SQL Server v.Next Early Adoption Program Announced

The Microsoft SQL Server team has announced that it is starting a new SQL Server Early Adoption Program (SQL EAP) from January 2017. Through this program, the partners as well as customers will be able to receive technical assistance from Microsoft engineers to deploy and support an application in production before general availability, or to build or modernize an application for SQL Server v.Next.
 
In the official blog, the company states,

“If you are interested in adopting SQL Server v.Next on Windows or Linux in production, then SQL EAP is for you. SQL EAP is also for partners who want to build SI (system integrator) offerings and ISV (independent software vendor) applications using SQL Server v.Next.Upon successful validation, these applications and solutions can be supported in production prior to the general availability release. Customers and partners who would like to validate new features such as Adaptive Query Processing and High Availability (HA) on Linux are an especially good fit for SQL EAP.”
 
However, to participate in the program, you will have to enroll yourself through an application form, and sign an NDA with Microsoft. If you are a customer who wants SQL EAP in production, you need to sign an EULA amendment too that will grant permission to use the software in production.
 
Here are the core benefits of joining the program -
  • Participants will be able to contact the SQL Engineering Team directly so as to provide the feedback or to ask for support.

  • The SQL Server Team will assign a Program Manager Buddy to each qualified participant as a primary contact who will take your request/feedback to the right team or person within the development team.

    As per the company blog,

    ”PM Buddies communicate with the customer via email and regularly scheduled meetings. PM Buddies help scope the project when the customer first joins SQL EAP so that there is common understanding of the schedule and requirements.”
  • You will get the facility to directly test your workload with SQL Server Team via SQL Customer Advisory Team Customer Lab.

  • SQL EAP will be conducting regular surveys on the new features which are not publicly available, where the participating customers will be able to feed their input into the prioritization of product requirements for SQL Server v.Next.

  • All the participants will be part of a private Yammer group so that they can communicate with engineering team as well as with one another to help and to learn . This group, however, will undergo scrutiny as the content will be confidential and covered by Microsoft NDA.

  • What else will you get is full Microsoft Support even before product goes generally available, via a special support channel specially designed for raising the SQL Server v.Next related cases.

    As committed by the team,

    “The SQL Server engineering team will be backing up the Microsoft Support team to provide assistance as needed. Customers in production will also have support for release-to-release upgrades.”
Well, good move Microsoft! This will take the product testing to the next level as there will so many test scenarios and so many testing teams, each tester working really hard to make the SQL Server v.Next work in their production environment.