SQL Server 2019 generally available on November 4th 2019

Microsoft announced the general availability of SQL Server 2019 on November 4th 2019 at its Ignite conference.  There are four editions:  Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer.  Express and Developer editions are free and can be downloaded from microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-downloads.

A list of new features for SQL Server 2019 is also available.

More information is available at microsoft.com/sql-server/sql-server-2019.

SQL Server 2019 Community Technology Preview 2.0 released

Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2019 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.0 on September 24th 2018 at its Ignite event.   SQL Server 2019 runs on Windows, Linux, and containers and has Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) to help create big data analytics.

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.

SQL Server 2008 in list of products no longer supported by Microsoft in 2019

SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will no longer be supported by Microsoft as of July 9, 2019.  Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.  Later support dates are available for customers under the Extended Security Update (ESU) program.   One way to do this is to upgrade to Azure.

Microsoft released a full list of products that will no longer be supported in 2019 at support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4316957/products-reaching-end-of-support-for-2019.

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.

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.

dbatools.io – PowerShell scripts for SQL Server

The open source dbatools.io project allows you to download free PowerShell scripts or cmdlets to help with various SQL Server tasks.  A list of current commands is available at dbatools.io/commands.  A keyword search can be done at docs.dbatools.io.