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My name is Kenneth Fisher and I am Senior DBA for a large (multi-national) insurance company. I have been working with databases for over 20 years starting with Clarion and Foxpro. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 12 years but have only really started “studying” the subject for the last 3. I don’t have any real "specialities" but I enjoy trouble shooting and teaching. Thus far I’ve earned by MCITP Database Administrator 2008, MCTS Database Administrator 2005, and MCTS Database Developer 2008. I’m currently studying for my MCITP Database Developer 2008 and should start in on the 2012 exams next year. My blog is at

Women in technology

Earlier this week a friend of mine (Lynn Swayze (Hall) (b/t)) posted this great article on women in technology. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. In fact, go read it right now. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Good. So, her article got me… Read more

0 comments, 77 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 25 November 2015

Using multiple log files

The transaction log is made up of one or more files that are used sequentially. So in other words if you have multiple log files then new log information will only be written within one of those files at a time.

The good
To the best of my knowledge there… Read more

3 comments, 714 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 23 November 2015

Naught to Speaker pt 3

Becoming a speaker is one heck of a journey. Early this year I submitted a session to speak at Pass Summit 2015 and was enormously shocked to be accepted as an alternate. Well that was 5 months ago now and a lot has happened since then. I submitted, was… Read more

6 comments, 158 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 18 November 2015

SSMS Setup

Every time I install a new version of SSMS I make a handful of changes to the default setup. For my own notes, and in case anyone is interested in some of the things you can do with SSMS I thought I’d post a list of those changes.

Physical Layout

Read more

5 comments, 117 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 16 November 2015

Hiding one or more columns

This isn’t something you have to do frequently, but sometimes you don’t want the users to have access to certain columns in a table. For example let’s say you have a salary column in your employee table that you don’t want everyone seeing.

There are two fairly simple options.


Read more

0 comments, 154 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 12 November 2015

Why are you still using datetime?

It’s almost Thanksgiving time again! Let’s see, what am I thankful for? T-SQL Tuesday! Someone else get’s to pick a blog topic for me! In this case it’s the always fun Mickey Stuewe(b/t) and her topic is Data Modeling Gone Wrong. So let’s see ..… Read more

28 comments, 4,034 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 10 November 2015

Questions from “SQL Server Security for Everyone”

I recently gave my SQL Server Security for Everyone session at Summit 2015. (I’m still in awe about that by the way.)

First of all here are the PowerPoint slides:


Next there we a few questions I said I would look into and here they are:

  • I use relink…

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0 comments, 104 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 4 November 2015

Administrative Logins and Users

If you’ve ever worked through an audit you have probably gotten a request that looks a lot like this:

Please give me a list of all sysadmins.

This is because members of the sysadmin role are super users. They can do anything they want on the instance. But these… Read more

0 comments, 105 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 2 November 2015

Who’s on call

Of all the posts I’ve written I think this one is my favorite, even though it’s not a technical post.  So while I’m at Summit (I’m even presenting today!) I thought I would re-post it for your enjoyment.

The new IT manager (Lou) walks into the DBA manager’s office… Read more

0 comments, 123 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 28 October 2015

Finding and keeping your #SQLPassion

I consider myself lucky. I fell into a job that I truly enjoy, something that I do for fun even when I don’t have to. A job, a technology and a community that I’m truly passionate about. Unfortunately maintaining that passion can be a bit difficult at times. And I’ll… Read more

1 comments, 136 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 26 October 2015

Generating scripts for previous versions of SQL

I make a habit of using the latest version of SSMS even if I’m not working with the latest version of SQL Server. For example right now at home I’m using SSMS 2016 even though I frequently work with SQL Server 2014 or 2012. Well this can cause a bit… Read more

1 comments, 1,081 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 21 October 2015

Working with “special” names

What do you do when you need to use a special character in a name? Well, I guess I should define what I mean by special first. Special characters are any non-alphanumeric character, so &#!~\/ etc, including spaces. It’s really pretty easy. Put []s around the name. Now you can… Read more

4 comments, 1,070 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 19 October 2015

“That little green arrow.” or “My code used to work but now I’m getting a debug error.”

If you’ve worked with SSMS for any length of time this will look awfully familiar:

SSMS 2008R2

SSMS 2012 +

This little green arrow turns on the Transact-SQL Debugger. I have to wonder how this feature is actually used on purpose. I mean I’m sure people do, I’ve just… Read more

3 comments, 113 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 15 October 2015

Keep an eye on those Audit files!

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday (#71) is hosted by Sebastian Meine (b/t). He has picked an interesting security subject. SQL Server Audits. Fortunately this is one I have a bit of experience with. It’s one of my favorite new features if only because it’s so simple to… Read more

0 comments, 120 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 13 October 2015

Finding the error from a failed job.

This is a fairly simple one once you’ve seen it, but then so are lots of things :). Let’s say you have a failed SQL Server job.

Here is our job that will fail:


Then we run it and it fails!

And when we click on the error… Read more

3 comments, 1,633 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 7 October 2015

The powerpoint for my SQL Server Security Basics session

Well I’ve done it. I’ve spoken at an event. I’ll discuss how I felt about it and what I learned along the way a bit later. But in the mean time I promised I would make the PowerPoint for my SQL Server Security Basics session available on my blog and… Read more

2 comments, 154 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 5 October 2015

Updating a view

I was recently asked how to update views. Specifically the question was about using triggers to update a view.

So updating a simple view is easy enough. Per BOL:

Updatable Views
  • You can modify the data of an underlying base table through a view, as long as the following…

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2 comments, 2,123 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 30 September 2015

SSMS Connection Information

If you work with a number of different instances and have lots of connections open in Management Studio (SSMS) it can be kind of hard to remember which connection is which. Fortunately all of the information you need is readily available.

Connections in the Object Explorer

Notice that for each… Read more

0 comments, 1,582 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 28 September 2015

“sql_handle” is not a recognized table hints option.

I’ve you’ve run a query similar to the following:

FROM sys.dm_exec_requests
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(sql_handle);

And gotten an error similar to:

Msg 321, Level 15, State 1, Line 9
“sql_handle” is not a recognized table hints option. If it is intended as a parameter to a table-valued function or…
Read more

0 comments, 177 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 23 September 2015

Zombie AD Groups

I spent something like 2 hours today trying to figure out how a particular user had access to one of my databases. It’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen while playing with SQL Server security. Here’s how it plays out:

You have a windows group called [Kenneth-Laptop\Dwarf] with… Read more

4 comments, 188 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 21 September 2015

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