Embracing SQL Server 2022 with SSDT 17.8: Unveiling Key Updates

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

In the dynamic landscape of database development, SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) is a powerful tool for database developers in the Visual Studio ecosystem.  SSDT 17.8 is the latest version of Visual Studio 2022, released to general availability on November 14th, 2023. This version introduces crucial enhancements and fixes, underscoring Microsoft's commitment to refining the developer experience.

  1. MDS 3 to MDS 5 update: One of the headline features involves a significant shift to Microsoft.Data.SqlClient (MDS) 5.1.2. The update has enabled support for TDS 8.0 which provides enhanced security and brings SSDT in sync with the latest SqlClient release. This update brings some changes to the way we connect to a database in SSDT.  Most importantly, this update changes the default connection setting of encryption to on (true), improving the standard security posture of your environments.  Read more about this change in the documentation and its potential impact in our documentation.
  2. Authentication Evolution of AAD to Microsoft Entra in SSOX: Navigating to the authentication realm, SSDT 17.8 marks a notable transition by renaming Microsoft Cloud Authentication provider from AAD to Microsoft Entra while connecting to any database using the Connect dialog box. This is in coherence with the rebranding of Azure Active Directory to Microsoft Entra.
  3. Accessibility Strides: In aligning with our organization’s commitment to accessibility, SSDT addresses accessibility concerns in this release. The inclusion of dynamic script automation names in ‘Preview Database Updates’ while updating a database and resolution of missing role issues for 'Add an Account' – both of which are improvements to screen reader mechanism demonstrate a commitment to making the tool more user-friendly and accessible to a broader audience.
  4. Performance Improvements: Under the hood, SSDT 17.8 tackles performance bottlenecks. Resolved Visual Studio hang issues during connecting, using schema compare operations and publishing by working on multiple performance issues.

In conclusion, SSDT 17.8 emerges as a notable release and fortifies the tool's capabilities. From connectivity advancements to accessibility improvements and performance optimizations, this release sets the stage for a more robust and developer-friendly SQL Server experience.

Download the latest version of SSDT from SQL Server Data Tools | Visual Studio - Visual Studio (microsoft.com)

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