As promised, the new SQL Server Native Client 18 is now available to download. Either Ben Clothier or I will be testing Azure authentication and other aspects of ADODB and be providing feedback soon! In the meantime, check out the announcement and other documents below :
I'm glad to see a major update to the data access driver for SQL Server and Azure SQL for Microsoft Access (as well as .NET and elsewhere).
This provides much-needed support for TLS 1.2 with Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server 18 (MSOLEDBSQL) – the key component provided with SQL Server Native Client (SNAC) v18 update and new suggested default driver – while maintaining backwards compatibility with SQL Server Native Client 11 (SQLNCLI11).
For easier reference, here is the direct (and clickable) link for downloading this new SQL Server driver:
Specifically that means using Provider=MSOLEDBSQL in connection strings, vs. older
SQLOLEDB (plus DataTypeCompatibility=80 if want to return old ADO data types) or SQL Server Native Client (SQLNCLI) – as compared further in updated OLE DB Driver for SQL Server docs.
So not only was OLE DB undeprecated in 2018, it's now the suggested driver for connecting to SQL Server and Azure SQL. Whereas up to this point, ODBC was suggested for use in the Access Import or link to data in an SQL Server database documentation ("ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server" in Create New Data Source driver list).
Use of the OLE DB driver enables support for new SQL Server 2005+ features like multiple active result sets (MARS), query notifications, user-defined types (UDTs), and the new xml data type, as detailed in updated ADO programming docs, as may be helpful for ADO.NET and VBA automation.
Besides TLS 1.2, this new OLE DB 18 SQL Server driver provides availability/replication enhancements with multi-subnet failover support.
If interested, you can find details on other SQL Server driver enhancements (in 11, 13, 13.1 and 17) here and available drivers with each SNAC version (11-13.1) here.