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The Voice of the DBA

Your Frame of Reference

Is a database snapshot in SQL Server update-able? Most of us would say no, but I ran across a blog from the Microsoft SQLCAT team that proposes a method of issuing an insert, update, or delete statement in a database snapshot context. You can read the article for the details, and we could argue if this is really allowing a snapshot to be read/write, but that's not what I noticed as I read this.

This is a very creative way of approaching a problem. It changes the frame of reference slightly so that we rethink what the customer is trying to accomplish instead of what the technology limitations are. There might be more elegant, or more easily maintained solutions, but I found this to be creative, and perhaps useful, approach for solving a certain domain of problems.

I think quite often we get caught in viewing problems in terms of our frame of reference, or in terms of common technology implentations without thinking through the problem from the customer's frame of reference and working on an effective solution. That's our job most of the time: being effective as we solve problems. If we view all problems within the narrow range of our past solutions, we are relying on our experience, but that may prevent us from building applications that work better than our past work, go beyond what our customers want and get them excited about using the end result.

However it's a balance. I've seen hacked solutions that didn't perform well, or didn't scale and ended up causing problems for years. Looking at the problem from the customer's viewpoint needs to be tempered with the requirement of building a solution that performs well and fits within the framework of the environment. Ultimately I think the way to get better at building applications (and databases) is to increase your knowledge and experience. Learn more about other people's solutions, and engage with the rest of the community to sanity check your approach.  Learning new techniques that have worked for others, and experimenting in your environment to build better software over time.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy.

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com with  comments definitely appreciated. Overall RSS Feeds:  

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

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Featured Contents


A simple trick for “Block Comment” syntax in SSMS

Peter Zerk from SQLServerCentral.com

Make your comment blocks much more useful, in a surprising number of ways More »


Exploring In-memory OLTP Engine (Hekaton) in SQL Server 2014 CTP1

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

The continuing drop in the price of memory has made fast in-memory OLTP increasingly viable. SQL Server 2014 allows you to migrate the most-used tables in an existing database to memory-optimized 'Hekaton' technology, but how you balance between disk tables and in-memory tables for optimum performance requires judgement and experiment. More »


New SQL Monitor Custom Metric: Untrusted Check Constraints

Press Release from Red-Gate

This metric returns the number of check constraints that have their is_not_trusted flag set to 1 in the sys.check_constraints table. Untrusted constraints force SQL Server to construct less efficient query plans, because it doesn’t know enough about the kind of data contained in the table. This can point to a data integrity issue which should be investigated. More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Prasad N):

What is the output of this query?
declare @Vchar varchar(12)='prasad  '
      , @Char char(12)='prasad  ' 

select len(@Vchar)
     , len(@Char)
     , len(reverse(@Vchar))
     , len(reverse(@Char))

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SQL Server Transaction Log Management

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA's reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works. An effective response to a crisis requires rapid decisions based on understanding its role in ensuring data integrity.

Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

True or false: With Sharepoint 2010 and above, you can use Filestream to store your Sharepoint documents?

Answer: True

Explanation: You can use Filestream, using the Remote Blob Storage (RBS) integration with Filestream, you can store your documents from Sharepoint 2010 in Filestream storage.

Ref: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2011/02/22/filestream-and-sharepoint-2010.aspx

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums


SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes is an example-based guide to the Transact-SQL language that is at the core of SQL Server 2012. It provides ready-to-implement solutions to common programming and database administration tasks. Learn to create databases, insert and update data, generate reports, secure your data, and more. Tasks and their solutions are broken down into a problem/solution format that is quick and easy to read so that you can get the job done fast when the pressure is on. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Featured Script

Changing database mail account SMTP servers

Dennis Post from SQLServerCentral.com

Change @NewSMTP to a valid server name or IP address or leave NULL if you just want to generate the accounts as they are.

To skip the ping test, simply change @TestPing to 0.

If you have many accounts then it might be necessary to remove
@SQL = @SQL +
from the SELECT statement.
This will return each accounts TSQL in table format.

For SMTP authentication users, remember to change each users password before you run the generated script.
If there is only one account or only one password for multiple accounts then set the @PW variable.

More »

Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

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