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13 Questions about SQL Server Data Types You were Too Shy to Ask

Although SQL Data Types seem to cause a lot of grief for database developers and can be tricky in their use, we seem to be expected to know all about them, and so it is embarrassing to ask questions about them in forums. Rob Sheldon continues in his mission to answer all those questions that we hesitate to ask.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/07/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: data types
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 16,241 reads

The Salesforce Platform: The Return of the Citizen Programmer

The current popularity of the Salesforce software development platform has taken the industry by surprise. The current IT culture favours the esoteric, yet here is a development platform geared to the idea that anyone can use it: a populist language like BASIC. Does this threaten the careers of professional developers?  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/24 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: salesforce
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,528 reads

Using the MERGE Statement to Perform an UPSERT

The term UPSERT has been coined to refer to an operation that inserts rows into a table if they don’t exist, otherwise they are updated. To perform the UPSERT operation Microsoft introduced the MERGE statement. Not only does the MERGE statement support the UPSERT concept, but it also supports deleting records. Greg Larsen discusses how to use the MERGE statement to UPDATE, INSERT and DELETE records from a target table.   Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/22 | Source: Database Journal | Category: merge
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,635 reads

Database Configuration Management for SQL Server

It is not just the rapid and painless testing, deployment and update of databases that requires care in the retention and management of configuration information. Configuration information is also essential for audit, resilience, and support. The range of documentation varies widely with the database and its setting, but the underlying principles remain the same. Without appropriate configuration management, automation is likely to be futile.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/12 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: configuration files
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,352 reads

The Role of the Technical Architect in Development

What do Technical Architects (TAs) actually do when in a development role? Are they just senior developers 'pushed upstairs' into a management role? Is there a clear distinction between a TA and a product, or project, manager? In an increasingly automated and joined up development environment, the role is important, varied and wide-ranging; as Grzegorz Strzelecki explains.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/24 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: role
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 10,365 reads

Questions About T-SQL Transaction Isolation Levels You Were Too Shy to Ask

Every time you access a relational database to make a query, you have an important decision to make: What is the appropriate isolation level for your query? If you get this wrong, the consequences can be serious. Deadlocks, Dirty reads, Non-repeatable reads, or poor performance. We're in luck, because Robert Sheldon once more answers those questions that are awkward to ask in public.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/18 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,198 reads

Questions About Using TSQL to Import Excel Data You Were Too Shy to Ask

It is easy to import Excel data into database tables via TSQL, using OLEDB, either by the OPENROWSET function or linking to the spreadsheet as a server. The problem is that there are certain things that aren't obvious that you need to know about.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,120 reads

Bitwise Operations in T-SQL

How can you get a list of columns that have changed within a trigger in T-SQL? How can you see what bits are set within a varbinary or integer? How would you pass a bitmap parameter to a system stored procedure? Phil Factor has answers.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/03 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: bitwise operations
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,044 reads

Exploring Your SQL Server Databases with T-SQL

Scott Swanberg shares 38 scripts he uses time and time again for discovering more about database objects.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,886 reads

Does NoSQL = NoDBA?

There’s a joke doing the rounds at SQL conferences and seminars: three DBAs walk into a NoSQL bar and leave when they can’t find a table. You may have heard it before, but it made Matt Hilbert sit down and ponder. What’s happening? Is there a division opening up between the newly fashionable NoSQL followers and DBAs? Matt enters the world of NoSQL to investigate.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/30 | Source: SimpleTalk
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,651 reads

The Data Center that Exploded

A while back, in a Simple-Talk editorial meeting, someone bet Phil Factor that he couldn't come up with a Halloween story. To our surprise he said he could, as long as he didn't have to keep to the strict literal truth. In the end, he came up with a story about a story, and it is true that he first told the story in a data Centre at Halloween!  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/31 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: fun
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,142 reads

Using Stored Procedures to Provide an Application’s Business-Logic Layer

When faced with a complex business application, Dwain's team chose to encapsulate and implement most of an application’s business logic in SQL Server, using an interface made up of stored procedures. Here's how they did it.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/01 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: business logic
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 7,939 reads

Filling In Missing Values Using the T-SQL Window Frame

Since SQL Server delivered the entire range of window functions, there has been far less justification for using the non-standard ex-Sybase 'Quirky Update' tricks to perform the many permutations of running totals in SQL Server. One of these related problems is the 'Data Smear'. Do window functions make this easier, and what is performance like? Dwain Camps investigates.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/01 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,769 reads

The Mindset of the Enterprise DBA: Harnessing the Power of Automation

After you have done the necessary groundwork of standardising and centralising your database adminstration processes, you are now in a position to implement some effective automation of some of these processes. Which ones do you choose, and how do you set about automating these tasks?  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/09/17 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: dba skills
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,529 reads

The SQL Scrabble Puzzle

An enhancement to a Phil Factor puzzle gives you a chance to play scrabble in T-SQL.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/05 | Source: Other | Category: contest
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 6,736 reads

Cloud Identities versus Federated Identities in Office 365

Identities, the 'accounts' by which Cloud and Web users identify themselves, are tricky to manage, and tiresome for the users. Cloud services such as Office 365 have their main use in large organisations and so there have to be easy ways for system administrators to maintain them. Microsoft provide three alternative strategies; Cloud identities, Synced identities and federated identities. What is the differences between them, and which should you choose?   Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/11 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: cloud services
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 6,748 reads

The Mindset of the Enterprise DBA: Delegating Work

A lot of the routine jobs demanded of a DBA can be automated, but a tougher prospect is to automate these jobs in a way that the requestor rather than the DBA can actually set of the job running themselves without compromising security and without risk. Is it true to say that some tasks can be made self-service?   Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/23 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: delegation
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,435 reads

Developing a Custom SSIS Source Component

SSIS was designed to be extensible.Although you can create tasks that will take data from a wide variety of sources, transform the data is a number of ways and write the results a wide choice of destinations, using the components provided, there will always be occasions when you need to customise your own SSIS component.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/07/17 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: integration services (ssis)
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 11,881 reads

SSIS 2012 Projects: Setup, Project Creation and Deployment

It used to be that SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages had to be deployed individually. Now, they can be all deployed together from a single file by means of the Project Deployment Model introduced in SSIS 2012. Where there are tens or hundreds of SSIS packages to deploy, this system is essential.   Read more...
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 7,455 reads

Stop Relying on Cloud File Stores as a Backup Strategy

There is a growing assumption that Cloud file-storage services represent an ideal way of backing up files. It seems a compelling idea because it is so easy and seems secure. The truth is, as always, more complicated. There is more to any backup strategy than just cloud storage.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/06 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: backup
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,355 reads