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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

New indexes, hypothetically

I saw something like this the other day. My first thought was “Hu, never seen that before.” My second thought was “Wow, that’s really cool. I wonder what a hypothetical index is?” A quick search later and I discovered that the DTA (database tuning adviser) uses them to test out… Read more

1 comments, 155 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 2 November 2016

The Halloween Problem

DBA: Help me! Help me! It’s Halloween! I have a problem! Oh won’t you please help me!

Ok, so that’s really got nothing to do with the Halloween problem. But it is Halloween today so it seemed like a good time to bring the subject up. Of course if… Read more

7 comments, 1,704 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 31 October 2016

It’s a small world

As I write this we are packing to leave for Disney World, where my family and I will spend close to a week hanging out with hundreds of thousands of the happiest people, not just from the US, but from all over the world. Then while I’m traveling home thousands… Read more

2 comments, 143 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 26 October 2016

Synchronous vs Asynchronous

You’ll hear these terms thrown around in programming all the time, but what do they mean and why do we care? Starting with simple definitions first:


  1. occurring at the same time; coinciding in time; contemporaneous; simultaneous.
  2. going on at the same rate and exactly together; recurring together.
  3. Physics, Electricity.…

Read more

2 comments, 180 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 October 2016

Installing SQLCMD

For anyone who wasn’t aware SQLCMD is a command line tool for running T-SQL statements and scripts. Before anyone says anything I want to point out that yes, I realize that you can use Powershell instead. Of course not all of us know Powershell all that well and most of… Read more

0 comments, 209 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 19 October 2016

Using Snippets

A while ago I talked about Templates. This is an easy way to get a, well, template of a piece of code. But a much faster way to get a simple template is to use a snippet. With a simple key command (ctrl-K, ctrl-X) you can… Read more

0 comments, 147 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 October 2016

Too many indexes!

Indexes are great. They speed up our queries. In fact, without them relational database systems wouldn’t work.

Different indexes work best for different queries. In a system with a lot of queries that means we could need a lot of indexes. Fortunately we can have up to 999 non-clustered indexes… Read more

0 comments, 207 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 13 October 2016

If backups are taken in silence can a recovery still take place?

My friend Andy Mallon (b/t) is hosting T-SQL Tuesday this month. In case you aren’t aware T-SQL Tuesday is a blog party started by Adam Machanic (b/t) almost 7 years ago. Each month someone selects a topic and hosts the “party”. Then… Read more

3 comments, 147 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 11 October 2016

Floor, Round, and Ceiling

I saw an interesting question today about rounding. Specifically they always wanted to round down. Now as it happens that wasn’t really what they needed, but we can get to that later. It did get me thinking and I figured it would make a good post.


This… Read more

2 comments, 232 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 5 October 2016

Becoming a Microsoft MVP

I was awarded the Microsoft MVP (data platform) award on Saturday.

On the four days a year (one per quarter) when the MVPs are announced a number of us (wow I can’t believe I just said us) post the fact on twitter, usually under the hashtag #mvpbuzz. This was… Read more

10 comments, 310 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 3 October 2016

Pinned Tabs

It’s funny how easy it is to find information you aren’t looking for. A few weeks back Stephen Bennett (b) linked to my post Comparing Two Query Plans. Since I always find that interesting I followed the link and wound up at his post 3 Reasons to?… Read more

2 comments, 1,465 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 27 September 2016

Nil to Speaker: Improving your PowerPoint skills

As I work on my speaking skills one of my tasks is improve my PowerPoint presentations. To that end I’ve been collecting a few links with examples and instructions I have been using to improve my skills.

Some awesome PPT slides by Edwin M Sarmiento (b/t).… Read more

1 comments, 338 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 26 September 2016

A quick fix for a full identity column.

A while back I wrote a post on everything I knew about identity columns. In it I mentioned the following:

  • Negative increments can be handy if your identity column has reached the max value of the data type. Reseed to 0 (assuming that is where you started) and set…

Read more

2 comments, 1,612 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 21 September 2016

Using an ORDER BY in a view

For many years it’s been a best practice to never put an ORDER BY in a view. The idea is that a view shouldn’t have an inherent order. Just like any other query. If you want the data from a view ordered then you query the view with an ORDER… Read more

10 comments, 2,955 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 19 September 2016

Emojis in SQL Server

I blame Aaron Bertrand (b/t) and Kevin Kline (b/t). Aaron who posted a great #BackToBasics blog about naming stored procedures and Kevin who tweeted about it.

It’s not my fault. I had to be sarcastic. I had to mention the correct Read more

8 comments, 264 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 15 September 2016

Azure: Creating a BACPAC from an On-Premises SQL Server Database

So to start, what’s a BACPAC?

Per the Azure documentation

When you need to create an archive of an Azure SQL database, you can export the database schema and data to a BACPAC file. A BACPAC file is simply a ZIP file with an extension of BACPAC. A BACPAC file…

Read more

0 comments, 307 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 13 September 2016

SA Spoof

This is nothing new but it’s still a fun idea.

The problem:
  • The vendor app we just purchased (and are told we must keep) requires the sa password.
  • The vendor insists that sa is hard coded into the app and can’t possibly be changed.
  • The sa account is the built…

Read more

10 comments, 227 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 8 September 2016

Accidental DBAs, the Developer Edition

I recently spoke at the OKC SQL Saturday. I had an wonderful time and the organizers, volunteers and other speakers were awesome. There was an amazing amount of learning to be had by all.

My session was called The Accidental DBA, Developer Edition. It is an attempt to start… Read more

0 comments, 178 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 6 September 2016

The new Data Migration Assistant has been released!

Monday Bob Ward (b/t) announced on twitter that the new Data Migration Assistant had been released.

First things first the DMA is a replacement of the Upgrade Adviser. In fact it’s an upgrade of the Upgrade Adviser. It has some amazing new features.

  • You can install…

Read more

3 comments, 280 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 31 August 2016

Natural vs Artificial Primary Keys

There has been a long standing debate over the use of a natural primary key vs an artificial one. I thought I would throw in my two cents.

First of all why is it important? The primary key is used for two major purposes.


The primary key is one… Read more

2 comments, 276 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 29 August 2016

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