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We are pleased to announce the community technology preview release of the Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server! The updated driver provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for Java-based applications.

The JDBC Driver for SQL Server is a Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) Type 4 driver that implements full compliance with the JDBC specifications 4.1 and 4.2 and supports Java Development Kit (JDK) versions up to 1.8. It supports the Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 protocol for additional security over the internet. The Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server Preview also supports two new scenarios:

  • Always Encrypted is a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that helps to prevent sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL Server instance. Always Encrypted works by transparently encrypting the data in the application, so that SQL Server will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. Even if the SQL instance or the host machine is compromised, an attacker gets ciphertext of sensitive data. This new feature allows customers to store sensitive data outside of their trust boundary. Data remains protected from high-privileged, yet unauthorized users including DBAs and admins.
    In order to use the Always Encrypted feature, you have to use a supported driver such as ADO.NET or the JDBC 6.0 Driver for SQL Server Preview to encrypt the plain text data then store the encrypted data inside SQL Server 2016 CTP2 and above or Azure SQL Database. Similarly, you will use a capable driver like the new JDBC driver or ADO.NET to decrypt the data.
  • Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) allow your web server to use Unicode characters for server name, enabling support for more languages. Using the new Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server Preview, you can convert a Unicode serverName to ASCII compatible encoding (Punycode) when required during a connection. This conversion is enabled by setting the property serverNameAsACE to true. Otherwise, if the DNS service is configured to allow the use of Unicode characters, use the default serverNameAsACE property value of false.

The JDBC driver is part of SQL Server and the Microsoft Data Platform’s wider interoperability program, with drivers for PHP 5.6, Node.js, JDBC, ODBC, and ADO.NET already available.

You can download the JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Preview here. We invite you to explore the latest the Microsoft Data Platform has to offer via a trial of Microsoft Azure SQL Database or by trying the new SQL Server 2016 CTP.

Questions? Join the discussion of the new driver capabilities at MSDN and stackoverflow. If you run into an issue or would like to make a suggestion, let us know.