SQL Server 2017 on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server offer

This post is authored by John ‘JG’ Chirapurath, General Manager, Azure Data.

Since SQL Server 2017 on Linux was made generally available on October 2, 2017, we have seen tremendous growth in adoption. We’ve had ~ 5 million Docker pulls for SQL Server 2017 on Linux and are seeing strong affinity with our customers who are on other database systems running on Linux as well as customers consolidating on Linux as their operating system. Additionally, we’ve had a great response from the open source developer community.

SQL Server 2017 is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. It is also supported as a Docker image, which can run on Docker Engine on Linux or Docker for Windows/Mac.

In the path forward to deliver choice, today Microsoft and SUSE are announcing some great offers for our mutual customers both on-premises and on Azure to adopt SQL Server 2017 on Linux as their database of choice.

Microsoft and SUSE have a decade long relationship, powering enterprises focused on interoperability and high-performance solutions. With SQL Server 2017 running on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server, we are bringing the most cost-effective path for our customers. If you combine the industry-leading database with the Enterprise Linux OS supporting Persistent Memory that can turbo-charge your analytics performance, you are looking at a winning combination for all your high-performance workloads.

Recently, Microsoft, SUSE, and HPE announced a new record-setting performance benchmark thanks to Persistent Memory support in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12SP3.

  • HPE’s new world record 1TB TPC-H benchmark result showcases the first enterprise-class “diskless database” leveraging persistent memory and the ability to deliver > 5x performance on analytic queries directly against storage at up to 50 percent of the cost.
  • This incredible price/performance is achieved by combining the power of SQL Server 2017, HPE’s scalable persistent memory, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3 Persistent Memory Support.

Customers can receive all the benefits of SQL Server 2017 running on SUSE Enterprise Linux Server with limited time pricing offers to help with upgrades and migrations. For a limited time, SUSE is offering customers a self-service promotional code to drive cost savings for SQL Server on SUSE Linux providing a 100% discount on the software cost of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12SP3 including free patches and maintenance for 1 year – qualified customers are also eligible for up to 100% discount on 24×7 or 12×5 phone support by working with a SUSE sales rep. Avail the offer through SUSE’s self-service portal.

Microsoft is also offering discounted SQL Server Licenses to lower your TCO even further. Customers can avail up to 30% off SQL Server 2017 through an annual subscription. Customers can get enterprise features for their Linux workloads, backed by Microsoft security and support. Please check out our page to learn more about the offer.

In addition to discounts on SQL Server and SUSE Enterprise Linux, all of this is backed by joint support from Microsoft and SUSE. Learn more about this offer, plus how SQL Server and SUSE work together for performance and reliability at low TCO by talking to your local SUSE or Microsoft seller today!

Please download the brochure to learn more about the joint offer.

Want to build an app using SQL Server? Get started with SQL Server on macOS, Linux and Windows today!

Celebrating 1M installations milestone for mssql extension for VS Code with another update

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server.

We are excited to announce that a new update for the mssql extension for VS Code is now available on the VS Code Marketplace.

Use the mssql extension to turn VS Code into a powerful editor of T-SQL development, which supports SQL Server running on-prem, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Download the latest update from the VS Code Marketplace.

1M installations milestone

Thanks to your help, the mssql extension has hit an awesome milestone of 1 million+ downloads in less than a year since general availability announcement on May 1, 2017. Since GA, more and more VS Code users have downloaded the mssql extension through the recommended extensions experience as they write out T-SQL queries.

As our user base grows, we will continue to send updates from the high priority issues determined by the community. To make this meaningful for the community, we need your help to report and upvote your high priority features and issues on our Github Issues page. Over the past year, the SQL Tools team has prioritized bringing our new tools open source, and using the Github Issues page to help drive priority has become common practice. Check out SQL Operations Studio and mssql-cli Issues page to see this practice in action.

Thank you again for using this tool and providing us feedback. We know how much the developer community loves VS Code, and we will make sure you continue to have an awesome T-SQL editing experience with our future updates.

Release notes

  • Fixed issue #1036 where copy/pasting Unicode text can fail on Mac depending on the active locale environment variable
  • Fixed issue #1066 RAND() function using GO N produces the same result
  • Syntax highlighting more closely matches SSMS for local variables, global system variables, unicode string literals, bracketed identifiers, and built in functions
  • Show all error messages instead of just the first one when query execution results in multiple errors

Contributions and “thank you”

We would like to thank all our users who raised issues, and in particular the following users who helped contribute features or localization of the tool:

  • @rhires for updating and editing the Kerberos help documentation
  • @zackschuster for cleaning up the VS Code API wrapper to remove a deprecated function call
  • We would like to thank everyone who contributed to localization for this update and encourage more people to join our open source community localization effort.

For more information, check out the full release notes here: Release Notes

Get started

Eric Kang demoing mssql extension for VS Code

Contact us

If you have any feature requests or would like to report any issues, please open an issue on our Github Issues page. For any other updates, please follow us on Twitter @sqldatatools.

Cloud data and AI services training roundup

To help you stay up to date on online training opportunities, we’re releasing a monthly list of the latest free data and artificial intelligence (AI) sessions in one convenient post.

SQL Server 2017

Whether on Windows, Linux, or Docker containers, you have the flexibility of leveraging SQL Server 2017’s industry-leading performance and security wherever you like. Here’s a rundown of recent and upcoming training sessions to help you learn more.

  • Complying with GDPR on Microsoft SQL-based technologies

Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is coming to an end on July 9, 2019, which means it’s time to choose your path to modernization. Without support, security updates will no longer be available, and you may run the risk of non-compliance with industry regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Join this detailed training session on demand to understand how to begin your migration journey today.

  • Move your transactional workloads to the cloud with Azure SQL Database

Moving your on-premises database to the cloud has never been easier. Join this demo-filled training to learn how Azure SQL Database helps you unlock the potential of your database (and your people) without changing your application architecture. Specifically, we cover how to use built-in intelligence for enabling high performance and security, building reports into your apps to drive customer value, and management of emerging application requirements.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Infuse your apps, websites, and bots with intelligent algorithms to see, hear, speak, understand, and interpret your user needs through natural methods of communication. The Microsoft AI platform offers a comprehensive set of flexible AI services for any scenario and enterprise-grade AI infrastructure that runs AI workloads anywhere at scale.

  • Introduction to Custom Vision Service

If you are looking to easily customize your own state-of-the-art computer vision models that fit perfectly with your unique use cases, this session is for you. Join us for the 60-minute demo-rich training to learn more about Microsoft’s Custom Vision Service, a tool for building custom image classifiers. In addition to an overview of the tool, you’ll learn to use labeled images to teach Custom Vision Service the concepts you want it to learn and to use simple REST API calls to quickly tag images with your new custom computer vision model.

Azure Cosmos DB

Azure Cosmos DB offers the first globally distributed, multi-model database service for building planet-scale apps.

  • Azure Cosmos DB Technical Training Series

Engineering experts are leading a seven-part technical training series on Azure Cosmos DB, complete with interactive Q&As. In addition to technical deep dives, this series covers a wide array of topics. Join the series to learn to build serverless applications and conduct real-time analytics using Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, and Spark. Attend the entire series (past sessions are available on demand) to become an Azure Cosmos DB guru, or simply register for the sessions that interest you.

Celebrating data and you with #SQLDataWins

Hey you, data whiz! You’re an expert, a data aficionado, a steward of a finely tuned database – but not everyone gets it. Well, we do.

#SQLDataWins celebrates professionals who make an impact with data every day. Play along with us on Twitter by responding to our weekly tweets. It’s that simple.

Every Monday at 9:00am PT @SQLServer will tweet out a fun data-related scenario. We want to see your reaction in the form of a GIF, because, who doesn’t love a good GIF? Reply directly to the weekly tweet by Thursday at 11:59pm PT with your favorite GIF and include the hashtags #Sweepstakes #SQLDataWins in your tweet and you’ll be entered to win* an awesome SQL Server prize pack! A couple pro tips: You must be a legal resident of the 50 United States, and be sure to come back to @SQLServer every week for a brand-new scenario and another chance to win.

Looking to brush up on all things SQL Server and keep on winning with data? Check out these helpful resources to keep your data game on point.


How do I enter?

  1. Visit twitter.com/sqlserver
  2. Find the current week’s #SQLDataWins scenario tweet that’s pinned to the top of the timeline during each prize period
  3. Reply using the speech bubble/comment icon underneath the @SQLServer tweet
  4. Use the built-in GIPHY function in Twitter or select a GIF from the web or your phone to attach to your reply
  5. Include the two campaign hashtags by typing #Sweepstakes #SQLDataWins in the body of your reply
  6. Hit send!

Am I eligible to win?

You need to be:

  • A legal resident of the 50 United States (including the District of Columbia)
  • 18 years of age or older
  • If you’re under 18, you need to have consent of a parent or legal guardian

What can I win?

Each prize pack includes three (3) custom #SQLDataWins items:

  • One (1) Coffee mug
  • One (1) T-shirt
  • One (1) Backpack

How many winners are there each week?

We’ll randomly select 10 lucky winners each week

How do I find out if I won?

Check your mentions on Fridays! We’ll reply to the week’s winners every Friday. Be sure to DM us within 72 hours so we can confirm that you’re eligible and get your address to send you your prize!

Can I enter every week to win?

Yeah, go for it!

Can I enter to win more than once per week?

No, you can only enter to win once per week. You can reply as much as you want (you might just REALLY love GIFs), but multiple replies within the weekly entry period will not increase your chances of winning.

*No Purchase Necessary. Game ends 6/7/18. For full details, see the Official Rules.

The March release of SQL Operations Studio is now available

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server and Karl Burtram, Senior Software Engineer, SQL Server. 

We are excited to announce the March release of SQL Operations Studio is now available.

Download SQL Operations Studio and review the Release Notes to get started.

SQL Operations Studio is a data management tool that enables you to work with SQL Server, Azure SQL DB and SQL DW from Windows, macOS and Linux. To learn more, visit our Github.

SQL Operations Studio was announced for Public Preview on November 15th at Connect(), and this March release is the fourth major update since the announcement. In case you missed it, you can view the February release announcement here.

Take a moment to breathe, this is a loaded update.

The March Public Preview release is focused on improving our Extensibility story and continuing to address top GitHub issues. This includes enabling Extension Manager, improving the Manage Dashboard experience and providing a couple Insights extensions. Please see the following details.

  • Enhance the Manage Dashboard extensibility model to support tabbed Insights and Configuration panes
  • Dashboard Insights extensions for sp_whoisactive from whoisactive.com and a Server Reports example
  • Extension Manager enables simple acquisition of 1st-party and 3rd-party extensions
  • Add additional Extensibility APIs for connection and objectexplorer management
  • Community Localization open for 10 languages
  • Continue to fix important customer impacting GitHub issues

For complete updates, refer to the Release Notes.

Extension Manager enables simple acquisition of 1st-party and 3rd-party extensions

The Extension Manager makes it easy to discover and acquire additional SQL Operations Studio functionality. We’ve adopted the in-product extension management experience from Visual Studio Code. For users unfamiliar with this UI it consists of the following components.

  • ‘Marketplace’ of Recommend Extensions which can be easily discovered and installed
  • List of Installed Extensions which can be disabled or uninstalled
  • Extension Details page that displays the extensions readme content and other metadata

Extensibility is a key tenet of the SQL Operations Studio project roadmap. We plan to make available both 1st and 3rd features as extensions. We look forward to working with the community to build a rich tools ecosystem. Please contact us on Gitter if you’re interested in building an extension.

Note: If you don’t see the Extension Manager icon you may need to enable it by right-clicking on the left Activity Bar, and then click Extensions on the context menu.

Dashboard Insights extensions for sp_whoisactive from whoisactive.com

The March release introduces improved Manage Dashboard extensibility. Extensions can now provide tab panels to the dashboard to group related functionality. Check out the sp_whoisactive extension as a great example of using the dashboard insights extensibility points.

Here are some notes from the extension readme: Sp_whoisactive is a procedure written by Microsoft MVP Adam Machanic. It is a very useful tool for activity monitoring and troubleshooting.

Who is Active is a DMV-based monitoring stored procedure that uses 15 different views to show a large amount of data about what’s running on your server.

Who is Active was designed to be extremely flexible, and includes options to not only get different types of data, but also to change the output column list and sort order.

Check out the source code for the whoisactive extension and other extensibility samples.

Join the extensibility ecosystem

With these extensibility investments, we want to empower the community to build their own extensions and join our extensibility ecosystem. We strongly believe that our talented SQL Server community can build awesome extensions, and we have provided resources to help get you started:

Community Localization Open

Recently, we announced SQL Operations Studio availability on the new Microsoft Community Localization platform. Localization is now opened for 10 languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Portuguese (Brazil). You can contribute to localization for both software and docs.

Contact us

If you have any feature requests or issues, please submit to our Github issues page. For any questions, feel free to comment below, message us on Gitter, or tweet us @SQLOpsStudio.

SSMS 17.6 is now available: Managed Instance and many bug fixes

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server.

Download SSMS 17.6 and review the Release Notes to get started.

SSMS 17.6 provides support for almost all feature areas on SQL Server 2008 through the latest SQL Server 2017, which is now generally available.

In addition to enhancements and bug fixes, SSMS 17.6 comes with several exciting new features:

  • Added more support for Azure SQL Database Managed Instance.
  • Fixed a key performance issue in SMO where scripting tables on SQL Server 2016 took 30 seconds, but now take less than one second.
  • Object Explorer: Added settings to allow users not to force brackets around names when dragging and dropping from Object Explorer to Query Window.
  • Data Classification: Improvements and bug fixes.

SSMS 17.6 also includes key bug fixes to Always On, SMO, and Database mail, which can be found in the Release Notes.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (preview) is a new flavor of Azure SQL Database, providing near 100 percent compatibility with SQL Server on-premises, a native virtual network (VNet) implementation that addresses common security concerns, and a business model favorable for on-premises SQL Server customers.

Source from Managed Instance Documentation

In SSMS, there is now support for common management scenarios such as:

  • Create and alter databases
  • Backup and restore databases
  • Importing, exporting, extracting and publishing Data-tier Applications
  • Viewing and altering Server properties
  • Full Object Explorer support
  • Scripting database objects
  • Support for SQL Agent jobs
  • Support for Linked Servers

To learn more about Managed Instance, check this Azure blog post.

Bug fixes

In SSMS 17.6, there were many bug fixes across Data Classification, Always On, Setup, SMO, Object Explorer, and Database mail.

To highlight a few of these:


  • Fixed performance issue where scripting tables on SQL2016 and above could take up to 30 seconds (now, it’s down to less than one second)

Data Classification:

  • Fixed an issue in Data Classification which was causing newly added classification to be displayed with stale “information type” and “sensitivity label”.
  • Fixed an issue where Data Classification was not working when targeting a server set to a case-sensitive collation.

Always On

  • Fixed an issue in AG Show Dashboard where clicking on “Collect Latency Data” could result in an error when the server was set to a case-sensitive collation.
  • Fixed an issue where SSMS was incorrectly reporting an AG as Distributed when the Cluster service shuts down.
  • Fixed an issue when creating AG using create Availability Group dialog the ReadOnlyRoutingUrl is required.

To learn more about other bug fixes covered in this release, check the Release Notes.

Call to Action

Try it out and let us know what you think! You can message us on our twitter @SQLDataTools or reach out to Ken Van Hyning’s twitter @SQLToolsGuy.

Complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Microsoft Data Platform technologies

This post is authored by Frederico Pravatta Rezende, Senior Product Marketing Manager, CADD & AI.

Is your organization prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

If your company does business in Europe, you’ll need to be aware of this new privacy law, which is set to bolster data protections for individuals living within the European Union (EU) starting on May 25, 2018.

The GDPR introduces several specific rights for EU residents, such as the right to access their personal data, correct inaccuracies in their data, erase data, object to the processing of their data, and to obtain a copy of their data. It aims to ensure that personal data is protected no matter where it’s sent, processed, or stored.

For your organization, this means taking a fresh look at how you control exposure to personal data, employ security mechanisms to protect personal data, detect and notify supervisory authorities of breaches within a timely manner, keep records of data-processing activities, and document risks and security measures.

The cost of non-compliance is high, reaching up to €20 million or 4 percent of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior fiscal year, whichever is higher.

Microsoft is committed to the GDPR, and we support you in complying with its obligations. We’ve addressed data privacy across several of our products and services, many of which are based on Microsoft SQL-based technologies— including SQL Server on-premises, SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Database, Microsoft Analytics Platform System, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Microsoft recommends a four-step process to guide you through the journey to comply with GDPR:

  1. First, you’ll need to discover where personal data is located. This involves understanding the attack area and how this sensitive data can be accessed, which allows you to identify the potential gaps in GDPR compliance you’ll need to address;
  2. In the second step, you’ll govern who can access this data and how it’s used. Azure SQL Database Firewall and SQL Server Authentication are just a few of the capabilities available to help with this;
  3. Next, you’ll want to strengthen your protection efforts, reducing risk and minimizing the impact of data. This requires different methods for different data types and scenarios. Microsoft SQL offers several ways to help you with this step.
  4. Lastly, you need to keep the records and create the reports necessary for meeting GDPR obligations. This also includes ensuring transparency with the subjects of this sensitive data.

While your journey to comply with GDPR may seem challenging, Microsoft’s various data platform solutions will help you along the way. Microsoft helps you simplify your privacy journey to expose areas of risk and respond with agility and confidence, leveraging guidance from experts and our partner network.

Start planning your data platform modernization to adhere to GDRP signing up for our March 22nd webinar to learn how you can start your journey with SQL Server 2017 and Azure Data Services.

Register today!

February Cloud data and AI services training roundup

Looking to transform your business by improving your on-premises environments, accelerating your move to the cloud, and gaining transformative insights from your data? Here’s your opportunity to learn from the experts and ask the questions that help your organization move forward.

Join us for one or all of these training sessions for a deep dive into a variety of topics, including products like SQL Server 2017, Azure SQL Database, and Azure Cosmos DB, along with Microsoft innovations in artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and big data.

SQL Server 2017

It’s all about choice. Now, you have the flexibility of leveraging SQL Server 2017’s industry-leading performance and security wherever you like—whether that’s on Windows, Linux, or Docker containers. We’re hosting two training sessions this month to help you learn more about the many exciting features of SQL Server 2017.

Industry-leading performance and security with SQL Server 2017
In this webinar, learn more about innovative SQL Server 2017 features that enhance your applications, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) workloads, including:

  • Automated tuning features such as Adaptive Query Processing and Automatic Plan Correction for faster, more consistent performance.
  • Advanced security features such as encryption at rest and in use, dynamic data masking, and row-level security.
  • The ability to store and query graph data along with your existing SQL Server tables.
  • In-database advanced analytics using R and Python machine-learning services.

Running SQL Server on Linux in Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform
In addition to a comprehensive set of features and flexibility of their preferred platform or programming languages, customers want flexibility when it comes to their choice of underlying infrastructure. This includes both the underlying OS as well as the platform. In this in-depth training, we’ll cover:

  • The different ways you can run your SQL Server 2017 on Linux workloads in the cloud. We’ll discuss what our Azure infrastructure enables, but also what other public or private cloud providers are offering.
  • How you can leverage the Azure Infrastructure to enable new SQL Server 2017 on Linux scenarios.
  • Demos of SQL Server 2017 on Linux in Azure, AWS, and the Google Cloud Platform.

Azure Cosmos DB

Engineering experts are leading a seven-part training series on Azure Cosmos DB, complete with interactive Q&As. In addition to a high-level technical deep dive, this series covers a wide array of topics, including:

By the end of this series, you’ll be able to build serverless applications and conduct real-time analytics using Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, and Spark. Attend the whole series to become an Azure Cosmos DB guru, or just register for the sessions that interest you. Learn more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Learn to create the next generation of applications—spanning an intelligent cloud as well as an intelligent edge powered by AI. Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of flexible AI services for any scenario and enterprise-grade AI infrastructure that runs AI workloads anywhere at scale. Modern AI tools designed for developers and data scientists help you create AI solutions easily, with maximum productivity.

Unlock deeper learning with the new Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit
Data is powerful, but navigating it can be slow, unreliable, and overly complex. Join us to learn about the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit—offering deep-learning capabilities that allow you to enable intelligence within massive datasets. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • What’s new with the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit.
  • How to maximize the programming languages and algorithms you already use.
  • Cognitive Toolkit features, including support for ONNX, C#/.NET API, and model simplification/compression.

Filter content at scale with Cognitive Services’ Content Moderator
Learn how Azure Cognitive Services’ Content Moderator filters out offensive and unwanted content from text, images, and videos at scale. By combining intelligent machine-assisted technology with an intuitive human review system, Content Moderator enables quick and reliable content scanning. In this training, you’ll learn:

  • Content Moderator platform basics.
  • How to use the machine learning-based APIs
  • How to easily integrate human review tools with just a few lines of code.

Advanced Analytics and Big Data

Data volumes are exploding. Deliver better experiences and make better decisions by analyzing massive amounts of data in real time. By including diverse datasets from the start, you’ll make more informed decisions that are predictive and holistic rather than reactive and disconnected.

Accelerate innovation with Microsoft Azure Databricks
Learn how your organization can accelerate data-driven innovation with Azure Databricks, a fast, easy-to-use, and collaborative Apache Spark-based analytics platform. Designed in collaboration with the creators of Apache Spark, it combines the best of Databricks and Azure to help you accelerate innovation, with one-click set up, streamlined workflows, and an interactive workspace that enables collaboration among data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts. In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use Databricks Notebooks to unify your processes and instantly deploy to production.
  • Launch your new Spark environment with a single click.
  • Integrate effortlessly with a wide variety of data stores.
  • Improve and scale your analytics with a high-performance processing engine optimized for the comprehensive, trusted Azure platform.

Announcing a new update for mssql-cli: Special Commands

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server.

We have released our first major update for mssql-cli since our recent Public Preview announcement in December. You can view the public preview announcement here.

mssql-cli is a new and interactive command line query tool for SQL Server. This open source tool works cross-platform and is part of the dbcli community.

Feature highlight: Special commands

In our initial release, mssql-cli brought auto-completion, syntax highlighting, configuration support, and history to your SQL Server command line experience. With v0.10.0, we introduce special commands.

Special commands are meant to make your life easier. They are shortcuts to perform common tasks and queries. All special commands start with a backslash (), and you can use the built-in IntelliSense to see a list of special commands you can use. You can also learn more by running the following command:

$ mssql-cli>?

To start off, let’s say you have a common query you run often, but don’t want to type it out each time or scroll through your history. You can “save” your query by running the following special command:

$ mssql-cli>sn address select * from "Person"."AddressType"

To execute this query, simply run:

$ mssql-cli>n address

To see this in action, see the gif below:

To learn more about special commands, please check out usage guide, which also includes information about other features that you can use with mssql-cli.

Getting started

In order to install mssql-cli, you must have Python on your machine. Please refer to the installation guide for OS-specific methods to get Python.

mssql-cli is installed via pip. If you know pip, you can install mssql-cli using command.

$ pip install mssql-cli

If you are having installation issues or would like more specific instructions, please see the installation guide.

Once you have mssql-cli installed, connect to your database with the command:

$ mssql-cli -S <server name> -U <user name> -d <database name>

Please try out mssql-cli and submit any feature requests and issues on our Github issues page. You can also keep track of any future updates by following our Twitter @sqldatatools.


What’s new in SSMS 17.5: Data Discovery and Classification

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server.

We are excited to announce the release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 17.5!

Download SSMS 17.5 and review the Release Notes to get started.

SSMS 17.5 provides support for almost all feature areas on SQL Server 2008 through the latest SQL Server 2017, which is now generally available.

In addition to enhancements and bug fixes, SSMS 17.5 comes with several exciting new features:

  • Data Discovery and Classification is a new feature for discovering, classifying, labeling and reporting sensitive data in your databases.
  • Query Editor now has support for a SkipsRows option for the Delimited Text External File Format for Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
  • Showplan has enabled the display of estimated plan button for SQL Data Warehouse.

SSMS 17.5 also includes key bug fixes to Showplan, Query Editor, SMO, and Templates, which can be found in the Release Notes.

Data Discovery and Classification

SQL Data Discovery and Classification introduces a new tool built into SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) for discovering, classifying, labeling and reporting the sensitive data in your databases.

Discovering and classifying your most sensitive data (business, financial, healthcare, PII, etc.) can play a pivotal role in your organizational information protection stature. It can serve as infrastructure for:

  • Helping meet data privacy standards and regulatory compliance requirements, such as GDPR.
  • Controlling access to and hardening the security of databases/columns containing highly sensitive data.

Data Discovery & Classification includes a set of new capabilities, forming a new SQL Information Protection paradigm aimed at protecting the data, not just the database:

  • Discovery and recommendations – The classification engine scans your database and identifies columns containing potentially sensitive data. It then provides you an easy way to review and apply the appropriate classification recommendations, as well as to manually classify columns.
  • Labeling – Sensitivity classification labels can be persistently tagged on columns.
  • Visibility – The database classification state can be viewed in a detailed report that can be printed/exported to be used for compliance and auditing purposes, as well as other needs.

To learn more, go to our get started page. Try it out and let us know what you think! You can message us on our twitter @SQLDataTools.