If you’re like me, your palms went into a cold sweat to get your grubby fingers on the bits for SQL Server 2022 a few nanoseconds after you heard the announcement.
Well, you might be waiting a while. As will I.
However, I really do want to start experimenting with some of the functionality right now. If you do to, then join me at Azure SQL Database.
Azure SQL Database as a Preview for SQL Server 2022
Yeah, I know it’s not the same. I get it. You have a need to run this stuff on big iron, not virtual, and certainly not in the cloud. Still, you want to learn, right? Tons of the new functionality is either already in Azure or incorporates Azure functionality. You can get started on a lot of stuff right now.
For example, SQL Server 2022 is going to have the ability to force query hints on queries through Query Store. Why is this exciting? I mean, we have plan forcing today, so what the heck can hints do that plan forcing can’t? Well, let’s say we’re in a situation with bad parameter sniffing. After a lot of experimentation and testing, we’ve determined that there isn’t a single plan that we could force to get good performance. Instead, what we really need, in this scenario, is to force recompiles on the query. Easy enough, edit the code. Ah, but I’m going to say the phrase we all dread, but have heard a hundred times, “You can’t edit the code”. Crap. Well, Plan guides. They work. Mostly. When the wind blows from the southeast and it’s a Tuesday. Kidding. They can work, but are tricky to implement and maintain. Using Query Store to force hints instead of plans is a much easier solution, with easier code. You can test this functionality right now on Azure SQL Database.
Want another one? How about the Ledger feature coming in SQL Server 2022. It’s a mechanism that’s going to enable you too certify to third party auditors that your data has not been messed with. I don’t understand it all yet, but I’m willing to learn. And, I can get started right now on Azure SQL Database. You turn this on, don’t change your code or structures at all (yippee!) and suddenly you’ve got serious data auditing and validation capabilities. You can start testing that functionality now, while you’re waiting for SQL Server 2022.
Then there’s all the integration points with Azure through Synapse, SQL Database, and Purview. If you’re thinking about setting up a bi-directional HA/DR with Azure SQL Database, you might want to start learning that part of the technology now. Same with the other stuff.
I know it’s not the same. Believe me. I get it. However, if you want to start ramping up your learning while you wait to get the good bits, take advantage of Azure. Even if you only ever use it as a learning tool. Well, OK. It’s a learning tool. And hey, have you seen, it’s getting a better cross-database query capability. That might move a few people. Anyway, you’ve got lots of opportunities to get ahead on learning for SQL Server 2022 if you want to.