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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: May 2012

I’m Going on Tour

I’ve done quite a bit of speaking over the last few years, which has required a lot of travel. I had 15 events that I attended last year, only one of which was in Denver, so I spent quite a few days on a plane.

This year I’ve cut back… Read more

2 comments, 2,265 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 May 2012

The Standing Desk Experiment

I’ve had a few friends using standing desks for sometime. I first heard about Greg Gonzalez (sqlSentry | Blog | @SQLSensei), fellow runner and one of the smartest SQL people using a treadmill desk. I saw it in his office at SQLSentry a few years ago, and was… Read more

6 comments, 1,946 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 May 2012

Detecting Database Option Changes with DDL Triggers

One of the keys to managing a large production SQL Server environment is being aware of changes that are taking place in the environment, and preventing potentially harmful changes. There are any number of ways to do this: triggers, auditing, PMB, third party monitoring, and more.

In this post, I… Read more

0 comments, 4,967 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 May 2012

Exercise in the Margins

This article about exercising when you can is really interesting. It contains a number of hints about exercising and fitting it in, but fitting it into your life, as you live it. I especially like the note about the fact that you will lose time in your life every month… Read more

0 comments, 1,162 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 25 May 2012

Always restore with NORECOVERY

Always, always, ALWAYS restore a SQL Server database with the NORECOVERY option.

It’s trivial to switch the database online.

Not trivial to recover from an accidental restore with RECOVERY (the default)

‘nuff said.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: Backup/Recovery, disaster recovery, sql server, syndicated

Read more

5 comments, 7,029 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 24 May 2012

Lifehacking – Not such a good idea?

I read the confessions of a recovering Lifehacker and thought it was an interesting read. It seems that the author has started to realize that while you can make some differences in the small stuff in your life, it’s just small stuff. It’s also important not to let the organization,… Read more

0 comments, 1,020 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 23 May 2012

The Tally Table and Expanding Rows

Suppose you had some data like this:

Class           Limit
————— ———–
Calculus        5
History         4
Physics         2

But what you really want is this:

Class           Student
————— ———–


Where you have a placeholder for each student. This is a… Read more

0 comments, 1,454 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 22 May 2012

From the Labs of SQL Prompt

I love SQL Prompt as an add-in for SSMS. The intellisense is very handy for me and I’ve gotten used to certain shortcut combinations that make it easy for me to write T-SQL quickly and get information on parameters without opening Books Online. It’s works better than the native intellisense… Read more

4 comments, 2,700 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 21 May 2012

Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta 2012

My fourth visit to the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta will be tomorrow where I’ll deliver two talks:

Branding Yourself for a Dream Job – 9:30am, Rm 1130

Unstructured Data in SQL Server – 3:15, Rm 1402

There’s still time to register if you’re in the Denver area, and you will… Read more

0 comments, 1,112 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 18 May 2012

The Cloud is Nothing New

Cloud computing doesn’t seem to have any great definition. Like the physical structures is is named for, it is amorphous, with no defined boundaries, and often, without a recognizable shape. There are even a whole host of different acronyms (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), which attempt to provide… Read more

4 comments, 1,442 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 May 2012

Create a Filestream Filegroup for Filetables – SQL Server 2012

Once you’ve enabled filestream, the next step is to add a filegroup to your database to hold the filestream data. This is pretty easy to do, and I’ll show you the SSMS and code versions.

If you want to know more about these Filestream containers, you can read BOL Read more

2 comments, 6,746 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 14 May 2012

The Difference Between Change Tracking and Change Data Capture

Change Tracking (CT) and Change Data Capture (CDC) were both added to SQL Server in 2008. At first it seems like these two items ought to be synonyms, but they’re separate features. They are similar, but there are some differences, and you might choose to use them in different situations. Read more

5 comments, 17,434 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 10 May 2012

T-SQL Tuesday #30 – Ethics

This month the topic is hosted by Chris Shaw, and his topic is ethics.

The blog party is the second Tuesday of each month. There is a theme and it is hosted by a different blogger every month. I’ve got a complete list of topics on my blog… Read more

0 comments, 1,056 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 May 2012

Finding the Default Trace File

A post more for me than for anyone else, since I’ll look for something in the default trace and I often need this snippet of code:

select path 
 from sys.traces 
 where is_default = 1

That returns something like this:



C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\log_92.trc

This is… Read more

0 comments, 11,602 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 May 2012

Living a Dream

It was a little over a year ago that I stood on stage at the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta and gave a keynote speech in which I said these words:

“My wife works in the mobility/cellular phone industry right now, but she really wants to train horses for a living. … Read more

10 comments, 1,206 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 4 May 2012


Update: This is confirmed by Snopes.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I… Read more

10 comments, 2,905 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 3 May 2012

Creating a Sequence in SQL Server 2012

Sequences are a new object in SQL Server 2012 that generate just what the name implies: a sequence of numbers.

To create a sequence, you use standard DDL with the CREATE SEQUENCE command. This command takes a type, a starting value, a min, max, and a few other parameters. You… Read more

0 comments, 2,866 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 1 May 2012