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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, 3,551 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!

January 8 '14: Two…

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0 comments, 151 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, 204 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, 942 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, 210 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, 1,727 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 1 November 2013

SQL Server Configuration Manager (sqlserverManager11.msc) Hidden after Windows 8.1 Upgrade

You may have noticed, like I did, that after upgrading-in-place from Windows 8 Enterprise to Windows 8.1 Enterprise, my local installation of SQL 2012 SP1 no longer listed SQL Server Configuration Manager under the "SQL Server 2012" list in the Start applications screen.

A picture is worth a thousand words,…

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3 comments, 647 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 22 October 2013

"SQL Server: Bolts to Buzzwords" presentation for the Hammond .NET User Group at Southeastern Louisiana University

One of my favorite groups to speak for (aside from the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group) is the Hammond .NET User Group at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. A mostly undergraduate crowd of enthusiastic future developers (and perhaps some developers-turned-DBAs, like myself) make for a fun audience that…

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0 comments, 141 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 17 October 2013

Houston Tech Fest 2013 - SQL Admin Best Practices with DMV's

Here is the downloadable file with all my sample scripts and slidedeck from my SQL Admin Best Practices with DMV's presentation from the 2000+ person Houston Tech Fest 2013 at the Reliant Center in Houston!

Thanks for attending! If you attended my talk, shoot me some feedback here:

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0 comments, 195 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 28 September 2013

Replicated Stored Procedure Execution

One feature that many of my clients are unaware of is that the batched execution of a stored procedure can be replicated under certain circumstances. This can result in significant improvement in performance for stored procedures on replicated databases.

This MSDN article does a good job of breaking down the…

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0 comments, 584 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 4 September 2013

Actual Emails: TL;DR: Stop using varchar(max)

Wrote this email recently to a crew of developers who were shooting themselves in the foot with a database rich in varchar(max) data types.

Hey folks-
TL;DR: Stop using varchar(max). We’re not storing books.
We need to review and avoid the varchar(max) data type in our tables. Here’s…

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4 comments, 2,576 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 September 2013

Pointers For SQL Saturday Attendance

I recently got an email from another SQL Saturday organizer asking for "pointers for getting more attendees" to their upcoming event. Having just topped 750 preregistered and 560 in the door for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2013, I was honored to be asked and to reply:
Good luck on your…

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0 comments, 204 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 20 August 2013

Cannot find NT Service\MSSQL$SQL2012?

If you cannot find the virtual account used by the default settings installation of your SQL 2012 instance (in this case running on Windows 7), try searching for:
nt service\mssql

You must have the "Built-in security principals" object type selected, and you must be searching on your local machine name…

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0 comments, 294 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 16 August 2013

Distribution setup SQL Server Agent error: "RegCreateKeyEx() returned error 5, 'Access is denied.'"

In the Configure Distribution Wizard, the step "Configuring SQL Server Agent to start automatically" errors with the following text:
TITLE: Configure Distribution Wizard
An error occurred configuring SQL Server Agent.
RegCreateKeyEx() returned error 5, 'Access is denied.' (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 22002)

This is a very…

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0 comments, 469 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 15 August 2013

Baton Rouge Startup Weekend

I'm spreading the word out about an event this weekend called Startup Weekend. It's an event for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to come together and work on the ideas they have. Startup weekend is a lot crazy ideas, a little bit hackathon, and a little bit business venture incubation…

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0 comments, 141 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 13 August 2013

Recap from SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2013

As the head of the planning committee for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge this year, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming several hundred colleagues from around the world to Baton Rouge on August 3 for a day of free training, networking, professional development and fun.

The day-ending raffle in the…

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0 comments, 225 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 4 August 2013

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge 2013

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 2013 event is sponsored by the Baton Rouge SQL Server and .net User Groups, and will be our fifth annual event on…

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0 comments, 208 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 11 June 2013

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge Call for Speakers closes June 6!

SQL Saturday Baton Rouge Call for Speakers is open through June 6 (closes June 7 at midnight).

This year's pre-conference banquet at Boudreaux and Thibodeaux's in energetic downtown Baton Rouge is going to be one to remember - our banquet is privately catered at 6pm and the house opens to…

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0 comments, 209 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 4 June 2013

Use the Default System Trace to Find Autogrowth Events

The SQL Server Management Studio built-in standard report for "Disk Usage" is very handy to view the performance-sucking autogrowth events for a database... until you want to see if autogrowth events have been occurring in any database on the server.

Autogrowth events are very problematic and can cause sudden, unpredictable…

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0 comments, 381 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 May 2013

Hunt Down Tables Without Clustered Indexes

This one's a gimme, but an underrated utility script when I enter a new environment and look for low-hanging fruit for easy improvements.

You'd be surprised how many vendors ship applications without a single index, much less properly aligned clustered indexes.

Heaps are bad.  You can't defragment a heap by…

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8 comments, 1,621 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 3 May 2013

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