however, I would rather the product owners provide the solution. Call me old fashioned
Unfortunately I don't think 'old fashioned' is the term experienced security folk would use.
Those keep-alive mechanisms essentially subvert security and make it harder to properly protect systems from unauthorized use.
I certainly don't agree that a vendor should support such methods and take that control out of the hands of orgs that want to protect their systems..
I can't speak for the Sql Dev team but I would be surprised if Jeff Smith's opinion has changed from what he posted back in 2011.
I completely understand why you want this feature and know where the pain is coming from, I just don’t agree with this approach. I’m afraid it would be abused and hide infrastructure flaws in your network.
Imagine a dba running a top Sql report and noticing a few hundred Sql dev users running all this nonsense Sql, just to keep their sessions established.
I get asked all the time how to build logon triggers to keep users off a system – I think his might serve to add fuel to that fire.