We are pleased to announce the second community technical 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.
You can now use Always Encrypted with the Microsoft JDBC Driver 6.0 for SQL Server Preview. Always Encrypted is a new SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL Database security feature that prevents sensitive data from being seen in plaintext in a SQL instance. You can now transparently encrypt the data in the application, so that SQL Server will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. If a SQL instance or host machine is compromised, an attacker can only access ciphertext of your sensitive data. Use the JDBC Driver 6.0 Preview or ADO.NET driver to encrypt plain text data, store the encrypted data in SQL Server 2016 CTP (and above) or SQL Azure Database. Likewise, use the driver to decrypt your encrypted data.
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)
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.
Table-Valued Parameters (TVPs)
TVP support allows a client application to send parameterized data to the server more efficiently by sending multiple rows to the server with a single call. You can use the JDBC Driver 6.0 Preview to encapsulate rows of data in a client application and send the data to the server in a single parameterized command.
Azure Active Directory (AAD)
AAD authentication is a mechanism of connecting to Azure SQL Database v12 using identities in AAD. Use AAD authentication to centrally manage identities of database users and as an alternative to SQL Server authentication. The JDBC Driver 6.0 Preview allows you to specify your AAD credentials in the JDBC connection string to connect to Azure SQL DB.
AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG)
The driver now supports transparent connections to AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The driver quickly discovers the current AlwaysOn topology of your server infrastructure and connects to the current active server transparently.
We are committed to continuously updating the JDBC driver to bring more feature support for connecting to SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL DW. Please stay tuned for upcoming releases that will have additional feature support. This applies to our wide range of client drivers including PHP 7.0, Node.js, ODBC, and ADO.NET which are already available.