Embracing SQL Server 2022 with SSDT 17.8: Unveiling Key Updates

Subhojit Basak

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 included in the latest version of Visual Studio 2022 v17.8, which was released 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. To begin using these new capabilities, update to Visual Studio 2022 v17.8and make sure you’ve selected the “Data storage and processing” workload. 


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  • Eduardo Molteni 0

    Still, using SSDT in Visual Studio it’s not as stremlined as it should be.

    * By default, I wish I don’t needed to select a database for running simple queries. 1 ConnectionString should be the default for your project.
    * It would be nice If I can run queries typed in string text inside my code, without having to copy/paste
    * Rider offers autocomplete sql strings in your code. You can’t do that in VS blog.jetbrains.com/dotnet/2018/10/29/sql-inside-c-strings-fragment-editor-run-query-console-language-injection-updates-rider-2018-3/
    * Please, please, at least add a shortcut key to the “Connect” button, in the Connect pop-up window https://imgur.com/coaNadq (Enter should work)

  • Eder Cardoso 7

    A real improvement to it would be a database diagram. It’s unbelievable that MSFT still don’t have a decent tool to visualize Entity Relationship diagram. The old one that’s on SQL server management tool it’s the same old one from MS Access 97. Slow and visually horrible with those extra thick lines and bezels.

  • Muhammad Miftah 7

    None of these updates are really worthy of their own blog post. It’s clear SSDT is an afterthought compared to the amount of new features that Visual Studio-proper gets. What about improving intellisense when writing T-SQL? Compared to what redgate SQLprompt and Jetbrains Gatagrip gives you, the experience in SSDT/VS is really poor.

  • Manfred Wippel 1

    Nice to see that Microsoft puts some effort into developement with db projects.
    I tried to convert to the new projet format for sql server projets a few times now.
    At the moment it does not work for our database.

  • Michael Hauer 0

    The links in the first two paragraphs are not working because they redirect to internal mail safety systems.

    • Michael Taylor 1

      They work for me. It might be a problem with your network security (if any).

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