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"What You Need To Know About Being a DBA and What You Need To Know That You Don’t Know Yet"

Last night was a big success for the first annual Baton Rouge User Groups Networking Night, an all-user-groups invited event that saw members of the Baton Rouge SQL Server, .NET, Java, IT Pro, SharePoint, Women in IT user groups, plus members of user groups in Hammond, Lafayette and New Orleans…

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0 comments, 220 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 10 July 2014

Baton Rouge SharePoint Saturday 2014: SQL Server Best Practices for SharePoint Databases

Thanks for joining us at the first annual Baton Rouge SharePoint Saturday!

Here is my presentation for the 1:15 presentation in Room 1, "SQL Server Best Practices for SharePoint Databases". Great discussion, great questions!

Click here to download the PowerPoint 2013 presentation.

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0 comments, 227 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 21 June 2014

Baton Rouge SharePoint Saturday

I'm thrilled to be joining many of my colleagues at Baton Rouge SharePoint Saturday this weekend at the Louisiana Technology Park. My friend and Sparkhound coworker Cody Gros, and the Baton Rouge SharePoint User Group, are bringing SharePoint Saturday to Baton Rouge for the first time.

SharePoint administrators,…

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0 comments, 299 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 16 June 2014

Using a Filtered Index to Enforce Filtered Uniqueness

One of the advantages and uses of Filtered Indexes (introduced with SQL Server 2008) is to provide filtered uniqueness. Obviously this has some implications, so please understand what you're trying to accomplish.

In the below example, we have a compound natural key of the two fields key1 and key2.…

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3 comments, 1,611 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 24 April 2014

Real heavyweights: Float vs Decimal, the Thrilla in Precision

This is a followup to a previous post where I likened SQL Server float datatype to Muhammad Ali. Specifically, I wanted to address the phrase "negligible data storage increase" to the test for different numeric data types.

In short, I will dismiss the notion that float provides a realistic advantage in…

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1 comments, 1,963 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 23 April 2014

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, 339 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, 269 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, 391 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, 353 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, 1,231 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:

We will be discussing a review of SQL…

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0 comments, 204 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, 194 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, 1,551 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, 324 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:, 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, 929 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, 283 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, 429 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, 459 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, 1,365 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, 3,886 reads

Posted in SQL Tact on 12 December 2013

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