Microsoft releases first public release candidate of SQL Server 2017. SQL Server 2017 comes with tier-1 support for Linux as it includes the same high availability solutions on Linux as Windows Server, including Always On availability groups integrated with Linux native clustering solutions. It also comes with new set of query processing features that automatically keeps database queries running as efficiently as possible without requiring additional tuning from database administrators.

In seven community technology previews (CTPs) to date, SQL Server 2017 has delivered:

  • Linux support for tier-1, mission-critical workloads SQL Server 2017 support for Linux includes the same high availability solutions on Linux as Windows Server, including Always On availability groups integrated with Linux native clustering solutions like Pacemaker.
  • Graph data processing in SQL Server With the graph data features available in SQL Server 2017 and Azure SQL Database, customers can create nodes and edges, and discover complex and many-to-many relationships.
  • Adaptive query processing Adaptive query processing is a family of features in SQL Server 2017 that automatically keeps database queries running as efficiently as possible without requiring additional tuning from database administrators. In addition to the capability to adjust batch mode memory grants, the feature set includes batch mode adaptive joins and interleaved execution capabilities.
  • Python integration for advanced analytics Microsoft Machine Learning Services now brings you the ability to run in-database analytics using Python or R in a parallelized and scalable way. The ability to run advanced analytics in your operational store without ETL means faster time to insights for customers while easy deployment and rich extensibility make it fast to get up and running on the right model.

In SQL Server 2017 RC1, there were several feature enhancements:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt data – SQL Server on Linux can use TLS to encrypt data that is transmitted across a network between a client application and an instance of SQL Server. SQL Server on Linux supports the following TLS protocols: TLS 1.2, 1.1, and 1.0. Check out the getting started instructions.
  • SQL Server on Linux Active Directory integration – With RC1, SQL Server on Linux supports Active Directory Authentication, which enables domain-joined clients on either Windows or Linux to authenticate to SQL Server using their domain credentials and the Kerberos protocol. Check out the getting started instructions.
  • Machine Learning Services enhancements – In RC1, we add more model management capabilities for R Services on Windows Server, including External Library Management. The new release also supports Native Scoring.
  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)  In addition to the enhancements to SSAS from previous CTPs of SQL Server 2017, RC1 adds additional Dynamic Management Views, enabling dependency analysis and reporting. See the Analysis Services blog for more information.
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Linux  The preview of SQL Server Integration Services on Linux<link> now adds support for any Unicode ODBC driver, if it follows ODBC specifications. (ANSI ODBC driver is not supported.)
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Windows Server  RC1 adds support for SSIS scale out in highly available environments. Customers can now enable Always On for SSIS, setting up Windows Server failover clustering for the scale out master.

Streamline your DevOps using SQL Server 2017

In SQL Server 2017, we have introduced support for SQL Server on Linux-based containers, a benefit for customers using containers in development or production. We’re also working to help developers get started developing an app for SQL Server as fast as possible with installation instructions, code snippets, and other handy information.

On our new microsite DevOps using SQL Server, which launched today, developers and development managers can learn how to integrate SQL Server in their DevOps tasks. Find demos, documentation, and blogs, as well as videos and conference presentations. Or, join the DevOps conversation at our Gitter channels.

Customers are already benefitting from SQL Server 2017

In fact, with our Early Adoption Program, customers can develop new applications for SQL Server 2017 or add Linux support to existing applications, and get the support and end-user license agreement that they need to go into production on SQL Server right now. Here are some customers already benefitting from SQL Server 2017 on Linux:

  • Convergent Computing A system integrator and longtime Microsoft partner, Convergent Computing was able to achieve a much faster return on server and storage hardware investments than usual by moving some tier-2 applications to inexpensive, white box servers running SQL Server 2017 on Linux.
  • dv01 – Financial technology startup dv01 started out with an open source database on a competitor cloud. But when it ran into performance and scale problems, SQL Server was able to give it 15X faster performance, plus in-database advanced analytics. And by moving to SQL Server 2017, dv01 could standardize its operating systems on Linux—all with an easy migration.

You can download SQL Server 2017 RC1 here.