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.
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 publishes lists of database management systems (DBMS) ranked by category, including:
Microsoft has made available many free downloadable apps for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and/or Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly 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.
A list of MSDN blog post articles on SQL Server and JSON can be found at https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlserverstorageengine/tag/json/.
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:
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.
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.