In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Tech News : Webcasts

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft News : Patches, Bugs

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs

Blogs : Career

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Data Mining

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : Hardware

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : XML, XPATH and XQUERY

Articles : Administration

Articles : Development

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 2013-02-18

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Editorial - Big Data: Cash Cow or Horsemeat?

Last year, we all heard that we were going to have be ready for ‘Big Data’; that every business worth its salt would have a quant on its staff and an ever-growing Hadoop database spitting out the secrets of the universe into its sweat-slicked hands. Only that never really seemed to happen. Somewhere between the excitement of “We’re going to get all the data, and we’re going to ask it things, and it’s going to be brilliant” the reality of implementation caught up.

This article seems to suggest why – that like everything else worth doing, the whole ‘Big Data’ idea is incredibly hard to implement well. It’s not something that slots naturally into existing business practices, no matter how great you are – it needs specialists, just like any other large function. As another Wired article points out, just because you can gather and read this data, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something useful with it, or even interpreting it well. In the two companies in the article, Valve succeed at least in part because they hired specialists who really know how to look at the data, how to eliminate false positives, and crucially, what’s worth looking at and what isn’t. It’s not like Zynga couldn’t afford to hire good people, but they base their business on rapidly iterating their product based on the data they gather. If you ask the wrong questions or make false assumptions, you’re going to run into trouble quickly, and put time and effort into fruitless enterprises.

The truth is, if you want to find small patterns in big numbers, you need a vast amount of data, and you need someone smart enough to deal with it. You probably have smart people who work with a lot of data in your organization, but this is the sort of thing that’s going to make a maths PhD a very high-paying qualification to have among the companies that get it right.

You can improve a well-run and sustainable business with this sort of data analysis, but you can’t keep throwing things at the wall and hope you get enough data to turn them into something great.

» 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

Personal data ownership drives market transparency and empowers consumers - On Monday morning, the Obama administration launched a new community focused on consumer data at Data.gov. While there was no new data to be found among the 507 datasets listed there, it was the first time that smart disclosure has an official home in federal government....(more)

Wi-Fi expansion could harm smart car wireless network, automakers say - A government plan to add spectrum to Wi-Fi's 5GHz band might interfere with vehicle-to-vehicle wireless networks that would improve highway safety, dozens of auto industry representatives said in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission today....(more)

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Microsoft Marketing Man wakes up - Phil Factor's marketing man can always refactor a negative from a positive, see opportunity where a more honest man would see abject failure. Allow him to deliver the seamless, valuable and bleeding-edge tale of his trip to work. ...(more)

Tech News : Webcasts

Upcoming Free SQL Server Training Webcasts - Brent Ozar Unlimited have a bunch of free SQL Server training webcasts. You know the routine: click the links, check boxes, and get smart....(more)

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft embraces open source -- to a point - Microsoft has made public its embrace of open source, evolving from being essentially a proprietary software company to getting involved in multiple open source efforts....(more)

Microsoft News : Patches, Bugs

Microsoft Project Server 2007, 2010 and 2013 February 2013 CU release - The details of the February 2012 Cumulative Updates (CU) for Project and Project Server 2007, 2010 and 2013 are available now on the Microsoft Product Support BLog....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Something to watch out for when using sp_rename on Stored Procedures, Functions and Views - For those who don’t know, the stored procedure sp_rename allows you to change the name of a user-created object. Basically when you use sp_rename it changes the name of an object in the catalog tables. Unfortunately on a stored procedure, function or view this isn’t the only place the name is stored....(more)

SQL Server 2008 Statistics: What does a DBA need to know? - Matt Bowler has been looking into the behaviour of statistics in SQL Server 2008 – here he presents an overview from a DBA perspective....(more)

DBA Best Practices - A Blog Series: Episode 3 - Use a Wiki for Documentation - One of the often neglected and yet extremely important tasks of any DBA is to document his/her environment. I can certainly relate to those of you who haven’t written a single page of documentation for your environment – I was there before. And I felt bad....(more)

Buffer pool disfavoring - Have you ever wondered why DBCC CHECKDB, for instance, doesn’t flush the buffer pool when it runs on a database that is larger than the memory capacity of the server? There’s cool mechanism that it uses called disfavoring....(more)

TopCounts With Ties In MDX - Pretty much everyone that knows MDX knows the TopCount() function, which is used to find the top n items in a set – it can be used for finding your top 10 products, your top 20 salespeople, and so on. However most people don’t consider it’s biggest drawback: it always returns n items, and doesn’t take ties into account....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Has the term "big data" completely lost meaning yet? - There are some terms in IT that make their way straight into the hype stratosphere. Unfortunately "big data" is one of these. I see very few systems that I'd contend are actually "big data". However, I endlessly see the term applied to data stores that are trivial by today's standards....(more)

Blogs

SQL SERVER – What is Semantics Model – A Simple Explanation - “Semantics” refers to the meaning behind words, sentences, or phrases.  This is its general meaning.  In technology, even the word “semantics” has more meanings.  Semantics, and semantic models, refer to how data is organized within a database to make it more useful for users....(more)

Blogs : Career

Bring Solutions - What's your job? Most of you will answer "DBA", or "developer", or "manager", or something that corresponds to your title. That's partially true, but for the most part if you are in Information Technology, I think your idea is to solve problems and ensure that your systems, or your code, or whatever you work on, is running smoothly for the people that use that technology....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Amazon's cloud-based data warehouse Redshift now available - Amazon Web Services has made available to all users its cloud-based data warehouse Redshift, which it pitches as a lower-cost alternative to on-premise deployments....(more)

Financial Benefits of Using Power System Analytics for Mission-Critical Applications - As the data center continues to become an integral part of any organization, uptime becomes a greater concern for many administrators. Mitigating risk and reducing downtime is a very important activity which must be monitored, reported upon and documented....(more)

Preventing a Botnet Attack on Your Data Center - The rise in Internet and cloud utilization has been directly proportional to the rise in WAN-based attacks. As more organizations utilize the power of the cloud, more attackers will search for targets to attack....(more)

Hybrid clouds pose new security challenges - If 2013 is the year enterprises begin implementing their hybrid cloud strategies, as the experts are predicting, then it follows that this will also be the year when hybrid cloud security takes center stage....(more)

Blogs : Data Mining

The Visual Art Behind Data Science - As demand for data visualization grows, so does the need for consistent quality....(more)

SQL Server 2012 Semantic Search - Suppose your company has a web application that allows customers to enter comments, such as to provide feedback about their product experience. How do you derive knowledge from these comments? Enter semantic search – a new feature in SQL Server 2012. ...(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Behind the scenes of PowerShell and SQL - Every year, PowerShell increases its stranglehold on the Windows Server system and the applications that run upon it – with good reason too. Its consistent mechanisms for interaction between its scripting interface and the underlying systems make it easy for people to feel comfortable, and there is a discoverability that has been lacking in many other scripting environments....(more)

Blogs : Hardware

Operating system SmackDown: Windows 8 blitzes XP on 7 year old hardware - Troy Hunt tries out Windows 8 vs. XP on older hardware and sees some surprising results....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

The Halloween Problem – Part 1 - Much has been written over the years about understanding and optimizing SELECT queries, but rather less about data modification. This series of posts looks at an issue that is specific to INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and MERGE queries – the Halloween Problem....(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Smartphone Owners Must Get Serious About Security - Almost all smartphones offer some sort of "lock screen" option, many featuring a password, PIN or pattern of screen touches or swipe gestures the user can set up. ...(more)

Blogs : XML, XPATH and XQUERY

How to enable Selective XML indexes in SQL Server 2012 SP1 - SQL Server 2012 SP1 has shipped a great enhancement to XML: Selective XML Indexes. When properly used these indexes can speed up the searching of XML columns tremendously, at little disk/size cost....(more)

Articles : Administration

A SQL-Based Universal Currency Formatter - SQL Server isn't usually the best place to format dates or currency as strings. It can be a complex task to conform correctly with national and cultural conventions. Just occasionally, though, you need to do it. This is easy in SQL Server 2012, but if you aren't using that, what do you do?...(more)

SQL Server Statistics Questions We Were To Shy to Ask - If you need to optimise SQL Server performance, it pays to understand SQL Server Statistics. Grant Fritchey answers some frequently-asked questions about SQL Server Statistics: the ones we somehow feel silly asking in public, and think twice about doing so....(more)

Articles : Development

An Incremental Database Development and Deployment Framework - Often, an existing database application must evolve rapidly by incremental steps. Alex describes a tried and tested system to provide an automated approach to deploying both new and existing database systems, whilst dealing with common security and configuration issues. ...(more)

How Does the Cloud Change a Developer's Job? - Buck Woody recently posted blogs on how cloud computing would change the Systems Architect’s role,a DBA's job, and the Systems Administrator's. In this post he covers the changes facing the Software Developer when using the cloud. ...(more)

The ghost who codes: how anonymity is killing your programming career - Troy Hunt argues that developers need a good online presence to show off their coding skills in today's job marketplace....(more)


Administrative