In this issue:

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : Security

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

SQL Server News

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft News : Security

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Data Mining

Blogs : Events

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Reporting Services

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : Software Development

Blogs : T-SQL

Database Weekly - www.databaseweekly.com

The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

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SQL Server News for 2013-11-04

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Editorial - Testing Matters

I've been watching the various articles and reports on the new Healthcare.gov website in the US. There have been a number of problems with the site and it's been somewhat amusing to see the various politicians and pundits complaining about the site. I've seen quotes that say Facebook and Google wouldn't have had these issues. I've heard various friends tell me the issues wouldn't happen in a private company.

It's amusing to me as a tech guy. I've seen numerous outages and issues from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more. I've seen them have downtime, security holes, outages, and problems with deployment of new code to existing sites. We've even had embarrassing "security certificate expiration" events from large companies. Any large scale site will have issues. None of the high tech companies would want to, or even likely be successful at, releasing a 1.0 version of a site to millions of users. We've seen numerous scale failures in the past from various companies, often because they never tested at scale. However many of these companies have improved their architectures and infrastructures over time, learning as they go. 

I don't know if the healthcare.gov site can be improved in a timely manner, even given the "tech surge" that is taking place. Many of us have learned from experience that adding more programmers to a project doesn't necessarily get things done faster. Instead, I would bet most programmers would appreciate having more resources for testing and architecture up front when the important decisions are made.

The most glaring example of this in the healthcare.gov site is shown in the security issues uncovered recently. The site received  provisional security approval and a large scale security test of the entire system wasn't performed. To me, that's inexcusable. There's no reason to skip security testing of any large scale application that deals with PII data, no matter whether it's public or private site.

» 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

We finally, officially, won’t have to power off during takeoff and landing - Billy Bebop Just in time for the winter holidays, we’ll now finally be able to use our gadgets during takeoff and landing. On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration—following the approval of its advisory panel and nearly a year of pressure ......(more)

Tech News : Security

HealthCare.gov: Data Breach Waiting To Happen? - Defending President Barack Obama's much-maligned health care law in Congress, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was confronted Wednesday with a government memo that raised security concerns about the Web site consumers are using to ......(more)

Database hacking spree on US Army, NASA, and others costs gov’t millions - Marcus W Federal prosecutors have accused a UK man of hacking thousands of computer systems, many of them belonging to the US government, and stealing massive quantities of data that resulted in millions of dollars in damages to victims. Lauri Love, ......(more)

HealthCare.gov deferred final security check, could leak personal data - Bob Simo's analysis of data sent by HealthCare.gov to analytics providers shows information that could be used to hijack a user's account. Bob Simo, Is There A Problem Here? Apparently, HealthCare.gov isn't just having a few backend problems. A software ......(more)

US Government Monitoring Public Internet in Real Time - Here's a demonstration of the US government's capabilities to monitor the public Internet. Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden was on the Acela train between New York and Washington DC, taking press interviews on the phone. Someone nearby overheard ......(more)

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

Cumulative Update 2 to the RML Utilities for Microsoft SQL Server Released - Version 9.04.004 of the RML Utilities for Microsoft SQL Server has been released.  This release of the RML Utilities provides support for: SQL Server 2005 SQL Server 2008 SQL Server 2008 R2 SQL Server 2012 SQL Server 2014 CTP2 on Windows 7 Windows ......(more)

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 Cumulative update - ...(more)

SQL Server News

Microsoft a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems - This is one of the best times to be working in SQL Server. I just came from the O’Reilly Strata Hadoop World conference this week, where there was a great dialog about advances in data management techniques. We’re already the world’s most deployed ......(more)

Microsoft News : Development

Microsoft's Azure Cloud Welcomes Big Data With HDInsight - By bringing an end to a months-long preview period, Microsoft Windows Azure officially rolls out the welcome mat for big data workloads....(more)

Microsoft works to resolve Windows Azure compute issue affecting users worldwide - Microsoft has fixed an issue with its Azure cloud service that affected some users attempting to move a cloud service from staging to production. It's still repairing some related cloud services....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft reorg: More pieces fall into place - Microsoft officials are continuing to tweak the reporting structure inside the company, a few months after management announced a corporate-wide reorg....(more)

Revolutionizing City Planning in the 21st Century with Windows Azure, HDInsight, and SQL Server - If you’ve ever played a video game where you manage a virtual city, you understand how real-time insight into services including emergency response teams and transportation is needed for effective city planning. Until recently, the technologies just ......(more)

Microsoft May Need to Delay Windows XP Death - ...(more)

Stephen Elop is Ready for Big Change at Microsoft - ...(more)

More evidence buyers are shunning Windows Phone: Carrier discounts - What's going on with discounted prices for Windows Phone 8 smartphones like the recently launched Samsung ATIV S Neo and Nokia's Lumia 1020?Carriers won't say much, but they seem to be clearing their shelves of excess smartphone stock that's getting ......(more)

Microsoft News : Security

Microsoft to Windows XP users: your operating system is a major security risk - Microsoft isn't kidding when it says that people need to ditch Windows XP and has released alarming security numbers to prove its point. XP systems are indeed markedly more likely to fall prey to malware than later versions of Windows....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Critical issue in SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 that could crash your SQL server - There is a known issue with SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 that everyone should be aware of. If you have installed Service Pack 1 not part of a slipstream install, the registry on your SQL server could reach the 2GB limit and crash your SQL Server. To ......(more)

Check for Instant File Initialization - Instant File initialization, IFI, is generally a good thing to have. Check out this earlier blog post of mine f you don't know what IFI is and why it is a good thing: blog . The purpose of this blog post is to provide a simple script you can use to check ......(more)

Creating SQL Server Agent Alerts for Critical Errors - One necessary part of being a responsible DBA is to try to configure your SQL Server instances in such a manner so they will be as reliable as possible. This begins with how you initially install and configure the operating system and SQL Server, and ......(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

If you lost some intermediate backup files? - It’s sometimes really challengeable to restore a database if you lost some intermediate backup files such as Full or Differential backups. Let's assume backups have been taken in below order. Timeline Backup Type Backup Name t1 Full Backup F1 ......(more)

Blogs : Data Mining

A Rickety Stairway to SQL Server Data Mining, Part 14.5: The Predict Method - By Steve Bolton…………In order to divide the Herculean task of describing custom algorithms into bite-sized chunks, I omitted discussion of some plug-in functionality from previous installments of this series of amateur tutorials on SQL Server Data Mining ......(more)

Blogs : Events

Free Online SQL Server Training for the Week of November 3, 2013 - I'm trying to re-establish this running guide to free online training for the following week. If you're a training provider and I've missed you, please drop me a line at brian {dot} kelley {at} sqlpass {dot} org. All times are Eastern (New York). To ......(more)

2014 Australia classes open for registration - We’ve finalized the details of our two classes in Australia next year and they’re open for registration. Kimberly and I will be presenting our popular IE1: Immersion Event on Internals and Performance back-to-back in Sydney and Melbourne. You can read ......(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Create SQL Table Schema based on data from flat files - Hello All,Today we ll see how to create a SQL table schema based on flat files(excel, csv, txt formats).Steps:1. Create a datatable and load data into datatable from a flat file.2. Read each coloumn from datatable and set its data type, length and ......(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Fixing Cardinality Estimation Errors with Filtered Statistics - (Be sure to checkout the SQLpassion Online Academy, where you get High-Quality SQL Server Trainings with Instant Access!)Cardinality Estimation is one of the hidden gems in SQL Server. In general, Cardinality Estimation means that the Query Optimizer ......(more)

Building a Report to View Memory Usage - Memory is one of the most-used resources in SQL Server. Generally, the more you have, the better query performance you’ll get. This blog isn’t about the magic of the buffer pool or the plan cache, but you should understand how important they are to your ......(more)

How to troubleshoot SQL Server performance issues with simple tools (Part 3: The Profiler) - This week we will show how you can use another simple tool to capture useful data for doing a performance analysis of SQL Server. This tool is included in the SQL Server installation and it is called the Profiler tool. It is very useful in troubleshooting...(read ......(more)

Blogs : Reporting Services

Reporting Services Performance and Optimization - As of September 1, 2013 we decided to remove SQLCAT.COM site and use MSDN as the primary vehicle to post new SQL Server content. This was done to minimize reader confusion and to streamline content publication.  MSDN SQLCAT blogs already includes most ......(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Fraud Detection with the SQL Server Suite Part 2 - This is the second part of the fraud detection whitepaper. You can find the first part in my previous blog post about this topic. My Approach to Data Mining Projects It is impossible to evaluate the time and money needed for a complete fraud detection ......(more)

“You’ve got access, but I’m not sure why” - Takeaway: Use “xp_logininfo” when curious about how and why someone has access to a database.I had this I.M. conversation with a colleague at work yesterday.Me: What was that server name again?Stephen: It was SQL001Me: Thanks I’m in.Stephen: eyeballing ......(more)

Blogs : Software Development

A Knights Tale - There are so many lessons to be learned from the story of Knight Capital losing nearly half a billion dollars as a result of a deployment gone wrong.The Knight Capital Group (KCG N) was an American global financial services firm engaging in market making, ......(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

Adding a column to a table with a default (NULL vs NOT NULL) - There are lots of ways to learn new things, or be reminded of old things. One of my favorites is the QotD on sql server central. Recently there was an interesting question on defaults. It pointed out that there is a difference between adding a column ......(more)

Exploring SQL Server 2012's sys.dm_exec_describe_first_result_set_for_object() - SQL Server 2012 introduces sys.dm_exec_describe_first_result_set_for_object(). The official documentation is here.Let's work through some examples to discover what this new function delivers.First, build a table that will be used to illustrate the function:CREATE ......(more)

Understanding the PIVOT function - The PIVOT function is very useful but not easily understood at first. I thank Itzik Ben-Gan, Dejan Sarka and Ron Talmage and their study guide Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for the brilliant explanation. Here’s their example replicated ......(more)


Administrative