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Rob Farley enjoys the syntax:

This month, Deepthi Goguri (@dbanuggets) asks us about our favourite new feature in SQL Server 2022 or Azure. And while there are always a few, I’m going to write about why I have a particular fondness of “IS [NOT] DISTINCT FROM“, despite the fact that it’s overly wordy and the functionality isn’t actually new at all.

People understand my point that it’s a little wordy. Typing “IS NOT DISTINCT FROM” instead of “=” doesn’t sound fun to anyone, and I think “==” or “IS” ought to be fine. The fact that the functionality isn’t new… well that statement seems to raise a few eyebrows.

Read on for Rob’s take on what IS DISTINCT FROM (and its negative cousin) actually do and what performance-killing alternative people used prior to that.