Azure SQL News Update - August 2023
Published Aug 02 2023 09:26 AM 3,557 Views

Today Data Exposed went live at 9AM PT for a special Ask Me Anything and news update. If you missed the episode, you can find them all at This month we’ll recap all the updates from May through July. This was a fun and informative episode, and we had great guests (and fun) with the product group and our MVP community.


By the way, if you want to see a summary of all the updates in 2022, check out the blog If you want a summary of all the updates in 2023’s first quarter,, or from April.


You can read this blog to get all the updates and references mentioned in the show. Here’s the August 2023 update:

In May, we released a short episode on all the updates at Microsoft Build. It’s a great one to see what landed and some awesome demos from the team. Many of the updates in this blog for Azure SQL Database started at Microsoft Build.


So let’s start with Azure SQL Database. We released Elastic Pools for Hyperscale as public preview at Microsoft Build. On the show, we talked more about what Elastic Pools for Hyperscale means and how to get started. Serverless for Hyperscale (preview) also now supports zone redundancy.


XML compression became Generally Available (GA) in SQL DB and SQL MI, which provides a method to compress off-row XML data for both XML columns and indexes, improving capacity requirements.


In the security space, Always Encrypted with Intel SGX enclaves in Azure SQL Database with up to 40 vCores was released in public preview on the DC-series hardware. Yes, a lot to unpack there, but basically we’re enabling you to take advantage of more cores and Always Encrypted together, more details here.


For developers, we released things for Azure SQL Database, but many of those updates apply to SQL Server as well. These developer focused updates include Azure Functions SQL Bindings GA, go-sqlcmd GA, Data API Builder public preview, new JSON type and JSON aggregates preview.


On the tooling and experiences front, since our last episode we released updates to Azure Data Studio.! In May, we added support for GitHub Copilot in Azure Data Studio, GA-ed the SQL Database Projects extension, and improved connectivity (release blog here). In July, we added more connection improvements, Object Explorer functionality, addressed your feedback and more (release notes here). Go-sqlcmd, a tool you should probably go try out now, added more enhancements to connectivity, querying, and setting up your environment.


For Migrations, we released a new SQL Migration journey planning experience and offline migrations to Azure SQL Database in Azure Data Studio. We also have been releasing several things in the migrating from Oracle space – Database Migration Assessment for Oracle extension GA in Azure Data Studio, Database Migration Service Pack for Oracle in preview, Database Schema Conversion Toolkit for Oracle GA in Azure Data Studio, and the Data Migration for Oracle extension preview in Azure Data Studio. So the summary is if you are trying to migrate from Oracle to Azure SQL, we got your back and are here to help, just get the extensions in Azure Data Studio!


For Azure SQL Managed Instance, one big announcement was the public preview of blockchain capabilities with Ledger in Azure SQL Managed Instance. This is available in Azure SQL Database and so it’s exciting to see that parity land in Azure SQL Managed Instance. We also recently added updates to SSDT including support for Ledger. Additionally, the team added some great options including all subscription types in large Azure regions are available for SQL MI, license-free Geo-DR through passive standby replica (GA), higher CPU vCores available for Premium Hardware on BC tier, and export capability for Data Virtualization in SQL MI (GA).


SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is powered by the SQL IaaS Agent extension, which enables you to get a lot of benefits for managing your SQL Server Azure VMs with ease. Pam Lahoud came on and told us about the preview of Microsoft Azure Boost ( Microsoft Azure Boost is the infrastructure technology behind the improved I/O performance on Ebdsv5 (#DoubleSprinklesVMs). There are many different components that improve overall price-performance, but one of the key aspects for SQL Server customers is that Azure Boost enables Azure current customers to achieve an industry leading remote storage throughput and IOPS performance of 10 GBps and 400K IOPS with our memory optimized E112ibsv5 VM using NVMe-enabled Premium SSD v2 or Ultra Disk options.


For Hybrid, we released several things related to deployment of Azure Arc including: at scale deployment of Best Practices Assessments using Azure policy,  simplified deployment of Arc SQL Server extension for software assurance (SA) customers, easily subscribe to Extended Security updates. On the management side, we added basic license management of SQL Servers and host properties, connecting SQL Servers to Arc at scale with flexible host configuration, support for Microsoft update to patch Arc-enabled SQL Server for critical patches, improved control of built-in automated backups and retention periods, as well as support for Azure Purview for Arc-enabled SQL Servers.


Last but certainly not least, we got an update on SQL Server on Linux and containers, which we don’t talk about enough on the show. We got some guidance for deploying on Kubernetes, and the assessment API (which you’ve heard about in the SQL VM and Hybrid space) is integrated with Red Hat Insights. Also, the Ansible SQL Server system role developer version and fully supported “microsoft.sql.server” part of RHEL 8 appstream is now available. SQL Server cross-platform availability groups, which include heterogeneous replicas with complete high-availability and disaster recovery support, is available with DH2i DxEnterprise. And the Azure Marketplace image for SQL Server 2022 for all distributions is available including RHEL 8 HA, Ubuntu Pro, SLES 15, plus RHEL 9 and Ubuntu 22.04 are coming soon.



We continued to release new and exciting episodes. Here is the list of what we released since the last News Update, or you can just see the playlist we created with all the episodes!

  • Query Store: How It Started…How It’s Going
  • [MVP Edition]: Making the Most of Clustered Columnstore Indexes in SQL Server 2022 & Azure SQL
  • [SQL Insider Series]: Microsoft Fabric (Analytics in the Era of AI)
  • Overview of Azure SQL trigger for Azure Functions
  • How to achieve data virtualization on Mainframes
  • SQL Integration with Microsoft Fabric
  • [MVP Edition]: Quickly creating containers with the new, open-source SQLCMD
  • How do you use JSON data in Azure SQL Database & SQL Server 2022
  • Calling a REST service from Azure SQL DB
  • New benefits of Azure Arc Enabled SQL Server
  • Build 2023: What's new in Azure SQL
  • [MVP Edition] Easy APIs with Azure SQL Database
  • Ledger in Azure Managed Instance
  • What's new in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)

We’ve also had some great Data Exposed Live sessions this year. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them all and get notified when we stream.


If you are looking to attend some in-person and virtual events this month, the Azure Data team has you covered. We’ll be at the following events and are looking forward to seeing you there!

Multiple Dates: Data Saturdays and SQL Saturdays: Multiple events from around the globe from the Community and from RedGate
Multiple DatesMicrosoft, Partner, and Community-led Events: Events from around the world, presented by Microsoft, Microsoft Partners, and Community groups

September 11-13: SQL Koferenze: SQL Server Workshop, Keynotes, Multiple Sessions on Data, Fabric, and AI

September 8: Data: Scotland: Free event with multiple Sessions 

September 27: Future Driven Summit: Data & AI, Azure DevOps, DataOps, Power BI, integration and automation, and cloud infrastructure

November 12-17: Live! 360: Microsoft Fabric Workshop, Keynotes, Multiple Sessions on Data, Fabric, and AI
November 14-17: PASS Summit: SQL Server Workshop, Keynotes, Multiple Sessions on Data, Fabric, and AI

Special highlight on PASS Data Community Summit! Steve Jones came on the show to tell us all about what's happening at PASS Data Community Summit, including 150+ industry leading sessions from 130+ speakers, networking opportunities, on-demand sessions, and staying ahead with cutting-edge trends. There will be learning opportunities for professionals at all stages of their careers. You can register now at with code DATAEXPLIVE150 to claim $150 off a 3-day pass. You know that Data Exposed will be there live and in person, so we'd love to see you there!


Blogs to follow

There are a lot of blogs that I follow to stay up to date. If you want more details than I give here, I recommend checking out:


Until next time…

That’s it for now! Be sure to check back next month for the latest updates. We also release new episodes of Data Exposed on Thursdays at 9AM PT and new #MVPTuesday episodes on the last Tuesday of every month at 9AM PT at


Having trouble keeping up? Be sure to follow us on X to get the latest updates on everything, @AzureSQL.


We hope to see you next time, on Data Exposed :)

--Anna and Marisa

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‎Aug 02 2023 06:12 AM
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