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SQL Server 2017 Inches Toward General Availability

The venerable relational database management system is now feature-complete, with support for Linux and containers running on Linux and Mac OS X, and it's available as a release candidate this week.

Microsoft's flagship relational database system, SQL Server 2017, is now feature complete, now that it has achieved its initial release candidate status. General availability is expected later this summer.

RC1 status is often the go-ahead to organizations who want to test it out in their environments in order to dentify any potential issues, and testing will be especially important as the company trots out Linux support and integration in this major update. Linux support alo extends to Active Directory Authentication, which will allow the same domain credentials to be authenticated in SQL Server, whether they come from Windows or Linux.

SQL on Linux will also allow for data to be encrypted with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and be transferred between the client and an instance of SQL Server.

SQL Server 2017 also comes packed with support for containers running on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, which Microsoft is touting as a valuable resource for DevOps, especially for those working with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.

"Using containers greatly simplifies the development, testing and deployment of applications," wrote Microsoft's Tony Petrossian, partner group program manager for the database systems group, in a blog post. "This is achieved by the packaging of all dependencies, including SQL Server, into a portable, executable environment that reduces variability and increases the speed of every iteration in the CI/CD pipeline. This also enforces a consistent experience for all participants since they can share the same state of an application in their containers. Developers can improve applications in their local environments during the first part of the Continuous Integration process."

RC1 features many upgrades and new features not found in previous preview builds, including:

  • Enhanced model management capabilities, including External Library Management for Microsoft's database analytics tool R Services.
  • Increased database analysis and reporting options through the SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).
  • The inclusion of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) preview for Linux-based machines and support for SIS scale-out in highly available environments on Windows Server.

SQL Server 2017 RC1 can be downloaded here.  

On a related note, a Microsoft Docs article from May shows that the current SQL Server Data Tools for Visual Studio 2017 currently has support for SQL Server 2016. From the article: "[Support for SSDT] 2017 will be coming soon in a Visual Studio 2017 update."

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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