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SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

SQL Server 2016 Is Faster Than Ever

The new features of SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features are more on the Reporting Services side. The integration of Datazen with SSRS 2016 and implementation of HTML 5.0 are some of the major highlights. There is also new Visual Studio business intelligence templates for developers. Read along to know more about the new feature highlights.

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SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

SQL Server 2012 and 2014 didn’t have many new features and functionalities as you would have liked. With the release of SQL Server 2016, brings you a complete revamp of features and functionalities with a steep learning curve. I have already spoken about High Availability, Enhancements, Performance Improvements & Security Features on separate posts.

So, let’s explore the new BI features!


  • SQL Server Always On Availability Groups support
  • Incremental deployment of packages is supported
  • Improved project upgrades support from 2012 & 2014 without manual adjustments after an upgrade.
  • Designer UI improvements with multi-version support
  • OData V4 support

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

SSAS Tabular Improvements:

  • Parallel partition processing
  • On-demand loading and paging
  • Tabular and MOLAP modeling enhancements
  • Better performance and can scale higher compared to previous releases.
  • Lower TCO – Run your workloads on commodity hardware more efficiently and better with utilization of existing hardware capabilities
  • No need for any application changes

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

Scale beyond physical memory size with hot data residing in-memory and cold data on disk or SSD

Data Modeling features for Tabular:

  • Added Support for BI directional cross filtering (Many: Many)
  • Calculated tables, Date Table
  • Translations
  • Tabular scripting language
  • Introducing new DAX functions (DATEDIFF, GEOMEAN, PERCENTILE,  PRODUCT, XIRR, XNPV, and much more)
  • Query engine optimizations for better scalability.
  • New DAX functions for high perf. reporting
  • Direct Query performance optimizations


  • New performance improvements with unnatural hierarchies, ROLAP distinct count, and drill-through functions & semi-additive measures.
  • You can now use DBCC commands to detect MOLAP index corruption.
  • The introduction of newer Data Sources such as IBM Netezza etc.

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

Master Data Services improvements

  • Overall system performance and scale improvements
  • An optimistic target of 15x performance improvement for the Excel add-in
  • Increased performance for bulk entity based staging operations
  • Archival of Transaction Logs
  • Reuse of entities across models
  • Support for compound keys
  • Allow the Name and Code attributes to be renamed
  • New security roles for more granular permissions around reading, write and delete with multiple system administrators supportability.

SSRS Improvements:

  • Mobile Report Publisher is a new tool to create mobile reports. You can use the publisher tool to connect to SQL Server Reporting Services to access data sources and easily create amazing reports and publish them to SSRS Reports Server and can be consumed via a unified web experience or on mobile devices.

The New Modern Reports are built on Datazen technology Microsoft acquired earlier.

Web Portal Experience:

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

Tablet Experience

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

Mobile Experience:

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

The new SSRS service allows you to create and consume report from modern browsers

Other Features:

  • Improved parameters
  • Modern themes
  • New chart types

PowerBI Integration:

You can now connect to an On-Premise Reporting Services Server and consume reports either in the mobile App or in the Power BI portal.

SQL Server 2016 Business Intelligence Features

Keep yourselves up to date with newer features of Reporting Services from the Official Blog site of the SSRS Team.

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