#PASSdataCommunitySummit Keynote Day 1 Live Blog: SQL Server 2022 is Out Now.


I’m in Seattle for the biggest annual gathering of Microsoft data platform professionals, the PASS Data Community Summit. This is the first in-person Summit since the pandemic, and the first since Redgate took over ownership from the old PASS organization. I’m really excited – this is like a family reunion for me.

Microsoft’s Rohan Kumar is kicking things off this morning as we speak with the Day 1 keynote. Rohan is the corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure Data, and he’ll likely be introducing lots of other Microsoft folks to cover things during the keynote.

Rohan KumarHistorically, the Summit’s day 1 keynote has covered:

  • Reminders of recent Microsoft data features
  • Release dates for upcoming products
  • Customer success stories from companies who’ve been using the products prior to their official release

There’s less than 60 days left in the year 2022, and we still don’t have a release date, pricing, or Standard vs Enterprise feature lists for SQL Server 2022. It’s reasonable to expect these things to finally be revealed – or if not, perhaps a rename to SQL Server 2023.

You shouldn’t expect outright surprises for SQL Server 2022 – as in, “Hey, here’s an all-new feature for SQL Server 2022 that we’re announcing for the first time!” After all, we’ve already got Release Candidate 1. Instead, the Day 1 keynote is usually used to remind folks who don’t stay quite as in-tune with the news as you do, dear reader – not everybody’s savvy enough to read my blog.

I’ll be live-blogging the keynote, sharing my thoughts about what happens. You can refresh the post to follow along – the most current notes will be at the bottom, so if you’re reading later, you can read through the recap as it happened.

7:30AM: Registration is open! So cool to see it back in the same spot, like coming home.

7:40AM: Azure Data Studio v1.4 brings Apple Silicon support. It’s now compiled natively for ARM, so it’s faster. The keynote hasn’t started yet, but I just noticed that got published today, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was mentioned onstage. I’ve used Azure Data Studio on my Mac for quite a while, but the speed improvements will be very welcome because startup time has been pretty slow. (I know, I know, I should just leave it running.)

8:02AM: The doors opened, and attendees are pouring in.

8:10 Kate Duggan, Chief Marketing Officer for Redgate, took the stage to welcome everyone and talk about how big the event is. (The WiFi is overloaded, so I’m probably not going to be able to upload photos of things as they unfold.)

8:15: Amusing behind-the-scenes videos of people traveling to their first in-person event in years. (Seriously, this is more true than y’all might know – several speakers I’ve talked to have said, “I totally forgot things I used to routinely bring to events, and I forgot how I used to pack.”

8:20: Rohan Kumar, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Azure Data, takes the stage.

Rohan: “While all of you are familiar with the star player, SQL Server…” Not a bad way to segue into saying, “I’m gonna talk about Azure stuff because you already know SQL Server.” That’s fair. Keynotes are useful for vendor education, and as rapidly as things keep changing, people need Azure education.

8:26AM: SQL Server 2022 is generally available now. That’s not coming from the keynote – that’s from a blog that probably went live a few minutes too early. Here’s the full release post.

8:30AM: The winner of my Guess the Release Date Contest is interesting. Nobody actually guessed 2022/11/16 in the proper date format, at least. Scott Holiday was the only person to guess 2022/11/15 (closest without going over), so he wins.

8:36AM: Failover to Managed Instances isn’t ready yet. In the footnotes of the release post, Microsoft notes:

The bidirectional disaster recovery capability of the Link feature for Azure SQL Managed Instance is available in limited public preview.?General availability will occur at a future date.

That’s a bummer because it’s one of the most widely anticipated features, but at the same time, you don’t wanna use something that complex until it’s ready. It reminds me of how database mirroring wasn’t supported until a service pack came out.

8:39AM: Rohan acknowledges that some companies aren’t moving to the cloud yet, or can’t due to country regulations.

8:40AM: Announcing a new pay-as-you-go SQL Server licensing model. You can already do this in the cloud (AWS/Azure/GCP), but now Microsoft will rent you the licenses on premises, too.

8:41AM: Bob Ward and Anna Hoffman took the stage to talk about Azure-connected SQL Servers. God bless ’em for trying to make a security demo amusing.

8:46AM: Anna demoed the pay-as-you-go license choice built into the SQL Server 2022 installer. Nobody clapped, but I seriously should have clapped because that’s bad ass. Assuming the Azure authentication is pretty quick & easy – and I bet it would be – then this makes managing your licenses way easier. Let Microsoft do the accounting.

8:48AM: Anna demoed the failover and failback feature of SQL Server 2022 to Azure Managed Instances. (This is the part that is only in preview now, not generally available yet.)

8:51AM: Video about how Mediterranean Shipping Company (yay, Javier Villegas) is leveraging the Microsoft data platform.

8:53AM: Bob Ward and Conor Cunningham taking the stage in cowboy hats, to the tune of country guitar music. Since 2022 is code named Dallas, they wanted Rohan Kumar to wear a cowboy hat.

8:55AM: Bob Ward demoed Degree of Parallelism Feedback. He used Perfmon (there wouldn’t be a keynote without Perfmon) to measure parallelism, demoing 2022’s new Degree of Parallelism Feedback. Query Store shows how query performance improved over time, cutting the degrees of parallelism, and the query got faster with less cores. Conor talked about how 2016’s Query Store built the foundation for this, and how he’s excited to see tools continue to leverage it. He casually mentioned that row mode queries don’t scale well beyond 8-16 cores, but batch mode queries do.

9:00AM: Conor Cunningham showing a preview build that does lock escalation differently. This demo is just about impossible to follow. It would have been better in plain English to just say, “We’re trying to solve lock escalation problems,” hahaha.

9:01AM: Lindsey Allen jumping into the stage to show Azure Data Studio with Github Copilot. She started writing a comment first to explain what she wanted, and then typed SELECT, and Copilot guessed the function she wanted based on her comment. It’s basically English Query. This will be amusing to see SQL Server discover the intellectual property risks of Copilot that other language developers are already arguing (and suing) about.

9:05AM: Rohan back onstage to talk about Managed Instance Link feature (HA/DR failover to/from cloud), and backup portability (restore MI backups down on-premises to SQL Server 2022.) The slide says “General Availability”, but that’s a little tricky since the 2022 RTM release post says MI Link isn’t actually generally available today.

9:09AM: Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL lets you run your Postgres apps with the data stored inside Cosmos DB, without having to change your apps. No applause here – it just isn’t the right conference for it. Was worth the 30 seconds he spent on it, but no more than that. It’s a neat idea though.

9:10AM: Azure Synapse Link for SQL is generally available, which makes your ETL processes way easier. Evidently they’ve just added a Schedule Mode, smaller compute capacity support, vNet support, and full support for datetime data types. I read that list and go, “Uh, you tried to launch an ETL product without those things?!?”

9:14AM: Azure Data Factory SAP CDC Connector in general availability, Azure Synapse Mapping Data Flow for M365 Graph is in public preview.

9:26AM: The WiFi in the conference center died for a while. I wrote a few updates, but lost them in the WiFi outage. <sigh>

9:27AM: Hugo Kornelis is fighting AML, so there’s a heart-touching video playing about #TeamHugo.

9:30AM: It’s a wrap! Off to today’s sessions.

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