Version 18.0 of the Microsoft ODBC Driver 18 for SQL Server has been released. Version 18.0 brings several changes, new features, and fixes to the driver.
There a couple breaking changes in 18.0 over previous releases that may affect a lot of users. Similar to the HTTP to HTTPS default changes made in web browsers a few years back (and the security reasons for them), we are changing the default value of the `Encrypt` connection option from `no` to `yes`/`mandatory`. (New encrypt values "mandatory" and "optional", synonymous with "yes" and "no", respectively, have been added to better describe encryption behavior.) With the increased emphasis on secure-by-default, the growing use of cloud databases, and the need to ensure connections are secure, it's time for this backwards-compatibility-breaking change. We realize this will cause some disruption, but letting clients try to connect without encryption by default leaves them open to attack from malicious actors.
We also changed the behavior of TrustServerCertificate to not be tied to the Encrypt setting. Previously, if Encrypt was set to no, certificates wouldn't be validated regardless of what TrustServerCertificate was set to. This allowed servers using self-signed certificates and Force Protocol Encryption to encrypt their client connections without requiring clients to change their default settings.
The action item if you are affected by the Encrypt change is to either (in order of recommendation):
If you are using a self-signed certificate and the Force Encryption setting on the server to ensure clients connect with encryption, you will need to do one of the following (in order of recommendation):
If you maintain an application that uses the Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server and you don't expose the Encrypt and TrustServerCertificate settings to your users, it's recommended that you make application changes to allow users to opt-in to non-encrypted connections or connections that use an untrusted certificate. It's also recommended that you expose the HostNameInCertificate setting. This new, related setting allows users to specify a known hostname defined in a certificate that doesn't match the hostname they need to use to connect to the server.
For Windows installations, you can directly download the Microsoft ODBC Driver 18 for SQL Server.
Linux and macOS packages are also available. For installation details see the online instructions.
We are committed to improving quality and bringing more feature support for connecting to SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure SQL Managed Instance through regular driver releases. We invite you to explore the latest the Microsoft Data Platform has to offer via a trial of Microsoft Azure SQL Database or by evaluating Microsoft SQL Server.
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