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SQL Undercover

David Fowler and Adrian Buckman, two database nerds who love nothing more than to spend their time, reading about, researching and sharing all things SQL Server. David is a DBA with over 15 years production experience of SQL Server, from version 6.5 through to 2016. He has worked in a number of different settings and is currently the technical lead at one of the largest software companies in the UK. After working in the motor trade for over 11 years Adrian decided to give it all up to persue a dream of working in I.T. Adrian has over 3 years of experience working with SQL server and loves all things SQL, Adrian currently works as a Database Administrator for one of the UK’s Largest Software Companies.

sp_translate, A Universal Translator in SQL Server. Just One Example Of How Powerful the Python/SQL Partnership Can Be.

In my recent post, Installing External Modules into SQL Server’s Python I had a look at just how simple it is to import external modules into Python so that they can be used within SQL Server.

In this post I’d like to show you a little something to demonstrate how… Read more

1 comments, 110 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 18 September 2018

TSQL Tuesday #106: Triggers and the Spiral To Oblivion

It’s the second Tuesday of the month which must mean only one thing…

We’re all skint and payday feels like a long way off???

Not quite, well maybe… but it’s also T SQL Tuesday!

This month’s invitation comes from Steve Jones and he’s asking us to write about triggers and… Read more

6 comments, 87 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 11 September 2018

Podcast Audio Now On SoundCloud

For those of you who don’t have time to watch the videos, the audio stream of our webcasts are now available on SoundCloud.

Read more

0 comments, 107 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 5 September 2018

Installing External Modules into SQL Server’s Python

So Microsoft have integrated Python into SQL Server, from the moment I heard that I thought to myself, “wow, this is exciting stuff” and not just for the machine learning, BI guys that it was marketed at.  It’s exciting for us DBAs too, my head was in a buzz with… Read more

2 comments, 122 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 3 September 2018

Undercover TV- Episode 2

The latest webcast from SQLUndercover.com. In this episode David and Adrian take a look at a few blog posts that have caught their interest, review Minion Backup from Minionware and announce the release of the all new Undercover Catalogue v0.1.

Links featured in this webcast are,

Read more

0 comments, 125 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 29 August 2018

Undercover Catalogue 0.1 Released

Easily Keep Track of All Your SQL Servers

We know what it’s like when you’ve got 101 SQL Servers to manage, or even just a couple. It can be almost impossible to keep track of all these servers, their versions, the databases that they host, permissions, dependencies…  the list goes… Read more

1 comments, 112 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 28 August 2018

SQL Server Encryption, What’s The Key Hierarchy All About?


I’m sure that we all know that SQL Server includes all sorts of interesting functionality to allow us to encrypt our data and like with all encryption techniques, that data is encrypted using keys.

In SQL Server we’ve got a number of different keys, we’ve got the Service Master… Read more

1 comments, 1,569 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 9 August 2018

A Quick Look At The All New Undercover Catalogue, Preview Release Due Out Soon…

I thought I’d give you all a little preview of our latest offering, the Undercover Catalogue which should be available in Preview version very soon.

So what actually is it?

The Undercover Catalogue will help you to build up a picture of your entire SQL infrastructure.  It’ll go out, discover… Read more

0 comments, 107 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 6 August 2018

Are your backup files where they say they are?


I was having a cleanup of some old scripts the other day when I stumbled upon a script I wrote some time ago.


I remember writing the script because from time to time I would get asked if I can restore a copy of a specific database to… Read more

1 comments, 1,794 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 25 July 2018

Selecting a Random Row From a Table

A couple of times recently I’ve seen the question asked, ‘How can I select a single row at random from a table?’.

There are often a few ways of doing this suggested, most seem to rely using CTEs or temp tables.  I thought I’d share, in a quick post a… Read more

5 comments, 569 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 20 July 2018

T-SQL Tuesday #104 – My Undercover Toolbox favourites

This months T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Bert Wagner , you can find the invitation for this months topic here.

Bert has a great topic for this month, he wants us to write about code you’ve written that you would hate to live without.

I have found the SQL… Read more

2 comments, 2,466 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 10 July 2018

Backup Your On Premise SQL Server Directly to an AWS S3 Bucket

I’ve been having a little play around with AWS recently and was looking at S3 (AWS’ cloud storage) when I thought to myself, I wonder if it’s possible to backup up an on premise SQL Server database directly to S3?

When we want to backup directly to Azure, we can… Read more

0 comments, 282 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 18 June 2018

Resend an email sent from SQL Server using TSQL

Sometimes emails from SQL Server go missing, especially when you share an inbox with colleagues. On most occasions it doesn’t always matter as the job that generated the email can simply be re ran to produce the email once again, but what about those emails that contain time specific information?… Read more

3 comments, 1,955 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 5 June 2018

Convert a Positive Number To a Negative In SQL With a Spot of Bitwise Logic

Now this is something that I’ve seen asked a few times and it’s always a question that gets a fair number of different answers.  How do we go about converting a positive number to a negative, or the other way around?

I’ll give you my solution and it uses a… Read more

3 comments, 673 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 24 May 2018

Digitally Signing a Stored Procedure To Allow It To Run With Elevated Permissions

Have you ever had the need to give elevated permissions via a stored procedure above that what the user calling the procedure might have?

Perhaps you’ve got a table in your database that contains top secret information and you only want that information to be accessed by via a proc,… Read more

1 comments, 2,220 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 2 May 2018

T-SQL Tuesday #101 – My day of Essential SQL Server tools.

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is brought to you by Jens Bestergaard – the subject is Essential SQL Server tools, the original invitation can be found here.


Here is how my day of using SQL tools went:

It all started at 00:00 this morning with planned maintenance, I was… Read more

0 comments, 994 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 10 April 2018

Encrypting SQL Server Database Backups

We all go to great lengths to make sure that our databases are secure (or at least I really hope that we do), we make sure that only authorised users have access and then only to the databases and levels that they need.  We’re careful that all our passwords conform… Read more

2 comments, 2,224 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 4 April 2018

‘Object Reference Not Set to an Instance of an Object’ When Failing Over an Availability Group Using SSMS <= 17.5

Here’s a quickie that I’ve just stumbled across.

I’ve just tried to initiate a manual failover of an availability group and received the following error.

After a spot of head scratching and thinking that there was something wrong with my AG setup, it turns out that there’s a bug in… Read more

0 comments, 282 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 29 March 2018

TempDB Filling Up On Secondary Replicas

Have you ever had an issue where TempDB was filling up on your secondary replicas?  Do those secondaries happen to be read only replicas?

When I have an issue with tempdb filling up the first thing that I usually do is try to figure out exactly what the space has… Read more

2 comments, 3,207 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 21 March 2018

TSQL Tuesday #100: A Look To The Future

So for this month’s TSQL Tuesday, Adam Mechanic has asked us to take a look into the future and think about what things might look like when TSQL Tuesday #200 comes around (apparently that’ll be June 2026).  So I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with this… Read more

2 comments, 342 reads

Posted in SQL Undercover on 13 March 2018

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