Compared to SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2017 offers a variety of new features and benefits.
Performance and Productivity
First, expect better performance and productivity. This is due in part to a range of new helpful functions that were not available in SQL Server 2008. One example of a productivity function is STRING_AGG, which takes all expressions from rows and concatenates them into a single string. Another function would be TRIM, a quality-of-life command that removes spaces or other specified characters from the start or end of a string. With these quality of life improvements, your IT team will spend less time on day-to-day maintenance, and more time using creativity to optimize your data infrastructure.
SQL Server 2017 also will lessen your IT team’s burden on interpreting analytics. It features better graph database structures, enabling your organization to visualize information with ease. This version of SQL server also allows users to add graphs and nodes. This will allow your IT team to more efficiently communicate the needs of the database across all levels of the organization, and better handle complex relationships within the instances of SQL Server 2017.
Compared to previous versions, SQL 2017 offers much better integration. Many services are now built-in to SQL Server 2017 and can be implemented upon installation. There are a variety of components available, such as Reporting Services, Machine Learning Services, or SQL Server Data Tools. In addition to these tools, SQL 2017 now supports Python for in-database analytics, meaning that Python-proficient IT teams can express concepts with less code than in SQL 2008, which only supported languages such as C++ and Java.
In addition to this compatibility change, SQL Server 2017 is now compatible with Linux. Even better, it is virtually indistinguishable from the version that runs on Windows. This is a huge selling point for certain organizations that may have run Windows only for the express purpose of their SQL deployments. This is a game-changer for organizations that already have a sizeable Linux infrastructure, and can offer a huge cost savings.
Finally, SQL Server 2017 will likely offer continued support for another decade. Having access to complete support can improve security and compliance initiatives, which organizations cannot afford to ignore. With so many benefits, organizations may find it difficult to justify not upgrading to SQL Server 2017 following SQL 2008’s end of support.