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.

For Azure SQL Managed Instance, see What's new.

Preview

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

Feature Details
Azure AD-only authentication It's possible to configure your Azure SQL Database to allow authentication only from Azure Active Directory.
Change data capture 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 currently in preview.
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 can be distributed among cloud databases in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance.
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 The maintenance window feature allows you to configure maintenance schedule for your 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.
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 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.
Zone redundant configuration for general purpose tier 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 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. The feature is currently only available in the general purpose tier.

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
AAD 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 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.

October 2021

Changes Details
Split what's new The previously-combined What's new article has been split by product - Whats 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.

September 2021

Changes Details
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.

July 2021

Changes Details
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.

June 2021

Changes Details
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.

May 2021

Changes Details
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.

March 2021

Changes Details
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.