Linux fans may be in for disappointment with SQL Server 2016 port

Full fat build for open-source OS could be a long time coming

Microsoft's decision to bring SQL Server 2016 to Linux caused a bit of a stir this week.

However, there is a small catch: we've learned that the first official release of the port, due out in mid-2017, will be missing features compared to its Windows cousin.

Yesterday, in New York City, Microsoft showed off a working demo version of SQL Server running on Ubuntu 15.10. A preview build of the Linux port is available now to selected testers, and it features SQL Server's core functionality.

Sources familiar with the project told The Register that, when the Linux port is formally released next year, users won't get the full SQL Server experience, for want of a better word.

Instead, Microsoft will initially put out a version of SQL Server with relational database support, leaving out the spiffy business intelligence side of the software suite for a later date. Quite when a full version of SQL Server for Linux will arrive isn't yet known.

"What Microsoft has done so far is create an abstraction layer between the database and operating system," explained Merv Adrian, vice president of research for Gartner. "The challenge will be to ensure all the pieces work seamlessly and smoothly."

Certainly, Microsoft doesn't want to roll out SQL Server for Linux until it's running smoothly and working as expected: it's an immensely complicated piece of code and when you're dealing with databases, the slightest error can have catastrophic consequences.

But by not making it clear exactly what will be released next year, Microsoft runs the risk of burning the goodwill it has fostered among some Linux advocates. ®

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