minimal IT resources.
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by:Nakul Vachhrajani
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If you are just referring to SSIS packages and the ability to design/develop them, then all you need is a compatible version of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and an edition of SQL Server that is not Express.
I guess the "advanced" or "end to end" BI that the documentation is referring to are SSAS enhancements, support for the R language and mobile reporting enhancements.
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by:Vitor Montalvão
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From my research, it looks like SQL Server 2014 had a specific BI edition but for 2016 all BI tools are only offered in the Enterprise edition. Please correct me if I am wrong.
What do you consider a BI solution?
Only SSIS?
SSIS and SSRS?
SSIS, SSRS and SSAS?
All of above exists in SQL Server since SQL Server 2000 even in that edition SSIS was know as Data Transformation Services (DTS) and it was part of the SQL Server engine. Microsoft did an excellent work removing that feature from the engine and offering a separate tool called SSIS with more power (relays on .NET framework).

With SQL Server 2012, Microsoft also offered a Datawarehouse Edition of the SQL Server that went back into Enterprise Edition with SQL Server 2016.
SQL Server 2014 delivers Column Index that is very useful for Datawarehouse databases.
Also SQL Server 2016 has R language integrated in the engine that allows you to perform Data Analytics without the need of an external tool.
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by:Daaniyal Kalim
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Thank you everyone for your answers.

It appears as though I would have to decide between Standard and Enterprise editions of 2016.

The few differences that I can see but not completely understand:

1. BI - Advanced tabular model
2. BI - Direct query
3. BI - In-memory analytics
4. BI - Advanced data mining
5. Advanced data integration (fuzzy grouping and look ups, change data capture)
6. Data warehousing (in-memory columnstore, partitioning)

Maybe the training courses 20767 and 20768 might be able to provide clarity on these limitations of the Standard version. If there is a better or easier way to get that information, please let me know.
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Vitor Montalvão earned 500 total points
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You can see the comparation table in MSDN.
There's no Datawarehouse for Standard Edition so if that's a requirement you already know that only Enterprise Edition offers the feature.
For BI Standard Edition has memory limitations and Enterprise doesn't and still offer Advanced BI features. It's up to you to know if 64GB of RAM is enough for what you need and if you don't need Advanced BI.
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by:lcohan
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Just a side note that your question was about BI in standard vs. enterprise edition and not about SQL 2016 "RDBMS Scalaibility and Performance" as described here https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645993.aspx but as long as you got your answers is all it matters.

BTW - you can build your own data warehouse with SQL Standard edition because there is no "There's no Datawarehouse for Enterprise Edition" either.
As far as I'm aware Microsoft does not sells a "Datawarehouse" product and this is just a entity you build using various products.

Good luck and indeed Enterprise is better from any point of view VS Standard if you have lots of data AND it needs to be up 24/7 - just think ONLINE maintenance besides functionality.
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by:Vitor Montalvão
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As far as I'm aware Microsoft does not sells a "Datawarehouse" product and this is just a entity you build using various products.
They tried with SQL Server 2012 and it was called Parallel Data warehouse aka PDW but seems that they reverted and now it's included in SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition (Enterprise-scale data warehousing).
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