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Born SQL with Randolph West

Randolph West solves technology problems with a focus on SQL Server and C#. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP who has worked with SQL Server since the late 1990s. When not consulting, he can be seen acting on the stage and screen or doing voices for independent video games.

The free SQL to Excel Export tool

Earlier this month I released a new, free tool to export SQL Server query data to Excel files without needing Excel. It also installs stored procedures and runs them, if that’s what you desire. Go ahead and play with it. I’ll wait. There was some positive interest on Twitter, for… Read more

0 comments, 76 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 20 March 2019

Does SQL Server 2019 run on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS?

Yes. Here’s the proof from an output of SELECT @@VERSION: [crayon-5c92d0d881a41451659369/] Here’s a screenshot of me running mssql-cli on the Ubuntu Server virtual machine in question. SQL Server 2019 (CTP 2.3) is running on 18.04.2 LTS. Is it supported by Microsoft? Not right now. The official documentation still requires Ubuntu… Read more

0 comments, 282 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 13 March 2019

Canadian SQL Saturday speaking events

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking at two separate SQL Saturdays in March and April of this year. The first event is in Victoria (the capital city of British Columbia, located on Vancouver Island), and the second is in Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta. I… Read more

0 comments, 108 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 6 March 2019

Proposed SQL Server defaults: disable priority boost

A few months ago I suggested that the following settings should be the default for most SQL Server instances: Set cost threshold for parallelism to 50 Disable lightweight pooling if it is enabled Disable priority boost if it is enabled Set optimize for ad hoc workloads to enabled Set max… Read more

2 comments, 216 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 27 February 2019

Proposed SQL Server defaults: disable lightweight pooling

A few months ago I suggested that the following settings should be the default for most SQL Server instances. Set cost threshold for parallelism to 50 Disable lightweight pooling if it is enabled Disable priority boost if it is enabled Set optimize for ad hoc workloads to enabled Set max… Read more

0 comments, 199 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 20 February 2019

Proposed SQL Server defaults: cost threshold for parallelism

A few months ago I suggested that the following settings should be the default for most SQL Server instances: Set cost threshold for parallelism to 50 Disable lightweight pooling if it is enabled Disable priority boost if it is enabled Set optimize for ad hoc workloads to enabled Set max… Read more

0 comments, 149 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 13 February 2019

When the buffer pool isn’t just in memory

Last time we looked at the four major components of a computer system, and then looked at the SQL Server buffer pool as a way to leverage the best performance from computing hardware. Temperature Before we dive deeper into the buffer pool, I wanted to briefly mention data access terminology.… Read more

0 comments, 183 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 6 February 2019

Speaking at SQLBits in March 2019

I have been selected to speak for a second time at SQLBits, which is being hosted in Manchester UK this year from 27 February to 2 March 2019. My session is called An overview of SQL Server 2019 for the busy DBA / developer. Here is the abstract: SQL Server… Read more

0 comments, 212 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 30 January 2019

How does the buffer pool work?

Today we’ll begin taking a look at the buffer pool in SQL Server and how it’s normally used. Before we dive too deeply into the buffer pool, we need to remind ourselves of a few fundamentals of how computers process and store information, as that relates to how the buffer… Read more

0 comments, 172 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 23 January 2019

Database modelling in a post-SSMS world: dbForge Studio

A few months ago, Microsoft announced that SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) will no longer include the visual Database Diagrams feature from v18.0 onward. When releasing a new version of a product, Microsoft has the luxury of referencing usage statistics, and obviously this is an underused feature of SSMS. I… Read more

3 comments, 210 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 16 January 2019

Back to the future

It’s January 2019 as I write this. I realized that I started on my journey with SQL Server in 1998, and I wanted to look at what’s changed through the lens of my career path. 1998 is the year I qualified as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on the Windows… Read more

0 comments, 217 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 9 January 2019

AzCopy finally gets a sync option, and all the world rejoices

I consider Blob Storage to be the gateway drug to Azure, because it’s a really easy way to get going with offsite backups. One of the ways I’ve leveraged Blob Storage is with SQL Server backups. I even wrote a Sync and Restore command-line toolset to keep files and folders… Read more

0 comments, 202 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 2 January 2019

Giving thanks in 2018

It’s the last post of 2018, and in years past I’ve recapped the year that has just been. This is a little different however. I want to talk a bit about community, and two unexpected interactions I’ve had this month. As some of you know, I have an interest in… Read more

0 comments, 184 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 26 December 2018

Infrastructure matters, even in the Cloud

I am still amused by terminology in the Information Technology field. Words like “Kubernetes,” “containers,” and the BASIC keywords PEEK and POKE, all bring a smile to my lips every time I read or say them. Equally amusing are marketing ideas, except they may have a little sting at the… Read more

0 comments, 267 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 19 December 2018

Some databases may show a NULL collation in the sys.databases DMV

While working on my Swart’s Ten Percent Rule post last week, I needed to test the Windows version of the script on my SQL Server 2016 instance. Just before removing all the databases, I noticed something interesting when querying the sys.databases Dynamic Management View (DMV). Because the process I had… Read more

0 comments, 178 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 12 December 2018

Flagrantly ignoring the 10% rule

My friend Michael J. Swart has a rule of thumb he calls Swart’s Ten Percent Rule. If you’re using over 10% of what SQL Server restricts you to, you’re doing it wrong. After a recent discussion on Twitter, I wondered what it would look like if I had 32,767 databases… Read more

0 comments, 196 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 5 December 2018

Price increase for Azure in Canadian dollars

On 1 December 2018, Microsoft is increasing Azure subscription prices in Canadian dollars by 5%. The following is taken directly from the email I received on 1 November 2018. Starting December 1, 2018, prices for Azure services in the Canadian dollar will increase by 5 percent to more closely align… Read more

0 comments, 223 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 28 November 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEDIFF() and DATEDIFF_BIG()

Last time we looked at adding or subtracting date parts using the DATEADD() T-SQL system function. This week we see how to calculate the difference between two date-time values using DATEDIFF() and DATEDIFF_BIG(). The syntax for both functions is identical: [crayon-5c92d0d882be7024643393/] The only functional difference between them is that the… Read more

0 comments, 344 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 21 November 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEADD()

We are now in the home stretch of the long-running series about dates and times in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. This week we look at one of my favourite T-SQL functions when it comes to dates and times: DATEADD(). Syntax As with similar functions, DATEADD can do arithmetic… Read more

0 comments, 208 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 14 November 2018

PASS Summit Speaker Idol 2018

This scheduled post is coming to you from Seattle, where the PASS Summit 2018 has just kicked off. Because it is a scheduled post, I have no idea what announcements from the convention will be made today and tomorrow, but rest assured that they will be worth looking at. In… Read more

0 comments, 182 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 7 November 2018

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