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Chris's SQL Blog

SQL Server Consultant with extensive experience in the financial, health and retail sectors. Strong in all areas of SQL Server and specialise in Security but really get my kicks from System Optimisation and Performance Tuning. Being a DBA is a thankless task at times but sadly I do enjoy it. Organiser of the SQLNorthEast Usergroup (@SQLNE) and the Newcastle leg of SQLRelay (www.sqlrelay.co.uk) as well as trying to help out others where I can via social network (follow me @SQLGeordie)

Delayed Durability in the wild…


We have recently been working on large data migration project for one of our clients and thought I would share how Delayed Durability helped us overcome a performance issue when the solution was moved to the client’s Development domain.

I won’t go into details of the project or the… Read more

0 comments, 1,296 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 14 November 2016

Why would you never use SSIS Fast Load…?

We all know that if you want SQL Server to push data into a table then you want to batch the inserts / use a bulk insert mechanism but is there a time when performance isn’t everything?


Although it has its critics, SSIS is a very powerful tool for… Read more

4 comments, 6,129 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 14 November 2016

Windows 10 Upgrade on Surface Pro 3 – Sending email issue FIXED

I very rarely blogabout anything other than SQL Server but felt that with a lot of the SQL Community using SP3’s that this may actually be helpful to some.

After playing around in a VM for a while now I decided to upgrade my SP3 to Windows 10 which comes… Read more

0 comments, 817 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 2 August 2015

SQLNorthEast Usergroup 2015 dates announced (preliminary)

Mike and I have been extremely busy over the Xmas period and we’ve finally sorted dates for our 2015 instalment of the SQLNorthEast SQL Server UserGroup (@SQLNE) in Newcastle. The great news is that after much negotiation we have managed to get agreement in principal to use the same venue… Read more

0 comments, 399 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 13 January 2015

Merge csv files – quick PowerShell snippet

During a bit of work I’ve been doing this evening for SQLRelay, I used something I have in my arsenal of PowerShell scripts which I thought I’d share because I love it’s simplicity. It’s nothing big and fancy but something that is extremely useful. Tasked with merging a large… Read more

2 comments, 958 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 14 July 2014

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4…

Read more

0 comments, 963 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 31 December 2013

Output SQL Server data from multiple tables to Tab Delimited text files using Powershell

I had a request this morning for something I though was actually very simple:

Client: “Can you extract all data for these particular tables including column headers to a tab delimited .txt file?”
Chris: “Sure, no problem, I’ll just run bcp querying sys.tables using a COALESCE loop to… Read more

3 comments, 4,206 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 20 December 2013

SQL Server NorthEast – New Usergroup!!

SQLBits in Nottingham was where it all began. A short conversation on whether there were any plans for a SQL usergroup in Newcastle with Richard Douglas (@SQLRich) and whether there was scope for me to begin setting one up quickly moved onto conversations with Chris Testa-O’Neill (@ctesta_oneill ) and eventually… Read more

0 comments, 744 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 19 November 2013

Making sure your Triggers fire when they should

As some of you may be aware, triggers are not my favourite thing in the world but like most things, it does have its place.

Whilst onsite with one of my clients, one of the processes fires a trigger on insert which ultimately runs a SSRS subscription to email a… Read more

0 comments, 1,011 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 4 March 2013

DBCC CheckTable, Spatial Indexes and incorrect compatibility mode…..

Just a very quick blog today regarding an issue that has arisen with one of my clients. During Integration it became apparent that one table in particular was failing during the weekly consistency checks, the error being output:

DBCC results for ‘sys.extended_index_1696529623_384000’.

There are 313423 rows in 1627 pages for…

Read more

0 comments, 1,143 reads

Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 19 November 2012

Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases (70-464) – My Thoughts

I finally pulled my finger out and took the last exam of the MCSE SQL Server 2012 – Data Platform certification last week and passed with a score of 876 which is pretty respectable in my opinion

The exam consisted of 3 sections:

  • 1 – 6 Scenario based questions
  • 2…
  • Read more

    5 comments, 6,453 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 30 October 2012

    Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam (70-463) – My Thoughts

    Well I finally got around to completing the MCSA aspect of the SQL Server 2012 Certification and I’m pleased to say i passed with flying colours. As some of you may be aware I managed to nab and pass 3 of the Beta exams (70-461, 70-462 and 70-465) back in… Read more

    1 comments, 1,238 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 13 September 2012

    SSIS SCD vs MERGE Statement – Performance Comparison

    I wouldn’t class myself as an expert in SSIS but I certainly know my way around but came across something today which I thought I’d share. As with a lot of things there are “many ways to skin a cat”, none of which is something I’ll go into at the… Read more

    10 comments, 7,783 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 3 July 2012

    It’s that time of year…..Exceptional DBA Awards 2012

    Being a 2011 finalist I felt I should try and rally all those who truly are exceptional to get their nominations in and quick sharp as the closing date is getting close.

    I was lucky enough to be nominated for this award last year and wasn’t going to follow it… Read more

    1 comments, 733 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 25 June 2012

    And the results are in…..SQL Server 2012 beta exams

    Well after being a bit late in trying to book the beta exams I managed to get three of the five I needed for the MCSE data platform booked, taken and I’m pleased to say passed!

    Unfortunately due to the fact I did 461, 462 and 465 means I don’t… Read more

    6 comments, 890 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 25 June 2012

    Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Beta exam (70-461 / 71-461) – My Thoughts

    Well I’ve now done the final SQL Server 2012 exam I managed to get a slot booked for. The Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam wasn’t going to be my strongest subject as I’m more of a DBA than Developer but i felt it went quite well.
    The exam consisted… Read more

    6 comments, 3,427 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 13 April 2012

    Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Beta exam (70-465 / 71-465) – My Thoughts

    After sitting the Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases Beta exam (71-462) on Monday, I was still a little disappointed with Microsofts approach to questioning for these exams. So I went into this exam with pretty much the same mindset that the questions were going to be vague and in… Read more

    0 comments, 1,314 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 6 April 2012

    Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases Beta (70-462 / 71-462) – My Thoughts…

    On Monday I did my first Microsoft SQL Server exam since I did my SQL Server 2000 exams many moons ago and I can’t believe the quality of questioning hasn’t changed one bit! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all plain sailing but for me, what made it difficult was… Read more

    3 comments, 1,387 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 4 April 2012

    How to output from invoke-sqlcmd to Powershell variable

    Sorry for another Powershell post but I’ve been doing a lot of it recently and coming up with (what i think are) a few nifty tricks.

    One of the issues I encountered recently was with Kerberos delegation whilst trying to automate Log Shipping. What I was trying to do was… Read more

    1 comments, 10,813 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 3 February 2012

    So then, what’s the definition of an object……..?

    Not blogged for a while due to client and project commitments but something which has surprised me when speaking with colleagues both past and present is that when I mention the built in function OBJECT_DEFINITION, the majority of DBA’s haven’t heard of it, never mind used it. So i felt… Read more

    3 comments, 533 reads

    Posted in Chris's SQL Blog on 25 January 2012

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