Streamline development and accelerate developer velocity on Azure SQL Database
Published May 24 2022 08:30 AM 5,768 Views

Build your next app on Azure SQL Database  


Azure SQL Database is a relational database service built for the cloud. Built upon the powerful SQL Server engine, you can use SQL Database to modernize your existing apps or build new apps in the cloud with support for the most common languages and platforms.  It meets the needs of today’s demanding applications with support for both relational and multi-model structures and dynamic scalability, helping your app perform and scale to your needs.  With CI/CD pipeline support via GitHub Actions integration, you can build, test and deploy your apps quickly and efficiently. 

As a fully-managed database service, SQL Database is optimized for your productivity by automating much of the day to day administration such as updates, provisioning and backups as well as built-in business continuity features to keep your apps up and running with up to 99.995% availability.  Your database even scales automatically when it’s on SQL Database serverless.   

SQL Database has a strong history of innovation built upon addressing the needs of our customers.  We pioneered innovations like elastic pools to help ISVs optimize price performance for multi-tenant SaaS apps.  The unique, born-in-the-cloud architecture for  SQL Database Hyperscale enables rapid scalability to 100 TB while delivering near instantaneous backups, effectively removing the limits to your app’s growthwith up to 100 TB.  Our intelligent query optimizer takes the guesswork out of figuring out the best response to your request, accounting for data size and distribution, index availability, memory and more.  

Today’s modern workloads and the pressure they put on developers are no less demanding, and Azure SQL Database is evolving to address those needs.  At this year’s Microsoft Build 2022, we are happy to announce new features designed to further accelerate developer velocity, including binding updates, JSON enhancements, and a new local development experience. These features simplify and expedite application development and reduce time-to-market for you. 


Focus on your app’s capabilities, skip the boilerplate code 


What if you could stay focused on building out your app’s core capabilities rather than inserting line after line of boilerplate code?  Some of our latest preview announcements help you do just that – and further open the door to tighter integration with other Azure services across the platform. 

Developers love Azure Functions because it’s a serverless solution they can use with cloud applications, but binding data in Azure Functions can be challenging. New input/output bindings in Azure Functions give you the flexibility of connecting to SQL Database using Python and JavaScript languages, alongside the previously announced bindings for C#.  This further simplifies application development by reducing hardcoded access to Azure SQL Database.   

New JSON functions (JSON_PATH_EXISTS, JSON_OBJECT and JSON_ARRAY) and ISJSON enhancement now make validating JSON documents or converting SQL data to JSON easier. The newly added json_type_constraint parameter in ISJSON function can be used to test conformance of JSON documents to the IETF RFC 8259 specification. The new JSON_PATH_EXISTS function provides functionality that is like the ANSI SQL JSON_EXISTS predicate. This function can be used to test for the existence of a specific SQL/JSON path expression in a JSON document. This makes it easier to construct conditions where a JSON item in the specified path can represent either a JSON scalar or JSON object or JSON array. The ANSI SQL compatible JSON value constructors – JSON_OBJECT & JSON_ARRAY - allow you to construct complex JSON objects or arrays easily in a DML statement or procedural code. These functions provide an easy way to convert SQL / relational data to JSON documents and addresses the gaps in the existing FOR JSON operator. 

Looking for an innovative way to integrate data with other services? Since most services support REST endpoints, you can now use stored procedures in Azure SQL Database to push data from the SQL engine with T-SQL to just about any REST endpoint you can think of.  This enables you to use the power of T-SQL to push data within the engine to many other Azure services, like Azure Functions, Cognitive Services, Logic Apps, Event Hubs, Event Grid, REST endpoints deployed in App Services and Azure Containers or exposed via API Management.  Sign up now to participate in the Early Access Program for this feature.   


Test locally, deploy globally 


The new local development experience provides an Azure SQL Database emulator, a containerized, full-fidelity runtime, together with dedicated Visual Studio Code and Azure Data Studio extensions.  You can now develop and test your applications and databases locally and publish updates directly to the SQL Database public service or through your existing CI/CD pipelines.  It works on local developer workstations or in hosted environments like GitHub codespaces. 


Unlock new insights with near real-time analytics 

Organizations are under increasing pressure to produce quality, data-driven insights to stay competitive, but batch-based ETL or ELT approaches can be costly and time-consuming. Azure Synapse Link for SQL automates the extraction and movement of data from your relational operational data stores in both Azure SQL Database and SQL Server 2022 to Azure Synapse Analytics dedicated SQL pools. Your data is replicated in near real-time without the need to develop and deploy ETL or ELT pipelines. Once in Azure Synapse Analytics, the data can be used in advanced analytics and other downstream processing systems much faster than traditional batch-based ETL or ELT scenarios. 


Harness the power of blockchain with the simplicity of SQL 


Blockchain isn't always the right fit for systems that require digitization of trust. The cost, complexity and performance overhead of building a new system based upon blockchain technology may be worth the effort for decentralized systems, but may be too much for centralized systems like SQL Database.  We’re happy to announce a simpler solution, ledger in Azure SQL Database, is now available and eliminates the aforementioned costs while providing many of the benefits of a fully managed and familiar SQL environment.   

Stay tuned for more 

We continue to see strong growth in developers writing new data centric applications. Developers want their databases without complexity, and they want experiences fully integrated into their existing environments. Azure SQL Database will simplify application development and integration through offline-enabled SDKs that provide transparent cloud synchronization and advanced capabilities with different developer friendly price options. Azure SQL Database will continue investing in accelerating developer velocity and simplifying the overall workflow for application developers and database professionals.  


Learn more at Microsoft Build 


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