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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!

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, 62 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, 133 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, 136 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, 252 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, 135 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, 227 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 March 2014

FIGlet SQLCLR ASCII Font Art

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, 229 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, 2,819 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, 128 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, 261 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, 1,514 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, 314 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, 294 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, 333 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, 277 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 June 2013

Improved Backup/Restore to Azure in 2012 SP1 CU4

I’ve been using the backup to azure feature for a short while now and I really like it. Shows I think as this is my 4th blog post on the subject this year! This feature has reduced my stress levels with regard to secure offsite backups. However, so far I… Read more

0 comments, 315 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 1 June 2013

There is currently a lease on the blob and no lease ID was specified in the request

I’ve been using the backup to Azure feature that shipped with SQL2012 SP1 CU2 and generally it works really well, but a couple of times I have had an issue where I wasn’t able to overwrite a previous backup file and received an error:

Msg 3202, Level 16, State 1,… Read more

0 comments, 458 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 21 May 2013

How to backup a SQL 2012 database directly to Windows Azure

It has been a little while since I posted something and I’ve been meaning to finish off this blog for a few weeks now, but I have been a little busy with the arrival of my 2nd son (and have been distracted by my new Alienware laptop!)… Anyway I recently… Read more

0 comments, 645 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 24 April 2013

Retrieving the next or previous element node value in an Xml blob using XQuery

It’s been a little while since I wrote a blog post on my favourite subject but this is from a thread on the SSC Xml forum that I was helping out on a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been a bit busy lately with a big project at work, revising/taking… Read more

0 comments, 1,629 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 March 2013

SQLBits XI Agenda Announced

The agenda for the SQLBits event in May was announced today and after a quick look earlier today, it looks like there is a great choice covering a wide range of topics both in and around SQL server. Understandably there are a number of sessions on Azure, about 5 or… Read more

0 comments, 257 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 February 2013

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