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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

TOP 1 killed my performance; Rob Farley helped me resurrect it.

tl;dr; There is no short version of this. It’s LONG. It’s interesting but you might want to skip it if you are in a hurry. If you have the time however, it’s a great walk through of tuning a query.

I had a great time today. I was handed a… Read more

10 comments, 3,711 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 21 March 2016

What permissions do I need?

Ever wondered how to tell what permissions are required to run a statement or perform a task? Well, sometimes it can be a little confusing to be honest. Most of the time though it’s all there in front of you in black and white.

Where you might ask? Books on… Read more

0 comments, 173 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 16 March 2016

Pulling data from a non-clustered index

This is one of those things that I found very interesting but figured I’d probably never really use. Of course then I needed it recently and it came in quite handy.

A while back Steve Stedman (b/t) started the database corruption challange. In the very… Read more

1 comments, 159 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 14 March 2016

You don’t need to be a sysadmin

Hey, I need sysadmin access to ServerA.

Ok. Why do you need sysadmin?

Well I need to be able to read and write to all of the tables on DatabaseA.

No problem. I’m going to add you to the db_datareader and db_datawriter roles on DatabaseA. Done.
So, why do you… Read more

10 comments, 1,816 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 10 March 2016

Ever wonder what that goofy query in the header means?

It’s T-SQL Tuesday time again (Number 76!) and this month we are hosted by Bob Pusateri (b/t) who has invited us to talk about Text. Text. What an interesting subject. So much of our jobs is all about searching for and manipulating text.

When I… Read more

4 comments, 820 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 8 March 2016

How do I grant someone the ability to create a stored procedure?

The question of How to grant the ability to create/alter stored procedures and views came up today on It’s actually a question I’ve pondered in the past. There are two major methods to do this.

The Scalpel

If you’ve looked at the permissions available in SQL Server you’ll have… Read more

1 comments, 1,787 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 2 March 2016

Blogger questions: How often should I blog?

What with the #sqlnewblogger effort we’ve been seeing a lot of new bloggers (and some old ones starting up again) and there is one thing that seems to come up over and over again.

How often should I blog?

Let’s start with how often I blog. I post twice a… Read more

9 comments, 548 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 29 February 2016

Powershell script to create multiple SQL Server Connections

As with most of these types of things, I had a need. I want to show how using sys.dm_exec_[requests/sessions/connections] is better than sp_who. Particularly when you have a large number of connections. Well in order to do that I need a large number of… Read more

1 comments, 261 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 24 February 2016

You are not logged on as the database owner or system administrator.

I had one of my developers ask me why he keeps seeing the following warning when he tries to modify a table:

Well just like it says he doesn’t have dbo access so he might not be able to save his changes.

Let’s start by creating a user with the… Read more

0 comments, 169 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 22 February 2016

Take caution when altering a column using TSQL

When developing in SQL Server you are eventually going to have to modify a column or two (at least). And if you use T-SQL to make the modifications (and I would recommend it most of the time) there is something you need to watch out for.

First remember that when… Read more

1 comments, 3,490 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 17 February 2016

varchar(1) VS char(1)

The other day I made a somewhat flip coment on twitter. (I know, everyone is shocked right?)

varchar(1) Really? It’s going to be one of those kinds of days.

It started a rather amusing conversation over using varchar(1) vs char(1) and I thought it might be helpful to go over… Read more

3 comments, 1,022 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 15 February 2016

Changing to simple recovery to clear the log.

Clearing out a full transaction log is a common problem. A quick search will find you dozens of forum entries and blog posts. Because of that I’m not going to talk about the correct methods of dealing with a transaction log full error. What I want to discuss is why… Read more

3 comments, 231 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 10 February 2016

Impersonation can give you the wrong answer

I use impersonation all the time to let me see additional permissions information I can only get that way and, sometimes to help me see what permissions error someone is getting.

For those of you who aren’t aware, with the right permissions you can impersonate another principal (server or database)… Read more

1 comments, 207 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 8 February 2016

Blogger questions: What if someone else wrote about the same subject?

I have a moderately popular blog. In part because I syndicate but largely (in my opinion) because I write a lot of posts (twice a week for > 3 years). Over 340 of them in fact. Because of this a friend asked me what I do if I write a… Read more

6 comments, 228 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 3 February 2016

Running code on the startup of SQL Server

Every now and again you need to run code when your instance starts up. For example you might want to check if the SQL Agent is running.

Startup Procedures

The first thing you have to do is make sure that the scan for startup procs configuration is set to 1. Read more

1 comments, 1,103 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 1 February 2016

The CONNECT permission

The CONNECT permission exists at the instance and database levels. Note: as of SQL 2012 it is CONNECT SQL at the instance level, but prior to that it was just CONNECT. It does basically the same thing in both cases. The CONNECT permission allows you to connect to the associated… Read more

4 comments, 1,149 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 27 January 2016

Reusing schedules in SQL Agent

I’m a big fan of automation. You get it written, tested, and scheduled, then you just sit back and monitor for unexpected problems (because if they are expected you fixed them right?). One common place for us SQL people to do our automation is SQL Agent. It’s built into SQL… Read more

1 comments, 1,127 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 25 January 2016

Start SQL Server without tempdb

tl;dr; Re-start the instance in safe mode (-f startup parameter) and move tempdb. Then re-start without the parameter.

While at the 2015 Summit I walked into the last few minutes of Russ Thomas’s (b/t) session on Stress Inoculation: Maintaining Performance Under Pressure. As a side… Read more

1 comments, 266 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 20 January 2016

To the page and back again

To the page

It’s not one of those things you have to do frequently but every now and again you need to know what page a particular row is on. It’s not terribly difficult. There is a virtual column called %%physloc%%, but unfortunately it’s not terribly useful on it’s… Read more

1 comments, 187 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 18 January 2016


I was reading some code the other day and it included the statement RESULT SETS. I’d never seen it before so it seemed worth a quick look. I’ll warn you in advance this is somewhat of a BOL blog post. I’m basically taking what you can find in BOL… Read more

10 comments, 2,135 reads

Posted in SQLStudies on 14 January 2016

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