Microsoft Previews Newly Named SQL Server 2017

Microsoft yesterday gave the next edition of its flagship SQL Server RDBMS an official name and announced a new preview of the upcoming offering.

Instead of referring to it as "SQL Server vNext," Microsof officially dubbed it SQL Server 2017. Developers can now get their hands on its latest preview, called SQL Server 2017 Community Technology Preview 2.0.

Microsoft said it's the first production-quality preview of the new edition, which is available for both Windows and Linux.

"In this preview, we added a number of new capabilities, including the ability to run advanced analytics using Python in a parallelized and highly scalable way, the ability to store and analyze graph data, and other capabilities that help you manage SQL Server for high performance and uptime, including the Adaptive Query Processing family of intelligent database features and resumable online indexing," the SQL Server team said in a blog post.

Some of those capabilities that were previously Windows-only are now available on Linux for the first time, including:

  • Additional SQL Server Agent capabilities -- SQL Server Agents can be used to keep replicas in synch with log shipping.
  • Listener for Always On availability groups -- The listener enables clients to connect to the primary replica in an availability group, monitoring availability and directing connections to the replicas.

On the Windows side of things, data developers are likely to be interested in the new ability to use the Python programming language within the database for analytics in order to enhance machine learning, predictive analytics and data science scripts.

"The new capability, called Microsoft Machine Learning Services, enables Python scripts to be run directly within the database server, or to be embedded into T-SQL scripts, where they can be easily deployed to the database as stored procedures and easily called from SQL client applications by stored procedure call," Microsoft said. "SQL Server 2017 will also extend Python’s performance and scale by providing a selection of parallelized algorithms that accelerate data transforms, statistical tests and analytics algorithms. This functionality and the ability to run R in-database and at scale are only available on Windows Server operating system at this time."

A complete list of new features in CTP 2.0 and other previews is available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.