The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

In this issue:

Tech News : Security

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

Microsoft News : General Interest

Blogs : .NET

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Blogs : Developer Tools

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Blogs : NOSQL

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Blogs : Professional Development

Blogs : Reporting Services

Blogs : Security and Auditing

Blogs : Software Development

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Blogs : T-SQL

Blogs : Virtualization

Blogs : XML, XPATH and XQUERY

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 2014-04-28

SQL Toolbelt 16 essential SQL Server tools
In one installer, the award-winning SQL Toolbelt contains everything you need to work with SQL Server. "The SQL Toolbelt provides tools that database developers as well as DBAs should not live without." William Van Orden. Download a free trial.
Performance Tuning with DMVs eBook Free eBook - Performance Tuning with DMVs
This free eBook provides you with the core techniques and scripts to monitor your query execution, index usage, session and transaction activity, disk IO, and more. Download the free eBook.
SQL Doc Hate explaining your database in meetings?
SQL Doc quickly documents your entire database schema so that you can easily present it to others. "This tool is embarrassingly easy to use." David Hayden, DavidHayden.com. Download a free trial now.
Editorial - Running With The Red Queen

Most days I lurk on the SSC, Ask SSC and Simple-Talk forums, concerning myself with other lurkers - spammers. Day after day, they post links to shady tools, unrelated sites, pirated HBO shows, and so on. And every day they're spotted, posts are taken down, accounts are deleted, IP addresses are ringfenced, the Earth is salted, and names are cursed unto the third generation. Normality is restored.

You have to wonder what the point is. No one clicks these links. They don't stay up long enough to get indexed by Google. There's no net gain for the spammers. Just a lot of wasted effort for something that will only be seen for a few minutes at best. And yet for every effort we make to block them, they come back, and the whole thing repeats. In the battle of two people doing their jobs to opposing purposes, no one wins.

In biology, this is called the Red Queen Hypothesis, named after an exchange from Alice in Wonderland. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place." Every step taken by one side is matched by the other, in what is dubbed antagonistic coevolution.

It's the same with work. There are often strong commensurate pressures to change how you work, to make processes faster, to take on more - to keep running just to stay where you are. Automate one thing, something else expands to free the time you've salvaged (if you're lucky or skilled enough to get time back at all). Taking the time to step aside and fix the things that need to be streamlined means not getting something else done.

Most companies are not great at dealing with changes that interrupt, or changes that seek to improve a task that "gets done", although not optimally. And yet, when you recognize such deficiencies, either in a task you manage or in your own skillset, you do yourself and your organization a disservice in not finding a time and a way to improve it. Talk to your manager, talk to people controlling the processes, make clear the business costs of going without the changes you need. Sometimes the only choice is to step aside from the race, change on your own terms, and rejoin stronger.

» 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 : Security

Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed? - A scan of the top 1 million Web sites found that none of the top 1,000 sites were vulnerable to the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug...But Avivah Litan, a security analyst with industry research Gartner, told us she was "not so convinced" that only a tiny percentage remain vulnerable....(more)

Weight loss spam storm hits Twitter, users beware! - Weight loss spam is once again being massively spewed out from compromised Twitter accounts, but the question on everyone's mind is how the accounts got commandeered by the spammers in the first place....(more)

SQL Server News : Bugs/KB

SQL Server 2014 Cumulative Update #1 is Available - Microsoft has released Cumulative Update #1 for SQL Server 2014....(more)

April 2014 Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 - Microsoft has released Cumulative Update #12 for SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft takes control of Nokia's phone business; acquires 25,000 new employees - Yesterday, Nokia's devices and services business; today, Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft now owns three phone platforms, a tablet and 25,000 new employees....(more)

Microsoft Bing Enters Prediction Business - From Google's Flu Trends project to Nate Silver's election forecasts, data-driven attempts to predict the future continue to grab headlines. This week, Microsoft teased its interest in this emerging prognostication industry, releasing a new predictive tool for Bing. Currently, the feature only forecasts TV competition winners, but it could soon include sports matches, elections, concert ticket prices, and more....(more)

Microsoft realigns its SQL Azure cloud database line-up - Microsoft is retiring its SQL Web and Business cloud-database service tiers in April 2015 and replacing them with new Basic, Standard and Premium ones...(more)

You want to replace Windows XP with Linux? Seriously? - The end of Microsoft support for XP has some considering Linux or other OS moves. Think hard before you go down that path...(more)

Blogs : .NET

How to leverage SQL Server with Node.js using Edge.js - Edge.js appears to be a very promising solution to bridge the gap between Node.js and the world of .NET....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Collation: Confusion - For a seemingly simple subject, there is a lot to learn about collations. Kenneth Fisher explains goes over some of what he found out, after a recent "run in"....(more)

Does the direction of storage make us bad data citizens? - The new Crucial SSD is £380 for 1TB. I can now keep 128GB of data on a SD card the size of my finger. It only costs $50 a month to store 1TB of data in Azure ($61.29 on Amazon S3 Europe). This brings long with it a whole host of problems. Its too cheap....(more)

Developer’s Guide to Understanding DBAs [Video] - What do DBAs value?What do DBAs need from me? What does my DBA want to help me with? All this and more on Doug Lane's 30-minute video....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

How to Cluster SQL Server Analysis Services - One approach for meeting your organization’s high availability requirements for Analysis Services is to install it on a Windows Server failover cluster (WSFC). A WSFC is composed of multiple servers that offer redundancy in the event of a hardware failure, system crash, or some other service disruption. A WSFC can offer protection of your mission critical backend servers, including the Analysis Services instances running your BI workloads....(more)

Blogs : Backup and Recovery

TSQL: Restore a database without a log (ldf) file - Note that this is very dodgy and should only be used as a last resort (i.e. no backups) in a production environment....(more)

Blogs : Big Data

oRacle, Not of Omaha - Oracle recognized the need to support data analysts, statisticians, and data scientists with a widely used and rapidly growing statistical programming language. Oracle chose R - recognizing it as the new de facto standard for computational statistics and advanced analytics....(more)

Introducing the Microsoft Analytics Platform System – the turnkey appliance for big data analytics - Microsoft Analytics Platform System (APS) as Microsoft’s solution for delivering “Big Data in a box.”...now introduces a dedicated region to the appliance for Hadoop in addition to the SQL Server PDW capabilities....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

I’m confused between Azure Cloud Services and Azure VMs – what the ****? - If you always remember an Azure Virtual Machine cannot exist without a Cloud Service, but a Cloud Service can exist without an Azure Virtual Machine – it can be empty. That basic idea will see you through....(more)

Microsoft rolls out new 'basic' Azure cloud pricing tier - The Basic pricing tier includes core Azure Web Sites; up to three instances of dedicated Virtual Machine running web sites, SSL support, scheduled jobs, endpoint monitoring and more, according to today's blog post. The price of Web Sites Basic ranges from about $56 a month for a small instance, to about $224 for a large instance....(more)

Announcing New MongoDB Instances on Microsoft Azure - The Microsoft Windows Azure team announce their "newest high-memory MongoDB database plans, with virtual machine choices that now provide up to 56GB of RAM per node with availability in all eight Microsoft Azure datacenters worldwide"....(more)

Blogs : Deep Into Windows

Painless Workstation Setup with Boxstarter - I create a simple Powershell script, ran a simple command, then walked away as my machine spent the next several hours downloading, installing, and rebooting, all without me lifting another finger. When the dust settled, I had a Windows 8.1 machine with my tools and utilities installed, updated, and ready to rock....(more)

Blogs : Developer Tools

Glimpse for raw ADO - Glimpse is sort of like the F12 developer tools but running on your server and offering insight into how the server side of the page is doing. Installing Glimpse is also very easy and can be done entirely from nuget....(more)

What do you use to version control your databases? - Many developers version control (AKA source control) the databases upon which they work, to give them the same benefits as we receive when using source control for applications, as well as the benefit that we have the two systems version controlled together. But a recent tweet from Red Gate got me thinking about those that don't use source control for databases....(more)

SSMS Add-ons - We have come up with quite a list of SSMS add-ons which are available on the Internet, some free and some commercial...(more)

Blogs : DMO/SMO/Powershell

Prompt for a password with a mask using Powershell - If you need to prompt the user for a password when using Powershell then you want to make sure that the value types in isn’t visible on the screen. The hard part is to retrieve the supplied value. Jamie Thomson shows how to do it....(more)

PowerShell One-Liners: Variables, Parameters, Properties, and Objects - PowerShell isn't a conventional language, though it draws inspiration widely. Many people learn it, and use it, best by collecting snippets, or one-liners, and adapting them for use. Michael Sorens provides the second in a series of collections of general-purpose one-liners to cover most of what you'll need to get useful scripting done....(more)

PowerShell and TFS: The Basics and Beyond - Susan Ferrell is the guest blogger on Scripting Guys, demonstrating why she's excited about the possibilities for TFS and Windows PowerShell together....(more)

Blogs : Integration Services/ETL

Using SSIS to Backup and Restore Extremely Large OLAP Databases - Analysis Services backup and restore operations on multi-terabyte databases do not occur with lightning speed. Likewise, if it becomes necessary to execute a full process of a multi-terabyte database there’s a pretty good chance that it’s going to take more than just a few hours....(more)

Starting SSIS 2012 Job Remotely - Inspired by the new SSIS 2012 capabilities, you've managed to convince management to install SSIS 2012 on a new server for new ETL development. But your existing ETL is still on SQL Server 2008 (or R2) and there is no budget for migration and retesting. You want to start SSIS 2012 jobs from the 2008 server, e.g. in SQL Server Agent on completion of a certain SSIS 2008 job....(more)

Blogs : NOSQL

What’s left of NoSQL? - What remains of NoSQL if we add SQL again? To answer this question, I need to start with a brief summary about the history of databases....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Where are my 32-bit Perfmon Counters? - If you are running 32-bit SQL Server on a 64-bit operating system, you may be greeted with the problem of NO PERFMON COUNTERS! The fix is a little odd, but works....(more)

What the Execution Plan Doesn’t Tell You [Video] - The execution plan is a gold mine of information about how your query performed. You can tell the steps that were taken, the number of rows that were processed, and even get index or statistics hint. But what isn’t the execution plan telling you? Jes Borland will show things that you might not realize are problems – and how to fix them! ...(more)

Blogs : Professional Development

“If You Can’t Do ____, You’re Not a Production DBA” - Can you still call yourself a production DBA if you can’t read a query execution plan?...(more)

Blogs : Reporting Services

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Building SSRS Reports - SQL Server Reporting Services is one of the most popular components of SQL Server, but it has always been surprisingly difficult to get from one place all the basic facts you need to get up and running from scratch, to the point of producing reports. Here Kathi Kellenberger quickly describes the basics of SSRS before showing how to build quick, simple reports...(more)

Blogs : Security and Auditing

The Security of Various Programming Languages - Interesting research on the security of code written in different programming languages. We don't know whether the security is a result of inherent properties of the language, or the relative skill of the typical programmers of that language...(more)

SQL Injection: How it Works and How to Thwart it - This article is an extract from the book Tribal SQL. In this article, Kevin Feasel explains SQL injection attacks, how to defend against them, and how to keep your Chief Information Security Officer from appearing on the nightly news....(more)

Blogs : Software Development

The Body in the Trunk - When one considers that the primary purpose of a modern Source Control system is to allow branches and subsequent merges, with all the freedom that allows to development teams, it seems odd to see it suggested that it is best practice to avoid the very features that distinguish a source control system from a Wiki....(more)

TDD is dead. Long live testing. - "Enough. No more. My name is David, and I do not write software test-first. I refuse to apologize for that any more, much less hide it. I'm grateful for what TDD did to open my eyes to automated regression testing, but I've long since moved on from the design dogma."...(more)

Blogs : SQL Server 2014

Yes, you can install SQL Server 2014 Books Online locally - I've seen people complain that SQL Server 2014 did not ship with documentation you could install locally. While true, it is just because the publication lagged; the local Books Online option is available now. Aaron Bertrand explains how to install it....(more)

In-Memory OLTP – Common Workload Patterns and Migration Considerations - This paper aims to help readers understand some of the common architectural patterns where In-Memory OLTP has provided significant benefits and discusses considerations for migrating applications to In-Memory OLTP....(more)

Blogs : T-SQL

The Repeatable Read Isolation Level - The SQL standard specifies that transactions at the Repeatable Read isolation level allow a single concurrency phenomenon known as a phantom, but Paul White explains that this encompasses a wider range of behaviours than is often appreciated....(more)

SSMS Add-ons - Rounding up a host of SSMS add-ons, both free and commercial, and a way to manage them, through Red Gate's SSMS Ecosystem Project....(more)

Top Clause and Other Factors in Problematic Execution Plans - Joe Chang uncovers many queries that the optimizer finds problematic, using a SQL Server system running kCura's Relativity document e-discovery application....(more)

Removing Comments from SQL - If you need to remove comments from your SQL Scripts, Michael J Swart has a crazy SQL script that will do it....(more)

Searching for Strings in SQL Server Databases - Sometimes, you just want to do a search in a SQL Server database as if you were using a search engine like Google. Besides the obvious Full-Text search, there are plenty of techniques for finding that pesky data that resists the normal SELECT blandishments. Phil Factor describes some alternative techniques....(more)

Blogs : Virtualization

How to Set Up a VMware View Event Log Database - A necessary part of any good application, service, or hardware is the ability to record and view log information. Why is this important? Log information can help admins in the pursuit of troubleshooting issues or in tracking down who accessed a system during a given period....(more)

Understanding the Architecture of the Hyper-V Hypervisor - Understanding the architecture of Hyper-V’s type 1 hypervisor will help you when you are trying to understand the benefits of features such as Single-Root IO Virtualization (SR-IOV), figure out why you need updated integration components for Dynamic Memory, see the reason for Linux Integration Services to exist, and to decipher the cryptic error messages in Hyper-V Manager or in the Windows event logs....(more)

Blogs : XML, XPATH and XQUERY

SQL Server XML Questions You Were Too Shy To Ask - Sometimes, XML seems a bewildering convention that offers solutions to problems that the average database user doesn't have. To make things worse, XML experts generally lack the wherewithal to provide simple answers to even the simplest questions. Rob Sheldon, in contrast, can answer even those questions we somehow feel silly asking in public, and think twice about doing so....(more)


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