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Ignite your SQL Server with a broken Cumulative Update

Plus: All the rest from Microsoft's shindig – it's only wafer-thin

In brief Rounding out Ignite for all the wrong reasons came news last week that Microsoft had pulled Cumulative Update #7 for its flagship database product, SQL Server 2019.

The update rolled out earlier in September, but a "reliability issue" with the database snapshot feature was deemed critical enough to merit yanking the thing.

"If you had downloaded the CU7 package file before Sep-23 2020," said the company, "it is advised to not install it. Instead, wait for an upcoming SQL Server 2019 CU8 announcement."

Users were, unsurprisingly, not happy. One does not, after all, simply sling a patch onto SQL Server. Downtime and restarts must be planned for. "Just what you want to see the same day after finishing a patch cycle!" observed one, while another muttered: "I know bugs happen, but this is not instilling a lot of confidence in SQL 2019."

For some, waiting until October's Cumulative Update 8 is less than ideal due to the fixes in the now-pulled patch.

It isn't a great look.

The problem can also hit the commonly used DBCC CHECKDB, and Microsoft has advised that anyone who managed to download the update before 23 September not to install it, and those who did to uninstall it. Any database snapshots created until CU7 also need to be dropped before uninstallation.

A hat-tip goes to reader NGRhodes for letting us know about the latest SQL Server sadness.

All things whacked with the Azure stick

Otherwise, much of the hot air from Microsoft's antics at Ignite was headed towards the clouds.

Azure loomed large at the event with highlights including previews of Cisco SD-WAN support in Azure Virtual WAN hubs and the global load balancer feature of Azure Load Balancer.

The latter, aimed at distributing traffic over regional deployments, might have come in useful if was to, say, attempt to take orders for an in-demand gaming console.

Also touted during Ignite was a preview of Azure Automanage for Windows Server, aimed at automating operations on Windows Server virtual machines running on Azure and preview of the Windows Admin Center in Azure.

The immutable Flatcar Linux container became generally available as Microsoft sought to make its cloudy parts more attractive for the migration of container workloads. The company also sought to lure Red Hat and SUSE Linux Enterprise users to Azure with a preview of Azure Hybrid Benefit, allowing a conversion from pay-as-you-go to a customer's own subscription without downtime.

Edge Kiosk Mode – the acceptable public face of Microsoft browsing

Also seeping out during Ignite (and drowned out a little by the arrival of Edge for Linux) came the news that hotel business centres and kiosks around the world have been waiting for: Windows IoT Edge Kiosk Mode is in public preview.

Those wishing to ditch Internet Explorer for something a little newer will be delighted to learn that, once invoked from the Windows 10 command line, a variety of lockdown features can be implemented, inactivity will reset the user session, and once a session is ended, all the browser data and downloads should be deleted (à la InPrivate navigation).

However, those on the hunt for computers disgracing themselves in public will be similarly pleased to learn that included among the "lockdown experiences" is "Digital/Interactive signage".

Admittedly, this hack's "lockdown experience" has mostly involved keeping the local pie and beer supplier afloat, but Microsoft Edge now running the odd digital or sign or two?

We're going to need a bigger bork inbox.

Visual Studio 16.8 Preview 3.1

The Visual Studio team also took advantage of Ignite to let a fresh preview of version 16.8 of its venerable development environment totter out of the gates. As well the arrival of GitHub Codespaces (in limited preview form), C++ saw some love in the form of improved C++ 20 support.

It being Microsoft (with its love for all things penguin), the team has also added the ability to debug Linux core dumps on a remote Linux system or Window Subsystem for Linux directly from Visual Studio and also improved the error reporting for missing tools on Linux projects.

Finally, XAML fans got their own debugging improvements with a binding failure indicator and window. ®

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