In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft News : Security

Hardware News

Blogs : .NET

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Data Access / ORMs

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : Events

Blogs : Excel

Blogs : Hardware

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : PowerPivot

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : T-SQL

Database Weekly - www.databaseweekly.com

The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

Hand-picked content to sharpen your professional edge

SQL Server News for 2012-08-20

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Editorial - Brad McGehee Moves On

Five years ago, Red Gate asked Brad McGehee to take on the role of Director of DBA Education. It was an uncommon title for an unusual role, but Red Gate was then, and now, committed to helping DBAs with training, certification, keeping up with the ever-changing technology, and solving the everyday problems they faced.

Since then, Brad has been a tireless worker, writing tens of articles, many editorials, and four books for DBAs, including his popular How to become an Exceptional DBA. He also gave presentations throughout America, Australia and the UK, travelling half a million miles in the process, and providing grassroots education to countless DBAs and Database Developers.

It has been quite a chunk of time in any career. Times and circumstances change, and so now he is going back to being a real practicing DBA, with a more sedentary existence. However, he'll still write articles and do editing for Simple-Talk, and the Stairway Series at SQL Server Central.

Is the role of 'DBA Education' still relevant? Yes. In general, the industry seems to have chosen to appoint Evangelists for their software rather than Educators, responsible for providing more generalized professional development. However, Red Gate believes that the need for broad professional development and education is more vital now than ever. It's not just the ever- expanding scope of SQL Server, but the increasing spread of the responsibility of DBAs; they now need to respond to 'Agile' techniques by getting more involved in the entire development cycle, from application design, through to source control, code reviews, continuous integration and delivery. DBAs need to understand BI, to create PowerShell scripts and to take increasing control of both user and application security.

Brad feels sure that the 'Stairway' series on SSC is a great way to provide a wide range of learning materials, and so he will be taking on a coordinating role there. With the distractions and stress of travel out of the way, and a real DBA role to tackle as a day-job, he'll be well placed to judge what training materials are most required, most relevant, and at what level. We feel sure we'll all gain.

Andrew Clarke, Tony Davis, Phil Factor and Steve Jones

» Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums


The Weekly News

All the headlines and interesting SQL Server information that we've collected over the past week, and sometimes even a few repeats if we think they fit. These headlines are gathered throughout the week and are posted in real time at the website. Check there for information throughout the week or enjoy this weekly summary of the SQL Server world.


Tech News : General Interest

Availability of Adobe’s Flash browser plugin discontinued on Android - As of yesterday, Adobe’s Flash player browser plugin for Android is no longer available to new users in the Google Play Store. Adobe is limiting access to the plugin as the company works to deprecate Flash on mobile devices....(more)

Microsoft bans 'metro' from Windows Store apps - Microsoft has told Windows 8 app developers that if they use the word "metro" in the name of their software, the app will be denied access to the Windows Store....(more)

Twitter clamps down on developers with restrictive API rules - The next version of Twitter's API aims to limit traditional Twitter clients and syndication...(more)

Tech News : The Lighter Side

An Unexpected Ass Kicking - Joel Runyon on an unexpected encouter in a coffee shop in Portland with the guy who invented the first computer....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

How Microsoft could make a $199 Surface RT a reality, and why it shouldn't - An anonymous source has told Engadget that Microsoft's ARM tablet, the Surface RT, will cost just $199 when it goes on sale on October 26th....(more)

Microsoft's branding woes threaten to undercut its progress - Microsoft announced handful of truly innovative products over the past few months, but bumbled branding will keep customers wondering...(more)

Hands-on with Windows 8 RTM: software is finished, the experience ain't - MSDN and TechNet users are now hammering Microsoft's download servers and getting their hands for the first time on the final Windows 8 build. The various betas have been used and reviewed extensively; what's new in RTM?...(more)

Microsoft News : Security

Microsoft Battles Worms with Critical Windows Patch - IT admins take note: Microsoft has issued nine security bulletins as part of August's Patch Tuesday. Small businesses and campus locations where Windows computers are configured in workgroups are particularly vulnerable to some of the security holes addressed by Microsoft. Those with Windows XP on their network should also install the patches ASAP to avoid serious harm, since the malware is network aware with no authentication required....(more)

Hardware News

Violin to bring deduplication, replication, other tools to all-flash storage arrays - Violin Memory plans to add deduplication, thin provisioning, snapshots and other features in a software update for its all-flash storage arrays, in a bid to match some key features that enterprises are used to getting in disk-based platforms....(more)

Blogs : .NET

Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 released to the web! - The official announcement, plus "12 good reasons to upgrade today"!...(more)

Blogs : Administration

The Trouble With Transaction Logs - You’re transaction log files are a mess. You don’t think so, but it’s true. Too many times I have seen transaction logs treated without care; they are placed on the same disk drives as the data files or they are placed on drives not optimized for write activity. I have even seen admins who fail to back them up....(more)

How to Get DB Server Information from the Command Line - What would it be like to develop in a SharePoint environment if you didn’t have database server access? This is a typical situation at large enterprises. ...(more)

Resource: Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans - On a few occasions, I've been asked to fill in as a temporary or emergency DBA for periods of time, usually during or after a company transition of some kind. While I am by no means an expert DBA, I can keep things running smoothly for a few months, thanks in part to this little ebook - Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server Maintenance Plans....(more)

Gail Shaw's SQL Server Howlers - For the latest in our series of SQL Server Howlers, we asked Gail Shaw which common SQL Server mistakes and misunderstandings lead to tearful DBAs and plaintive cries for help on the forums....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Storage and the NameColumn and KeyColumns Properties - Those of you who have worked with SSAS Multidimensional for a reasonable amount time will, no doubt, be very familiar with the NameColumn and KeyColumns properties of an attribute. Chris Webb encounters and resolves some initially-worrying behaviour....(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Where’s My Certificate Backup? - Whatever you do, make sure you backup your certificate files and keep them safe. If they go, you do lose data....(more)

Actual Emails: The Customer Doesn't Want Full Recovery Mode - So, the first question to ask a client who doesn't want transaction log backups is, "why?" ...(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Windows Azure Database (SQL Azure) Development Tip - When you create something in the cloud, it's real, and you're charged for it. There are free offerings, and you even get free resources with your Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, but there are limits within those. Creating a 1 GB database - even with nothing in it - is a 1 GB Database. If you create it, drop it, and create it again 2 minutes later, that's 2 GB of space you've used for the month. Wait - how do I develop in this kind of situation?...(more)

Blogs : Data Access / ORMs

Unwanted dependency between different parts of the code - Small systems tend to grow with new functionality and new access points. When the system grows, the need for data (might even be the same or very similar) and data access requirements grows at a similar rate and becomes more and more complex. A single component might no longer be the only access way to retrieve a set of data this resulting in an unwanted dependency between different parts of the code and anti-encapsulation....(more)

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

SETSPN -A with Windows 2012 does a duplicate check upfront - I recently setup a Windows 2012 server to just see how SharePoint Integration with Reporting Services would work out. As I was doing that, I knew I would need the HTTP SPN configured for my SharePoint server. As I created the SPN, I saw something very interesting....(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

How to Parse DBCC MEMORYSTATUS via Powershell - SQL Server has many ways to dig deep into diagnosing memory related problems. Today it is common to use Dynamic Management Objects (views/functions) to expose a large portion of this information. However, some useful data isn't consumable by DMVs, so we must use DBCC MEMORYSTATUS to get what we need. ...(more)

(Introducing) Nishang : PowerShell for Penetration Testing - At some of my talks many nice folks have asked me about the availability of PowerShell scripts for use in Penetration Tests. I started writing new scripts and collecting older ones. After working on this for a while I had some useful collection of payloads and scripts. I call it Nishang....(more)

Microsoft Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell (Release Candidate) - Microsoft® Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell® (Release Candidate) helps scripters find Windows PowerShell scripts, snippets, modules, and how-to guidance in online repositories such as the TechNet Script Center Repository, PoshCode, local or network file systems and Bing Search Repository....(more)

Database Mail and SMO are indeed supported on 64-bit, Standard Edition instances of SQL Server 2012 - If you read this Web article, “Features Supported By Editions of SQL Server 2012” as of time of writing this post, you will see that the article points out that these two features are not supported on x64 Standard Edition. This is NOT correct....(more)

SQL Audit 301 – Using Powershell to Manage Audits - Colleen Morrow goes over some very basic scripts to create, drop, and copy SQL Audit objects using Powershell and SMO. ...(more)

Practical PowerShell for SQL Server Developers and DBAs – Part 2 - Having shown just how useful PowerShell can be for DBAs in executing queries, Michael Sorens now takes us through navigating SQl Server space and finding meta-information - valuable information for anyone looking to be more productive in SQL Server....(more)

11 Tips to Backup databases with SMO, VB, C# Powershell, Command lines - Sometimes we need to create backups using code, sometimes we need to do it manually, sometimes programmatically, using C#, VB, Powershell....(more)

Setting Default Display Properties to your SMO Functions - Poweshell guru, Laerte Junior, discovers Windows PowerShell formatting files and uses them to create some custom formatting files for his functions....(more)

Blogs : Events

SQL in Boston -- Red Gate Style - You might have heard of Red Gate's famous SQL in the City events: free, full-day educational events where you can learn from Red Gate's own evangelists in addition to various MVPs and other guests. With just a tiny bit of marketing thrown in for good measure (don't worry, it's not a daylong sales pitch). The event takes place on October 8. I'll be delivering a talk entitled "The Ten Commandments of SQL Server Monitoring."...(more)

Blogs : Excel

Building a Simple BI Solution in Excel 2013, Part 1 - Hot on the heels of the announcement of Office 13, Chris Webb walks through the process of building a simple BI solution in Excel 2013 to show off some of the new features....(more)

Creating Complex Test Databases - Using Excel to convert a raw list of text into viable T-SQL syntax - In this article, I am going to highlight one technique I use fairly often with leveraging Excel's text concatenation functionality to generate T-SQL script based on a list of raw text found elsewhere (online, from a document, in email, etc.). I use this to both generate schema and data from existing lists of text....(more)

Blogs : Hardware

Choosing a Mobile Workstation - There are a lot of available good choices for high end mobile workstations and choosing one comes down to several main factors, such as intended usage, budget, screen resolution and so on. Glenn Berry offers some advice....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

SSIS 2008 Project Configurations - When people talk SSIS and configurations mostly it is regarding runtime configurations which allow values to be passed into an SSIS package. Instead these three posts are about Visual Studio Project Configurations and how they work (or don’t work) with SSIS....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Row Versioning based Isolation levels in Sql Server - A brief review of SQL Server's two row-versioning isolation levels, and when you might consider using each one....(more)

Temporary Object Caching Explained - Temporary objects are often created and destroyed at a high rate in production systems, so caching temporary objects can be an important optimization. Paul White explains how it works....(more)

You Need To Test Your SQL Server! - Wes Brown reviews some tools for load testing and benchmarking SQL Server....(more)

Stop Worrying About SQL Server Fragmentation - I bet you’re worried about your index fragmentation. And I bet you’re wasting your time, missing the real point. Brent Ozar explains why....(more)

Blogs : PowerPivot

Consuming OData feeds from Excel Services 2013 in PowerPivot - After creating surveys in the Excel 2013 Web App, Chris Webb works out how to consume the data generated by a survey via the new Excel Services OData API ...(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

Being Right, the Other Side - Grant Fritchey on why he agrees with Camille Fournier about the importance of recognizing that being right is not the only factor that needs to be taken into consideration when making a decision....(more)

Survival Tips For Developers: How To Talk To Your DBA - Tom LaRock's handy guide for developers to help them communicate better with their database administrators....(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer - now available for download - ttack Surface Analyzer is developed by the Trustworthy Computing Security group. It is the same tool used by Microsoft's internal product groups to catalogue changes made to operating system attack surface by the installation of new software....(more)

Audit Yourself Regularly - Not only do the audits give you a good idea of where you stand, but they also help you flag issues or potential issues. For instance, if you see that developers are being inserted into the db_owner role for production databases and they aren't being taken out in a timely manner, that tells you there's a procedure problem somewhere. ...(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Be Careful with the Merge Statement - The article article: Optimizing MERGE Statement Performance explains how performance gains are possible using the MERGE statement because source and target datasets can be processed only once. Microsoft goes on to say “… performance gains depend on having correct indexes, joins, and other considerations in place.” That is an understatement dear readers and I’d like to call your attention to it....(more)

SQL Server Data Type Precedence - I am executing a simple query/stored procedure from my application against a large table and it's taking a long time to execute. The column I'm using in my WHERE clause is indexed and it's very selective. The search column is not wrapped in a function so that's not the issue. It's like the optimizer doesn't even know an index exists! What could be going wrong? ...(more)

Temporary Tables in Stored Procedures - The benefits of using temporary tables are potentially better execution plans, now and in the future as data distribution changes and new execution plans are compiled. On the cost side of the ledger we have the extra effort needed to populate the temporary table, and maintain the statistics. In addition, we expect a higher number of recompilations for optimality reasons due to changes in statistics. In short, we have a trade-off between potential execution plan quality and maintenance/recompilation cost. The problem, though, is that temporary tables do not work quite how (almost) everyone expects them to…...(more)

Tricks? In T-SQL? - There is very little "trickery" in T-SQL. Learn to read execution plans; that’s where you can see what’s actually going on, and hopefully it can explain some of the magic that you see....(more)


Administrative