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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at

Quick Audio Switching

I’ve got a semi complicated desktop setup, with multiple monitors, lots of USB stuff, and a few ways to record and listen to sound. I hadn’t thought of things as complex, especially with regards to audio, but between recording podcasts, having regular video conferences, and the speakers I added to… Read more

0 comments, 103 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 December 2014

SQL Konferenz

I’ve spoken at lots of events, but all in the US and the UK. Next year I get my first talk outside of those locations, going to the SQL Server Konferenz near Frankfurt, Germany.

The agenda is up, and I’ll be talking testing and tSQLt there, and it’s cool to… Read more

0 comments, 136 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 17 December 2014

Load Balanced IIS Machines

I noticed a contest this week while working on the Database Weekly newsletter. It’s the Cloud Hero contest, with the chance to win a Surface Pro 3. I could always use another device, or at least a device I could give away, so I decided to enter.

There are… Read more

2 comments, 118 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 December 2014

RegEx Those Dates

Recently I was working on transforming some dates, and wanted to generate a large n number of dates for testing. I decided to use SQL Data Generator, and a little RegEx to meet my needs.

The format I needed was CYYMMDD, which is the century as a 0 or 1… Read more

0 comments, 430 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 December 2014

T-SQL Tricks – Trigger Your Memory

I was scanning Twitter the other day and saw a note from someone that they had written a query using an obscure T-SQL command and were glad it had worked. I exchanged a note with the person and they mentioned that they had to look up the command and syntax… Read more

1 comments, 5,198 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 11 December 2014

Converting Dates

I ran across a post recently where someone had dates stored as characters (never good), but also in this format: CYYMMDD. I’d never seen that, and thought it was strange. The person was asking for a way to convert this to YYYY-MM-DD, which I think it fairly easy.

Let’s set… Read more

0 comments, 181 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 10 December 2014

T-SQL Tuesday #61 – Giving Back

It’s that time of month again, the time when we have a day where everyone writes on the same topic.

This month Wayne Sheffield is the host and has chosen Giving Back as his theme. It’s a good one with the holidays and it’s one that really inspired SQLServerCentral. We… Read more

0 comments, 144 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 December 2014

SQL Server Disk Space Emergencies

One of the things I’ll see happen often with SQL Server instances is that the system will run out of space on a drive. This could be for a variety of reasons, some of which can be prevented, and some cannot. You might have:

  • Don’t delete old backup files
  • Data…

Read more

0 comments, 5,533 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 December 2014

SQL in the City 2014 – Washington DC

I’m off today, traveling to SQL in the City 2014 – Washington DC to meet Grant and deliver another database delivery seminar. We’ll be talking about Version Control, testing, continuous integration, and database delivery, and showing off some of the Red Gate tools that can make the process easier.

I… Read more

0 comments, 149 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 4 December 2014

SQL Injection Issues–Password Hashing

I’ve got a demo for one of my talks that really highlights some issues we have with SQL Injection. It’s part of my encryption talk, and it goes like this.

NOTE: I am showing a simple example here, not one that I would deploy into production. The concepts are similar,… Read more

0 comments, 255 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 4 December 2014

T-SQL Tricks – Customizing SSMS Templates with Parameters

I wrote briefly about templates in Management Studio (SSMS), and showed the default templates that come with SQL Server. I now want to customize some of the templates in a way that makes sense for me.

If I grab a script I use often, like this one, I can make… Read more

5 comments, 5,145 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 3 December 2014

Creating Placeholder Files

I recently wrote about placeholders for disk space. While you can use any file, like large images, video, etc., I’ve found a really simple, easy way to build these files on Windows.


There’s a sysinternals utility called Contig. You can download it from Microsoft and then unzip it… Read more

0 comments, 165 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 1 December 2014

Placeholders for Emergencies

A long time ago I worked in a large corporation where we managed lots of servers, each of which performed a variety of different functions. Some were Exchange, some SQL, some file servers, etc. and they would come and go at a frightening pace.

We had monitoring in place, but… Read more

6 comments, 5,635 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 24 November 2014

Encryption in Colorado Springs – Encrypting in the Application?

Last night was my annual presentation at the Colorado Springs SQL Server User Group. I try to make sure I get down there at least once a year, and it’s been only once a year for the last few years. Far too busy, and I’m sorry for that, but I… Read more

0 comments, 211 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 20 November 2014

Practical Problems with CI

I agree. Continuous Integration has issues in the real world, at least it probably does in many companies. The more tests you have, the more likely you refactoring or changes will break something. The more things break, the more people will look to leave them alone, deferring the "fix"… Read more

2 comments, 179 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 20 November 2014

SQL Konference 2015

My first speaking date of the new year is scheduled. I’ll be at the SQL Server Konference 2015, near Frankfurt, Germany. Red Gate arranged things, and I’m looking forward to heading over and renting a car to drive in Germany.

And speaking, of course.

I don’t know the agenda… Read more

0 comments, 162 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 November 2014

T-SQL Tricks – Custom Templates

I wrote about the Template Explorer, which comes with the SQL Server tools and is visible in Management Studio (SSMS). It’s handy, but there are limited code items in there. What if I want more?

That’s easy. Suppose I decide that I often need to create procedures with the EXECUTE… Read more

3 comments, 7,096 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 November 2014

Use -eq in Powershell

I was writing a quick script to work with files and I only wanted to process one file for each execution of a loop. I could have done this multiple ways, but I threw this together:

$fileEntries = [IO.Directory]::GetFiles(“d:\placeholder”);
$delete = 1;
foreach($fileName in $fileEntries)
if ($delete = 1)
Read more

0 comments, 5,239 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 17 November 2014

T-SQL Tricks – Templates in SSMS

There are lots of little tricks that you can use to become more proficient, and efficient, at writing T-SQL. Here’s a short one that might be more for administrators, but I think for developers it’s very handy as well.

SQL Server tools have included templates for years. I first started… Read more

0 comments, 268 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 November 2014

T-SQL Tuesday #60 – Something New Learned

It’s been five years, and that’s amazing. Not many things last for a year, much less five, but the T-SQL Tuesday party, started by Adam Machanic (B|T)., has been amazing and lots of fun for me.

This month, Chris Yates hosts and his theme is Something… Read more

1 comments, 207 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 11 November 2014

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