After seven preview releases, Microsoft has announced the release of the first Release Candidate for SQL Server 2017. With this release developers can explore several new improvements that expand SQL Server’s Linux capabilities.
First among these is Active Directory Authentication support for SQL Server on Linux installations. Using AD Authentication versus SQL Server Authentication provides several ease-of-management benefits, including single sign-on for users, the use of AD groups to organize users by different access levels, and the establishment of a centralized password policy.
Next is the ability to use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt data when transmitting over a network between a client application and instances of SQL Server. TLS 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 is supported. Added to this is SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) with the Dynamic Management Views.
SQL Server Integration Servers (SSIS) has also been updated. For Linux instances, developers now have the option to use any Unicode ODBC driver (note this must be Unicode, ANSI is not supported). Users of SSIS on Windows will benefit from the added support of Always On for SSIS, which provide failover clustering ability on Windows Server.
These new features build on the existing features in SQL Server 2017 that have already been delivered:
RC1 is available for download now and supports Windows, Linux, and Docker containers.