My curiosity is to know more about the features which Microsoft has provided in the SQL server 2016 version which also allows the Sitecore to implement the xDB on the SQL Server 2016 itself, which was not possible before.

I totally agree, of having the advantage of Microsoft only infrastructure in the Sitecore solution, so we don’t have to maintain the 2 database administrators and infrastructure.

It would be great if someone can explain what’s was the problem/bottleneck of the older version of SQL server(prior to 2016 ), which could not handle the xDB requirement and what exactly they introduce in SQL server 2016, which makes it possible for Sitecore xDB to handle the high performance when data is growing at fast rate.

Any documentations on the gaps which Microsoft SQL server has had before, which they filled in the version 2016 from Sitecore xDB points of view?


2 Answers 2


I think that JSON data type and specific JSON related functions that were introduced in MS SQL Server 2016 are major reason why xConnect and xDB starting from Sitecore 9 can finally support also "xDB requirements".

Also introduction of xConnect as an API for xDB helped achieved this as it abstracted previous close tight of xDB with Mongo DB and made underlying DB "irrelevant".


One of the most important SQL Server 2016 features required by xDB is always encrypted which provides data at rest encryption. It's supported by MongoDB in Sitecore 8 xDB while SQL Server 2016 provides the same feature for Sitecore 9 xDB.

As a side note, SQL Server 2016 also added support for JSON, but xDB does not really use JSON data type in SQL.

  • I think, Mongo DB also support the GDPR compliance, as most of the application still running on MongoDB with Sitecore Aug 31, 2018 at 10:15
  • @AshishBansal, yes, GDPR compliance can be achieved with both Mongo and SQL Server. I removed the note about GDPR as data at rest encryption is not strictly a requirement.
    – grg
    Aug 31, 2018 at 11:01

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