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Microsoft introduced SQL Server, a renowned relational database management system, 29 years ago on April 24, 1989, as SQL Server 1.0. Since then, its evolution has been astonishing, surpassing all expectations.
Offered in various deployment options, including cloud and on-premises, SQL Server has become an indispensable tool for both DBAs and data scientists. It provides robust storage and analytical tools.
With a plethora of useful features, a new version of SQL Server is set to launch later this year. Microsoft unveiled the preview of SQL Server 2019, known as the technical community preview, at the Ignite Conference in Orlando, Florida, on September 24, 2018.
Similar to its predecessors, SQL Server 2019 introduces fresh capabilities and features, expanding beyond basic data storage and retrieval. It aims to enhance the utilization of meaningful data by providing insights and analytics.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the upcoming features in the commercial release of SQL Server 2019, set to launch later this year. We’ll also guide you on where to download the SQL Server 2019 Preview for further evaluation.
Before diving into the discussion, let’s outline the steps to assist you in downloading the Preview build of SQL Server 2019. This allows you to test and evaluate the software before its official commercial release.
The SQL Server 2019 (technical community preview) is accessible for download and evaluation on both Windows and Linux platforms. Moreover, it introduces support for Containers and Kubernetes. The Linux version of SQL Server becomes an attractive choice with Docker and Container support. This allows users to construct SQL Server with an analytic engine based on Kubernetes, seamlessly functioning across Azure-supported data lakes utilizing Apache Spark.
Get SQL Server 2019 Preview from here. With the integration of Docker and Big Data Cluster container images using Kubernetes, users have multiple options for cross-platform data management, ensuring greater control over every piece of information. After selecting the operating environment, the SQL Server Evaluations page will be displayed on the screen.
Before initiating the download, you need to provide essential details about your organization or company. Once all the required information is filled out, click on the Continue button to proceed.
The SQL Server 2019 Preview download will commence automatically. If it doesn’t, click on the Download button to initiate the process.
After running the setup, choose your preferred package for download – the ISO file, which is uncompressed, or the CAB file, which is compressed media. Ensure you’re using hardware that meets the requirements for running SQL Server 2019 smoothly. Otherwise, you might encounter an error message like “Note: Your operating system is not supported by SQL Server 2019. You may download the installation media, but you will not be able to install it on this machine. For more information see release notes for details.”
Now that you’ve learned how to download and assess SQL Server 2019 Preview, let’s delve into the new features and explore the significant advantages offered by this latest release of SQL Server.
Big Data Clusters
This essential feature is introduced in the SQL Server 2019 Preview release. It enables the deployment of multiple instances of SQL Server, integrating Spark and HDFS as a Big Data Cluster. Consequently, SQL Server 2019 offers an integrated platform encompassing all these elements.
The Big Data Cluster in SQL Server 2019 allows you to seamlessly retrieve both high-value relational data and large volumes of big data in a unified manner. This integration enhances the responsiveness and productivity of data-driven applications and analyses.
SQL Server 2019 enables the integration of big data with both analytical and traditional databases, offering data scientists access to big data through straightforward T-SQL queries.
SQL Server 2019 introduces new features in Data Virtualization, enhancing the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process. This advancement enables cross-source data integration with platforms like IBM DB2, MongoDB, Azure Cosmos DB, Apache Spark, Hortonworks, and more.
Thanks to Data Virtualization in SQL Server 2019, seamless cross-source data integration becomes achievable, eliminating the necessity for data replication and movement.
Data Virtualization enables the provision of unified data services for multiple applications within a single virtual data layer. In SQL Server 2019, users define this layer as a Data Hub or Data Lake, functioning as a data controller between multiple data sources. This allows seamless data processing. SQL Server 2019 facilitates the integration of both unstructured and structured data sources, enabling the processing of distinct big data and relational data sources using T-SQL through the server’s PolyBase functionality.
Always on Availability Groups
Always On Availability was initially introduced in Microsoft SQL Server in 2012. Since then, each subsequent version has brought improvements and enhancements. Notably, in SQL Server 2019, high availability and disaster recovery features have been enhanced.
For failover purposes, Always On Availability in SQL Server 2019 supports a total of 5 replicas: one primary copy and four secondary copies. This is an increase from the previous version, SQL Server 2017, which supported 3 replicas.
Always On Availability Groups now permit the creation of multiple database duplicates on servers. This enables redirecting connections for user-based applications from a secondary replica to a primary one, allowing users to be redirected to the primary database replica without utilizing the accessibility group.
Intelligent Query Processing
The Intelligent Query Processing (IQP) suite is designed to address issues related to the execution of common queries. It achieves this by employing automatic correction strategies at runtime, utilizing feedback and insights gathered from previous query executions.
As depicted in the above image, the dark blue boxes represent areas where significant improvements have been made in the Intelligent Query Processing features.
Certificate Management Functionality in SQL Server Configuration Manager
Validating certificates in use on SQL Server instances is simplified in SQL Server 2019 Preview, thanks to the integrated certificate manager. Users can easily check and validate certificates installed in the SQL Server instance. This feature aids in deploying certificates for AG instances and provides clear information about certificate expiration dates, enhancing overall certificate management.
Columnstore Index Enhancements
The SQL Server 2019 Preview introduces enhancements and improvements to various columnstore features, including a low-memory load path for columnstore tables, improved metadata memory management, enhanced performance for bulk loading into columnstore indexes, and improved columnstore index maintenance.
The SQL Server 2019 Preview is a significant advancement in terms of data security. It incorporates advanced SSL/TLS certificates to secure access to SQL Server instances, employing Secure Enclave Technology for data encryption. Furthermore, certificate management has been streamlined and is now accessible through SQL Server Configuration Manager.
The recent SQL Server installation now embraces the widely used UTF-8 encoding, available for export/import, at the column level, or as a database-level grouping for text data. UTF-8 encoded data requires less storage space than UTF-16. This encoding is compatible with both VARCHAR and CHAR, enhancing capabilities during object collation adjustments. Notably, using CHAR instead of NCHAR proves efficient, requiring only 10 bytes compared to NCHAR’s 20 bytes for similar Unicode string data storage.
With the introduction of the SQL Server 2019 Technical Community Preview, numerous features have been introduced or enhanced. The bottom line is that data volumes are expanding rapidly, with massive amounts of data generated daily, posing a challenge for traditional databases. To meet these demands, SQL Server 2019 offers a solution with its four key pillars: Integration, Big Data, Management, and AI, providing a comprehensive approach to manage the overwhelming flow of data.
SQL Server 2019 empowers users to transform data into meaningful insights, enabling seamless storage and retrieval from various sources. By harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI), applications can be enhanced intelligently, utilizing extensive app data for improved user experiences.
In summary, Microsoft showcases SQL Server 2019 as a powerful application equipped with advanced utilities. As you consider evaluating the SQL Server 2019 Preview, it’s essential to address potential issues like SQL Server Database file (MDF/NDF) corruption. To handle and fix issues of database file corruption, you need an advanced SQL recovery software, like Kernel for SQL Database Recovery. It serves as a comprehensive solution for all database file-related issues.