Powerful New Features in SQL Server 2022

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In early November 2021, Microsoft announced the private preview of its flagship database product, SQL Server 2022. (You can read the full blog announcement at https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2021/11/02/announcing-sql-server-2022-preview-azure-enabled-with-continued-performance-and-security-innovation). At some point in 2022 we will see SQL Server 2022 released as a general availability (GA) product, but the specific release date has yet to be disclosed. We can expect to see a variety of the features announced in the next major release rolling out to Azure SQL customers. Microsoft has a long history of rolling out new features to the Azure cloud long before on-premises products. This approach gives customers the benefit of powerful new features before the product is generally available on-premises. It also gives Microsoft the ability to very carefully monitor the user experience and performance impact of each new feature.

There are many new features in SQL Server 2022, and there are a variety of videos available online that have been produced by Microsoft to go into detail. However, you’ll only get highlights and demos of the main features in the videos, rather than a full list of all the new features. The only way to get the full list of new features and upgrades is to apply to join the private preview for early adopters at https://aka.ms/EAPSignup.

What’s new in SQL Server 2022?

Let’s look at new features for performance, high availability, and security and governance.

Performance improvement

There are two notable new performance features in SQL Server 2022. First, we have a new feature set known as Intelligent Query Processing. This feature allows SQL Server to create better execution plans, and potentially multiple execution plans, whose performance depends on parameter values ​​provided at runtime.

Older versions of SQL Server frequently used a single execution plan for a query, even though the execution parameter values ​​were optimized only for the first execution of the query, thus ensuring that all subsequent executions of the query were under – efficient.

Second, Microsoft has added much-needed improvements to Query Store. For example, Query Store is now enabled for all new databases. Another cool feature is that Query Store can now help solve performance issues related to the MAXDOP (maximum degree of parallelism) setting, memory allocations, and cardinality estimator by using a feedback cycle to adapt and improve query execution plans. Finally, Query Store now supports read-only Availability Group (AG) replicas and enables Query Hints directly in Query Store to improve query performance without making any actual code changes.

High availability and connection improvements

High availability in SQL Server 2022 improves by allowing you to quickly and easily create a distributed AG between an on-premises SQL Server and an Azure SQL Managed Instance (MI) to use as a disaster recovery backup server or as a replica read-only to report workloads. You can also manually switch to IM and back to on-premises SQL Server with just a few clicks. (Note that distributed AGs are not the same as standard AGs. Requirements and functionality may vary.)

Another connection established between SQL Server 2022 and Azure Synapse Analytics, called Azure Synapse Link, allows SQL Server 2022 to automatically push data changes occurring in SQL Server directly to Azure Synapse Analytics without the creation of a new ETL pipeline. major.

Security and governance improvements

Remember all that blockchain hype? Although I’ve never been a fan of this technology, it offers useful functionality for specific applications. Enter the SQL Server ledger. The new feature creates an immutable history of data changes over time using “blockchainish” technologies. This protects data against tampering, which is useful in certain situations and use cases, and also provides benefits for internal and external audits. Finally, in a previous article, I described a new governance tool called Azure Purview (www.dbta.com/Columns/SQL-Server-Drill-Down/Introducing-Azure-Purview-Microsofts-Next-Generation-of- Data-Governance-145167.aspx). Microsoft has extended its initial feature set to a broader data governance platform. Purview now provides tighter integration with SQL Server and Azure SQL so you can automatically analyze SQL Server to capture metadata, classify data using common classifier labels and tags (such as PII data or HIPAA data), and configure and control specific access rights and privileges. to SQL Server from a single Azure Purview console.

Dive in today by watching videos from the Microsoft Ignite conference or the PASS Data Community Summit. And take the new version for a test drive by applying to join the private preview.

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