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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

Archives: April 2012

Less Energy through Better Design

When I attended SQL Saturday #131 at the Chandler Gilbert Community College, I was struck by a few design elements that I thought were great examples of how a little thought can improve the experience of a space, and use less energy.

The event was outside Phoenix, which is hot.… Read more

0 comments, 1,970 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 April 2012

SQL Saturday #131 Recap

This past weekend I attended a SQL Saturday in the desert. SQL Saturday #131 was held in Phoenix, AZ

It’s April, but it was definitely hot. However the campus at Chandler Gilbert Community College was geared to the desert with lots of shade and open spaces. I was surprised how… Read more

0 comments, 1,891 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 April 2012

You need to run DBCC CheckDB regularly

You never know when you’ll encounter corruption. It can happen at any time, usually due to some sort of hardware problem or driver issue. Corruptions don’t disappear and you can’t necessarily

Corruptions can be caused by numerous factors, and it isn’t something you can predict. However sooner or later,… Read more

0 comments, 3,282 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 April 2012

Cool Data Visualization

I attended a course from Edward Tufte a few years ago on Data Visualization, and while I learned some neat things, I never was able to implement them well. I think part of it is a complete lack of an art gene in my person, but I do keep it… Read more

0 comments, 1,982 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 27 April 2012

The Mentoring Experiment – Cycle 2

It’s been a long time, almost a year since Andy Warren and I kicked off The Mentoring Experiment. We had a successful cycle 1, and are not in the process of looking for mentors for cycle 2. Once we get an idea of how many people are willing to… Read more

0 comments, 912 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 26 April 2012

Creating a Symmetric Key in SQL Server

Symmetric keys in SQL Server are recommended for encrypting data in columns. They are a good balance of security and resource usage, much better than asymmetric keys. Creating a symmetric key is fairly simple, using DDL that’s easy to understand.

One note before I show this is that symmetric keys… Read more

1 comments, 4,068 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 25 April 2012

SQL Backup 7

What more could you add to a SQL Server backup product? It seems that many software products, including Red Gate’s SQL Backup Pro, have been able to handle the things most DBAs care about for some time: compression and encryption. Today my company has released a new version of… Read more

0 comments, 1,228 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 24 April 2012

Turning 40

I turned 40 a few years back, and it wasn’t that big a deal for me. In some ways my wife thinks I’m a little old for my age, and when I hit 40, it wasn’t the milestone it is for some people. I think the night I turned 40… Read more

2 comments, 1,218 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 23 April 2012

SQL Injection Tools

I wouldn’t recommend you use any of the tools in this article for attacking anyone, but they could help you to understand the vulnerabilities in your own application. The tools cover a variety of possible ways that injection attacks can occur and most work against SQL Server.

In this day… Read more

1 comments, 1,220 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 18 April 2012

Creating a User without a Login – Contained Databases

In SQL Server 2012, we have a new feature: partially contained databases. In a previous post, I showed how to enable this, and this post will look at one of the advantages of contained databases: users without logins.

Contained Users

One of the problems in non-contained databases is… Read more

1 comments, 12,311 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 April 2012

Be Extra Careful When Packing

Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten myself down to two small, carry-on bags for most of my trips. It has allowed me to save time in and out of the airport, and cut down on a lot of hassles from frequent trips (I flew on 18 round trips… Read more

0 comments, 1,059 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 April 2012

Hashing Collisions

One of the problems with hashing is that you can have collisions from values that are not very similar. This means that if you are using hashing as a way to identify similar values, you need to make further checks with the original data after the hash matches are gathered.… Read more

4 comments, 3,136 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 11 April 2012

Enabling Contained Databases in SQL Server 2012

One of the new features in SQL Server 2012 is the Partially Contained Database feature. I gave a talk on this recently, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this might go in the future.

This post looks at how you can enable containment in SQL Server 2012. It’s a… Read more

0 comments, 2,687 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 April 2012

SQL Server 2012 Beta Exams

I signed up for a few of the SQL Server 2012 Beta certification exams, and have been going through them over the last few days. The exams I signed up for are:

Read more

0 comments, 1,498 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 5 April 2012

Using 2008 Features in a 2000 Compatibility Database

I saw a note recently from someone asking if they could use CROSS APPLY on a SQL Server 2008 instance with an older database in SQL 2000 compatibility mode. You can.


Once I have a database,… Read more

0 comments, 1,844 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 4 April 2012

Which product was purchased the most? T-SQL

Suppose you had a list of product sales and were curious about which one was sold the most? It’s a simple query, and one that I used to ask people in interviews so I thought it would make a nice easy blog post.

If I look at AdventureWorks2008, I have… Read more

0 comments, 3,643 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 April 2012

SQL Saturday #131 – Phoenix Schedule Posted

I got an email today from the SQL Saturday #131 crew with the schedule posted, showing me listed for two sessions. I’m delivering these items:

These are sessions I’ve done elsewhere and they’ve been popular, so I’m hoping they… Read more

0 comments, 925 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 April 2012