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James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

SQL Server 2014: Columnstore Index improvements

In SQL Server 2012, a new feature was added called Columnstore Indexes that resulted in huge query performance improvements.  In SQL Server 2014, there have been two major improvements on this feature:

Clustered: They have enhanced the columnstore to be a pure columnar store, so indexing is no longer required.  The In-Memory ColumnStore for data warehousing is implemented as a clustered columnstore index (or CCI) on a table.  The data in a CCI is grouped and stored for every column in the table.  Unlike the non-clustered columnstore index, the CCI is the data – there is no other underlying data structure

Updatable: You are able to insert, update, and delete data in an existing ColumnStore.  Note that a columnstore index is impossible to update “in-place” due to its highly compressed structure, so “deltastores” are used.  The same solution was done for v2 of PDW

Note you will still be able to create a non-clustered columnstore index which is not updatable.  A table with a clustered columnstore index cannot have any type of nonclustered index.

More info:


SQL SERVER 2014 – Columnstore Index Enhancement – Part 1

Clustered Columnstore Indexes – part 1 (“Intro”)

Updatable columnstore index, sp_spaceused and sys.partitions


Video What’s New for Columnstore Indexes and Batch Mode Processing

Enhancements to SQL Server Column Stores

What’s New for Columnstore Indexes in SQL Server 2014

ColumnStore Archival Compression–SQL Server 2014

New Enhanced Column Store Index in SQL Server 2014 – Part 1


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