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South Alabama Day of .NET Presentations Downloads

I have been running into longtime SQL Saturday friend Ryan Duclos at SQL Saturday events in Baton Rouge and Pensacola since the beginning SQL Saturday days, so when he headed up a Day of .NET in Mobile, AL at the University of South Alabama, I was happy to join the…

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0 comments, 89 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 29 March 2014

South Alabama Day of .NET 2014

About 200 miles east of Baton Rouge there lies a beachside town called Mobile, AL that will settle down long enough from spring break to host the first South Alabama Day of .NET at the University of South Alabama. The wife and I are looking forward to presenting at the…

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0 comments, 72 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 27 March 2014

Data Architecture Virtual Group - Whiteboard Data Architecture Presentation

Thanks to all 130+ folks who joined, suffered my jokes and handwriting, and asked fantastic questions during my presentation to the SQL PASS Data Architecture Virtual Group meeting.

We covered three large project templates, including an end-to-end application and Data Warehouse, a SharePoint-list driven Data Warehouse, and an "Access Jailbreak"…

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0 comments, 121 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 27 February 2014

Acadiana SQL Server User Group - Introduction to SQL Server Security Principals and Permissions

Great crowd last night and a great job by organizers Glenda Gable and Jill Joubert for the very first meeting of the Acadiana SQL Server User Group! I'm looking forward to seeing another solid SQL Server networking community in place and growing, just an hour west of us in Baton…

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0 comments, 86 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 26 February 2014

Challenges with Downgrading TFS 2010 from SQL Enterprise to SQL Standard Edition

I recently had the challenge of migrating an installation of Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 from a shared SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise instance to its own SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard instance on a new server.

Because of some Enterprise edition-specific feature usage, this turned out to have two…

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2 comments, 730 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 24 February 2014

February '14 Acadiana SQL Server User Group

I am honored to be the very first presenter of the new PASS chapter in Lafayette, Louisiana this Tuesday, presenting on SQL Server Permissions and Security Principals at the Acadiana SQL Server User Group.

More information here at their awesome-looking website: http://acadianasql.org/index.php/events/8-our-first-meeting

We will be discussing a review of SQL…

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0 comments, 93 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 23 February 2014

February '14 Data Architecture Virtual Chapter Meeting


I will be speaking and whiteboarding for Data Architecture Virtual Chapter meeting on February 27, 2014 on the fitting topic of Application Data Architecture!

This is an informative and thought-provoking Architecture presenting that I have presented multiple times and enjoy sharing. We will cover three large architectures - not specifically…

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0 comments, 78 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 23 February 2014

Actual Emails: More Grief for GUIDs

Wrote this email exchange with some developer colleagues about to embark on performance tuning.
Subject: bag o' tricks from DMV talk
From: A. Developer
Hey William,
We are about to spend around 4 weeks performance tuning an application we built. Much of the performance tuning is going to be…

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7 comments, 1,253 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 5 February 2014

It May Be Necessary Re-enable Service Broker After Baremetal Restore

After the restore of a database, or perhaps a bare-metal restore of a Windows server running SQL Server, unique IDs in the Service Broker settings may have changed, causing the broker to fail when starting. So, you will need to reactivate Service Broker.

You may first notice this because Database…

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0 comments, 122 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 30 January 2014

Start/Stop Group of Azure VM's

If you've already configured your local machine's PowerShell environment to interact with your Azure subscription (see here: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/install-configure-powershell/), then you can begin saving yourself an awful lot of button-clicking by scripting out the start/stop of your VMs, especially if you have a cluster of Azure VMs for testing and…

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4 comments, 472 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 27 January 2014

Easy Backup History Review Script

I often use these scripts to check on the backups of all databases in an unfamiliar SQL Server instance, regardless of the platform that is taking the backups (SQL maintenance plans, T-SQL scripts in an agent job, and third-party software).

The query sorts databases by the backup type and then…

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0 comments, 136 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 22 January 2014

Not Dead Yet - Text and NText in SQL 2014

I was recently approached by a client who was running SQL Server 2008 with some databases in SQL 2000 compatibility level. He asked what would happen if his databases were backed up and restored to SQL Server 2014. What's the compatibility level? Is the text data type still supported? Would…

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0 comments, 158 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 15 January 2014

Don't Hitch Your Wagon To MS Access

I know this might seem like an odd topic on a SQL Server blog, but it's a common and critical enough problem that I want to address it. (The audience of this blog post is for business managersdepartmental decision makers, and yes, even human resources professionals.)

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3 comments, 137 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 7 January 2014

Case-Sensitive Updates in a Case-Insensitive World

Assuming you're in a case-insensitive ("CI" in the collation name) column, this UPDATE statement:

UPDATE tablefoo
set foo = 'Z'
where foo = 'z'

will just update all values where foo = 'z' or 'Z'. SQL Server is not by default case-sensitive, be it at the server, database, or column…

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2 comments, 1,056 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 16 December 2013

It's Dangerous to ISNUMERIC, Take This Try_Convert

There's an issue with some characters in T-SQL when validating numeric values out of raw varchar fields, and it can be easily solved with a function new to SQL Server 2012.

Consider this sample setup, where we are stuck importing values from a varchar data source into an integer data…

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4 comments, 3,375 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 12 December 2013

Upcoming Special Events for the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Groups

I'm happy to announce a big slate of upcoming events for Baton Rouge User Groups and especially the SQL Server User Group in the next three months:

December 11: Holiday Party at On the Border - free for user group attendees, door prizes from sponsors! http://www.brssug.org/group-news/december13batonrougeusergroupsholidayparty


January 8 '14: Two…

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0 comments, 91 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 December 2013

Speaker Idol Competition at the Hammond .NET User Group

Here's the link to download the sample scripts and meme-tastic slidedeck from my presentation "SQL Server Indexes in Your Ill-Begotten Databases".

Thanks for everyone who attended, presented, judged and laughed!

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0 comments, 163 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 20 November 2013

Potential Backup Software Issues with Read-Only Databases in FULL Recovery

If you decide to park a database in read-only mode for a long period of time, go ahead and alter it into SIMPLE recovery mode too.

The message returned by SQL when you try to take a transaction log backup is:
 "BACKUP LOG cannot modify the database because the…

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0 comments, 892 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 5 November 2013

SQL Saturday #255 Dallas 2013 - SQL Server Permissions and Security Principals

500+ IT pros at UT-Arlington this weekend for SQL Saturday #255 Dallas!

Notes from today:

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0 comments, 175 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 November 2013

PowerShell: Delete Unneeded Rows/Columns In Excel

I had a project to automate the import of a large number of excel files via SSIS into SQL 2012. Many of the files had different headers, but they all had a column header row that preceded the data.

On some of the files, the header row started on row 2, 3,…

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0 comments, 1,576 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 1 November 2013

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