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Moving Day

By Steve Jones,

You have completed your testing, you’ve got the new hardware setup, the software is installed, a checklist by your side and a full pot of coffee. The big day is here and it's time to migrate to that new SQL Server instance. It's exciting, and terrifying, all at the same time. Something could go wrong, but you've tested the upgrade and are confident that things will go smoothly.

But did you clean house? In other words, while getting ready for this upgrade, planning, testing, and preparing, did you re-examine your system to see if there were objects, users, jobs, or something else in your database server that is old, obsolete, and ready for retirement? Did you look for things to delete while you were getting ready to make everything else better?

It seems that often people in technology are willing to rebuild or migrate systems, add enhancements, or even re-architect systems to make them better, but we rarely want to remove anything old. We don't look to disable, or delete, old logins, jobs, or code on the off chance that it might be used again someday. That's something I've done in the past, not deleting old objects, and it has resulted in some complex systems that eventually become almost un-maintainable because of all the extra "stuff" that is left on the system.

It's funny because lots of IT workers I know are driven to keep things orderly. They don’t want any extra logins, jobs, of even objects in their databases. I know a few that clean up their systems regularly, but most don't.

I think this would be a great place for a series of enhancements in SQL Server. Allow us to mark an object as "deprecated" ourselves, and set a default time after which it could be removed. Even give us a "deprecated objects" backup, and an audit log. Now that would be handy.

Steve Jones

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