In this article we look at the feature of temporal tables present in SQL Server 2016
For those of you who wish to know about some interesting new features of SQL Server 2016, Temporal Tables are a must to check out! Also, referred to as System Versioned Tables sometimes, these tables have been incorporated in this latest version of SQL to keep the data history in the table automatically. The best benefit of this feature is to have an access to the old data at any moment of time while working on SQL. Reading this article, you will get in depth knowledge about Temporal Tables in SQL Server 2016, their exact purpose and how to use them.
Defining Temporal Tables
Now, let us define Temporal Tables in SQL Server 2016 in detail for you. This new in built feature of SQL Server 2016 helps fetching the old data record in form of a table. In fact, whenever a temporal table is created or an existing one is modified, two tables are maintained; including one for the historical data and one for the current data. This is not all; the server has different ways to fetch query data from both the tables.
Benefits Of Temporal Tables
Now that you have got a grasp of what exactly are the temporal tables, it’s time to learn about some key benefits of using these tables in SQL Server 2016 Version. First of all, these tables help in meeting the regulatory compliance for data forensics whenever required by tracking and also auditing the changes in the data over a period of time. Secondly, these tables are useful in understanding how the data changed in a period of time to understand the business trends and plan the trends for future. Thirdly, temporal tables can be very useful in data querying for a particular period of time to determine the status of data. Fourthly, these tables can play a big role in maintaining as well as implementing the changing dimensions of a data warehouse in a small to medium size business. Lastly, these tables can come at rescue when someone intentionally deletes or by mistake delete the data; you can easily recover it through these tables. Most importantly, the biggest benefit of using temporal tables is that it removes the need to generate custom handling of data changes for tracking, as it automatically does that on its own.
Working of Temporal Tables
As we mentioned ago, when a table is enabled with the temporal tables, then two tables are created; one for the current data and one for the old data. The first table comprises of the rows with the current status, while the second table comprises of the old value for each row after the modification if any applied along with the end as well as start time for the valid period to which it applied.
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