A Joke Come True

Yesterday was the opening of Microsoft Connect 2016. If you didn’t have the chance to watch the opening keynote, I’d recommend you do so. Mostly because one of my jokes, or perhaps a dream, has come true. SQL Server runs on Linux, and you now run it yourself. I know Microsoft has talked about this for most of 2016, and they have used it in demos, but there haven’t been public bits available.

I’ve been lucky. In fact, I’ve been running SQL Server on Ubuntu since April of this year as part of a private program. I’ve been testing various Redgate Software tools as well as my demo code from presentations and so far everything has run. This includes the tSQLt framework and my tests that make use of SQLCLR. This includes my AlwaysEncrypted demos. I was very impressed that these features just worked, as though this instance were any other SQL Server that I had installed.

What’s more, the installation and updating of SQL Server on Ubuntu, using apt-get, is far, far smoother than the installation on Windows. To be fair, this is a default installation, and I haven’t tried to set up all the various options and settings that are available on Windows. The various additional subsystems (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS, etc) aren’t available as well, but still, it’s a very smooth process. As I’ve updated various release candidates across the last few months, I run two commands: “apt-get update”, and “apt-get install mssql-server”.

I don’t know if this is a good business decision for Microsoft. Time will tell, but I can’t help but think that the addition of another platform on which SQL Server can run is good for the product. More people will consider SQL Server as their database platform, with all of the powerful features and capabilities that brings to a database driven application. I suspect this will mean that many developers working in non-Microsoft environments with Linux, Java, PHP, and more will begin to consider SQL Server as an alternative to PostgreSQL and MySQL, in addition to Oracle and DB2. Certainly there is still a cost to using SQL Server, but it’s an incredibly powerful platform, one that now has a more consistent programming surface since almost all features are now available in Standard as well as Enterprise with SQL Server 2016 SP1. Getting RLS, Columnstore Indexes, In-Memory OLTP tables and more in all additions is a major win, and another of the pet peeves I’ve wanted changed for years.

I am very interested to see how people view these changes, and if they will impact you? Do you want to run SQL Server on Linux? Since In-Memory OLTP and other features are now on Standard, are you interested in upgrading to SQL Server 2016 now? Perhaps you’re a little more excited about Microsoft and SQL Server with all of the new development changes announced yesterday? Let me know today.

Steve Jones


About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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