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SQL Server Rocks!

SQL Database Administrator/Developer. Background in developing OLTP/document based databases, SQLXML and performance tuning with an unhealthy fascination for the SQL query optimiser!

Update duplicate xml attribute values to unique value

I was going through some really old blogging ideas and I stumbled over this one and seeing as I love finding creative solutions in XQuery, I’m not sure why I hadn’t got this down into a blog post earlier!

Imagine the following contrived xml snippet which is essentially just a… Read more

0 comments, 231 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 23 June 2016

Recertification, too easy?

3 years I was awarded the MCSE: Data Platform certification and as per the recertification rules, I needed to recertify this year to keep it active. So shortly after Christmas I set about looking into what exams I needed to take and brushing up on all those new features in… Read more

0 comments, 1,565 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 21 March 2016

UK Contractors - As you were, for now at least

I think there were are few sighs of relief around the country yesterday after the chancellor finished giving his autumn financial statement to parliament. For the past few weeks there has been plenty of reports of doom and gloom from the various media channels suggesting that the end was nigh… Read more

0 comments, 381 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 26 November 2015

Indexed views on any core SQL server edition–The video

A few months back I created a blog post showing that you can indeed create and use indexed views on any core SQL server edition. It has proved to be one of my most read blog posts. Since then Webucator, provider of SQL Server training, got in contact… Read more

0 comments, 256 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 10 October 2015

SQL Server Contracting – The first 14 months (or so)

Crikey, where did that time go! I have been so busy adjusting to my new work life style I have completely neglected my blog.. Well now that I seem to be adjusted to the world of contracting (or rather adjusted to working more than a mile away from where I… Read more

0 comments, 1,589 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 7 October 2015

XQuery – Accessing the Attributes Axis

Working with a sequence of attributes in XQuery is fairly straight forward with the “attribute” axis even if you don’t know or need to know the attribute names. By using this axis you can access all of the attributes within the given context node. The specific scenario I had was… Read more

0 comments, 1,242 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 19 December 2014

Updated blog Site

This post is mainly to test the syndication still works correctly from my heavily updated web/blog site so apologies for the non-SQL nature of it.

Finally after promising myself to do so since late 2013, I've actually got around to updating my blog site to the latest version of Orchard.… Read more

0 comments, 279 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 12 November 2014

Drop and Recreate all Synonyms

Had a quick job the other day restoring a pair of databases under different names which is all straight forward enough, but each database in the pair uses quite a few synonyms to access objects in the other database. So with the pair of databases restored under new names, a… Read more

0 comments, 6,961 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 27 October 2014

Convert UK Postcode to Latitude/Longitude/Northing/Easting using SQL CLR

Just a quick post this time. I had a requirement to convert a small number of UK based postcodes to their latitude/longitude locations so I could use that data within some Tableau dashboards that I’m working on. I had a look around to see what I could find and quickly… Read more

0 comments, 806 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 September 2014

Using indexed views on ANY core SQL server edition

I was having a discussion the other day and was quite surprised to hear that there still appears to be a slight misconception regarding being able to use indexed views on web or standard editions of SQL server. As it stands the documentation clearly states that you can create and… Read more

0 comments, 7,491 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 26 August 2014

Thank You SQLBits!

Just a very quick post to say thank you to all the organisers, speakers, helpers, sponsors, venue staff, caterers, party entertainers, long suffering partners and anyone else involved with the event as it was a top, top few days.

This was my 3rd SQLBits after Liverpool + Nottingham and in… Read more

0 comments, 426 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 July 2014

Time for a change in career

A few months back I made the decision to leave the relative comfort and security of my permanent role and head into the world of contracting & consulting. Whilst a big decision and change for me, it is something that I’ve long wanted to do at some point during my… Read more

0 comments, 441 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 9 July 2014

Deferred-drop tipping point

I was intrigued by the deferred-drop feature that has been inside SQL since SQL Server 2000 SP3 after watching one of Paul Randal’s Pluralsight courses which was “Logging, Recovery and the Transaction Log”. The deferred drop feature is what allows for the seemingly instant truncation or drop of any table… Read more

0 comments, 830 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 31 May 2014

Most important feature of SQL 2014

There are a whole raft of cool new features in 2014 including things like In-Memory OLTP, increased Azure integration/options and a new cardinality estimation design to name a few. But for me, one of the most important features in 2014 is the increase in memory that standard edition can use… Read more

0 comments, 1,166 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 29 April 2014

Currys having apostrophe trouble

Before I start I just want to say that much of this post is mere speculation on my part and not specifically targetted at Currys. They just happen to be the catalyst and example for this post.

A few months back I ordered a new tumble drier online from Currys… Read more

0 comments, 450 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 8 April 2014

Pluralsight = Essential Training

Update: 11th Sep 2016 - See comment that pricing tiers have been adjusted since this blog post

I've been aware of Pluralsight for a couple of years and as I’m always looking for very cheap or free ways to learn I made a resolution to check out Pluralsight this… Read more

0 comments, 1,055 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 March 2014


If you haven’t heard of the name before, you must have seen what it does at some point. FIGlet which was first developed in the ‘90s is a freeware large ASCII art generator which generates text from standard characters. It had quite a number of fonts contributed by others during… Read more

0 comments, 1,140 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 February 2014

Basic RegEx in SSMS

Have you ever had that moment where you have gone "Geez.. I wish I'd learnt this stuff ages ago" after realising just how much more productive you’d have been since!! That happened to me recently after taking literally a few minutes to learn more about the find/replace regular expression option… Read more

0 comments, 3,991 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 27 January 2014

And that is 2013

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and although I’ve never been a prolific blogger (and never will!), I like to get at least one post out a month. However next year I’m going to try to up my game a little with a couple of ideas that… Read more

0 comments, 444 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 23 December 2013

Getting the read/write ratio for a database

EDIT: Please also see in depth comment from Brent Ozar on my main site which extends the query provided below by adding extra columns to give the data more context and general advice when interpreting this type of data.

Just a quick post this time. Recently I needed to find… Read more

0 comments, 1,316 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 30 November 2013

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