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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

T-SQL Tuesday #66 – Monitoring SQL Server

This is a T-SQL Tuesday that not only makes me smile, but makes my boss happy. In fact, I’m sure that quite a few people at Redgate Software, my employer, are thrilled with this topic since we have a product that helps you here: SQL Monitor.

T-SQL Tuesday #66… Read more

1 comments, 165 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 May 2015

A Week to SQL Saturday #393 – Redmond

Only my second SQL Saturday of the year (wow), but SQL Saturday #393 is next week in Redmond, WA. This is my first time at a SQL Saturday in Washington, though I’ve been to the area many times. I’m looking forward to the trip up with a couple days in… Read more

0 comments, 235 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 May 2015

PSA: Update Your PASS Profile

I got my annual two emails from the PASS organization with the notification to update my profile to vote. I’m not sure why I get two emails to two different email addresses when I’ve only logged into one profile account in the last six or seven years, but I’m sure… Read more

2 comments, 176 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 May 2015

Reframing to Overcome Filtered Index Limitations

I’m continuing on with the Blogger’s challenge in this post.

Turning the Problem Around

In the last post, I wrote about limitations in filtered indexes. I proposed that my table had lots of data with NULL or blank spaces in the gender column, and I wanted to avoid indexing those… Read more

10 comments, 3,684 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 May 2015

Learn tSQLt and Unit Testing in Philadelphia

SQL Saturday #390 is in Philadelphia on June 6, 2015. This is my second time attending the event, and not only am I speaking on Saturday, but I’ll be delivering information on Friday at a pre-con.

My first SQL Saturday pre-con is taking place in Philly. I’m lucky to be… Read more

2 comments, 5,064 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 6 May 2015

Altering a column to add NOT NULL

I had to do this recently and needed to look up the syntax as I couldn’t remember it. I don’t do this often, but I was working on a particular item and wanted to test this.

I had a table, something like this:

CREATE TABLE SimpleTable ( MyID INT NOT

Read more

2 comments, 447 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 April 2015

The May Blogger Challenge–Continuing On

Last month I participated in Ed Leighton-Dick’s April Challenge. My four posts were tagged the April Challenge, and this month I plan to continue, and hopefully get a few more people to up their blogging.

Building on April

To make the next step in starting to blog regularly,… Read more

0 comments, 173 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 27 April 2015

Windows Phone – What Should Microsoft Do?

I’ve been intrigued by Windows Phone as a platform. I’ve never owned one, and while I considered getting one, the dearth of apps led me to an Android instead. I really tried to get down to a list of core apps that I needed, which was 12 or 15 at… Read more

1 comments, 257 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 17 April 2015

April Blogger Challenge 3 – Filtered Indexes

The April Blogger Challenge is from Ed Leighton-Dick and aimed at new bloggers, but anyone is welcome. I’m trying to motivate and cheer people on.

Why Filtered Indexes

I haven’t used filtered indexes much in my career as they didn’t exist while I was a full time SQL developer and… Read more

3 comments, 4,512 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 April 2015

SQL Prompt – Killing the Detail Box

I love SQL Prompt and use it constantly. When I don’t have it, my code writing process slows to spurts and stutters, and it’s painful.

However one of the defaults for SQL Prompt is to pop up details about objects when I’m typing, as shown below:

I usually want the… Read more

0 comments, 244 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 April 2015

Have you tried DLM Dashboard?

DLM Dashboard is a new product from Redgate Software that’s free. Free as in beer, which should be attractive to many of you. The product is in Beta, but it’s fairly stable and has worked well for me. It’s still maturing, and we’re certainly looking for feedback on what works… Read more

0 comments, 285 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 15 April 2015

T-SQL Tuesday #65 – Learning Computed Columns for XML

It’s T-SQL Tuesday time again, and this month the invite comes from Mike Donnelly (@sqlmd). The topic is Teach Something New and it’s a good one.

I try to learn something all the time, and this post is about something I ran into recently with a submission from… Read more

3 comments, 4,560 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 14 April 2015

April Blogging Challenge 2 – Primary Key in CREATE TABLE

The April Blogger Challenge is from Ed Leighton-Dick and aimed at new bloggers, but anyone is welcome. I’m trying to motivate and cheer people on.

Designating a Primary Key at Design Time

In the first post on this subject, I noted that I often add a primary key after the… Read more

2 comments, 311 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 9 April 2015

A New Use Case for SQL Prompt – Shrinking Code

I thought this would work, but I wasn’t sure. I saw some code the other day like this:

DECLARE @char AS CHAR(1); SET @char = NULL; SELECT ISNULL(@char, 0); SELECT COALESCE(@char, 0); SET @char = 'E'

Read more

0 comments, 253 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 April 2015

New Blogger Challenge 1 – Adding a Primary Key

The April Blogger Challenge is from Ed Leighton-Dick and aimed at new bloggers, but anyone is welcome. I’m trying to motivate and cheer people on.

Primary Keys

I firmly believe that every table should have a primary key. At least until you have a reason not to have one. If… Read more

4 comments, 240 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 April 2015

Microservices and Databases

I ran across a post on microservices recently and was intrigued. I always like the idea of loosely coupled, independent items in software. However the idea of microservices causes issues with databases. Here’s the section in the piece by Netflix: Create a separate data store for each microservice.

I… Read more

3 comments, 209 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 31 March 2015

Toshiba Portege Z30 Review

I saw recently that Grant Fritchey wrote a review of his laptop, the Portege Z30. I had noted Grant’s issues with laptops and waited to see what he got last year before I replaced mine. I actually had the chance to compare his Z30 with my old Lenovo T430… Read more

0 comments, 173 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 March 2015

The April Blogger Challenge

I’d encourage you to take Ed Leighton-Dick’s challenge to blog in April. Read his post, start writing, and put your post out there. Tweet about it, and be proud.

However, if you’ve never blogged, I have a modification for you. Publish privately. The important thing is to just… Read more

3 comments, 76 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 27 March 2015

tSQLt with TRY..CATCH

Someone asked me the question recently about how tSQLt works with TRY..CATCH blocks and the exceptions that we might test for. It works fine, just as it would with other code, but you need to understand that a CATCH still needs to re-throw an exception.

Here’s a short example. I’ve… Read more

0 comments, 7,318 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 25 March 2015

The Basic TRY..CATCH

Have you written a TRY..CATCH statement in T-SQL? I hadn’t done it for most of my career, since the construct hadn’t existed. As a result, my code over the years is littered with catching @@error in a variable and then acting on that result. 

However I’m trying to do better,… Read more

2 comments, 368 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 24 March 2015

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