The July 2016 release of SSMS (and later versions) introduced a set of PowerShell cmdlets through a new ‘SqlServer’ module. This pagedescribes the various capabilities that these cmdlets bring to the table. Of most interest to the specific scenario described above is the Set-SqlColumnEncryption cmdlet. In the post below, we will walk through the steps required to use this – first from a PowerShell session to test the capability, and then finally from a C# application which is using PowerShell Automation to invoke the cmdlets from an application.
As a side note it is worth knowing that the cmdlets in the ‘SqlServer’ PowerShell module can also be used for automating key setup and management (and are, in many ways, more powerful than SSMS – they expose more granular tasks, and thus can be used to achieve role separation and to develop a custom key management workflow – but that is likely a topic for a separate post!)
Sanjay also includes a sample Powershell script to show how it works.