In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

Tech News : The Lighter Side

SQL Server News

Microsoft News : General Interest

Blogs : .NET

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Replication

Blogs : Reporting Services

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Blogs : T-SQL

Blogs : Virtualization

Database Weekly - www.databaseweekly.com

The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

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SQL Server News for 2013-09-30

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Editorial - Competence trumps a good cultural fit

Over a long and slightly disreputable career in IT, I've been privileged to meet some fine programmers, some of them very well-known. Many of them have made vast fortunes for themselves and their employers. They were brilliant, but not necessarily the sort of person you'd particularly want next to you on a long transatlantic flight.

Nowadays, few of the pioneers of computing, or the greats of the Personal Computer revolution, would get past the first interview for the average IT job.

In the seventies and eighties, programmers were valued purely for their ability to produce fantastic applications. They didn't need to be 'team players' and they weren't required to interact closely with their colleagues unless they wanted to. Nobody insisted that they should work in open-office areas or engage in team-bonding exercises. We coped, and accommodated to their needs because we needed their skills. Alan Turing, for example, who did so much to crack the Enigma code, was highly eccentric and solitary. At Bletchley Park he habitually wore a service gas-mask in the pollen season, buried silver ingots in a nearby wood, and chained his coffee cup to the radiator pipes in his room, convinced others were trying to steal it. The Bill Gates I once met didn't strike me as the sort with which one would want to pair-program.

Since the emergence of Rapid Application Development, we have produced a number of development methodologies that requires the participants to have good social skills. Any description of Agile methodology will contain phrases like, 'time management, diplomacy and leadership are essential', or 'the ability to take initiative, adapt easily to new situations and frameworks', or 'Ability to work with effectively with others in an intense environment is critical'. All these are another way of saying that 'a good cultural fit trumps competence'.

This was, perhaps, excusable when such methodologies were used only by a small minority. Now, it is evil. Instead of selecting developers purely on merit, Agile Methodologies provide the justification to select candidates who are 'a good cultural fit'. Oh yeah? This is a euphemism for 'folks like us'. Where in the past, methodologies took account of the natural diversity in human personality, cultural background, and preferences, in order to manage large team projects, Agile requires a strange sort of secular sainthood amongst the participants. Interviewers can now reject extremely well-qualified people on vague hand-waving generalities such as 'team-player skills'. We are fitting people to the methodology rather than methodology to the people. Whereas, in the past, offices were built to allow a certain degree of privacy and quiet, office workers are now packed into open-office areas with many distractions, noise and obligations to be sociable.

Without realizing it, we have gradually discouraged good programmers from a career in technology. Fewer women want a career in IT now than a quarter of a century ago. Any developer over the age of forty stands out like Rumpelstiltskin. People who are natural eccentrics and who find close teamwork tiresome and stressful have no place in IT either, it would seem. The problem with this is, of course, that the people who made the industry great were often eccentric, rebellious, odd, truculent, but all blessed with the gift of creating wonderful software. What will our industry be like a generation hence, if staffed only with developers possessing 'diplomacy and leadership'?

Phil Factor.

» 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

Gates calls Ctrl+Alt+Del command a mistake - In an interview, the Microsoft co-founder blamed IBM for the shortcut, saying he had favoured a single button....(more)

Paradoxes of Big Data - Big data evangelists insist that data-driven decisionmaking can now give us better predictions in areas ranging from college admissions to dating to hiring to medicine to national security and crime prevention. But much of the rhetoric of big data contains no meaningful analysis of its potential perils, only the promise. ...(more)

A Hospital Takes Its Own Big-Data Medicine - Experts from Facebook and genetics labs team up to help doctors make personalized predictions about their patients. ...(more)

Poor Microsoft Doesn’t Understand What Tablets Are For - In New York on Monday, Microsoft unveiled two new tablets aimed at solidifying the company’s hold on a key niche market: people who hate fun....(more)

Oracle Unveils In-Memory Processing To Counter SAP - Larry Ellison says that putting data into memory produced "ungodly" performance increases for both transactional and analytical workloads, and added that his company has goals of increasing speed for analytics queries by 100 times and doubling the throughput for transactional processing. ...(more)

Tech News : Security

Mother of All Data Breaches Shows Need for Layered Security - The hacks into the internal systems of Lexis Nexis and Dun & Bradstreet merely reinforce the notion that knowledge of personal information -- on its own -- should not be used for conclusive authentication of the user. A layered security approach, rather than relying on any single technology or approach as the silver bullet, according to one security expert....(more)

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Opinions on Internet Privacy - Privacy opinions from xkcd....(more)

SQL Server News

September 2013 Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2008 SP3 - Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 Cumulative Update #13. Build # 10.00.5846. KB Article: KB #2880350. 2 fixes....(more)

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update #6 is available! - The SQL Server team has released CU #6 for Service Pack 1, KB article: KB #2874879, Build # is 11.0.3381. This build has 23 fixes by my count....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Typing, kickstanding, and folding—first look at the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 - A review of Microsoft's upcoming tablet hybrid hardware. ...(more)

Microsoft sharpens Office 365 tool to slice and dice data - Power BI for Office 365, still in preview mode, aims to give regular users the ability to do advanced data analysis...(more)

Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 2 & Surface 2, Shipping October 22 - Microsoft just announced the long awaited successors to its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices at a press event in NYC....(more)

Blogs : .NET

Why I Moved Away From Microsoft ASP.NET - Microsoft licensing costs are insane...No focus on the user experience...ASP.NET platform features are always behind other platforms......(more)

Blogs : Administration

Real world story of DBCC PAGE saving the day - A real-world application of using DBCC PAGE to solve a nasty business problem that couldn’t be solved any other way....(more)

How to tell who changed a log file characteristic? - Is there a way out of the box to find when and who changed the max file size for a log file? You can’t tell this from the default trace as that just logs that the database was altered, not the log file, but you can find out using transaction log analysis....(more)

The Network and the Update - We work with SQL Server every day, happily sending and receiving millions of packets of data across the network. Have you stopped to think about what happens when something goes wrong?...(more)

SQL Server Storage Engine: Database Files and Filegroups - Dmitri Korotkevitch embarks on a series examining the SQL Server Storage Engine covering how SQL Server stores the data; what is the format of data row and data page; what are the allocation maps; and so on. This first instalment covers SQL Server database files and filegroups....(more)

Database maintenance and when is it needed (Part 4: Update Statistics) - A quick Q&A piece on the basics of the database maintenance step called “Update Statistics”....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Classification with large data sets - Part 1/2 - This is the first of a series of posts in the form of small practical tutorials where I’ll explore some techniques to perform Predictive Analysis on large data sets....(more)

Create First OLAP Cube in SQL Server Analysis Services - This article is created to help those technical newbies who want to learn creation of OLAP Cube in SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) using Microsoft BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) Environment and Data Warehouse. We will first take a glimpse at the basic introduction to requirement of OLAP Cube, and then create OLAP Cube in SQL Server Analysis Service by following 10 easy steps....(more)

Power BI Preview Review Part 2: Q&A - Today the natural language query functionality in Power BI, Q&A, was enabled in my Power BI Preview tenant. This is the last major piece of functionality to be added to the Preview, and of course as soon as I heard that it was there I had to go and play with it...(more)

DAX Statistical Functions - Following on from his first four articles on using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) with tabular databases, Robert Sheldon dives into some of the DAX statistical functions available, demonstrating which are the most useful and examples of how they work....(more)

Blogs : Big Data

How to get started now with Hadoop - What do you get when you put a dozen big data pros around a table to discuss the real (not overinflated) effects of big data on the organization? An honest discussion around what big data is and what it isn’t, what Hadoop can accomplish and what it cannot....(more)

What not to do with your data - In Fung's view, the core problem is not that the creators of a dataset are trying to mislead — though there are plenty of examples of that as well, many of which he has documented over the years on his "Junk Charts" blog. Rather, he said, most consumers of data are essentially innumerate and do not understand basic statistics or the countless judgement calls that go into developing a dataset. ...(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Windows Azure: From Zero to Hero Online Series - “Windows Azure: From Zero to Hero” targeting to help ISVs/CSVs & Developers during their cloud adoption process....(more)

SQL Server VM Disaster Recovery between AZURE and AMAZON - Today we cannot (yet! :-) ) have an Azure Virtual Network/VPN crossing more than one Azure datacenter, but we can have a Virtual Network/VPN spanning two different Cloud providers…. ...(more)

AdventureWorks2012 Bug on Azure - One of the tables, DatabaseLog, didn’t have a clustered primary key, a requirement in Azure. You can create tables without a clustered primary key in Azure, but if you attempt to access that table, you’ll get an error....(more)

Premium Database on Azure - One of the things that can make Windows Azure SQL Databases (WASD) attractive is the fact that they run inside of a managed environment. But, that does mean that you’re sharing resources with other databases. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if people are extremely worried about performance, yet, still want to take advantage of all the cool stuff in WASD, there is a way to do this; Premium Databases....(more)

Lastest Azure updates related to SQL (and Oracle) - Azure updates continue to come thick and fast. Greg Low rounds up those interesting to SQL Server devotees....(more)

Call me maybe: NuoDB - NuoDB is an asynchronous, decentralized, object-oriented, peer-to-peer database with the safety of SQL and ACID. Intrigued? The Jepsen series explores what NuoDB is up to and how their consistency model works....(more)

Blogs : High Availability/Disaster Recovery

SQL 2012 Failover Cluster Pt. 2: VM Deployment - Derek Seaman's continuing blog series on how to configure SQL 2012 on VMware using a Microsoft failover cluster....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Removing Duplicates Rows with SSIS Sort Transformation - There are multiple ways to remove duplicate records in SQL Server. In this tip, I’ll use the SSIS Sort Transformation to remove records and show you how easy it can be....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Logging Extended Events changes to the ERRORLOG - Anytime a user starts or stops a SQL Trace, information is logged in the ERRORLOG. However, for Extended Events nothing is logged when a user starts or stops an event session on the server. The question in class today was whether it was possible to make Extended Events log entries like SQL Trace and the answer is yes, with a DDL Trigger....(more)

My Queries For Top 20 Resource Hogs - These queries will give the top 20 resource consumers for cached queries based on a few different metrics. I’ve posted queries like this before, and others have written many other versions of this query. All these queries are based on sys.dm_exec_query_stats....(more)

Why Index Fragmentation Doesn’t Matter [Video] - Are you still rebuilding all of your indexes every week – or heaven forbid, every night – and still having performance problems? Odds are, you’re not actually making things better – you’re making them worse! Brent Ozar explains why! In a video!...(more)

Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics – Part I - Elisabeth Redei on how AutoUpdate Statistics works and the reasons why it might not work well in all situations....(more)

Automating Performance with ExecStats - For several years, Joe Chang has made his (free) SQL Server performance tool ExecStats publicly available. Having recently improved existing or added new features (build 2013-09-23 or later) that could be useful, he would like you to give it a try and send feedback....(more)

Interpreting the counter values from sys.dm_os_performance_counters - The performance counters data is available as a Dynamic Management View (DMV) within SQL Server, namely, sys.dm_os_performance_counters. The counter data exposed in the view are in a raw form. This needs to be interpreted appropriately before it can be used....(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

On the Demise of the MCM Certification - Andy Leonard's take on the MCM demise, "...killing the MCM program has created justified fear in the SQL Server Community. If Microsoft will kill the flagship certification, are any certifications safe from future elimination?"...(more)

Blogs : Replication

You Can’t Kill Transactional Replication - If SQL Server’s Transactional Replication was an animal, it would be a cockroach. It’s not pretty, but it’s resourceful and strong. Once you get even a small amount of replication in your environment it starts spreading everywhere....(more)

Blogs : Reporting Services

Determining who is viewing reports in SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services - Much time, effort and money can be spent on providing reports to end users, so frustration can ensue when the intended audience doesn't bother to view the reports. Also, for security purposes it is a good practice to review who is looking at reports in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) in case the user no longer has a need to know the information contained in the reports. How can we find out who has accessed SSRS reports?...(more)

SSRS Reports as a Data Source in Excel 2013 - DBAs are expected to know how to administer the technologies that are available with and peripheral to SQL Server. To properly administer them, it certainly helps to understand the technology from the point of view of the user. By using an existing SSRS report as a data feed for Excel, Rodney Landrum explains how these users can now take advantage of development efforts in new ways....(more)

ConfigMgr 2012 SSRS fails after upgrade to SQL 2012 - I don’t often re-blog other postings, but this particular issue had me puzzled and it is worth giving this exposure. After the upgrade from SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL 2012, if you check any of the CM SSRS reports, you’ll see the following error: "Failed to load expressions host assembly. Details: Could not load file or assembly ‘SrsResources. Culture=Neutral’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified."...(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Natively Compiled Tables in SQL Server 2014 - In all versions of SQL Server to date, stored procedures written in T-SQL have been compiled into a form of intermediate language that would then be interpreted. In conjunction with SQL Server 2014, we now have the option to use stored procedures that are compiled all the way down to machine code....(more)

In-Memory OLTP Common Design Pattern – High Data Input Rate/Shock Absorber - As the SQL Server 2014 In-memory OLTP team began working with customers we recognized some common design patterns where the In-memory OLTP engine was a great fit. The intent of this blog is to call out one of those architectures which we call: High data input rate/Shock Absorber and how implementing SQL Server 2014 In-memory OLTP can help improve the performance of applications with this scenario....(more)

Lock-Free Writes in SQL Server 2014 - In 2012 it became possible to find commercial two-socket servers with 2 Terabytes of DRAM. With that kind of memory available, Microsoft felt that it was time to start seriously thinking about databases that held their working sets entirely in memory. The result of this is SQL Server 2014 and a new feature known as either “Memory Optimized Tables” or “In-Memory OLTP”....(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Generate random integers without collisions - From time to time I see someone express a requirement to create a random number for a key. Usually this is to create some type of surrogate CustomerID or UserID that is a unique number within some range, but is not issued sequentially, and is therefore far less guessable than an IDENTITY value....(more)

String length and SARGability - CONVERT_IMPLICIT isn’t the only problem with getting data types wrong. You might have the right type, but what if the length is wrong? This post will look at both getting the type wrong and getting the length wrong too....(more)

Blogs : Virtualization

Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Enhancements That DBAs Should Care About - Recently Microsoft announced the upcoming release of their virtualization suite, Hyper-V 2012 R2. David Klee takes a brief look at the updates and new features of Hyper-V and how they can help the DBA....(more)


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