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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!

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, 924 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, 169 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, 6,109 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, 390 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, 6,962 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, 236 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, 282 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, 361 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, 721 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, 290 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 8 April 2014

Pluralsight = Essential Training

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 year to see what the crack is. That task was made a whole load easier thanks to Paul… Read more

0 comments, 580 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, 602 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, 3,325 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, 256 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, 670 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 30 November 2013

Removing HTML formatting tag - BR - from XML using XQuery

This is a personal pet hate of mine.. Mixing HTML formatting tags directly with XML that aren’t escaped or contained within a CDATA section. Sure it is all perfectly valid XML at the end of the day, but it makes working with it a bit harder as each section of… Read more

0 comments, 1,997 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 31 October 2013

What to do next certification wise

I feel rather flat today. I passed the 3rd entry level 2012 exam a few hours ago, data warehousing to make me an MCSA, but I feel like I'm looking at a dead end. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly happy that I passed the exam which incidentally seem to… Read more

0 comments, 462 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 19 September 2013

Just Wow!! features

Over the years with each release I’m often impressed by some of the features contained in SQL server but every so often, I start to use a feature that I haven’t used before and I’m blown away by just how good that particular feature is. Sometimes it is the sheer…

Read more

0 comments, 528 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 30 August 2013

Crash when inserting to a FileTable with a parallel plan

Whilst doing some ad-hoc work on some data on a 2012 SP1 instance I came across an issue with the SQL server raising a sev 20 error with a script that I was attempting to run. The work that I was doing was that I was exporting some binary data… Read more

0 comments, 562 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 July 2013

SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Released

It is here! the first CTP for SQL 2014 is available for download from the Technet evaluation centre... Just downloaded it and it weighs in at about 3.5gb... I'm supposed to be revising for an upcoming exam, but that will have to go on hold now for a few days… Read more

0 comments, 389 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 June 2013

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