Redmond View

SQL Server's Road to Linux

Microsoft's improbable partnership with the open source platform continues, as the company sets its aim for more Linux integration among its products and services.

Microsoft first publicly proclaimed its love for Linux less than 18 months ago and ever since, the company has taken substantive steps to show this wasn't just a crush. Granted, the love of Linux expressed by CEO Satya Nadella followed a long courtship, which included the company's full-blown support in Microsoft Azure. Microsoft's cloud also included support for other open source software and languages such as Java, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby, among others. Despite touting incremental advances including the milestone last year that 20 percent of applications in Azure ran on Linux servers or virtual machines, its progress went largely unnoticed.

Nevertheless, Microsoft kept pushing, taking once-unthinkable steps such as opening the .NET Core framework and its Visual Studio Code editor, support for Linux containers via Docker in Windows Server, forging close ties with Red Hat, and having a prominent presence at events like the Chef developer conference, just to name a few.

Now that the open source community and critics among its own installed base and ecosystem have begun taking Microsoft's new worldview seriously, the company has found new ways to surprise. Microsoft last month made two important announcements: The company will offer a version of its popular SQL Server data­base for Linux in mid-2017 and it has joined the Eclipse Foundation as a Solution Vendor. While Microsoft has offered Eclipse plug-ins in its tools for some time, the company now will work more closely with the Eclipse community to deliver new tools, SDKs and services for an expanded universe of development teams.

Microsoft's move to offer SQL Server for Linux has huge implications for existing and potentially new Microsoft IT pros and developers. The beta is available now and we look forward to sharing our observations and hearing yours, as well.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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