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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).

SQL Server vs. Oracle

Just so we’re clear, I use SQL Server. I like SQL Server. But, this doesn’t mean I have anything against Oracle. It’s fine. It’s good. But, I know very little about it. However, throughout my career I’ve found myself needing to understand it better. Either because I’m trying to train Oracle people to better use SQL Server and I need to be able to speak a little of their language to facilitate translation. Or, because I’m defending SQL Server on some technical point that the Oracle people don’t completely understand. Or, because I’ve said something stupid about Oracle in my ignorance.

Now, you know how busy you are, and I know how busy I am, so I doubt either of us has the time we really need to learn Oracle much. So, what do you do? Well, Red Gate Software, who straddles the worlds between Oracle & SQL Server like the Bifrost between Midgard & Asgard, has started a series of conversations between two people who know something about each platform, Jonathan Lewis (blog) and me.

We had our first conversation talking about clustered indexes. We covered how they work in both platforms (not that differently) and they’re used and abused. Interestingly enough, according to Jonathan, clustered indexes just aren’t used that much within Oracle, despite the fact that they really do behave mostly the same way as they do within SQL Server, where we use them on most every table (or at least so I maintain you should). It was a great discussion (NOTE: not a fight, no one was nasty or mean, we talked).

We’re going to have another discussion. We’re going to be talking about temporary tables. Again, I don’t know much about Oracle, so please, this is not an attack, but apparently they don’t have the same concept of temporary tables as we do in SQL Server. We’re going to cover a lot of the myths and misperceptions surrounding temp tables on both Oracle and SQL Server, how they work and how they affect performance. I learned a lot during the last conversation and I don’t doubt I’ll learn a lot during this one. If you’re interested, please go to this web page and register.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention again, if you like learning about performance in SQL Server that you should consider attending the PASS Summit 2012. If you register now, you save $500, which is just enough to pay for my pre-conference seminar, Query Performance Tuning: Start to Finish. I’ll be covering all aspects of performance tuning from gathering metrics to understand which queries are running slow, to reading execution plans to understand why, to addressing the issues to fix the performance and make your queries hum. Please consider taking part. It’ll be a lot of fun and I’ll try like crazy to make it useful.

 

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