Microsoft's SQL Server team yesterday announced the availability of a preview release of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux, which allows native developers to access Microsoft SQL Server from Linux operating systems.

For customers with native applications on multi-platform, the existing, reliable and enterprise-class ODBC for Windows driver (a.k.a. SQL Server Native Client, or SNAC) has been ported to the Linux platform.

You can download the driver here.

"In this release, the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux will be a 64-bit driver for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. We will support SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 with this release of the driver. Notable driver features (in addition to what you would expect in an ODBC driver) include support for the Kerberos authentication protocol, SSL and client-side UTF-8 encoding. This release also brings proven and effective tools and the BCP and SQLCMD utilities to the Linux world,"said Shekhar Joshi, a Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver For Linux team.

This is another example of both Microsoft and the SQL team's commitment to interoperability.

You can read Shekhar's full blog post here, while additional information on the first release of Microsoft ODBC Driver for Linux can be found here.