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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!

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, 2,433 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, 566 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, 730 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, 749 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, 456 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, 575 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, 1,555 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, 1,209 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, 2,325 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, 468 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 February 2013

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, 1,119 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, 588 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, 7,218 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, 520 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, 593 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, 1,451 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, 884 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, 1,702 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, 1,300 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, 2,869 reads

Posted in SQL Server Rocks! on 13 July 2012

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