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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

PASS Board Update

Time for another update.

The minutes for the June in-person meeting have been approved and are now ready for your information. We accomplished a lot in the two days and you can read what we did there. I’m pleased about two things. First, while it took until the July meeting… Read more

2 comments, 110 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 August 2016

Run For the PASS Board

When the word comes around for elections to the PASS Board, are you one of those people who, even in passing, considers running? If you are, my advice is to well, do it.

By the way, here’s that word.

In order to make this a stronger, even more vibrant… Read more

0 comments, 127 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 August 2016

Updates to Azure Data Platform Learning Resources

I’m acting as the curator to a list of Azure Data Platform Learning Resources. It’s speakers and teachers, blogs, articles and more, all focused around the Azure Data Platform. I have it hosted on GitHub so that anyone can contribute. There have been several updates recently that you may… Read more

1 comments, 214 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 August 2016

Query Store, Force Plan and Dropped Objects

I love the Query Store. Seriously. It’s a huge leap forward in the capabilities of Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in support of performance monitoring and query optimization. One of my favorite aspects of the Query Store is the ability to force plans. Frankly though, it’s also the scariest… Read more

5 comments, 1,079 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 August 2016

Azure SQL Database For Your First Database

This is post 8 supporting  Tim Ford’s (b|t) initiative on #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

In post #6, I talked about Azure SQL Database as one of the choices you have when you’re picking the type of SQL Server instance you want to run.… Read more

4 comments, 1,000 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 August 2016

There Is No Difference Between Table Variables, Temporary Tables and Common Table Expressions

I actually saw the above statement posted online. The person making the claim further stated that choosing between these three constructs was “personal preference” and didn’t change at all the way SQL Server would choose to deal with them in a query.

Let’s immediately say, right up front, the title… Read more

1 comments, 848 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 August 2016

Monitor Query Performance

Blog post #7 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

Sooner or later when you’re working with SQL Server, someone is going to complain that the server is slow. I already pointed out the first place you should look when this… Read more

2 comments, 1,909 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 July 2016

Common Table Expression, Just a Name

The Common Table Expression (CTE) is a great tool in T-SQL. The CTE provides a mechanism to define a query that can be easily reused over and over within another query. The CTE also provides a mechanism for recursion which, though a little dangerous and overused, is extremely handy for… Read more

12 comments, 2,855 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 July 2016

Same Query, Different Servers, Different Performance. Now What?

Based on the number of times I see this question on forums, it must be occurring all the time. You have two different servers that, as far as you know, are identical in terms of their options and setup (although not necessarily in terms of power, think a test or… Read more

14 comments, 1,775 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 July 2016

Carpenters vs. DBAs

Let’s get the caveat out of the way up front, I work for a tool vendor.

If you look around at the tools landscape for the Microsoft Data Platform, it’s really interesting. There are a few tools vendors, primarily clustered around monitoring tools, and then there are a bunch of… Read more

10 comments, 890 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 July 2016

CASE Statement in GROUP BY

Set based operations means you should put everything into a single statement, right?

Well, not really. People seem to think that having two queries is really bad, so when faced with logical gaps, they just cram them into the query they have. This is partly because SQL Server and T-SQL… Read more

4 comments, 3,723 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 June 2016

Because

Because there’s nothing else I can do at the moment.

 

The post Because appeared first on Home Of The Scary DBA.

Read more

1 comments, 191 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 June 2016

Choosing the Right SQL Server Edition

Post #6 of #entrylevel #iwanttohelp in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) beginner’s initiative.

If you’re just getting started with SQL Server, the choices you have in front of you are legion. Which drive do you install your instance on? Which drives hold the databases? How many… Read more

9 comments, 888 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 June 2016

Elastic Query in Azure SQL Database and Views

The question came up, how do the constructs necessary for Elastic Query within Azure SQL Database affect your ability to create views that join across databases. Since I haven’t tested this myself, and I haven’t seen anyone else doing anything with it yet, I decided to set up a test.… Read more

2 comments, 1,401 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 June 2016

Resources for Learning Azure Data Platform

You want to start working with Azure and the Azure Data Platform, but getting started is not easy. Just knowing where to go to find useful information isn’t easy.

I’m here to help.

I’ve started a GitHub repository that is meant to provide a community-based resource that documents where and… Read more

2 comments, 1,215 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 June 2016

Independent Azure Data Platform Instructors

The Azure Data Platform is taking off. I’m seeing more and more interest on the forums, at conferences and in my personal interactions. I’ve been teaching the data platform for six years. Almost as soon as it was available, I started working with it, putting up blog posts and setting… Read more

1 comments, 138 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 June 2016

Precedence Goes to Query Store or Plan Guide?

While presenting at SQLDay in Wroclaw, Poland, on the Query Store, I was asked a pretty simple question, which takes precedence, the Query Store or a Plan Guide?

One of my favorite answers to questions is “I don’t know” because it gives me the opportunity to learn. Let’s figure this… Read more

1 comments, 155 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 31 May 2016

A Moment For Reflection…

While this is a personal blog, I try to keep it focused on either technical topics or personal development and leadership related to technical topics. This post is a complete deviation from all of the above. Please, read it anyway.

I went to Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Words are failing me… Read more

8 comments, 201 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 May 2016

On the Buckeye Blitz!

In just a few weeks I’ll be doing the Buckeye Blitz. That is, a tour of user groups in Ohio (aka, the Buckeye state, after a tree, not a sports team), one per day across a week. Here’s how it breaks down:

Cleveland: 6/13
Toledo: 6/14
Columbus: 6/15
Cincinnati:… Read more

2 comments, 225 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 May 2016

PASS Board 2016: Update #3

I didn’t post an update last month, but I did do something more important: I elicited your feedback on a question the Board needs to act on.

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

First, based on your feedback (thanks) and conversations that I’ve had with members of the Board, I’m… Read more

0 comments, 177 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 May 2016

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