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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

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, 1,428 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, 320 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, 1,583 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, 2,919 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, 234 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, 297 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, 216 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, 165 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, 245 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, 249 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 29 August 2016

Copying an on-premise Database to an Azure SQL Database

Continuing my exploration of Azure the next logical step seemed to be copying an on-premise database up to the cloud. This is also the next in the ideas I got while watching Jes Borland’s (b/t) excellent session on Azure and SQL Server on the Pass Data… Read more

3 comments, 1,351 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 August 2016

Cloud Security

In case you hadn’t noticed I’ve recently started looking at the cloud and what it entails. Well one of those aspects (duh) is security. I’m not sure where I found this (probably someone tweeted it) but one MS has put out a document on the subject (again duh) called Microsoft… Read more

1 comments, 305 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 22 August 2016

RBAR vs Batch

Many years ago Jeff Moden (of SQL Server Central fame) came up with the concept of RBAR. Row-By-Agonizing-Row. At it’s most basic it means you are inserting one row at a time. A more broad interpretation says it’s any type of loop even the type caused by a recursive CTE. Read more

7 comments, 2,192 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 August 2016

Temper, Temper

Possibly the single most influential event in my career happened over 25 years ago. I lost my temper at a client.

The client had requested a meeting. They had a new, complex, system they wanted implemented in the software we managed for them. The client was very very excited. I… Read more

7 comments, 797 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 15 August 2016

Write-Only permissions

Yep, that’s right, you heard me. Write-Only not Read-Only. I was presenting SQL Server Security Basics at NTSSUG the other night and there was an interesting discussion on the idea of granting someone write permissions without corresponding read permissions.

So for example:

-- Setup code

Read more

3 comments, 346 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 11 August 2016

Azure: What’s the difference between SQL Database and SQL Server?

If you want to blog T-SQL Tuesday is a great way to get started. On the first Tuesday of each month (or possibly a bit earlier as in this case) someone presents a blogging idea. Everyone who wants to participate then comes up with something on that subject and posts… Read more

3 comments, 214 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 9 August 2016

What’s the difference between LEFT and RIGHT OUTER JOINs?

A DBA walked into a bar, saw a couple of tables, and asked “Can I JOIN you?”

There are several different kinds of JOINs. OUTER JOINs are one of the more complex options. With an INNER JOIN only those rows that have a match on both sides of the… Read more

0 comments, 947 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 3 August 2016

Using impersonation to allow a task without granting the required permission.

I use impersonation on a regular basis for a number of different tasks. This one is pretty basic but can make a big difference in how you handle security. Let’s use a very basic task as an example.

A developer wants to be able to truncate a table.

This isn’t… Read more

7 comments, 1,612 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 1 August 2016

When was this database restored?

I frequently need to know where backups went and I restore those backups for operational recovery on a regular basis. Would you believe in 20+ years as a DBA I can count the number of database restores for a disaster on my fingers? (Which is good because taking off your… Read more

3 comments, 262 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 27 July 2016

Blogger Questions: What should I blog about?

Over the last four years I’ve blogged almost 400 times. It’s become a refuge, a resource, a source of pride, and a pleasure. I started out trying to build an on-line resume (just in case) and over time it’s evolved like crazy. I’ve become a huge proponent of blogging and… Read more

2 comments, 171 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 25 July 2016

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