On January 26, 2023, Microsoft released the RTM build of SQL Server Management Studio 19.0. You can download it here. The release notes are here.
If you are using a modern version of SQL Server in any capacity, you are going to want SSMS 19.0. This includes “regular” SQL Server, Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure SQL Database.
SSMS 19.0 is fully aware of SQL Server 2022, and it is also officially supported on SQL Server 2014 and newer. It will probably mostly work on older versions of SQL Server, but I have not tested that yet. You can run SSMS 19.0 side by side with SSMS 18.xx, so you can use SSMS 18 to manage any much older version of SQL Server.
If you have a preview version of SSMS 19.0 installed, make sure to uninstall it before you install SSMS 19.0 RTM. You should also be aware that by default, the SSMS 19.0 installer will install Azure Data Studio 1.41 without asking, whether you like it or not. You can avoid this by installing SSMS from the command line with these settings:
- SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe /Passive DoNotInstallAzureDataStudio=1
I actually don’t have anything against Azure Data Studio, but I think it should stand on it’s own rather than getting stealth installed without asking. It is very obvious that Microsoft wants more people to use ADS, but this is not a popular method they are using.
Now that the RTM version of SSMS 19.0 is available, that removes one roadblock for deploying SQL Server 2022. The last big blocker right now is the release SQL Server 2022 CU1.
Microsoft is “supposed” to release cumulative updates every month for the first year after a major new version of SQL Server is released. SQL Server 2022 went GA on November 16th, 2022, so you can do the math on that.
December is a rough time for Microsoft every year, since many employees take extended time off. This past December was probably even worse, since Microsoft had just pushed SQL Server 2022 out the door in mid-November, and I am sure many people were exhausted from that effort. Microsoft also just went through a round of layoffs, which is never good for morale for an organization. So, there are multiple extenuating circumstances here.
Microsoft can and will release SQL Server 2022 CU1 (or any CU) whenever they want to, and it should only be done when it is fully tested and completely ready.
At the same time, Microsoft could improve their transparency when there are delays for cumulative updates. Many organizations and individuals try to plan maintenance cycles based on what Microsoft does (or says they will do).
The argument against being more transparent about this, is that if Microsoft gives out any information about a CU release date and then they miss the date, customers will get mad. I would argue that customers get more unhappy when Microsoft just goes completely silent about CU release dates.
The way it works now, it is just a guessing exercise. Microsoft will release a CU with no advance notice, and it is almost a game how customers intially find out about it. It might be on the SQL Server Release Services Blog, it might be on Twitter, or maybe you will see in someone’s blog.