Microsoft has been releasing new versions of SQL Server 2016 Management Studio in a monthly cadence for quite some time now. I strongly advocate downloading and testing these new releases as we're seeing enhancements added month-to-month. So far these releases have met much success however many have expressed concerns with bugs and errors from the July 2016 version.

The Microsoft Data Platform MVPs and SQL Server Product Group at Microsoft have worked hard to identify and resolve these issues and as a result a hotfix has been issued today for that release.

The hotfix can be downloaded from here and includes over 15 bug fixes and enhancements for the mainstay management tool for Microsoft SQL Server supported instances.

SQL Server 2016 Management Studio Compatibility

If you didn't know it already the SQL Server 2016 SSMS releases are compatible with all supported versions of SQL Server back to (and including SQL Server 2008). SQL Server 2005 and older versions are no longer under support by Microsoft.

Official List of Fixes and Enhancements

According to the official Microsoft release statement those fixes/enhancements include:

  • Edit, July 13th: Bug fix in SSMS to enable missing right-click menu items (Microsoft Connect item #2883440).

  • Edit, July 5th: Improved support for SQL Server 2016 (1200 compatibility level) tabular databases in the Analysis Services Process dialog and the Analysis Services Deployment wizard.

  • Edit, July 5th: New option in SSMS 'query execution options' dialog to set 'XACT_ABORT'. This option is enabled by default in this release of SSMS and instructs SQL Server to rollback the entire transaction and abort the batch if a run-time error occurs.

  • Support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse in SSMS.

  • Significant updates to the SQL Server PowerShell module. This includes a new SQL PowerShell module and new CMDLETs for Always Encrypted, SQL Agent, and SQL Error Logs.

  • Support for PowerShell script generation in the Always Encrypted wizard.

  • Significantly improved connection times to Azure SQL databases.

  • New ‘Backup to URL’ dialog to support the creation of Azure storage credentials for SQL Server 2016 database backups. This provides a more streamlined experience for storing database backups in an Azure storage account.

  • New Restore dialog to streamline restoring a SQL Server 2016 database backup from the Microsoft Azure storage service.

  • Bug fix in SSMS query designer to allow adding tables to the designer if a user doesn’t have SELECT permissions on them.

  • Bug fix to add IntelliSense support for 'TRY_CAST()', and 'TRY_CONVERT()' functions (Microsoft Connect item #2453461).

  • Bug fix in PowerShell module to enable loading of ‘SQLAS’ extension (Microsoft Connect item #2544902).

  • Bug fix in the SSMS editor window to allow drag-and-drop open of Sql files (Microsoft Connect item #2690658).

  • Bug fix in Profiler to fix Profiler crash when exiting. (Microsoft Connect item #2616550).

  • Bug fix in SSMS to prevent crash when trying to edit a join link in the SSMS table designer (Microsoft Connect item #2721052).

  • Bug fix in SSMS to enable database script generation for db_owner role members. (Microsoft Connect item #2869241).

  • Bug fix in SSMS editor to remove the delay in closing a query tab if the server has gone offline (Microsoft Connect item #2656058).

  • Bug fix to enable Backup option in SQL Server Express databases (Microsoft Connect item #2801910).

  • Bug fix in Analysis Services to correctly show the Data Feed provider for multi-dimensional Analysis Services models.

Additional Information Regarding 2016 SSMS Changelog and Known Issues

The official Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Changelog has been updated with this information as of 7/13/2016. It provides information for all monthly releases dating back to the June 2015 release.

The current list of known issues and workarounds for SQL Server Management Studio is also available here.