Whither CLR?

Joey D’Antoni is shaking his head about a CLR announcement:

With this is mind, Microsoft has made some big changes to CLR in SQL Server 2017. SQL CLR has always been an interesting area of the engine—it allows for the use of .NET code in stored procedures and user defined types. For certain tasks , it’s an extremely powerful tool—things like RegEx and geo functions can be much faster in native CLR than trying to do the equivalent operation in T-SQL. It’s always been a little bit of a security risk, since under certain configurations, CLR had access to resources outside of the context of the database engine. This was protected by boundaries defined in the CLR host policy. We had SAFE, EXTERNAL_ACCESS, and UNSAFE levels that we could set. SAFE simply limited access of the assembly to internal computation and local data access. For the purposes of this post, we will skip UNSAFE and EXTERNAL_ACCESS, but it is sufficed to say, these levels allow much deeper access to the rest of the server.

Code Access Security in .NET (which is used to managed these levels) has been marked obsolete. What does this mean? The boundaries that are marked SAFE, may not be guaranteed to provide security. So “SAFE” CLR may be able to access external resources, call unmanaged code, and acquire sysadmin privileges. This is really bad.

It’s not the end of the world for CLR, but this is a breaking change.  Read on for more details.

Related Posts

Auditing Options With Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Janusz Rokicki explores what is available in Azure SQL Data Warehouse when it comes to auditing: Auditing is disabled by default and the UI experience depends on the region to which the logical server is deployed. For instance, in UK South, the portal offers no options to manage auditing: In North Europe, the portal allows […]

Read More

What’s Coming With Always Encrypted?

Monica Rathbun explains a new feature coming to SQL Server: As I discussed in part 3 there are many roads blocks the can stop the implementation of Always Encrypted (AE). In the current available versions of SQL Server 2016 and 2017, along with Azure SQL Database, the cost of using AE was way too high […]

Read More

Categories

April 2017
MTWTFSS
« Mar May »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930