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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

Putting sp_ at the beginning of your stored procedure.

Every now and again you see articles and posts about putting sp_ at the beginning of a stored procedure. So what does that do and why should we care? The primary effect is that if you put a stored procedure starting with sp_ in master you can call it directly… Read more

1 comments, 297 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 November 2014

You don’t really need ORDER BY do you?

You see dozens of blog posts and articles about how the order of a result set is not guaranteed without an ORDER BY clause and here is my contribution to the subject.

You all know I love examples so without further ado here we go:

Using data from AdventureWorks2014


Read more

6 comments, 8,508 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 19 November 2014

Using T-SQL to populate a Central Management Server

We have been using a CMS (Central Management Server) at my office for the last few years. Even beyond the uses for managing multiple servers (PBM etc) we use it primarily as a shared list of registered servers. Given that our current list is a bit over 150 instances we… Read more

2 comments, 5,826 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 November 2014

Adding a column to the primary key.

Every now and again you realize that the primary key for a table does not uniquely describe a row. Not really a big deal right? Just add an additional column in order to make it unique and move on. Easy enough if the column already exists and does not allow… Read more

6 comments, 467 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 13 November 2014

TSQL Tuesday #60: Something New Learned – What permissions does have?

What have I learned recently? Well as it happens I learned something rather interesting recently and was actually trying to figure out how/when to post it. This month’s T-SQL Tuesday host Chris Yates (b/t) wants to know something we have learned recently so that seems like… Read more

5 comments, 821 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 11 November 2014

How to remove additional (unwanted) log files

Using multiple data files is a common best practice for a number of reasons, but multiple log files? Typically a database has only one log file, and in fact I know of only one good reason to add an additional one. Every now and again though someone makes a mistake… Read more

0 comments, 186 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 5 November 2014

My DTS Package won’t load with the error “here were errors loading package”

You are trying to open a DTS package (yes some people still use DTS packages) and receive the following error:

Error opening a DTS package 
TITLE: Open DTS 2000 Package 
here were errors loading package "MyDTSPackageName": 
[DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen (Invalid Instance()).]Invalid connection. (Microsoft.SqlServer.DtsObjectExplorerUI)

First let me point out that the “here… Read more

0 comments, 159 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 3 November 2014

Playing with the log – Before the first full backup

The log file tends to fascinate me. In fact one of my favorite posts is where I looked into the effect of VLF size on shrinking the log. So the other day I was asking about VLFs and got sent to this great video of a recorded session from… Read more

1 comments, 588 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 29 October 2014

A script to list the DTS connection information for every package on the instance.

For those of you who have moved completely to SQL 2012 & 2014, Lucky you and don’t judge! For the rest of us who are still dealing with DTS packages I’m going to do a couple of posts on the subject. To start with here’s a script for collecting all… Read more

0 comments, 159 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 27 October 2014

Force only certain values to be unique

I thought of something rather interesting the other day while answering a question asking for help with some table structures.

In a similar situation to the questioner let’s say we have a Baseball team. There are teams and players. A player can be some combination of coach, assistant coach… Read more

1 comments, 5,644 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 22 October 2014

Update to “The clustered index columns are in all of the non clustered indexes.”

I certainly hadn’t planned on creating a part two of my post on clustered index columns but in the comments Jeremy Hughes pointed out that my understanding was if not incorrect, incomplete. So I did some additional testing, confirmed a few things with Paul Randal (b/t)… Read more

4 comments, 5,527 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 20 October 2014


You might be wondering why I’m going into such a simple subject. Well the way I see it there are four options here.

  • You already know the difference, it seems really obvious and you are probably wondering why I’m mentioning it.
  • You think you know the difference but it turns…

Read more

6 comments, 468 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 16 October 2014

TSQL Tuesday #59: My Hero, My Inspiration, My Wife

TSQL Tuesday is a blog party started by Adam Machanic (b/t) almost 5 years ago. This month Tracey McKibben (b/t) is hosting and wants us to talk about Heroes.

I have to admit this isn’t something I think about much. I have… Read more

0 comments, 448 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 14 October 2014

Required reading before upgrading SQL Server.

I was watching a great presentation by Brent Ozar(b/t) on why to move to SQL 2014 and in the Q & A someone asked about jumping from SQL 2005 up to 2014. This immediately got me to thinking about the Breaking Changes pages that Microsoft puts… Read more

3 comments, 760 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 8 October 2014

You can’t use aggregate/windowing functions with CROSS APPLY

One of my favorite features of CROSS APPLY is the ability to use it instead of a calculated variable. Well recently I was working on performance tuning a rather annoying query (which I will blog about in more detail later) and one of the steps I took was an… Read more

7 comments, 6,419 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 6 October 2014

Intro to Auditing in SQL Server on SQL Shack

I had an article published yesterday on

Intro to Auditing in SQL Server.

It’s worth reading if I do say so myself. In it I go through several different methods for generating data that might be required by an auditor. I range from adding auditing columns to each… Read more

0 comments, 361 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 1 October 2014

Database default locations

One of the options you had when installing your instance was setting some default file locations.

  • Defaut data file location
  • Default log file location
  • Default backup file location

If you are new to installing SQL Server (and even if you aren’t) you might very well have skipped past these… Read more

4 comments, 6,519 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 29 September 2014

What I know about batch files

For a SQL Server guy it sometimes amazes me how often I’m in and out of batch files and how truly useful they can be. To that end here is all that I can remember about batch files (basically a text file that ends with .bat). Everyone seemed to like… Read more

10 comments, 167 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 September 2014

Changing configuration settings with sp_configure

I was recently asked where to go in Configuration Manager to change the settings for xp_cmdshell. It was then that I realized that the existence of sp_configure is probably not universal knowledge. I was truly shocked. For some reason I had thought that DBA’s were born with this knowledge. As… Read more

3 comments, 5,955 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 22 September 2014

Triggers are not toys!

For the love of all that’s SQL, triggers are not toys! I’m not even talking about logon triggers or DDL triggers. I’m talking about plain old ordinary DML triggers.

Triggers are very useful tools but can easily cause all sorts of headaches. In fact I would generally advise… Read more

8 comments, 549 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 September 2014

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