Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is now generally available. The update includes new Azure-based cloud functionality and various integrations with existing solutions.

SQL Server 2022 runs in both on-premises and cloud environments. The cloud variant (Azure SQL Managed Instance) is managed by Microsoft on Azure. Customers don’t have to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

SQL Server 2022 features various enhancements and functionality, such as a new integration that allows users to duplicate the content of an on-premises database in Azure Managed Instance. The latter is handy when backing up on-premises SQL environments for disaster recovery, among other applications. It’s also possible to route application requests and offload workloads to the Azure Managed SQL Instance, typically resulting in a performance increase.

Integrations

SQL Server 2022 now offers integration with Microsoft Azure Synapse. This service lets companies transform business data for analysis and query useful insights.

Previously, moving business records from SQL databases to Azure Synapse was a cumbersome process. Users had to build a software workflow to extract, transform and load (ETL) pipeline data.

SQL Server 2022 is capable of making the latter redundant, as records can automatically be synchronized to Azure Synapse as soon as they’re detected. This eliminates the need to transfer large data files. Synchronization can improve the performance and speed of data processing.

In addition, SQL Server 2022 integrates with several other Microsoft tools, including Microsoft Purview and Microsoft Arc. The new version improves centralized database management in Arc.

The integration of SQL Server 2022 and Arc also gives customers access to on-demand pricing. The payment model helps users to handle spikes in database usage. Customers only pay for actual usage, without incurring upfront costs.

Other updates and availability

Other improvements include accelerated queries and the introduction of Ledger for SQL Server. This tool should make it possible to create a non-editable log of changes to databases, allowing administrators to guarantee security.

The free Developer and Express editions of SQL Server 2022 are now available. The same goes for the paid Enterprise and Standard editions (volume licenses and subscriptions). Customers that use SQL Server 2022 through a cloud provider, OEM vendor or SPLA can purchase the latest version from January 2023 onwards.