When a man loves a woman very much, he goes to Connect.Microsoft.com and upvotes her feature requests. I was curious to see what requests were resonating the most with folks, so I went through the list of feature requests sorted by votes:
1. Please fix the “String or binary data would be truncated” message to give the column name – by DWalker, 1136 upvotes. This one is a classic, and good news! On June 17th, Microsoft’s David Shiflet left a comment that developers are motivated to make improvements, and they’re discussing options for the new error message.
2. Add native support for JSON, as in FOR JSON or FROM OPENJSON – by Bret_M_Lowery, 1111 upvotes. This one’s actually already added in SQL Server 2016, but the Connect item isn’t closed yet.
3. Add Visual Studio 2013 support to SSDT-BI – by David McClelland, 731 upvotes. I don’t know enough about SSDT-BI to know where this is at.
4. Add full justification in Reporting Services – by inDigeniCa, 653 upvotes. Lots of angry comments on this one, and doesn’t appear to be making headway.
5. New virtual table “errors” like the deleted and inserted tables – by danholmes, 593 upvotes. Given that the MERGE statement is pretty rough, a virtual “errors” table that we could use in triggers would be really handy.
6. OVER clause enhancement request – DISTINCT clause for aggregate functions – by Itzik Ben-Gan, 514 upvotes. Started back in 2007, there haven’t been a lot of comments on this one, just folks upvoting it.
7. Scalar user-defined function performance is bad – by Andrew Novick, 510 upvotes. I’ve seen so many companies burned badly by this when they encapsulated code in reusable functions without knowing it causes queries to go single-threaded.
8. CREATE OR REPLACE syntax – by BAnVA, 463 upvotes. Unfortunately, the details page link errors out for me on Connect at the moment, but I’m guessing the comments point to SQL 2016’s new drop-if-exists syntax. I would argue that that’s no replacement, but I gotta hand it to Microsoft that they did take a relative action on it.
9. Expand synonym to other entities (database, linked server) – by Aaron Bertrand, 409 upvotes. Synonyms are slick tools that let you move a table to another database, leave a synonym behind, and let your app keep right on trucking without noticing.
If the highly-voted Connect items are what shape the next version of SQL Server, it’s time to exercise your voting finger. Check out the rankings and make your voice heard. Microsoft is listening – and if you want proof, check out this month’s release of SSMS. Those developers are on fire fixing Connect requests.