What’s New for SQL Server in Azure – April 2016

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Microsoft Azure Team Participates in Ask Me Anything

To start the month, a group of PMs and developers from Microsoft participated in a Reddit AMA. Things I thought were interesting:

  • Customers using SQL Database received a message stating CLR was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from the product for security reasons. I can’t find any documentation or an announcement of this, however.
  • Very few SQL Database clients meet the 99.99% uptime. SQL Databases spend a lot of time “reconfiguring”. Customers aren’t happy. Be aware that when using SQL Database, your database may be online, but the queries to it may fail.
  • A common request is to assign a SQL Database to a VNet. (I’ve often thought this would be helpful.) This is something MSFT is thinking of adding in.

You can read the full AMA here: https://www.reddit.com/r/AZURE/comments/4dtjkt/ama_microsoft_databases_team_48/.

 SQL Database Supports JSON

MSFT announced that SQL Server 2016 would support storing and querying JSON. What comes to SQL Server comes to SQL Database first! Build-in functions such as JSON_VALUE, JSON_QUERY, and JSON_MODIFY are available to query, extract, and update JSON values.

Read more about this preview at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/json-functionalities-in-azure-sql-database-public-preview/.

 Geo-Replication For All Service Tiers

SQL Database uses geo-replication for DR and offloading read workloads. In the past, the premium tier was the only tier that offered active geo-replication. This could make for inconsistent experience for multiple tiers of service.

Azure is now offering Active Geo-Replication for all tiers of SQL Database. With this change, standard geo-replication is being removed within 12 months – existing databases may need to be reconfigured. Read more about this change at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-sql-database-now-supports-powerful-geo-replication-features-on-all-service-tiers/.

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