Back in August of 2011, an announcement from Microsoft started a wave of angst among those who build and support solutions on the Microsoft data platform. In that brief blog post, the data access team announced the deprecation of the OLE DB data interface driver, and that SQL Server 2012 would be the last version to include OLE DB. The community response to this difficult-to-understand decision was fast and overwhelmingly negative. OLE DB had been the de facto standard for accessing data in Microsoft-based solutions, and the sheer number of touchpoints required to move to another data access provider would have almost certainly kept customers from buying post-2012 SQL Server licenses (and perhaps drive them to other platforms entirely).
Later, Microsoft relented on the timing of the removal of OLE DB, opting to continue to include the still-deprecated driver in versions of SQL Server beyond 2012. Still, many data professionals worried and complained – rightfully so – about the uncertainty of having such a critical part of their infrastructure on the chopping block. After this reprieve, many of us continued to use OLE DB in spite of its deprecated status, with the hope that Microsoft would reverse this decision to get rid of OLE DB.
Long Live OLE DB!
After a long period of silence on the topic, Microsoft announced last month that they have reversed course on this decision. This post declared OLE DB to be undeprecated (a fun new word!), and that a new and improved version of OLE DB will be released in Q1 of 2018. For those of us who build data solutions, this is a much-welcome change in direction. I’m delighted that Microsoft listened to feedback and conceded that the original decision was a mistake. This reversal is a win for Microsoft as well as their customers.
Let’s collectively raise a glass to toast a long life for the newly-resurrected OLE DB driver. Long live OLE DB! Thanks so much to the Microsoft team for this.