SQL Server 2019 release candidate is now available

Today we’re announcing the availability of the first public release candidate for SQL Server 2019, which is now available for download. SQL Server 2019 brings the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Windows, Linux, and containers and can tackle any data workload from business intelligence to data warehousing to analytics and AI over all your data both structured and unstructured.

In our nine community technology previews (CTPs) to date, SQL Server 2019 has delivered:

1)    Intelligence over all of your data with SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters

Your business is not constrained by the type of data that gets in the database. Now with SQL Server 2019, you can do analytics and AI over any type of data, structured, or unstructured with the power SQL and Apache Spark™. You can enhance your high-value structured data by combining it with big data and the ability to dynamically scale-out compute to support analytics over the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) at scale.

2)    Data virtualization with PolyBase

Data virtualization allows you to have a single query point where you run your T SQL code or connect your BI tools to, to join your disparate data and fetch the results. No more data movement, just a semantic layer to abstract the complexity of your underlying estate. You can query data stored in Oracle, Teradata, HDFS or any other data sources without moving or replicating the data and can do it in a performant manner by caching the key data in a scale out data mart.

3)    Choice of platform and language

  • SQL Server 2019 now runs on Windows, Linux, and containers and has support for deployment on Kubernetes
  • You can deploy on multiple Linux distributions including RedHat, SUSE, and Ubuntu with full database engine support including transaction replication and machine learning services
  • SQL Server extensibility framework now supports the execution of custom Java code along the same lines it executed R and Python. Free supported Java in SQL Server 2019 is now available.
  • Support UTF-8 character for applications extending to a global scale, where the requirement of providing global multilingual database applications and services is critical to meeting customer demands, and specific market regulations.

4)    Industry leading performance and availability

  • Enhancements to intelligent query processing (IQP): Having a family of intelligent features to improve query performance with minimal coding effort
  • Automatic tuning uses built-in intelligence to continuously monitor queries executed on a database, and automatically improves their performance
  • Performance recommendations allow customers to analyze a database and get a list of recommendations for improving the performance of that database
  • Improve database availability with accelerated database recovery gets your databases online faster
  • Compatibility certification: Upgrade and modernize your SQL Server database on-premises, in the cloud, and on the edge with the compatibility certification that eliminates risks of application compatibility

5. Unparalleled security

  • Always encrypted with secure enclaves allows data computations inside a secure enclave on the server side, eliminating the need to move sensitive data outside the database.
  • Add custom security to your application with advanced features like row-level security and dynamic data masking. You can track compliance for common organizational and regulatory standards with a vulnerability assessment.
  • Transparent data encryption encrypts the data at rest. SQL Server ensure data files, log files, and even specific database backup files that are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access to the data in the transparent data encryption enabled database.

Check out what’s new in SQL Server documentation to learn about all of the scenarios that are available with the release candidate.

To download the release candidate bits for SQL Server 2019 when they are available, please review the documentation to learn more.

Customers are encouraged to deploy this free preview, try out features in this release, and provide feedback to the engineering team. Your feedback is very helpful in refining features to be the most useful.

Ready to learn more?