Preview version of Microsoft's SQL Server driver for Linux
Microsoft has released a preview version of its SQL Server ODBC driver for Linux. It enables C and C++ developers to connect to Microsoft's SQL Server database system from Linux and Unix operating systems. Specifically, they can make use of a 64-bit driver for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL) which supports SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 ("Denali"). Denali is currently at the release candidate stage and will be the last version of the database system to support Microsoft's OLE DB (object linking and embedding, database) interface for accessing data sources. Thereafter the company recommends using the ODBC provider.
In addition to the usual ODBC driver features, Microsoft's driver supports the Kerberos authentication protocol, SSL and client-side UTF-8 character encoding. Technically, the ODBC driver is based on the Windows version (SQL Server Native Client), and which Microsoft has adapted for the Linux platform.
Support for RHEL 6 is in the pipeline, according to a previous announcement, and the roadmap includes 32-bit versions. Support for Microsoft's new AlwaysOn failover function is also planned. It is not clear whether the new SQL Server ODBC driver is intended to be compatible with SUSE and other Linux distributions or Unix systems such as Solaris and HP-UX. The driver itself is not open source and Microsoft does not appear to have any plans to support SQL Server running directly on Linux.