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Apologies and Testing

First, apologies to the Database Daily readers. I'll include one in next week's issue as well, but the links didn't work and it's my fault.

The reason it happened is quite simple. I made a change and didn't test it. But the back story is a touch more complicated and involves the real reasons why all of us humans cause technology to fail. It started with an upgrade for the Lyris mail server that we use. I downloaded the software on Monday, but didn't get around to the colocation center for a console upgrade until Friday. So I start it Friday and it's running, showing me the steps on the CMD prompt window and it gets to working on reindexing a table. So I leave for lunch because I'm hungry and the room is cold.

I come back to find that the upgrade has failed because the DB ran out of space. Huh? Space? So I check and my 16GB database file is set to stop growing at 16GB to prevent server issues. So I increase the space allowed to 20GB, remove a backup and start again. I think the db was at 12GB when I started, so I'm thinking 20 is fine. It's running and running and fails again. Same issue.

It's getting late and I'm in the middle of things here, but I have to get my son from school, so I leave it. Sat morning I log on and look at the db. I have two large tables, one with 44million rows and one slightly smaller at 26million. These two tables are GBs in size and contain lots of historical information. I'm not sure why the data hasn't been trimmed by the server, but I setup a couple loops to start cleaning data and go about my day.

Sun morning I get up early, tell my wife I need to work and drive to the colo. My backup size has shrunk from 11GB on Fri to 5GB and I figure I'm ok. I start the upgrade, get to the reindex and go get some breakfast. Sure enough, that was enough space, so I 'm upgraded and things are working. I generate the DD newsletter, load it and go to rake leaves and watch football. Now I sent myself a test, but I usually only test ads and the editorial, not the links. and of course ,they didn't work.

But why not? Well, for starters, I was converting the newsletter to be stored in the DB, so the generator went from lots of inline ASP code to building a variable to store in the db. In one place, not the link, but the internal href before the link, I forgot to add triple quotes around the link. I had single ones, so the article href didn't close and the link didn't work.

I didn't test it because the security patches that I applied on Wed, as I was about done with the conversion, blew up Visual Interdev 6.0, which was how I was coding. And I was nervous about moving to VS 2003, so I fixed a few bugs in notepad, not realizing the links weren't fixed.

They are now and after testing my own site with VS 2003, I'm ready to load the SQLServerCentral.com site and get back to work.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com 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 twitter.com/way0utwest


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