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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!

Backup SQL database directly to Azure Storage

There is a new CU update for SQL 2012 SP1 and I noticed a very interesting new feature described in the documentation blogged here.

This is one of two new improvements and it is described as:

You can now directly create a backup to Windows Azure Storage using SQL… Read more

0 comments, 700 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 January 2013

SQLBits XI - My second most eagerly awaited event of 2013...

I bet you are half wondering what is the first? Well that would be the birth of my second child which due in March so you could say that SQLBits XI is my most “professional” eagerly awaited event of 2013.

Last Friday I was just about to head off to… Read more

0 comments, 353 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 17 January 2013

Using XQuery to remove duplicate values or duplicate nodes from an xml instance

Sometimes we need to retrieve a list distinct values from within an xml instance or even distinct nodes and this is relatively straight forward using XQuery. It gets a bit more complicated if you have attributes in the xml, but it is still possible to retrieve unique xml nodes. On… Read more

0 comments, 4,293 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 December 2012

Using Facebook to extend/enhance your blogging

I read a blog a few months ago by Ramkumar Gopal (blog) in which he had setup a Facebook page to record and post things that he doesn’t want to create a blog post for. I thought this was a really good idea for a whole host of… Read more

0 comments, 360 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 22 November 2012

SQLBits XI recently announced

When I saw an email from SQLBits announcing SQLBits XI in East Midlands in my inbox this morning, it simply made my day! Fantastic!!! I can’t wait now until the registration is open as I’ll be signing up as quickly as I can for the full event. I’m already seeking… Read more

0 comments, 402 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 14 November 2012

Your online security is only as good as the weakest link

Over the weekend I received an email supposedly from Microsoft Live wanting me to verify my account and provided a verification code in the email to do that. It was a simple plain text email with no images or anything so I thought that this was just a spoof email… Read more

0 comments, 1,200 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 24 October 2012

OVER() clause two simple ways on two different days

I’ve been aware of this clause in TSQL for a long time, but I’ve never really used it. Mainly because I’ve rarely had the need to use windowing functions because I primarily work with XML and relational data that doesn’t need to be aggregated that often or have ranking applied… Read more

0 comments, 619 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 26 September 2012

Suppressing namespace attributes in nested select statements when using FOR XML workaround

I was helping out on the forums the other day with a user who had stumbled across the quirk of SQL putting in an excessive amount of namespace declarations when using nested select statements as part of a FOR XML statement. There is a connect item already open for this,… Read more

0 comments, 860 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 28 August 2012

Script to find orphaned/unreachable job steps within your SQL jobs

SQL jobs are great as the SQL agent job engine allows for very granular control over jobs that are created by allowing great flexibility with the scheduling, execution, flow actions and notifications. Invariably, when jobs are setup, they just run and run without many problems, but the other day I… Read more

0 comments, 850 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 23 August 2012

Using XQuery to transform multiple xml nodes to a single xml node with comma separated string value

Not another comma separated string blog post I hear you say! I know that this topic has probably been done to death but I hope that this is a little different as it is about creating a single xml node containing a comma separated string from the values of multiple… Read more

0 comments, 1,565 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 July 2012

Moving xml child elements to its parent using XQuery

I haven’t been able to do much XQuery development recently which is a shame as I love developing with the technology in SQL. In the past I used to work with xslt’s a lot and they immensely powerful, but since moving to xquerying in SQL, it is now my first… Read more

0 comments, 1,428 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 9 July 2012

Unable to activate a Windows 2003 VM on Hyper-V behind a proxy

Ok, so this is not strictly a post about SQL itself (and it's about a fairly old OS), but I did run into this problem myself a couple of weeks ago whilst creating a very specific build to test some functionality and seeing as it took me a little bit… Read more

0 comments, 1,307 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 25 June 2012

Shredding a simple xml structure to a single row flat table

I was helping out a user on the forums the other day where they were asking questions about shredding an xml structure of which they didn’t know the schema for. They wanted to know the best way about writing a generic function to shred any xml to a flat table.… Read more

0 comments, 3,316 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 16 May 2012

Command line to configure windows firewall for SQL server access

I regularly deploy SQL Server to new Windows Server 2008 hosts and one thing that I find quite a chore is the wizard to configure the windows firewall on the host. So I done a quick bit of research today and found that the windows firewall can be configured from… Read more

0 comments, 1,296 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 10 May 2012

Script to analyse space usage by your Service Broker

I believe that service broker is one of the best features from SQL server 2005, well along with the xml data type, and I use service broker a lot for messaging between solutions. Over the years it has proven to be extremely reliable; only really stopping because of a poison… Read more

0 comments, 652 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 16 April 2012

Creating cards in Trello via the REST API and parsing the returned JSON all in a SQL CLR

I recently blogged about how good I thought Trello was and shortly afterwards I found out that they did provide a full read/write RESTful API. Awesome! After a bit of thought I realised that I should be able to use the API to create new cards in Trello from within… Read more

0 comments, 2,845 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 14 March 2012

Trello: An agile style kan-ban web app that really works

I am no different to many others where I am being asked to work on various projects concurrently and expected to work through a long list of technical debt that needs addressing with our SQL databases. Throw in the usual day to day production issues as well and you get… Read more

0 comments, 2,282 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 27 February 2012

Blogging: Controlling SPAM in Orchard CMS with OpenCaptcha

When I started blogging last year, my first major decision was either to host my own site somewhere using a CMS type system or use an online blogging service like blogger for example. Ultimately, because I wanted to have quite fine grained control over my blogs and also the space… Read more

0 comments, 924 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 16 February 2012


SQLBits9 – “Query across the Mersey” was held in the majestic Adelphi hotel. This was my first SQLBits experience and was fortunate enough to be able to attend all three days. I was not disappointed! Walking through the main door and up the stairs into the main conference hall, I… Read more

0 comments, 556 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 7 February 2012


Is all set to be officially known as SQL 2012 and will be finally released in....... 2012!

Announced at the PASS Summit 2011, it is due to be released to manufactoring in the first half of next year.

The other major announcement from PASS was Microsoft actively supporting the Hadoop… Read more

0 comments, 524 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 7 February 2012

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