Last week I saw the new lab based on CTP 3.1. I decided to go through it which is why I have written this personal SQL Server 2019 Lab review.
In addition, I thought I would give you some useful tips along the way.
Now this lab is a recent addition to the SQL Server workshop. I covered the workshop previously in a post about SQL Server 2019 learning resources, which you can read in detail here.
Of course, you can go directly to the lab instead here. Alternatively, you can also click on the image at the end of this post to go there.
Now, I have ordered this review in the order of the modules in the lab. With an extra section at the end about an extra bonus that comes with this SQL Server 2019 lab.
Something which is included which I truly think should be more advertised because it is helpful.
In addition, I have created the below links in case somebody wants to go directly to a specific section.
Now this module is a good introduction to Intelligent Query Processing. Which of course is new in SQL Server 2019.
In addition, this module introduces you to T-SQL Notebooks in Azure Data Studio. Which means certainly some of you will get experience with something else new.
Of course, remember to run each section of the notebook one at the time as the module suggests. Instead of trying to run all cells at once.
You might start doing this and think to yourself that it would be good to view the plans somehow. However, if you stick with the exercise you do end up seeing the plans in action.
Now this module has you looking at implementing data classification using SQL Server Management Studio instead.
I like the fact they investigate configuring the auditing access for these columns as well as adding the classification levels.
In this module you are back working with a T-SQL notebook again. However, to test it fully you do have to shutdown the SQL service and restart it outside of the notebook environment.
I definitely enjoyed testing Accelerated Database Recovery in this section. For me, even though it was good to see a demo of it doing it myself validated it.
If you decide to do this module, then I highly recommend doing the bonus activity at the end. However, it does mean using additional space and can take a while to do.
In fact, I highly recommend encouraging your colleagues to do this demo, or at least show them it yourself.
So, if you are short on space you might want to do some housekeeping first. Also, make sure you keep an eye on open connections when using the ALTER DATABASE statements.
However, there is one possible way Microsoft can make this a bit easier. Which is to have a backup of the sample database available for download to save some processing time.
Once you have finished this section I suggest removing the database at the end. Especially if you have done the bonus demo. Because that is the last time you use it in these labs.
In addition, you might also want to compact the virtual hard disk if you created the database within a Virtual Machine.
In this module you get to run SQL in the editor of your choice at the beginning.
However, since you must use a T-SQL notebook during the activity it might be a good idea to stick to using Azure Data Studio.
It’s a good module because it shows you how to use Polybase to connect with an Azure SQL Database. Of course, it does mean you have to have Azure access though.
Another key point is that you don’t have to install Java Runtime to use all the data sources.
In addition, they do provide samples for connections to other Data Sources. Admittedly, I have yet to test the others and will probably do so later.
Obviously, make sure that you get Polybase fully enabled before you start doing this exercise.
In this module you get some hands-on experience looking at Linux and Containers.
However, instead of just setting up a SQL Server container this section gets you to build a replication environment. It also encourages you to look at how to automate doing this.
Something which I think is definitely good because it gives you a better idea of what you can do.
I will admit I had some issues with this to begin with. Probably because I was running a Virtual Machine to do the other exercises beforehand.
For some reason the docker-compose command would not complete. So, I did the old fix of restarting the laptop which appeared to resolve the issue.
In reality, I did have to start the replication manually once I could connect to the SQL instances. Of course, that could have been due to my laptop.
Now, here is something that comes as part of the lab which I think is also a bit of bonus. You also get two sets of slides within the lab which are in a sub folder called Slides.
In fact, one of them looks very similar to the slides Bob Ward used on his training day at the SQLBits conference. So, I think some of you will certainly be keen to go through them.
To summarize my SQL Server 2019 lab review, I really enjoyed this lab for many reasons. For instance, I like the fact it offers experience with various new features.
In addition, I think the using a variety of tools in this lab is a great idea.
I think this is a great learning aid which actively encourages people to investigate the new features of SQL Server 2019 in detail. I hope we get to see more labs like this in the future.