In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

Tech News : The Lighter Side

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

Product Reviews

Microsoft News : General Interest

Hardware News

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : Excel

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : PowerPivot

Blogs : Reporting Services

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 2012-12-24

SQL Source Control Is your SQL Database under Version Control?
SSMS plug-in SQL Source Control connects SVN, TFS, Git, Hg and all others to SQL Server. Learn more.
SQL Monitor Understand Locking, Blocking & Row Versioning
Read Kalen Delaney's eBook to understand SQL Server concurrency, and use SQL Monitor to pinpoint excessive blocking and deadlocking. Download free resources.
Red Gate Deployment Manager NEW! The easiest way to deploy .NET code
Deploy ASP.NET applications fast, frequently, and without fuss, using Deployment Manager, the new tool from Red Gate. Try it now.
Editorial - DBAs Take Sixth Place

Sixth Place (6th) Award Sticker

As we get read to close out another year, it's a time to review what's happened in the current year, and a chance to look forward to the new year. Most of the people reading this newsletter are data professionals working with SQL Server, and I have good news for you. We've had a few hard years economically around the world, with lots of companies holding off spending, freezing staffing levels, or even laying people off. However for data processionals, the outlook is good.

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US News came up with 100 jobs that have the greatest hiring demand. Database Administrator came in sixth, and software developer came in seventh. A number of other technology jobs, including IT Manager were in the top 100, which is good news. It shows that many companies need good employees working with technology, and are paying well for them.

As with any set of statistics, this is a an overview of the situation in the US. There are bad employers, bad managers, and plenty of bad jobs. However there are also good jobs, and if you can demonstrate competence and a can-do attitude, I'm sure you can find a great job next year.

I preach the importance of working on your career, and regularly improving your skills. Consider choosing a project in 2013, and dedicating some time every week to gaining knowledge and completing a project that helps you at work or home. Demonstrating some real skills and motivation might be the thing that sets you apart from every other person applying for the job you want.

» 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

Facebook Tests Immersion Cooling - Will submerged servers come to Facebook? The social network is the latest company to conduct tests in which servers are submerged in dielectric fluid....(more)

Building Amazon cloud apps that span the world is now much easier - Amazon's cloud division has rolled out a new feature that makes it easier to build applications that span the globe. Specifically, Elastic Block Store snapshots can now more easily be copied from one Amazon data center to another. In the future, Amazon will provide a similar feature for virtual machines. Ultimately, this will simplify the process developers use to expand the presence of their applications around the world, making it easier to recover from outages that hit specific Amazon data centers....(more)

Six ways data journalism is making sense of the world, around the world - When I wrote that Radar was investigating data journalism and asked for your favorite examples of good work, we heard back from around the world....(more)

IT jobs light up top 100 careers for 2013 - Systems analyst, database administrator, software developer, and Web developer are among the top 10 overall careers for 2013, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report ranking of the 100 best jobs for the upcoming year....(more)

Tech News : Security

China Now Blocking Encryption - The "Great Firewall of China" is now able to detect and block encryption: A number of companies providing "virtual private network" (VPN) services to users in China say the new system is able to "learn, discover and block" the encrypted communications methods used by a number of different VPN systems. ...(more)

California leaks Social Security numbers for second time this year - The Golden State has become something of a goldmine for potential identity thieves, having leaked thousands of residents' Social Security numbers this past year....(more)

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo flies with rocket motor for first time - SpaceShipTwo—a spaceplane built by Richard Branson's spaceflight company Virgin Galactic—has completed its first test flight with its rocket motor components installed....(more)

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Tester and Other Festive Arrangements - I don’t know what it’s like in your offices right now, but at the Simple-talk HQ, it’s that time of year when things start to wind down for a week or so. There is often a final flurry of blogging activity before all goes quiet until the New Year. We challenge you to submit your own festive carols (keep them clean!); the best one will receive an iPod Nano and two runners-up will receive $25 Amazon gift vouchers....(more)

New Blood - Paul's first day at Redacted Commodities and Trading, LLC. started with a coffee and a muffin, and ended with trauma leave....(more)

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

Cumulative Update #5 is available for SQL Server 2012 RTM - Microsoft has released Cumulative Update #5 for SQL Server 2012 RTM. Note this is *not* a cumulative update for Service Pack 1....(more)

December 2012 Cumulative Updates are available for SQL Server 2008 R2 - Microsoft released new cumulative updates for SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update # 10 ...(more)

Product Reviews

Testing the Data Warehouse - In Testing the Data Warehouse Practicum, authors Doug Vucevic & Wayne Yaddow propose the notion that quality is not an attribute or a feature that a product has to possess, but rather a relationship between that product and each and every stakeholder. ...(more)

Book Review: Pro SQL Database for Windows Azure - Earlier this year I wrote a blog series on the system tables available in SQL Azure. It was not long after that series was done that I was asked to be the technical reviewer for a book about SQL Azure. I jumped at the chance to learn even more about SQL Azure, because I know that my future is cloudy, and that’s a good thing. Writing a book about anything in Windows Azure is risky because of the amount of changes that happen in the Cloud. To give you an idea of how rapidly Azure changes, in the amount of time it took to pull together all the chapters for the book the name “SQL Azure” changed! It is now called “Windows Azure SQL Database”. ...(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

All Three Windows 8 Preview Builds Expiring Soon - All three preview builds of Windows 8 -- Developer, Consumer and Release -- will expire in less than a month....(more)

Hardware News

SSD prices continue to plunge - Since 2010, SSD (solid state drive) prices have plummeted 300 percent since 2010, this year reaching what researchers call the magic price point of $1-per-gigabyte of capacity. After dropping 20 percent in the second quarter of 2012 alone, SSD prices fell another 10 percent in the second half of the year, according to data from IHS iSupply....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Dude Where Did my AD Account Go? Troubleshooting Duplicate SID's. - Hello Dear Reader! I've been working on Setting up a Virtual Lab in using Virtual Box on my work laptop. I originally thought of blogging through all of this but I've had a few issues. I stepped away from this project at one point in time and was using a personal one. However I really want to get this work on my Pragmatic Works laptop....(more)

On the Seventh Day… - Today we will be reverting our attention back to the msdb database. This time not as a means of maintaining the under-carriage but rather to help us try and become better DBAs....(more)

Building a Full Text Index - I hadn’t used full-text indexing in production throughout my career. We hadn’t had the need in the applications I worked on, all of them depending on LIKE searches in specific, normalized data. ...(more)

Disk and File Layout for SQL Server - The RAID group is dead – long live the storage pool! Pools fulfill the real promise of centralized storage – the elimination of storage silos. Prior to pool technology, when you deployed centralized storage you simply moved the storage silo from the host to within the array. You gained some efficiencies, but it wasn’t complete. Pools are now common across the storage industry, and you can even create them within Windows 2012, where they are called “Storage Spaces.” This post is about how you allocate logical disks (LUNs) from pools so that you can maintain the visibility into performance. The methods described can be used with any underlying pool technology....(more)

Data Partitioning - When to partition the data - Last week we were discussing why do we want to partition the data. I hope at this point we all agreed that data partitioning could help us with the large table. Which leads to the question - when the table becomes “big enough” for partitioning....(more)

How to Rename SQL Server Cluster Virtual Server Name - The name of the virtual server is always the same as the name of the SQL Network Name (the SQL Virtual Server Network Name). Although you can change the name of the virtual server, you cannot change the instance name. For example, you can change a virtual server named VS1\instance1 to some other name, such as SQL35\instance1, but the instance portion of the name, instance1, will remain unchanged....(more)

“Don’t Touch That Button!” Four Dangerous Settings in SQL Server (video) - Every software product has its gotchas. SQL Server has some settings which sound like a great idea but can cause major problems for performance and availability when used improperly. In this 30 minute video, Kendra Little takes you on a tour of SQL Server’s most dangerous settings, from priority boost to lightweight pooling. She’ll explain why you need to be cautious and how you can check if your SQL Servers are configured safely....(more)

Index Analysis: The Re-Return - A couple years back, I wrote a few blog posts about an indexing script that I use with clients from time to time. While I provided some updates to it over the years, I haven’t pushed out anything new on it in quite some time. Seems I got distracted with an indexing book and never got back to pushing out those updates....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Hadoop Revisited (Video) - Hadoop is a group of tools to help developers create bigger tools. More specifically, Hadoop is a basic set of tools that help developers create applications spread across multiple CPU cores on multiple servers – it’s parallelism taken to an extreme. Although Hadoop is a set of tools and libraries, there are a number of products that are lumped into the same bucket as Hadoop and, frequently, they’re all referred to as Hadoop. Instead of describing every piece of Hadoop in detail, I’m going to focus on the functionality that’s of the most interest to SQL Server professionals....(more)

SSAS: Executing MDX Scope statements using SSMS - So usually when I want to test an MDX expression in SSMS I'll write a query with a "WITH MEMBER…" clause to create a query scope calculated measure. But sometimes you may want to test a scoped assignment before putting it in your cube script. The following steps show you how to do this....(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Importance of where you store your backups - A couple of weeks ago I kicked off a survey about where you store your backups. Here are the results: ...(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Azure SQL Database Import/Export Service - Change always brings both challenges and benefits - We recently upgraded the Import/Export Service to v3 of the DAC Framework (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee210546.aspx). This aligns the Import/Export service with what shipped with SQL Server 2012. Like all upgrades, this has brought both benefits and challenges. While overall we are seeing a significantly reduced amount of failures (both imports and exports), we are seeing some specific scenarios where we are having some trouble. To that end, I wanted to share some increased detail around a specific failure related to to the use of three-part naming, plus an alternative mechanism for doing imports and exports if you have a problem with the service....(more)

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

It’s Christmas: 3 Ways To Be Wise About Your Rowsize - Empty space. That’s what you have inside your database, I’m certain of it. I am also certain that you can take steps to avoid having large amounts of empty space inside of your database. The first step, as always, is admitting you have a problem. In this case that means you need to know how to look for the problem. ...(more)

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

How It Works: CMemThread and Debugging Them - The wait type of CMemThread shows up in outputs such as sys.dm_exec_requests. This post is intended to explain what a CMemThread is and what you might be able to do to avoid the waits. The easiest way to describe a CMemThread is to talk about a standard Heap, HeapCreate and the options (with or without HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE)....(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

PowerShell Export SQL Agent Job - This brief post is in response to a comment on my post PowerShell export query to CSV. Octopusgrabbus, awesome handle, asked how one could launch this. If you were looking to make this into a SQL Agent job, ...(more)

Blogs : Excel

Drilling around in your Excel PivotTables and PivotCharts - In the new Excel, we published a feature that allows Excel to continue its emergence as your go-to BI tool, whether it's for analytics or for exploration. That feature is called "Quick Explore," and with it you can drill up, drill down, and drill across your PivotTables and PivotCharts in ways never before possible in either Excel desktop or Excel in the browser....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

SSIS Precedence Constraint Tutorial - Recently we decided to create a series of videos for our SSIS Precedence Constraint Tutorial which is part of our SSIS Tutorial. ...(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

sys.dm_db_stats_properties() - Initial Results on SQL 2012 SP1 - The SQL Server team just released a new feature, the DMF sys.dm_db_stats_properties(). This new feature is available in 2008 R2 SP2 and 2012 SP1....(more)

My new favourite traceflag - As we are all aware, there are a number of traceflags. Some documented, some semi-documented and some completely undocumented. Here is one that is undocumented that Paul White(b|t) mentioned almost as an aside in one of his excellent blog posts....(more)

Blogs : PowerPivot

DAX Queries, Part 4 - I was extremely pleased to see that there was a Crossjoin() function in DAX, if only because it meant that I wouldn’t have to rename my company. Let’s see how to use it…...(more)

DAX Queries, Part 5 - Rob Collie (or rather David Hager, writing on Rob Collie’s blog) recently posted a detailed explanation of how to use the new DAX TopN() function inside a calculation; I assume, however, that’s it going to be more commonly used inside queries. Here’s a simple example that returns the top 10 rows from DimDate by the sum of Sales Amount:...(more)

Blogs : Reporting Services

On the Eighth Day… - This should be a good addition to the script toolbox for those Mere Mortal DBAs out there supporting their corporate SSRS environment. Everybody could use a script now and then that helps them better support their environment and perform their DBA duties, right?...(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Stored procedures and ORMs won’t save you from SQL injection - Everybody knows the easiest way to save yourself from SQL injection is to use object relational mappers (ORMs such as Entity Framework) or stored procedures, right? Often I see this becoming a mantra: “You don’t need to worry about SQLi if you’re using [Entity Framework | stored procedures]”. I also see the mantra blindly repeated and it’s wrong, very wrong....(more)

The Principle of Least Privilege - One of the tenets of good security is that no person or process is granted more rights than it needs to accomplish a task. This is the Principle of Least Privilege, and is designed to ensure that your system is as secure, stable, and predictable as possible....(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Skipping Function Execution when parameters are NULL - You can avoid executing a function when NULL values are passed as parameters. To achieve this you need to create function with RETURNS NULL ON NULL INPUT, this option introduced in SQL Server 2005....(more)

CURRENT_TIMESTAMP and GETDATE() – CURRENT_TIMESTAMP Equivalent in SQL Server - A common question – I often get from Oracle/MySQL Professionals: “What is the Equivalent to CURRENT_TIMESTAMP in SQL Server?” ...(more)


Administrative