Microsoft and Oracle agreement to connect Azure and Oracle Cloud

Microsoft and Oracle both released announcements on their recent agreement to connect Azure and Oracle Cloud services. This will allow users to connect to both using a unified single sign-on experience.

More information on this service is available at www.oracle.com/cloud/oci-azure.html.

Azure DevOps is the new name for Visual Studio Team Services

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) has been renamed to Azure DevOps as of September 2018. Microsoft offers guidance on conversion from Team Foundation Server (TFS) to Azure DevOps Services.  Features within VSTS have been given new Azure DevOp names as well.

User settings can be changed by logging into app.vsaex.visualstudio.com.

Documentation regarding Azure DevOps is available at docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/.

Azure Data Studio is the new name for SQL Operations Studio

Microsoft announced the September 2018 release of Azure Data Studio, formerly known as SQL Operations Studio (preview version).  Azure Data Studio is a new open source desktop environment for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse data that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

DB-Engines.com ranks hundreds of database management systems

DB-Engines.com publishes lists of database management systems (DBMS) ranked by category, including:

SQL Server and Azure SQL Database Tools and Utilities

Microsoft has made available many free downloadable apps for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse, including:

A list of most of these SQL tools and utilities can be found at the SQL tools overview and command prompt utilities pages.

Windows Admin Center – a new management tool for Windows 10 and Server

Microsoft announced the release of Windows Admin Center, a new web based administrative management interface for Windows systems.  The original development name of this tool was Project Honolulu.  This tool consolidates data from Event Viewer, Device Manager, Disk Management, Task Manager, Server Manager and other console windows into one interface.  It can be downloaded and installed on Windows 10 Fall Anniversary Update (version 1709) or newer, or Windows Server 2016 or newer.   More information can be found at:

Windows Admin Center is part of a set of management solutions from Microsoft, which also includes Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), System Center, Operations Management Suite and Azure Stack for Azure-related management, as well as Intune for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instances offer greater SQL Server compatibility

Microsoft has made Azure SQL Database Managed Instances available in Preview mode.  These instances offer much greater compatibility with traditional SQL Server when compared with Azure SQL databases.

A free Azure account can be created at azure.microsoft.com/free.

More documentation can be found at:

Visual Studio Extensions Marketplace

Extensions for the Microsoft Visual Studio suite of products can be found at marketplace.visualstudio.com.  Extensions add support for languages not included in Visual Studio, aid in IDE development, or perform a specific task.

Some current popular extensions are:

Extensions can be free, preview, or paid.  Paid extensions are often charged per user per month.  Preview extensions are eventually converted to paid extensions. Extensions are either written by Microsoft, third party vendors, or individual developers.

More information can be found at code.visualstudio.com/docs/extensions/overview.

Meltdown and Spectre security flaws forces tech companies to release updates

Two recently detected security flaws currently named “Meltdown” and “Spectre” are causing Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, and others to release security updates to fix any potential problem.  The flaws potentially affect all recent computers, smartphones, and tablets that use a CPU performance feature called speculative execution.  There is no evidence that the flaws have been exploited at this time.  The general recommendation is to download updates for all devices.

Current Apple products may have the security flaws with the exception of the Apple Watch.  Apple is continuing to work on updates and released a statement at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208394.

Microsoft issued guidance for Windows users, SQL Server, Windows Server, and has updated most of its Azure infrastructure and will continue to do so.  Security update KB4056890 also updates Internet Explorer and Edge browsers.   Microsoft also issued update KB4056892 for various Windows versions but notes that some AMD processor machines to stop working after installing it.

Google recommended that Chrome users should turn on site isolation.  Google also responded with these blog posts:
https://support.google.com/faqs/answer/7622138
https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2018/01/reading-privileged-memory-with-side.html

Mozilla is working on updates and a fix is available in Firefox 57.0.4 version.

Amazon has updated its servers already and will continue to do so.

Intel released a statement as well and is releasing updates.  It also reported some systems rebooted more frequently after the updatesAMD also released a statement on their CPUs and speculative execution.

Oracle issued updates for MySQL, Java, PeopleSoft and other products that it maintains.

The CERT Vulnerability Notes Database has logged this issue as Vulnerability Note VU#584653.

eWeek reported that Linux 4.15 was released with Meltdown and Spectre patches and that further patches would be made for this issue.

More information can be found at https://spectreattack.com.

SQL Operations Studio – Preview edition

Microsoft has announced the Preview release of SQL Operations Studio, a free database development and operations tool for SQL Server and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

This tool allows users to performing routine database tasks without using SQL Server Management Studio. Command-line tools such as Bash, PowerShell, sqlcmd, bcp, and ssh can be run in the Integrated Terminal window.  Customizable dashboards can be created for performance monitoring.

This preview version can be downloaded from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/sql-operations-studio/download. Versions include Windows, macOS, and Linux.

A document of common questions and answers can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/sql-operations-studio/faq.

New functionality can be added to SQL Operations Studio using extensions.

Additional information and downloads can be found at GitHub – SQL Operations Studio.