Sunday, 8 May 2016

Always Encrypted - a little glimpse of the future?

Okay so the title is a bit misleading, Always Encrypted isn't quite a glimpse into the future as it's now right on our doorstep with the 1st June release of SQL Server 2016. What I wanted to post about was something that appears within this new feature.

I recently attended the 2016 Database Design training session led by Thomas LaRock and Karen Lopez at the SQL Bits conference where we spent a bit of time looking at the new security features which of course featured Always Encrypted.

Now Always Encrypted is a great (but pretty limited) feature and is pretty straightforward to implement so I'll not go through it here and get to my actual point which is all about something that appears on the validation dialog page of the Always Encrypted wizard as seen below:  

You see it? Generate a what a PowerShell script?!

Now to me this is a little odd for a few reasons:

1 - Why isn't there an option to generate a T-SQL script? (maybe it will be in RTM)

2 - Why PowerShell, as I can't do anything with the script inside management studio? (yes there is a Start PowerShell option)

3 - Is there anything else that offers a generate PowerShell script option in SSMS? 

4 - As an added bonus, the PowerShell script doesn't actually work 100% of the time - sure that is fixed by now!

OK it might not be that much of a surprise because PowerShell has become quite an integral part of SQL administration these days but by including this option does that mean PowerShell is going to become an even bigger part of our day to day activities? (Erm, yes).

We briefly discussed it in the session and what came across is that there will be an even bigger shift towards PowerShell coming in the future. How and what exactly I leave to discussion but it's certainly going to be interesting to see how SQL Server goes down this route. Needless to say if you're not on-board the PowerShell train already you better be thinking about booking your tickets pretty soon!

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