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Microsoft Previews SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux

Microsoft has posted a preview release of its new SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux, which enables access to Microsoft SQL Server databases from Linux operating systems. This driver is a port of Microsoft's existing enterprise-class ODBC for Windows driver, known as SQL Server Native Client (SNAC), to the Linux platform.

The SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux supports 64-bit C and C++ applications running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and connects to SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012. According to Microsoft, "for customers who want to move from Sybase to SQL Server, the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux allows C and C++ code to continue running in Linux environments."

Key features of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux include:

  • Support for the Kerberos network authentication protocol;
  • Support for SSL encryption and authentication;
  • Support for client-side UTF-8 character encoding;
  • BCP utility for bulk-copying data between an instance of Microsoft SQL Server and a data file; and
  • SQLCMD utility for entering Transact-SQL statements, system procedures, and script files at the command prompt.

Future versions of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux may support other variants of Unix, including SUSE, Solaris, and HP-UX. Planned features for future releases include 32-bit support, support for connections to SQL Azure, and support for SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn features.

The preview release of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux is available for download now from the Microsoft Download Center. Additional information can be found in the MSDN Library.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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