SQL Server 2022 Release Candidate 0 Now Available
Microsoft last week announced the release of SQL Server 2022 Release Candidate (RC) 0.
The RC 0 designation is old Microsoft phraseology. It used to mean that the software bits were feature complete and ready for imaging on hardware by Microsoft's partners. Possibly, it now just now means that the product is close to commercial release ("general availability").
In any case, the free-trial release of SQL Server 2022 RC 0 can be downloaded at this page. It's good for 180 days.
SQL Server 2022 RC 0 also can be tried by running an Azure Virtual Machines image of it, which is available from the Azure Marketplace.
New RC 0 Features
A few of SQL Server 2022's new features were said to be available in this RC 0 release.
RC 0 is bringing a Degree of Parallelism Feedback capability to the Query Store, which is a feature that captures query history and run-time statistics. The Degree of Parallelism Feedback capability is designed to reduce "inefficient parallelism" across repeated queries, per Microsoft's "What's New" document description.
The RC 0 release also showcases a couple of management capabilities in SQL Server 2022. There's an "Integrated Acceleration" feature, which wasn't described. It also brings an "Improved Snapshot Backup Support" feature, which adds "Transact-SQL support for freezing and thawing I/O without requiring a VDI client," per the document description.
Language additions in the RC 0 release include:
- APPROX_PERCENTILE_DISC(), which is a function that "returns the value from the set of values in a group based on the provided percentile and sort specification."
- APPROX_PERCENTILE_CONT(), which is a function that "returns an approximate interpolated value from the set of values in a group based on percentile value and sort specification."
- TRIM scalar function extensions, which weren't described.
The 'Most Azure-Enabled' Release
In terms of general marketing messaging, Microsoft is touting SQL Server 2022 as "the most Azure-enabled release of SQL Server yet." It's said to be "part of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, which unifies operational databases, analytics and data governance."
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform seems to be a concept that ties together multiple Microsoft products and services, rather than being an actual thing. However, Microsoft had described the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform as an actual product that had reached the general availability stage back in May during its Build event for developers.
A video included in Microsoft's "What's New" document described SQL Server 2022 as enabling "business continuity through Azure" by enabling bidirectional high-availability and disaster recovery capabilities. The disaster recovery support happens via a "Link feature in Azure SQL Managed Instance" service, according to Microsoft's datasheet, which can be downloaded at this page.
SQL Server 2022 is also said to enable "seamless analytics over on-prem operational data" via Azure Synapse Link. Azure Synapse, formerly known as "Azure Data Warehouse," brings together data warehousing capabilities with Big Data-type analytics, according to this Microsoft description.
SQL Server 2022 is integrated with the Azure Purview governance service. Microsoft additionally touted SQL Server 2022 for its performance and availability characteristics, plus its security protections, including SQL Server Ledger support, which is a decentralized blockchain approach for ensuring data integrity.
Microsoft recently outlined new least-privilege "granular" permissions for SQL Server 2022 in this post. Those granular permissions also were described as applying to SQL Server Ledger use.
Microsoft hasn't indicated when SQL Server 2022 will be commercially released. It's only been at the public preview stage since about mid-year, though.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.