SQL Server 2019 was released at the beginning of November, here are some resources for getting familiar with the new features.

Developer Edition:
On the SQL Server Downloads page you can obtain a copy of the Developer edition of SQL Server 2019. It contains all of the features, Standard and Enterprise, free for use for development purposes. The same page also links to a Docker image as well. There’s also the option of running 2019 in Azure.
You’ll also want a v18 version of SSMS to access your 2019 instance.

A PDF version of Introducing SQL Server 2019 is available for free (As long as you don’t mind handing over some contact info to Microsoft). At almost 500 pages, it’s a comprehensive view of the new features.

Here’s a good article by Joey D’Antoni on licensing for the new edition.

T-SQL Features:
I had previously written a post New T-SQL Features In SQL Server 2019. There aren’t a lot of new T-SQL features, but a couple of interesting ones.

Here is a short list of other additions. I plan to go deeper into some of these features in later posts.

** Big Data Clusters:
Polybase enhancements were added to allow SQL Server to connect to more data sources, such as Oracle and MongoDB. This allows for “Data Virtualization”, querying data in its native source, rather than integrating data into a single location.
Big Data Clusters run on Kubernetes, and also allow the use of Spark for processing data.

PolyBase in SQL Server 2019 – The End of ETL?

** Accelerated Database Recovery:
This feature makes use of versioning to more quickly come online after a restart (or any other recovery scenario).

How Does Accelerated Database Recovery Work?

** Intelligent Query Processing:
Several enhancements were made around improving query performance, including Table variable deferred compilation (using actual table variable row counts for query compilation) and Scalar UDF inlining.
Blog Post: Intelligent Query Processing In SQL Server 2019

Microsoft – Intelligent Query Processing

** UTF-8 Support:
** Resumable Online Index Creation:
** OPTIMIZE_FOR_SEQUENTIAL_KEY: Helps to deal with contention created by a high volume of inserts.

Microsoft – What’s New In SQL Server 2019

Redmond Mag (Joey D’Antoni) – SQL Server 2019 Is Here