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SQL Server 2017 Hits Release Candidate Stage

SQL Server 2017, Microsoft's next-generation relational database platform, is inching closer to general availability with this week's Release Candidate 1 (RC1) rollout.

Announced Monday and available for download here, RC1 signals that SQL Server 2017 is essentially feature-complete. RC1's release lets organizations test out SQL Server 2017 in their environments to identify any potential issues before it is commercially released later this summer.

SQL Server 2017 is the first version of the platform to offer support and integration with Linux. This includes support for 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.

About the Author

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

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