Microsoft open sources Java language extension for SQL Server

Earlier this month, Microsoft released version 18.5 of the SQL Server Management Studio. The general release of SQL Server 2019 last year brought some interesting improvements for the database management system, including enhanced machine learning capabilities. Providing assistance for some tasks such as the training of machine learning models through calls to external APIs, the Java language extension was also included with this release.

Today, the tech giant has announced that the Java language extension for SQL Server 2019 is being open-sourced. For those unaware, language extensions are generally used for executing external code within the context of SQL queries.

Notably, the extension utilizes the Extensibility Framework API for SQL Server, which is publicly documented. Essentially, the availability of both these implementations to SQL users in general means that the community can learn how to create additional programming language extensions. Furthermore, the underlying extension for the Java extension allows the ability to integrate various runtimes to execute programs without losing the ability to leverage the current security architecture provided by programming language extensibility in the SQL Server.

Java is noted to provide the following key capabilities when enabled inside the SQL Server:

  • Extends the TSQL surface area to better handle use cases involving regular expressions, string handling, and NLP support.
  • Helps in migration scenarios from Oracle, where applications rely on Oracle Java procs in the database. With the ability to execute Java inside stored procedures in SQL Server, there is now a path for enabling Java application migrations to SQL Server.
  • Java application development teams that leverage SQL Server as backend storage can now even embed Java code in stored procedures which enables pushing business logic down into the database for better performance.
  • Helps avoid unnecessary data movement and latency when data must be retrieved from SQL Server and moved into the app tier to do the business logic processing.

Finally, Microsoft and Azul's ongoing partnership means that the Zulu for Azure - Enterprise distribution of Java is available for all SQL Server customers out of the box for free. This ensures that customers will be able to make use of a fully supported distribution without having to worry about a specific runtime ending up out of support. Those interested in viewing the source code of the Java language extension can view it on GitHub.

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