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Following good practice saves wasted time down the line.


Sometimes I come across what I call unusual coding practices. Developers usually have pressure on them to deliver and this often results in simply delivering code that works – with very little attention to best practice , performance or security.

Sometimes this lack of attention to best practice… Read more

1 comments, 1,985 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 10 September 2012

The first record on data page.


I had a recent conversation about data pages. There was some debate about the location of the first record on that page and whether or not it’s location is always after the page header.

As we know the page header is 96 bytes long – so does it… Read more

0 comments, 799 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 6 August 2012

2012 DDL for Roles


I’m extremely pleased that Microsoft are continuing their commitment to provide full DDL to preform TSQL operations that have previously been preformed using stored procedures.

The particular case that I came across today was regarding roles and the ALTER ROLE syntax.

Prior to SQL SERVER 2012, it has… Read more

0 comments, 980 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 22 April 2012

Listing SQL Instances on a machine (or list of machines)


Recently I was updating some of my Powershell scripts for managing SQL SERVER instances.

Generally, when writing a Powershell script to do something SQL related, the script takes the form of the following,

Author : Martin Catherall
Get status of sql instances (must have sql 10 libraries… Read more

0 comments, 3,784 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 17 April 2012

SQL Saturday 136 – Wellington. Speakers review.


On Saturday 16th April 2012, I attended SQL Saturday #136 in Wellington, New Zealand.

The day was run by Dave Curlewis [Blog | Twitter] and his excellent team –  a big hats off to them, the sponsors and the team at Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Porirua… Read more

0 comments, 760 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 16 April 2012

Speaking at SQL Saturday #136 – Wellington, New Zealand


On Saturday 14th April I’ll be speaking at SQL Saturday 136 in Wellington, New Zealand.

My presentation is titled “Extended Events – A whirlwind tour”  - I first gave the presentation at SQL Saturday 76 in Auckland back in January and again at Christchurch code camp  a… Read more

0 comments, 698 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 12 April 2012

Database ownership


One of the features that I most like about management studio is the ability to generate a script of the actions that have been taken in one of the (many) dialog boxes.

This has tremendous value for both learning and for creating scripts to pass to another DBA. Read more

0 comments, 662 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 4 April 2012

Remote DAC connections


I wrote a post recently about setting the DAC port for an SQL instance.

I now do this as a matter of course on all of my SQL instance as I manage most of them remotly.

However, from time to time I discover instances that have had… Read more

0 comments, 1,122 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 31 March 2012

Setting the DAC port….


I had a situation today where I needed to ensure that the dedicated Administrator connection (DAC) ran on a specific port.

The main reason that I wanted it on a specific port was so I could use the connection remotely (if needed) and because the connection was on… Read more

5 comments, 3,844 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 31 January 2012

Watch those VARCHAR(MAX) columns, and ONLINE index rebuilds


I’ve noted a few instances lately of cases where VARCHAR(MAX) columns have been used unnecessarily, when a small value (for a VARCHAR) would have been fine.

Apart from the storage implications of a VARCHAR(MAX) column there is also the issue that in SQL SERVER 2008, having a column of… Read more

2 comments, 8,236 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 26 October 2011

sp_configure OR sys.configurations? and do you back these up?


I was checking out some of our configuration options today using sys.configurations and I started to wonder how many people actually use this table, or whether most people simply use the more common system stored procedure sp_configure.

As sys.configurations is simply a table, we can use an ORDER BY… Read more

5 comments, 3,217 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 20 October 2011

Dropping a database – such a simple thing!


I think it’s a safe bet that everybody here has issued a DROP DATABASE statement and knows what to expect.

Well, today I was experimenting with a development database. The script I was using employed simply reusable code to drop and re-create the database – or so I though. Read more

5 comments, 3,157 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 18 October 2011

Online index rebuilds


I’m probably not the only one that has noticed that as the volume of data gets bigger in out databases, the time taken to preform maintenance increases.

This seems to be a simple fact of life for the DBA. But as our maintenance time increases, we need to be… Read more

0 comments, 786 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 28 September 2011

A second week at SQLskills – performance tuning


Back in February, I was lucky enough to attend a week of training on SQL internals from the people at SQLskills in Dallas, Texas.

I felt that I learned that much there and enjoyed myself so much that the journey back across the Pacific from New Zealand for the… Read more

3 comments, 890 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 14 August 2011

Select from a table with no rows returned.


I recently ran into a nice feature that I had never encountered before.

Sometimes, when developing or administrating an unfamiliar table we will simply do a “SELECT *” so that we can quickly see the column names.

This is pretty much fine when the table is small.

However in… Read more

3 comments, 2,087 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 4 July 2011

Meme Monday for June – there are no dumb questions


Here’s my input into this months Meme Monday – there are no dumb questions.

It seems (at least to me), that – occasionally – no matter how hard you try to ask an intelligent question about SQL SERVER on some of the forums – that somebody will interpret… Read more

1 comments, 1,022 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 6 June 2011

Free SQL Exam cram sessions from Microsoft.


I’m a big fan of maintaining and updating your technical skills, but sometimes its difficult to measure your ability at a task, especially if you don’t use that particular piece of a technology in your day job.

One good way of measuring these skills is to sit certifications and… Read more

2 comments, 1,866 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 31 May 2011

A curious case of a missing configuration group.


I recently received a brand new windows 7 virtual machine for my every day work use and one of the first things that I did was install SQL SERVER 2008 developer edition on it.

As I’d expect, this was a pretty straight forward task and before long I had… Read more

2 comments, 1,020 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 12 May 2011

Catalog view or compatibility view?


The recommended way to access SQL SERVER metadata is through the catalog views.

The challenge is to be able to distinguish between the catalog views and the compatibility views, because we always want to use the catalog views rather that the compatibility views.

The compatibility views basically… Read more

0 comments, 1,721 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 8 May 2011

Certifications – and a survey.


There’s a lot of mixed opinions around about certifications.

Are they worth while, do they mean anything, do employers value them and the like.

I’m personally in the “certifications are definatly” worth while camp. For a few reasons,

  • Certifications test my knowledge to a certain standard and give me…

Read more

2 comments, 520 reads

Posted in measure twice, cut once. on 5 May 2011

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