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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

The Vacation Conundrum

Would I want unlimited time off? It’s an interesting question. I think I might like something more like a minimum time off, or perhaps an allowance, with the tracking and offer to work with employees that need more. There are problems with unlimited vacation, and it’s often because… Read more

0 comments, 218 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 17 February 2015

tSQLt – SQLCop – Checking Naming Conventions

I’ve been using tSQLt a bit to do some testing and one of the things I’ve tested is standards for code. I’ve been using a framework on top of tSQLt called SQLCop. These are a series of tests written to look for specific things. One of the items I… Read more

0 comments, 6,443 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 February 2015

Detecting Encryption

I ran across an article recently from MSSQLTips by my friend, Brian Kelley. It talks about the ways you can detect encryption in use in your database. Brian’s approach, which is one I agree with, is that you can look for symmetric keys, asymmetric keys, and certificates in the system… Read more

2 comments, 480 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 11 February 2015

T-SQL Tuesday #63 – Security

It’s T-SQL Tuesday time again and this month we look at security. Kenneth Fisher has chosen this as his topic for February and you can read his invite here. There are lots of choices on what you write about, and I’m looking forward to reading what people choose.

You… Read more

3 comments, 6,162 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 10 February 2015

Parsing SQL Saturday Data – Getting the Titles

I wrote about downloading the SQL Saturday data with Powershell, and that has worked well. However, I also need to parse this data. You can look at a sample XML file from the site with this link, and examine the structure.

Essentially, it’s something like this:

<event>

 … Read more

0 comments, 278 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 February 2015

I May Not Shake Your Hands

I’m traveling next week to the SQL Konferenz in Germany, and then on to Red Gate in the UK.

However, I may pull a Wil Wheaton at the event and the office and not shake hands. I haven’t had issues with this in the past, with lots of handshakes, hugs,… Read more

0 comments, 265 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 January 2015

Changing File Associations in Windows 8

A quick post, and a good reminder of something that can be a pain. I had to do a quick search for the solution, and wanted to write about it in the hopes it will help me remember the issue.

Opening the wrong program

I was working with some XML… Read more

0 comments, 213 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 January 2015

Out of Space

I’ve used placeholders to ensure I don’t run out of space on my machines. That’s worked well, and usually I can delete a placeholder when I have an emergency, and then clean up the drive.

However I got a low warning today when trying to do an iOS upgrade.

I’d… Read more

1 comments, 223 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 28 January 2015

Downloading SQL Saturday data

I wanted to find out how many SQL Saturday’s I’d spoken at and how I ranked with others. I got a spreadsheet from Kendal Van Dyke at one point, but it was quickly out of date. However Kendal mentioned that there was an XML document on the site, and I… Read more

2 comments, 248 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 26 January 2015

Upgraded SSD

I was going to call this an upgraded HDD, but that’s not right. Technically it’s a drive update, but really it’s an SSD upgrade.

My new Portege Z30 came with a 128GB drive. I could have had Toshiba upgrade it, but it was more expensive than the deal I got… Read more

1 comments, 1,419 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 19 January 2015

Technology Advances – mSATA external case

I had an SSD die last year. It was one of my traveling SSDs, where I keep spare copies of my VMs and presentations. Fortunately I didn’t need the backup that trip, and when I got home, I switched out to the second drive and carried that along.

I wasn’t… Read more

3 comments, 5,791 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 16 January 2015

Execute the Current Statement–SQL Prompt

This is a great little feature in SQL Prompt that I wrote about at SQLServerCentral. It’s Current statement Execution, which comes about from pressing Shift+F5. Whatever statement the cursor is on, whether it’s a single line or multi-line, the statement will execute.

It can be on the first line: Read more

0 comments, 265 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 14 January 2015

T-SQL Tuesday #62 – Healthy SQL

The invitation for T-SQL Tuesday this month comes from Robert Pearl. It’s called HealthySQL and it’s a topic I like. I’ve spent a lot of time in my career being proactive with SQL Server databases, and keeping them healthy is important.

If you’d like to participate in the party, just… Read more

1 comments, 210 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 13 January 2015

It’s a Problem When a SysAdmin Can’t Log In

I showcased a demo recently that looked at a potential issue with an application where a user used a simple update statement to gain privileged access to a system. That’s scary, and it’s a potential issue for many applications that handle their own authentication.

The problem with this type of… Read more

0 comments, 5,915 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 12 January 2015

Building Connection Strings

I ran across a great article on Connection Strings from my good friend, Allen White (b, t, c), recently. Quite a few of the items he mentioned in there, I knew, but it was a good review to stop and think about how to actually connect… Read more

0 comments, 440 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 8 January 2015

Building Rollback Scripts with SQL Compare

There’s a neat switch in SQL Compare that lets you build rollback scripts. It looks like this:

I’ve used this before to help with deployments, as many of you have. The idea is that when you finish with your code in your dev environment, you run a comparison with production,… Read more

0 comments, 5,615 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 7 January 2015

Beware of Login Issues for Privileged Accounts

In a recent post, I described an attack against a privileged account using a simple SQL Injection technique of updating data in a table. One of the things showed was an administrator using their user and password credentials, but being unable to log on.

In this case, the administrator… Read more

0 comments, 237 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 5 January 2015

My 2015 Plan

I started this on Jan 1, but with family commitments, I ended up delaying it until today. I wrote about having a 2015 plan, and thought I should build one as well. I’ve tried a few things in the last couple years, and while I haven’t stuck to the… Read more

0 comments, 274 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 2 January 2015

Speaking Stats

I was updating my speaking schedule and CV, trying to get an idea of what might be planned for 2015. As I was doing so, I decided to do a quick count of events and talks to see where I was last year. Last year was tough, and I… Read more

0 comments, 213 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 30 December 2014

Powershell – Copy the Latest Backup

I got an email recently where someone asked me how they can refresh a dev environment with Powershell. I guess I’d written something about this in 2009, though that would have been for testing as Red Gate had already banned me from development on SQLServerCentral by that time.

I dug… Read more

5 comments, 5,396 reads

Posted in The Voice of the DBA on 29 December 2014

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