A frequent question I get is what the new stuff is in some version of SQL Server. And, sure, Microsoft has a very exhaustive "what's new" section for each version of SQL Server. The purpose of this page is to list all news on one page. Focus is on the SQL-engine, on-premise.Each version adds a new database compatibility level. Starting with SQL Server 2014 this can also affect performance, for instance enabling new functionality in the optimizer as well as controlling the Cardinality Estimation version used.