What's New in the JDBC Driver
There is now a topic with information about connecting to an Azure SQL database. See Connecting to a Windows Azure SQL Database for more information.
The Microsoft JDBC Drivers 4.1 and 4.0 for SQL Server support high-availability, disaster recovery connections to AlwaysOn Availability Groups in SQL Server 2012. See JDBC Driver Support for High Availability, Disaster Recovery for more information.
Microsoft JDBC Drivers 4.1 and 4.0 for SQL Server has type 4 Kerberos integrated authentication for applications to connect to SQL Server database. For more information, see Using Kerberos Integrated Authentication to Connect to SQL Server. (Type 2 Kerberos integrated authentication is available in Microsoft JDBC Driver for SQL Server versions prior to 4.0.)
You can access information in the server's extended events log to understand connection failures. For more information, see Accessing Diagnostic Information in the Extended Events Log.
If your application already accesses data in a table that uses sparse columns, you should see an increase in performance. You can get information about columns (including sparse column information) with getColumns Method (SQLServerDatabaseMetaData). For more information about SQL Server sparse columns, see Using Sparse Columns.
The isSparseColumnSet method is added to the SQLServerResultSetMetaData class to indicate if a column in a result set is a sparse column set.
Prior to Microsoft JDBC Driver 4.0 for SQL Server, the JDBC driver received a format identifier from the application but did not pass that value to the database server. Instead, the JDBC driver passed a format identifier of 0 to the database server.
Beginning in Microsoft JDBC Driver 4.0 for SQL Server, the JDBC driver will pass the format identifier from the application to the database server. To get the updated behavior, make sure the sqljdbc_xa.dll on the server is updated. For more information on copying an updated version of sqljdbc_xa.dll to the server, see Understanding XA Transactions.