Fast on the heels of Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of SQL Server 2017 less than three weeks ago, Microsoft has announced the availability of Release Candidate 2 of SQL Server yesterday.
Release Candidates are critical milestones for the release of Microsoft software as it signifies the last step to release to manufacturing (or RTM) from Community Technology Previews (CTPs) which are akin to beta releases where programs are near feature-complete but likely replete with bugs that need identification and remediation. RCs typically are both feature-complete and bug free but still not certified for release as complete. Typically you’ll only see one or two RCs for enterprise class software of an age like Microsoft SQL Server so it’s this author’s impression that we’re either going to see RTM as the next step in the evolution of SQL Server 2017 or possibly one final RC. In the words of the SQL Server Engineering Team: “The release candidate represents an important milestone for SQL Server. Development of the new version of SQL Server along most dimensions needed to bring the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Windows, Linux, and Docker containers is complete. We are continuing to work on performance and stress testing of SQL Server 2017 to get it ready for your most demanding Tier 1 workloads, as well as some final bug fixes.”
While I’ve not found a definitive list of changes between RC1 and RC2 I am aware that there were users experiencing issues with high availability functionality with the hybrid architecture of SQL on Linux and those issues have been resolved.
SQL Server 2017 RC2 is available for download here.