After I establish my connnection, I've got this:
$mssql_pdo = new PDO("dblib:host=".$mssql_cred_data['server'].";dbname=".$mssql_cred_data['dbname'],$mssql_cred_data['user'],$mssql_cred_data['pw']);
I'm thinknign that the "setAttribute" dynamic gives me the opportunity to tell PDO to give me as many hints as possible as to why a particular query may be written incorrectly.
Of course, that's coming from a mysql background where you write something like $mysqli->errno. ' '.$mysqli->error and youg et some text that gives you some direction as to what is going wrong.
Does PDO have something similar? Right now, all I get is:
Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'PDOException' with message 'SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 911 General SQL Server error: Check messages from the SQL Server  (severity 16
Now, maybe a mind greater than my own can decipher that and walk away with a definitive strategy, but I've been harboring this question for a while and I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction.