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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).

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, 1,479 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, 1,277 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, 180 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, 289 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, 224 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, 268 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, 219 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 23 May 2016

Query Store, Forced Plans, and New Plans

I love questions. I recently received one about new plans in the Query Store (available in Azure SQL Database now and in SQL Server 2016 after June 1).

Let’s say you have selected a plan that you want to force. You set it up. Now, let’s say the plan ages… Read more

6 comments, 1,744 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 May 2016

Use The Correct Data Type

Blog post #5 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel. Read about it here.

Saying that you should use the correct data type seems like something that should be very straight forward. Unfortunately it’s very easy for things to get confusing. Let’s take a simple… Read more

8 comments, 1,706 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 May 2016

Implicit Conversion and Performance

Letting SQL Server change data types automatically can seriously impact performance in a negative way. Because a calculation has to be run on each column, you can’t get an index seek. Instead, you’re forced to use a scan. I can demonstrate this pretty simply. Here’s a script that sets up… Read more

1 comments, 224 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 May 2016

How to Convince the Boss to Send You to PASS Summit

August two years ago I originally posted, Make the PASS Summit Work for Your Employer. After conversations at several SQL Saturdays over the last couple of months, I decided to refresh and update that original content and post it again.

I keep hearing how the job market has changed. That… Read more

1 comments, 721 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 May 2016

Customizing Your Azure Portal

Not all of us are going to use Azure in the same way. That’s just common sense. Therefore, not all of us are going to want it to look the same. Here’s a default view of the portal for a login I created within my own domain:

You can contrast… Read more

0 comments, 1,175 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 April 2016

Microsoft’s Commitment to Azure

For several years, many of us who were involved with working in Azure from the early days, were concerned that Microsoft had bet the farm and could possibly lose it all. They may well have bet the farm, but more and more it’s extremely clear that there is zero likelihood… Read more

1 comments, 273 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 April 2016

Payment and the Board

If you read the March PASS Board meeting minutes, you saw that there was a discussion around board members and payments related to SQLSaturday precons. The question is simple, for a PASS branded event, should a member of the PASS board receive payment?

There are a couple of relevant… Read more

10 comments, 221 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 April 2016

A View Is Not A Table

Blog post #4 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel

In SQL Server, in the T-SQL you use to query it, a view looks just like a table (I’m using the AdventureWorks2014 database for all these examples):

SELECT  *
FROM    Production.vProductAndDescription AS vpad;

 

SELECT…

Read more

8 comments, 2,721 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 April 2016

Views and Simplification

I’ve been getting lots of questions on views lately. Must be something in the water.

Because SQL Server allows you to treat a view as if it was a table, lots of people pretty much assume that it is a table since they get to treat it that way. The… Read more

3 comments, 255 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 April 2016

Speaker of the Month: April 2016

THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL POST!

Seriously.

My Speaker of the Month for April 2016 is Keith Tate (b|t) and his session at SQL Saturday Chicago called Profiler is Dead, Long Live Extended Events.

I actually suspected very strongly from the start of the… Read more

0 comments, 244 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 April 2016

Do You Teach Azure Data Platform?

I offer instruction on the Azure Data Platform, and have for about six years, since shortly after it came out. I started using Azure SQL Database (although it had a different name then) Day 1.

I know a few other people who don’t work for Microsoft, but have been actively… Read more

2 comments, 284 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 March 2016

Query Store and Optimize For Ad Hoc

I love presenting sessions because you get so many interesting questions. For example, what happens with Optimize for Ad Hoc when Query Store is enabled? Great question. I didn’t have the answer, so, on to testing.

For those who don’t know, Optimize for Ad Hoc is a mechanism for dealing… Read more

6 comments, 1,491 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 March 2016

Happy Dance!

I’m all like:

Because I saw this on an eval:

I’ve been trying to ramp up to take advantage of my MSDN subscription and haven’t known where to start. I don’t have that excuse now.

And then I was all like:

Because:

We are moving a lot of stuff to…

Read more

4 comments, 249 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 March 2016

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