Recapping recent updates to client tools in SQL Server

Hello from the SQL Experiences team! As a follow-up to Microsoft Build at the end of May, we thought it was a good time to highlight recent updates for client tools, as we’ve had quite a few.

SQL Server Management Studio

First, in alignment with the announcement of preview for SQL Server 2022, we released SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 19 Preview 2

SSMS 19 is the recommended version of SSMS for SQL Server 2022. The release notes for SSMS document current limitations and we will have additional previews in upcoming months with expanded capabilities.

Developer Tools

Second, we continue to support developers working with databases via the latest version of the SQL Database Projects extension in Azure Data Studio. We now have preview support for SDK-style SQL projects which benefit developers who work in cross-platform environments or ship applications through CI/CD platforms. In addition, the SQL Database Projects extension provides a local development environment for Azure SQL Database through an emulator. The emulator provides a containerized database to allow for testing and development in an offline and independent environment, thereby reducing resource requirements and increasing developer autonomy. We are working to expand the capabilities of the Azure SQL Database emulator in future releases.

Further enhancements in the development space include the integration of SQL bindings with the mssql extension in VS Code. This enables users to develop Azure Functions with Azure SQL bindings and while the SQL bindings extension currently only integrates with C# Azure Functions, support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Python have been added to the preview for SQL bindings as well.

We also have a set of driver, library, and command-line interface (CLI) updates to note:

Internally we continue to explore additional open-source opportunities and remain committed to expanding scripting and library support. Across new and established landscapes we continue our commitment to empowering developers with open source projects. In the go ecosystem, we look forward to expanding the capabilities of the go-mssqldb driver and enabling new CLI scenarios with go-sqlcmd.

Azure Data Studio

Lastly, we released Azure Data Studio 1.36.2 immediately prior to Microsoft Build, and it contains key improvements driven by our partners. Azure Data Studio now supports connectivity to Power BI Datamarts, for which the preview was just announced. Power BI Datamarts are a self-service analytics solution that allows individuals with little to no code experience to quickly and easily bring their data into a fully managed database. Azure Data Studio (as well as SSMS) provides users the ability to explore the objects and the data to get started with initial analysis and query writing.

We introduced .NET Interactive Notebooks in Azure Data Studio through the .NET Interactive Notebooks extension. With multi-language support for Jupyter Notebooks you can now code in T-SQL, PowerShell, C#, JavaScript, and more. 

Screenshot of a .NET Interactive Notebook with C# and T-SQL.

This .NET Notebooks in Visual Studio Code blog provides an example to get started. And finally, you can now access Mongo resources in Azure Cosmos DB using the MongoDB Extension for Azure Cosmos DB (currently in preview).

What’s next for SQL Server client tools

Though we are almost halfway through the calendar year, we expect to deliver even more improvements and new functionality in the latter half of 2022. We have several exciting tools in preview (SSMS 19 and SqlServer PowerShell module 22.0) that we look forward to advancing towards general availability, along with new versions of Azure Data Studio and VS Code SQL extensions. We appreciate your support and feedback as we continue to ship releases across a breadth of new and established experiences for SQL Server. Please continue to submit feedback for Azure Data Studio and SQL Server Management Studio to support the evolution of client tools.