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The first thing that catches the eye is how easy and fast it is to set up SQL Server on Linux. Download and installation of the services take no more than a minute.

Key features such as transparent data encryption, always encrypted, row level security, in memory tables, column store indexing and more are part of the new version.

In the video, Travis Wright, lead engineer, shows an example by running a SQL server-based app inside of a Docker container. The example shows a basic voting application and the full process that goes behind it.

The video emphasizes one of the most powerful features of SQL Server – Columnstore. This feature stores data on disk and in memory in a special order for fast access and better compression rates. An example shows running a simple Java application and what it actually does in terms of improved performance.

Microsoft also announced that all of the program ability features, previously available in Enterprise edition, are now available in all editions of SQL servers, both for Linux and Windows.

The company, somewhat surprisingly, first announced the Linux version in March this year. The service was in private preview up until now, marking a debut for Microsoft software on Linux servers.

Microsoft states it had a strong reception for the private preview, with more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies applying. The public preview is currently available for download at sqlserveronlinux.com.

Continuing the Linux development

The release presents another step in the ongoing Linux development that Microsoft has pursued in the recent years. The shift in Microsoft’s mission to bring its services and tools to its customers irrelevant of the OS continues strongly.

Yesterday we got the confirmation on just how serious Microsoft is regarding Linux by joining The Linux Foundation. The tech giant joins the group as a Platinum member, the highest membership available.

Microsoft will have an active role in internal decisions of the group. In addition, the company will work more closely with the open-source community on improving cloud and mobile technology.

The Microsoft SQL Server team will host a special Ask Me Anything session or Reddit on Friday, November 18th, 2016. More details can be found here.