We have two different environments that are replicas of each other - DEV/STG and PROD. We recently upgraded both environments to SQL Server 2016 using the same upgrade process (we're on AWS, so it was as simple as spinning up a new instance), but are unable to find any SQL Always Encrypted options, configurations, menus, or wizards in our DEV/STG environment (single server, two instances). I checked our PROD server and there they are, Always Encrypted Key, Encrypt Columns, etc.

Is there a configuration or module I need to install in our DEV/STG environment to allow it to utilize the Always Encrypted functionality?

  • Are you sure they are both the same version and edition? Also do you mean Always Encrypted, or Always On, or both? Those are two very different technologies, with one having quite different requirements than the other. Aug 30, 2016 at 17:27
  • Yup, first thing I checked. Both are running build 13.0.1601.5, which is SQL 2016 Standard (RTM). I'm in the process of getting the Cumulative Update 1 install file shipped over to both servers for installation, but that still doesn't answer the question as to why PROD can use the funtionality, but DEV/STG cannot. Also, I'm talking about Always Encrypted, the new SQL 2016 encryption feature. Aug 30, 2016 at 17:56
  • Well, if either environment is running Standard Edition, it won't have Always Encrypted, because that's an Enterprise Edition feature. Compare SERVERPROPERTY('Edition'); again - just because you asked for Enterprise Edition doesn't mean you got it. This is why I asked if they were both the same version and edition. From the sounds of it, production is Enterprise, but Dev is Standard. Aug 30, 2016 at 18:06
  • That's what I was beginning to think, and it makes sense. Is there somewhere that's documented? I couldn't find it on the MSDN page I was working off of..msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt163865.aspx Aug 30, 2016 at 18:14
  • The fact that Always Encrypted is Enterprise Edition only? Yes, it's in the link I posted earlier: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645993.aspx#RDBMSS Aug 31, 2016 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


I see this question is a few months old, but I wanted to tell you about a great update from Microsfot if you've missed the news.

On November 16, Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2016 SP1. Along with the normal things found in Service Pack releases, they also included CREATE OR REPLACE functionality. And, really important for your question, they've made quite a lot of the features that you can develop for available in editions other than Enterprise.

Most critical for you here is the availability of the Always Encrypted feature in SQL Server 2016 Standard and even Express starting in SP1 of SQL Server 2016.

You can read about that here on Microsoft's blog post.

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