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Announcing the Baton Rouge Power BI User Group

Baton Rouge is home to one of the inaugural Power BI User Groups, starting up soon! I'll be serving as its initial organizer, but I've already received a lot of feedback from the community and hope to form a new leadership team for the group soon.

Power BI is…

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0 comments, 85 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 5 November 2015

Congratulations New 2015-2016 BRSSUG Officers!

We elected new officers tonight for the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group Official PASS Chapter, the second year in a row we've made an effort to do so.

We departed from a singleheaded user group mostly on the shoulders of a single volunteer. Prior to 2014, making things…

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0 comments, 107 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 14 October 2015

Presentation Downloads from SQL Saturday Columbus GA 2015

Thanks for joining us at SQL Saturday Columbus today on a gorgeous day to go inside and learn about SQL Server! And even bigger congrats to those of you who use Google maps and were still able to find the brand new event location at the Troy State University Riverfront…

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0 comments, 151 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 October 2015

Why I Don't Use the Architect Title

I get nervous when I see the title "architect" in IT job roles.

I've had this title before as an employer's standard, but lobbied against it. I instead prefer separating job titles from project roles.


"Architect" as an IT role descriptor carries an appropriate level of technical expertise and…

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2 comments, 134 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 28 September 2015

I Was Once a Very Crappy Carpenter + SQL Bolts to Buzzwords

Tonight I spoke to Dr. Alkadi's CMPS 411 class, which was hijacked by the Hammond .NET User Group onsite at Southeastern University! Thanks once again to Sparkhound who sponsored!

Here's the slide deck for my presentation, which combined two topics I wanted to talk about. The first, I Was Once…

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0 comments, 184 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 24 September 2015

Houston TechFest Presentation Downloads

Thanks for joining me at Houston TechFest 2015 at the NRG Center in Houston, TX! Big congrats to Michael and his crew of dedicated volunteers who once again put forward a first-rate free Saturday training event. I hope everyone enjoyed my presentations, our Sparkhound lunch session, our collar toss game…

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0 comments, 156 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 13 September 2015

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2015 Recap

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2015 was our 7th annual event, but we're still learning lessons. Here's my official Planning Committee Chair's recap of the event.

Here's one of the big new things we did this year:
  • We have a large, four-building facility for our event with multiple entry points. We…

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0 comments, 187 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 28 August 2015

Actual Emails: Allow NUNS to Lead You to Good Clustered Index Design

Wrote this email exchange with a colleague who wanted to confirm that the client-proposed design for a table was... less than optimal.

Subject: clustered index
From: A. Developer

Hey William,
I believe the client created this Clustered Index... <horrifying screenshot of a clustered index with many large nvarchar columns as…

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0 comments, 191 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 23 August 2015

Your Devs' Questions Answered With sys.dm_server_services

It starts with "I'm a developer...

"... with no RDP access, how can I tell if the SQL Server Agent service is running?"
"... and I don't think CDC is working. Is the SQL Agent on?"
"... how can I tell how long has the SQL Server been running? Did…

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1 comments, 218 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 20 August 2015

See you at SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2015!

SQL Saturday is a global event to bring Information Technology speakers and professionals together for a community-driven, community-attended free day of technical training. The Baton Rouge SQL Saturday 2015 event is produced by the Baton Rouge User Groups, and will be our sixth annual event on campus at LSU. We…

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0 comments, 200 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 19 July 2015

SQL Server Permissions and Security Principals at Houston SQL Saturday 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on SQL Server Permissions and Security Principals this morning at Houston SQL Saturday 2015!

What an awesome event! Please join me in sending a note of thanks and congratulations to Nancy Hidy-Wilson and the rest of the Houston Area SQL Saturday User Group

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0 comments, 192 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 13 June 2015

Error Upon First Processing Your SSAS Database With A Service Account

This blog post is to document the easy fix to a problem that has become a rite of passage for the good folks (including myself) on the data warehouse development team I've been working with recently.

Here's the error text you've probably received the first time you try to process…

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0 comments, 292 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 11 June 2015

Behavior of ORDER BY + UNION Can Be Confusing

This is an interesting example and it exposes a quirk with the concept of a UNION, which is, that the various subsets of a UNION cannot be guaranteed to be sorted by their subset character.

The difference is important to understand - it is the difference between a result set…

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1 comments, 2,358 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 8 June 2015

See You Next Weekend at SQL Saturday Houston!

Looking forward to speaking next weekend at SQL Saturday Houston 2015 on June 13!

If you haven't already registered for this great event, here's the link:

This event will be held at San Jacinto College in Houston, and admittance to this event is free but there is a…

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0 comments, 235 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 5 June 2015

Fresh New Horror: PK on a Float Data Type

Here's a new thing to be scared about in the night, as if you weren't already terrified of floats after my previous two posts about the ills of the approximate-number data types.

Creating a primary key on a float data type can lead to what appear to be duplicate primary…

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0 comments, 195 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 11 May 2015

SSRS Utility Reports: Subscription Inventory, Failed Subscriptions

When delivering a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) solution with lots of subscriptions, it's helpful to also include some utility reports about those subscriptions.

Here are a pair of queries you can use against the ReportServer database (in this case, SQL Server 2014) to generate some quick internal reports for…

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0 comments, 407 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 5 May 2015

Live Microsoft Event - Power BI Dashboard in a Day - Baton Rouge

Join BRSSUG Founder and Microsoft TSP Patrick Leblanc to learn how to use Microsoft’s self-service Business Intelligence platform, Power BI. In the first part of the session, the instructor will lead you through a Microsoft dataset and demo teaching you the basic elements of Power BI.

Each attendee should bring his…

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0 comments, 268 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 9 April 2015

Announcing: SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2015

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2015 is coming up on August 2 at LSU, register today!

Email or instant message your friends, post it on your blog, tweet it on Twitter with hashtag #SQLSatBR - free training is coming soon for those interested in SQL Server, .NET development, SharePoint, Windows…

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0 comments, 215 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 22 March 2015

Quickly Add Telnet

Have you found yourself on a server or workstation that doesn't have telnet (typical in new builds and new Azure VM's from the gallery), and need it to test port connectivity? Did you receive this error when you tried to execute telnet in cmdshell or powershell?

telnet : The term…

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0 comments, 343 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 17 November 2014

Houston TechFest 2014: SQL Admin Best Practices with DMV's

Awesome crowd this morning for my SQL Admin Best Practices with DMV's presentation at Houston TechFest 2014, thanks very much for attending! There were some exceptionally useful questions raised today, great job to my audience.

Here is the .zip file as promised for my presentation slide deck and .sql…

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0 comments, 308 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 13 September 2014

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