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At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft announced SQL Server 2019 with a bunch of new features for the relational database. Among the new features coming with the latest version are Scalar UDF inlining, always-on connection, and the ability to run on Linux. Other new tools include a container registry and Big Data clusters.

“SQL Server 2019 enables enterprises to gain intelligence over all data types, both structured and unstructured, by combining the power of new big data clusters with enhanced data virtualization,” said John “JG” Chirapurath, Microsoft’s general manager of Azure Data & AI, in the blog post.

Big Data clusters are arguably the stand out feature in SQL Server 2019. This is a solution for scaling data virtualization build on the Kuberenetes (K8s) container. Elsewhere in the new release, Microsoft has added always-on to SQL Server.

Scalar UDF inlining is also an important new addition to SQL Server. With this feature, users will see row-by-row execution changed into a subquery with inline optimization. Demos of the tool have shown much faster processing of queries.

“These powerful additions to SQL Server enable enterprises to not only store and query big data at scale but also combine it with structured data in whatever database it may reside such as SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and others,” JG continued. “SQL Database [is] the price-performance leader for mission-critical workloads while costing up to 86 percent less than AWS RDS.”

If you want to get on board with SQL Server 2019, you can check it out here. Microsoft has been previewing the platform for nearly a year and has added numerous features in that time, such as support for Apache Spark.