You can download the next preview of SQL Server 2016 today, and the announcement blog post touted a few improvements to maintenance plans. Oddly, the screenshots in the announcement were apparently done with Microsoft Paint, so I fired up a VM to see how things really look.
The DBCC CHECKDB step in the wizard now has checkboxes for physical only and tablock:
The index reorg task now lets you do LOB compaction, scan index stats, and then only optimize the index based on statistics:
The rebuild task has similar options in the GUI, plus options about keeping the index online:
Updating statistics – I honestly don’t remember what older versions looked like. (I don’t step through that wizard often.)
The options on the full backup task got some attention as well:
While improvements are usually a good thing, I gotta be honest: these screens are pretty haphazard. Stuff doesn’t line up, warnings don’t fit into boxes, and it feels terribly slapped together. It doesn’t give me a high level of confidence, certainly not enough to steer me away from Ola Hallengren’s much more powerful and flexible free scripts. I get it – not everybody wants to use add-on scripts – but I’m just not filled with confidence when I see these screens.
That could mean we’re still quite a ways away from a SQL Server 2016 release, which is good news and bad news.