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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, 251 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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5 comments, 248 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, 1,178 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, 3,577 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, 156 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, 208 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, 945 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, 215 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, 1,747 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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4 comments, 682 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: http://speakerrate.com/william.assaf

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0 comments, 199 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, 606 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, 2,582 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, 208 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, 302 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.
------------------------------
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
RegCreateKeyEx() returned error 5, 'Access is denied.' (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 22002)


This is a very…

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0 comments, 486 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, 146 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, 233 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, 214 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 11 June 2013

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