What's new in Azure SQL Database?

APPLIES TO: Azure SQL Database

This article summarizes the documentation changes associated with new features and improvements in the recent releases of Azure SQL Database. To learn more about Azure SQL Database, see the overview.

Preview

The following table lists the features of Azure SQL Database that are currently in preview:

Feature Details
Elastic jobs The elastic jobs feature is the SQL Server Agent replacement for Azure SQL Database as a PaaS offering.
Elastic queries The elastic queries feature allows for cross-database queries in Azure SQL Database.
Elastic transactions Elastic transactions allow you to execute transactions distributed among cloud databases in Azure SQL Database.
Hyperscale short-term retention Retain backups up to 35 days for Hyperscale databases, and perform a point-in-time restore within the configured duration.
Ledger The Azure SQL Database ledger feature allows you to cryptographically attest to other parties, such as auditors or other business parties, that your data hasn't been tampered with.
Maintenance window advance notifications Advance notifications are available for databases configured to use a non-default maintenance window. Advance notifications for maintenance windows are in public preview for Azure SQL Database.
Query editor in the Azure portal The query editor in the portal allows you to run queries against your Azure SQL Database directly from the Azure portal.
Query Store hints Use query hints to optimize your query execution via the OPTION clause.
Reverse migrate from Hyperscale Reverse migration to the General Purpose service tier allows customers who have recently migrated an existing database in Azure SQL Database to the Hyperscale service tier to move back in an emergency, should Hyperscale not meet their needs. While reverse migration is initiated by a service tier change, it's essentially a size-of-data move between different architectures.
SDK-style SQL project Use Microsoft.Build.Sql for SDK-style SQL projects in the SQL Database Projects extension in Azure Data Studio or Visual Studio Code. SDK-style SQL projects are especially advantageous for applications shipped through pipelines or built in cross-platform environments.
SQL Analytics Azure SQL Analytics is an advanced cloud monitoring solution for monitoring performance of all of your Azure SQL databases at scale and across multiple subscriptions in a single view. Azure SQL Analytics collects and visualizes key performance metrics with built-in intelligence for performance troubleshooting.
SQL Insights (preview) SQL Insights (preview) is a comprehensive solution for monitoring any product in the Azure SQL family. SQL Insights (preview) uses dynamic management views to expose the data you need to monitor health, diagnose problems, and tune performance.
SQL Database Projects extension An extension to develop databases for Azure SQL Database with Azure Data Studio and Visual Studio Code. A SQL project is a local representation of SQL objects that comprise the schema for a single database, such as tables, stored procedures, or functions.
Zone redundant configuration for Hyperscale databases The zone redundant configuration feature utilizes Azure Availability Zones to replicate databases across multiple physical locations within an Azure region. By selecting zone redundancy, you can make your Hyperscale databases resilient to a much larger set of failures, including catastrophic datacenter outages, without any changes to the application logic.

General availability (GA)

The following table lists the features of Azure SQL Database that have transitioned from preview to general availability (GA) within the last 12 months:

Feature GA Month Details
Change data capture April 2022 Change data capture (CDC) lets you track all the changes that occur on a database. Though this feature has been available for SQL Server for quite some time, using it with Azure SQL Database is now generally available.
Zone redundant configuration for General Purpose tier April 2022 The zone redundant configuration feature utilizes Azure Availability Zones to replicate databases across multiple physical locations within an Azure region. By selecting zone redundancy, you can make your provisioned and serverless General Purpose databases and elastic pools resilient to a much larger set of failures, including catastrophic datacenter outages, without any changes to the application logic.
Maintenance window March 2022 The maintenance window feature allows you to configure maintenance schedule for your Azure SQL Database. Maintenance window advance notifications, however, is in preview.
Storage redundancy for Hyperscale databases March 2022 When creating a Hyperscale database, you can choose your preferred storage type: read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS), zone-redundant storage (ZRS), or locally redundant storage (LRS) Azure standard storage. The selected storage redundancy option will be used for the lifetime of the database for both data storage redundancy and backup storage redundancy.
Azure Active Directory-only authentication November 2021 It's possible to configure your Azure SQL Database to allow authentication only from Azure Active Directory.
Azure AD service principal September 2021 Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) supports user creation in Azure SQL Database on behalf of Azure AD applications (service principals).
Audit management operations March 2021 Azure SQL audit capabilities enable you to audit operations done by Microsoft support engineers when they need to access your SQL assets during a support request, enabling more transparency in your workforce.

Documentation changes

Learn about significant changes to the Azure SQL Database documentation.

May 2022

Changes Details
SDK-style SQL projects Use Microsoft.Build.Sql for SDK-style SQL projects in the SQL Database Projects extension in Azure Data Studio or Visual Studio Code. This feature is currently in preview. To learn more, see SDK-style SQL projects.

April 2022

Changes Details
Change data capture GA Change data capture (CDC) lets you track all the changes that occur on a database. Though this feature has been available for SQL Server for quite some time, using it with Azure SQL Database is now generally available. To learn more, see Change data capture.
General Purpose tier Zone redundancy GA Enabling zone redundancy for your provisioned and serverless General Purpose databases and elastic pools is now generally available in select regions. To learn more, including region availability see General Purpose zone redundancy.
Hyperscale short-term retention For Hyperscale databases, it's now possible to configure a short-term retention period up to 35 days, performing a point-in-time restore within the configured duration period. This feature is currently in preview. To learn more, see Hyperscale backups.

March 2022

Changes Details
GA for maintenance window The maintenance window feature allows you to configure a maintenance schedule for your Azure SQL Database and receive advance notifications of maintenance windows. Maintenance window advance notifications are in public preview for databases configured to use a non-default maintenance window.
Hyperscale zone redundant configuration preview It's now possible to create new Hyperscale databases with zone redundancy to make your databases resilient to a much larger set of failures. This feature is currently in preview for the Hyperscale service tier. To learn more, see Hyperscale zone redundancy.
Hyperscale storage redundancy GA Choosing your storage redundancy for your databases in the Hyperscale service tier is now generally available. See Configure backup storage redundancy to learn more.

February 2022

Changes Details
Hyperscale reverse migration Reverse migration is now in preview. Reverse migration to the General Purpose service tier allows customers who have recently migrated an existing database in Azure SQL Database to the Hyperscale service tier to move back in an emergency, should Hyperscale not meet their needs. While reverse migration is initiated by a service tier change, it's essentially a size-of-data move between different architectures. Learn about reverse migration from Hyperscale.
New Hyperscale articles We have reorganized some existing content into new articles and added new content for Hyperscale. Learn about Hyperscale distributed functions architecture, how to manage a Hyperscale database, and how to create a Hyperscale database.
Free Azure SQL Database Try Azure SQL Database for free using the Azure free account. To learn more, review Try SQL Database for free.

2021

Changes Details
Azure AD-only authentication Restricting authentication to your Azure SQL Database only to Azure Active Directory users is now generally available. To learn more, see Azure AD-only authentication.
Split what's new The previously-combined What's new article has been split by product - What's new in SQL Database and What's new in SQL Managed Instance, making it easier to identify what features are currently in preview, generally available, and significant documentation changes. Additionally, the Known Issues in SQL Managed Instance content has moved to its own page.
Maintenance Window support for availability zones You can now use the Maintenance Window feature if your Azure SQL Database is deployed to an availability zone. This feature is currently in preview.
Azure AD-only authentication It's now possible to restrict authentication to your Azure SQL Database to Azure Active Directory users only. This feature is currently in preview. To learn more, see Azure AD-only authentication.
Query store hints It's now possible to use query hints to optimize your query execution via the OPTION clause. This feature is currently in preview. To learn more, see Query store hints.
Change data capture Using change data capture (CDC) with Azure SQL Database is now in preview. To learn more, see Change data capture.
SQL Database ledger SQL Database ledger is in preview, and introduces the ability to cryptographically attest to other parties, such as auditors or other business parties, that your data hasn't been tampered with. To learn more, see Ledger.
Maintenance window The maintenance window feature allows you to configure a maintenance schedule for your Azure SQL Database, currently in preview. To learn more, see maintenance window.
SQL insights SQL insights is a comprehensive solution for monitoring any product in the Azure SQL family. SQL insights uses dynamic management views to expose the data you need to monitor health, diagnose problems, and tune performance. To learn more, see SQL insights.

Contribute to content

To contribute to the Azure SQL documentation, see the Docs contributor guide.