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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

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

0 comments, 44 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

0 comments, 105 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…

Read more

0 comments, 736 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, 1,282 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, 128 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, 145 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 21 September 2015

Using @@ROWCOUNT can be a bit tricky

@@ROWCOUNT is a very useful system variable that returns the number of rows read/affected by the previous statement. It’s frequently used in loops and in error handling.

TL;DR Store @@ROWCOUNT into a variable immediately after the command you are interested in to persist the value for later use.

So why… Read more

2 comments, 149 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 16 September 2015

What SQL Server components are installed on this machine?

Figuring out what components of SQL Server are installed on a particular machine has always been a task that has aggravated me. Telling what services have been installed is pretty easy, discovering if the backwards compatibility components were installed, for example, is a bit more difficult. Well recently I found… Read more

2 comments, 128 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 14 September 2015

Finding the worst running query in a stored procedure

The other day I was asked to tune a stored procedure. Not exactly an uncommon task, but I worked something out in the process. I typically want to start by determining what the slowest part of the SP is. Normally I use sys.dm_exec_query_stats and run a query something like this: Read more

10 comments, 3,027 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 10 September 2015

Where you should start when managing an enterprise

This T-SQL Tuesday we are hosted by one of the DBA’s of the night: Jen McCown (b/t). She want’s us to talk about Strategies for managing an enterprise. Honestly, had I know she was hosting I probably would have seen this one coming since she and… Read more

0 comments, 1,216 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 8 September 2015

Learning Regular Expressions

I’m a regular watcher of the Midnight DBA Webshow and one day they mentioned regular expressions. Not a new term for me, but not something I’d ever looked at much. Well as it happens I had something that I needed to use it on a day or two later and… Read more

7 comments, 177 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 2 September 2015

The default instance has a name

The default instance actually has an instance name. It’s MSSQLSERVER. This is probably familiar to a lot of you but hold on because I’m going to go a little bit deeper. When we connect to a default instance we typically just put down the server name right? Is that because… Read more

10 comments, 2,039 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 31 August 2015

The 30 minute rule

In one of my first IT jobs (back in the dark ages) we had something called the thirty minute rule. Kind of catchy right? But what did it mean? Simply said, if you have made no progress on a problem for 30 minutes go find some help.

The idea… Read more

3 comments, 167 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 26 August 2015

The tail of the log

The tail of the log

A little while back I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of blog posts ideas that I had so I asked around if anyone wanted one. Surprisingly I only had one taker. Warwick Rudd (b/t), and he wrote this great post… Read more

0 comments, 173 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 August 2015

SSMS’s Clipboard Manager

The other day Richie Rump (b/t) mentioned something called a clipboard manager on twitter. I’ll admit I had to ask what exactly they meant, but once it was described to me I realized it was something I’d wanted off and on for years. Basically it’s… Read more

10 comments, 1,822 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 19 August 2015

Pulling data from the error log

The other day I was asked to pull a list of errors from the SQL Server log into a table for analysis. It seemed like something that others might find useful so I decided to post what I came up with.

First I had to get the number of error… Read more

6 comments, 2,182 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 August 2015

Getting and storing a high precision datetime

Earlier today I was working on a project where I was recording some time stamps. In order to get as much precision as possible I decided to go with a datetime2 datatype. Unfortunately when I recorded the time stamp it didn’t quite work out liked I’d hoped.

DECLARE @StartDate datetime2…

Read more

5 comments, 149 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 13 August 2015

Database Master Keys can have more than one password.

Our subject for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog party (#69) is Encryption, hosted by a guy with an awesome first name: Ken Wilson (b/t).

Encryption isn’t a subject I spend a lot of time on. I’ve studied it enough to know most (I hope) of the… Read more

3 comments, 154 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 11 August 2015

A pattern to match correctly on a value or a NULL

As you may have noticed if you read my blog I learn a lot from trolling various forums. In this particular case I was looking at and came across this great code pattern. Now the answer comes from Andriy M but in the comments they give credit to… Read more

3 comments, 642 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 5 August 2015

SQL Crossword

I decided I’d have some fun today. So for your entertainment here is my first crossword puzzle. (Word and PDF versions at the bottom.)

Download the crossword as a Word file.
Download the crossword as a PDF

Filed under: DBA Humor, Microsoft SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication Tagged: Humor

Read more

0 comments, 131 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 3 August 2015

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