What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4

This article discusses what’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4

One of the best things Microsoft did regarding SQL Server tools, was the separation of the SQL Server Management Studio’s (SSMS) distribution from SQL Server’s installation media. This allowed Microsoft to proceed faster with updating and enhancing SSMS on a frequent basis.

Therefore, since then, SSMS can be downloaded from the internet as a free tool.

 

New Additions in SQL Server Management Studio v17.4

Today, the powerful SSMS v17.3 is ready to be replaced by the even more powerful and enhanced SQL Server Management Studio v17.4.

So, what’s new in this amazing new release of SSMS?

Several updates and new stuff are included. For example, there is a bug fix for SMO, improvements and new report in Always On Dashboard, several enhancements in Showplan, and changes to XE Profiler.

 


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Vulnerability Assessment

However, in addition to the above, there is another great enhancement in SSMS v17.4 and that is “Vulnerability Assessment“.

Vulnerability Assessment is a special tool embedded in SSMS, which can help you track and remediate potential database vulnerabilities that might be caused by misconfigurations.

It can help you meet compliance requirements and data privacy standards, as well as monitor dynamic database environments that constantly change.

Below, you can find some screenshots of a vulnerability assessment I have just performed on a sample database using Vulnerability Assessment tool in SSMS v17.4

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4
Launching Vulnerability Assessment Tool

 

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4
Set the drive location onto which the scan report will be saved

 

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4
Vulnerability assessment results (failed rules) for sample database “SampleDB”

 

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4
Vulnerability assessment results (passed rules) for sample database “SampleDB”

 

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio v17.4
Check Failed Rule/Check

As you can see, each failed rule provides the below information:

  • Name
  • Risk
  • Status
  • Description
  • Impact
  • Rule Query
  • Microsoft Recommendation
  • Baseline
  • Actual Result
  • Remediation

You can also set a failed rule as a baseline (although I do not recommend to do that before you thoroughly check what does the failed rule means for your database environment).

In subsequent posts, we will study more in-depth the Vulnerability Assessment tool in SSMS.

By the  way, you can find the full list of what’s new in SSMS v17.4 on the tool’s web page under the section “New in this Release”.

 

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