In this issue:

Vendors/3rd Party Products

Tech News : Security

SQL Server News

Microsoft News : General Interest

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Data Access / ORMs

Blogs : Data Mining

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : Events

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : NOSQL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : Software Development

Blogs : SQL Server 2008 (Katmai)

Blogs : T-SQL

Blogs : Virtualization

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 2013-05-27

SQL Monitor Check SQL Server performance at a glance
We consulted 1000 SQL Server professionals to make SQL Monitor’s UI as clear as possible. Start monitoring with a free trial.
SQL Data Compare Save time when comparing and synchronizing database contents
"It has also streamlined our daily update process and cut back literally a good solid hour per day." George Pantela, GPAnalysis.com. Download a free trial of SQL Data Compare now.
SQL DBA Bundle Top 5 hard-earned Lessons of a DBA
New! Part 4, ‘Disturbing Development’ by Grant Fritchey, features the return of Joe Deebeeay and a server-threatening encounter with ORMs - read it here.
Editorial - DBAs and the Fear of Time Off

I sat at my desk staring at a calendar for the months of May and June, on which I'd circled 18 days, many consecutive, a few isolated. I glanced nervously towards my boss’ office and then, resolved, leapt up, and strode in that direction, a steely glint in my eyes. My mission was clear. My boss examined the circled dates, his expression deadpan. He sighed lightly, lifted his eyes to the ceiling, contemplative, laying out in his mind what was happening on those weeks. When his eyes returned to me, I saw in them resigned acceptance. “Put it on my calendar,” he said “and could you close the door on your way out, please?”

In my experience, asking for your due time off (your DBA-cation) is a nervous dance, a delicate balancing of the needs of both the requestor and the granter. When I first moved to my current company, in 2006, I set about my new job armed only with a one-page Excel spreadsheet listing the names (and only the names) of our SQL Servers, a laptop and a Blackberry. The latter device tied me closer to my job than I'd ever been before. Each Level 1 alert, when a server or process failed, announced itself to the loud, insistent tune of one of my favorite Fugazi songs, which in hindsight was a mistake. To this day, I still cannot listen to it without jolting upright and checking the pulse in my neck.

I was responsible for everything and had no one, really, to back me up, so what little vacation time I stole meant being out of the office but "still available", in case there were issues. By choice, I tended to stay fairly close to home, my laptop on my back. My loving wife understood and we made it through until, one year, she gently pushed under my nose an article about travel in Europe.

By this time, a few support staff had joined the team but, even so, I spent several days consumed by guilt over my impending request, nervously prepping for the conversation with my boss. I got the approval, but on condition that I had international coverage for my Blackberry, so they could reach me in an emergency. For three days in Copenhagen, the tension was unbearable, checking emails every 30 minutes, convinced something was going to blow up and I would have to catch the nearest plane home. On the fourth day, I accidentally left the Blackberry charging in the hotel room and was without it for almost four whole hours, while we toured the city. It was enough to cut the ties, and I finally relaxed and enjoyed the rest of my time away. When I returned to work on Monday, there had been no disasters, no fires, and my boss even said to me “I thought you weren't back until Wednesday.”

These days, my DBA-cations are much more relaxed, since I have a full staff to watch over things while I'm gone. Still, the dread of asking for time off has never quite left me, nor the expectation that there will be some impediment. I also get to be the other partner in the dance, as my own team members trail into my office, asking for their time off. A few days ago, a DBA came in and handed me a calendar, similar to the one I used. He embarked on a rapid monologue about his family, how he had already paid for the trip, trying to convince himself as much as me that it would be OK to take the time he had rightfully earned.

I leaned back, fingers resting on my chin, staring at the ceiling. He was on a few important projects around that time. After a long, thoughtful pause I said, “Your Blackberry has international coverage, right?”

He looked at me with dread. I let it linger for just half a beat.

“Just kidding, you are good. Put it on my calendar”.

Rodney Landrum (guest editor).

» 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.


Vendors/3rd Party Products

Microsoft SQL Server Continuous Integration [slides] - This presentation shows how to simplify your database deployments, ensure that no database changes are overlooked, and implement unit tests using the suite of Red Gate developer tools. ...(more)

New SQL Monitor Custom Metric: Issues found by sp_Blitz - This custom metric adds Brent Ozar's popular SP_Blitz scripts to Red Gate SQL Monitor. It looks for configuration, security, health and performance problems, and reports back with a list of issues for you to look into. It’s great for quickly understanding the state of a server you’ve been asked to look after....(more)

Tech News : Security

Twitter launches two-factor authentication, too late to save The Onion - Login authentication aims to stem flood of accounts exposed by phishing attacks....(more)

SQL Server News

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 Cumulative Update 11 - Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 Cumulative Update 11, which is Build 10.0.5840.00. There are six hotfixes in the public fix list. There is no corresponding cumulative update for earlier service pack levels for SQL Server 2008, since they are retired....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft unveils Xbox One next-generation console - Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox One, a voice and gesture-controlled "all-in-one" system offering games, live TV, movies and music, which will go on sale later this year....(more)

Microsoft Free Software – a personal top ten - Hyper-V Server, Microsoft Security Essentials, System Center Advisor, SQL Server Express and more......(more)

Blogs : Administration

Database Deployment: The Bits - Agent Jobs and Other Server Objects - Databases often need more than just the database objects to run. There may be certain server objects and components, and SQL Agent objects, that are required as well. For an automated deployment, these need to be identified and their build script placed in source control. They then need to be deployed via the pre, or post deployment script. Phil spells out how and why. ...(more)

Dedicated Administrator Connection (DAC) - We all dread the scenario whereby SQL Server is under so much load and has a complete lack of resources that no further connections can be made. Although extreme and a situation I have never been in there is a saving grace, one last chance before opting for measures that will induce outages, the Dedicated Administrator Connection or DAC. ...(more)

sp_spaceused Alternative - Andrew Kelly provides his own alternative to sp_spaceused....(more)

How to Manage Vendor Databases [Video] - Are you frustrated by third party applications that you can’t change, but you have to support? Tired of beating your head against the wall when your users complain about things you can’t fix? In this 30-minute session, Brent Ozar will show you his favorite tricks to get the most performance without losing support. ...(more)

Book Review – “SQL Server Transaction Log Management” by Tony Davis and Gail Shaw - A couple of questions and comments on the Ask.SQLServerCentral.com website have shown some misunderstanding about the use of SQL Server’s Transaction Log files. At about the same time, I was approached by Red Gate as part of their Friends programme to review their book "SQL Server Transaction Log Management"....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Per Member Per Month Per 1000 Calculations in MDX - In a lot of industries there is a popular calculation called “Per Member Per Month Per 1000” calculation or the “Per Customer Per Month Per 1000” calculation. This is used to determine the level at which the company is rendering services compared to the number of company customers. This calculation is sometimes called the 1000pmpm calculation for short. ...(more)

Using Scoped Assignments To Show Calendar and Financial Year-To-Date Values In The Same Calculated Measure - A worked example of how to use scoped assignments to implement two different types year-to-date calculation on two different hierarchies in the same dimension. ...(more)

Getting Started with the SSAS Tabular Model - SSAS Tabular models are in-memory databases that model data with relational constructs such as tables and relationships, in order to provide a rapid and powerful way of providing self-service BI to client applications such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power View. You’ve deployed SSAS in tabular mode, and deployed Adventureworks into it. What next? Rob Sheldon explains all....(more)

Business intelligence is also security intelligence: RSA - If system logs weren't originally created for security, why isn't business data also being used? And can we automate defensive decisions where we can create self-defending networks?...(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Our Server’s Hard Drive is Dead. We didn’t have a backup. - "We messed up bad. We launched without having a backup procedure in place, and without the resources to make it happen...Your data is gone, and we are deeply sorry that your first forays into design have been lost."...(more)

How do I map a differential/transaction log backup to its full backup without using MSDB? - If you have multiple full, differential and transaction log backups, there are chances you may end up facing the following error below during the restore process: “This differential backup cannot be restored because the database has not been restored to the correct earlier state”....(more)

Disaster Recovery Planning for Microsoft SQL Server - Getting Backups and Restores Right - I'm responsible for ensuring that my SQL Servers can be recovered properly in the event of a disaster. I've heard a lot of the acronyms, but how do I apply this to practical steps with respect to my environment? What else do I need to know other than the magic acronyms?...(more)

Blogs : Big Data

Database startup Drawn to Scale is closing down - Database startup Drawn to Scale, creator of the SQL-on-Hadoop technology called Spire, is closing down. The company’s product, Spire, was one of the first SQL-on-Hadoop technologies....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Dealing with Windows Azure Storage transient faults - When an application uses a service, errors can occur because of temporary conditions such as intermittent service, infrastructure-level faults, network issues, or explicit throttling by the service. These types of error occur more frequently with cloud-based services, but can also occur in on-premises solutions. ...(more)

Cloud Broiler: Hyper-V: A Platform that Scales out for Building the Largest Public and Private Clouds - The Microsoft Cloud Platform Team explain what is new in Hyper-V, the "crown jewel of their enterprise virtualization and private cloud strategy", and what you can do with hypervisor technology out of the box in Windows Server 2012 today....(more)

AdventureWorks on Azure now hosted by Red Gate software - Red Gate Software takes on hosting the AdventureWorks 2012 sample database on the Azure platform....(more)

Azure does Powershell too - Grant Fritchey takes a first look at how you can manage your Windows Azure SQL Database through PowerShell....(more)

Blogs : Data Access / ORMs

OrcaMDF Is Now Available on NuGet - OrcaMDF being on NuGet means the bar just got lowered even more if you want to try it out. This post shows how easy it is to read the Adventureworks 2008 R2 Database using OrcaMDF....(more)

Blogs : Data Mining

Statistical Formulas For Programmers - Being able to apply statistics is like having a secret superpower. Unfortunately, not enough programmers have this superpower. That's a shame, because the application of statistics can almost always enhance the display and interpretation of data....(more)

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Partial DNS Forwarding Using Individual Windows DNS Zones - Mark S. Rasmussen provides a workaround that will allow you to setup partial DNS forwarding using individual Windows DNS zones....(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Deploying Database Changes with PowerShell - A lightweight way to deploy database changes to multiple environments, consisting of four PowerShell scripts....(more)

Automate SQL Server Analysis Services Tasks with PowerShell - Part 2 - How to do a few different discrete tasks using PowerShell, including: creating a backup with the current date, using variables to specify the partition to be processed, run an XMLA script to create a new partition and call MDX scripts . ...(more)

#PSTip Adding local users to SQL Server Logins using SMO - The SMO way of adding local users to SQL Server logins (requires PowerShell 2.0 or above)....(more)

Blogs : Events

New Immersion Event for Accidental/Involuntary/Junior DBAs - SQL Skills launch a new IE0 immersion event for new or accidental DBA....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Moving Data From Excel to SQL Server - 10 Steps to Follow - SQL Server Integration Services provide a versatile way of reading Excel files into SQL Server. A task like this illustrates the advantages of the graphical approach of SSIS. Andy Brown explains....(more)

SQL Server 2012 Integration Services - Using PowerShell to Configure Project Environments - Marcin Policht demonstrates the use of PowerShell in implementing and utilizing project environments....(more)

SSIS Deployment Strategy for SQL Server 2012 - How to take advantage of the new SSISDB catalog and database....(more)

Blogs : NOSQL

Call me maybe: Riak - How last-write-wins in Riak can lead to unbounded data loss....(more)

Why use a database instead of just saving your data to disk? - Dokkat appears to think that databases are overused. "Instead of a database, I just serialize my data to JSON, saving and loading it to disk when necessary," he writes. "All the data management is made on the program itself, which is faster AND easier than using SQL queries." What is missing here? Why should a developer use a database when saving data to a disk might work just as well?...(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

PAGELATCH_EX waits and heavy inserts - Dealing with PAGELATCH_EX contention, when a table has a clustering key that conforms with the concept of a small and monotonically increasing value, such as IDENTITY, and the table itself is somewhat narrow....(more)

Looking at Database Snapshot Performance - What is the performance impact of a database snapshot on database write workload? Jonathan Kehayias investigates....(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

51 Questions About Your #SQLPASS Summit Submission - Brent Ozar offers 51 questions you need to ask yourself about your abstract, your material, and your delivery....(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Released: Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server - This diagnostic tool can help to troubleshoot Kerberos-related configuration issues with SQL Server. Kerberos authentication plays a critical role in many BI-related authentication and delegation scenarios, such as to enable multi-tier BI solutions to access external data sources securely on behalf of the user. ...(more)

Myth-Busting SQL- And Other Injection Attacks - Black Hat injection-attacks instructor dishes on the complexity of SQL injection and the prevalence of lesser-known injection attacks ...(more)

Why Database Monitoring? - Why should you monitor database activity? This is why! Hackers stole $45 million from ATMs -- a theft made possible by breaching several bank databases and make simple alterations that allowed thieves to siphon off cash. ...(more)

SQL Server Encryption Options - Data encryption can be performed by the OS, by SQL Server, or by the application. Michael Otey guides you through the different options....(more)

Blogs : Software Development

Source Code Typography - If you read source code all day, typography is important....(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2008 (Katmai)

Performance and Stability-Related Fixes in All SQL Server 2008 SP2 Cumulative Updates - SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 was retired and became an “unsupported service pack” back on September 17, 2012. Despite this, Glenn Berry is still encountering a lot of systems still running SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 or older lately, so lists out some of the most relevant hotfixes in all eleven of the SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Cumulative Updates....(more)

Performance and Stability-Related Fixes in All SQL Server 2008 SP3 Cumulative Updates - If you are running SQL Server 2008, you need to be on SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 (Build 10.0.5500) or newer, since all previous SQL Server 2008 Service Pack Levels have been retired and are considered “unsupported service pack” levels by Microsoft. ...(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Security Questions: Differences between “Grant” and “With Grant?” - When you GRANT something within SQL Server, that provides the permissions required to access the object, or securable, that is included in the statement. For instance, a GRANT of read permissions on a tables allows the person to read from the table. The WITH GRANT option, requires that Grant Fritchey (Blog | @GFritchey) show up for any of your permissions to work. No, that’s not right......(more)

Functions & sargable queries - Using functions improperly in your where clauses always prevents index usage right? I’ve been reviewing some queries generated by linq and I’ve found out this isn’t always the case. A quick demo…...(more)

On how to Googlify your SQL statements for future searching - For sake of future generations, let’s begin to reduce typing and reuse code we’ve built. BitBarbarian expains how atools like SSMSToolsPack and SSMSBoost can help....(more)

How to Fix Orphaned SQL Users - Recently I had to involve in a database migration task. I backed up the database and restored successfully in the new server. However when I access the database through the web site, database login didn’t work. The problem was even though the database user is included in the restored database; the login information was not there. So I re-created the login in the server, but it also didn’t work. This phenomenon is called "orphaned users"....(more)

Wildcards and Indexes - I was asked a good question the other day, one that I wasn’t sure of the answer. The question was “does SQL Server use an index if you have a wildcard in the search predicate?”...(more)

Writing T-SQL Merge Statements the Right Way - The first of a series articles which David Stein hopes will clear up some of the misconceptions around use of the MERGE statment in SQL Server....(more)

Another argument for stored procedures - This is one of those religious/political debates that has been raging for years: should I use stored procedures, or should I put ad hoc queries in my application? Aaron Bertrand explains why he has always been a proponent of stored procedures....(more)

Blogs : Virtualization

Read-Only Access to Virtual Center for DBAs - Jonathan Kehayias shows how easy it is to configure permissions for vCenter, as a reference for DBAs to provide to VM administrators when requesting access....(more)

Querying the VMware vCenter Database (VCDB) for Performance and Configuration Information - Virtual Center uses a database for storing information about the virtual data center and the most common database platform used for this purpose is SQL Server. Virtual Center can use an existing SQL Server in the environment, or it can install SQL Server Express during setup. Jonathan Kehayias has compiled a series of Transact-SQL scripts for pulling information from this VIM_VCDB database....(more)


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