What's New in the JDBC Driver
Support for the recently released Always Encrypted feature in SQL Server 2016 (Preview), a new security feature that ensures sensitive data is never seen in plaintext in a SQL Server instance. Always Encrypted works by transparently encrypting the data in the application, so that SQL Server will only handle the encrypted data and not plaintext values. Even if the SQL instance or the host machine is compromised, all an attacker can get is ciphertext of sensitive data.. For details see Using Always Encrypted with the JDBC Driver .
Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)
Support for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for server names. For details see Using International Domain Names on the International Features of the JDBC Driver page.
Now supports retrieving parameter metadata with prepared statements for complex queries such as sub-queries and/or joins. Note that this improvement is available only when using SQL Server 2012 and newer versions.
Support for JDK 8
Support for Java Development Kit (JDK) version 8.0 in addition to JDK 7.0, 6.0, and 5.0.
The bulk copy feature is used to quickly copy large amounts of data into tables or views in SQL Server databases. For details see Using Bulk Copy with the JDBC Driver.
XA transaction rollback option
Added new timeout options for existing automatic rollback of unprepared transactions. For detail see Understanding XA Transactions.
New Kerberos Principal Connection Property
Added a new connection property to facilitate flexibility with Kerberos connections. For detail see Using Kerberos Integrated Authentication to Connect to SQL Server.
Support for JDK 7
Support for Java Development Kit (JDK) version 7.0 in addition to JDK 6.0 and 5.0.
Information about Connecting to an Azure SQL Database
There is now a topic with information about connecting to an Azure SQL database. See Connecting to an Azure SQL database for more information.
Support for High Availability, Disaster Recovery
Support for 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.
Using Kerberos Integrated Authentication to Connect to SQL Server
Support for 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.)
Accessing Diagnostic Information in the Extended Events Log
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.
Additional Support for Sparse Columns
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.
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.
Microsoft JDBC Drivers 6.0 (Preview), 4.2, 4.1, and 4.0 for SQL Server applications are not supported to run on an Itanium computer.