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The Data Files

Ed Leighton-Dick is a SQL Server performance and architecture expert and Founder/Principal Consultant of Kingfisher Technologies, a consultancy focused on SQL Server performance, architecture, and security. He is a frequent volunteer with PASS, including roles as regional mentor, chapter leader of I-380 PASS SQL Server User Group, and organizer of SQL Saturday Iowa City. He can often be found teaching sessions at local, regional, and national events, including user groups, SQL Saturday events, and Iowa Code Camp. Ed can be reached through his blog, edleightondick.com, and on Twitter at @eleightondick.

An open letter to the PASS community (2017)

PASS is our community.

It may sound a little cliche, especially with the current political climate in the US and other nations, but it’s absolutely true. PASS is our community. It’s made up of data professionals from around the globe. All of us are volunteers, from the attendees to the… Read more

0 comments, 167 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 20 September 2017

Replacing an expiring SQL Server encryption key

So you’re using encryption in SQL Server, but you’ve discovered that the expiration date of a certificate is expiring. What do you do? The process of safely replacing the certificate is called rotating the encryption key. It’s important to do, and SQL Server makes it a simple, quick process.

First,…

Read more

9 comments, 1,647 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 5 May 2017

24 Hours of PASS is coming up!

Another installment of 24 Hours of PASS is coming up next week on May 3-4! This semiannual event features 24 back-to-back webinars on a certain theme. The theme this time is data security and data quality, a subject I’m passionate about.

I’m happy to say that I get to present… Read more

0 comments, 265 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 27 April 2017

SQLSaturday Madison – April 7-8

The first event I ever spoke at was SQLSaturday in Madison, Wisconsin, back in 2012. I was petrified – would anyone want to hear someone talk about normalization? Especially when that someone was pretty much unknown outside of his city? Long story short, yes, they did. I didn’t have a… Read more

0 comments, 226 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 March 2017

An open letter to the PASS community

PASS is our community.

It may sound a little cliche in this time of election propaganda in the US, but it’s absolutely true. PASS is our community. It’s made up of data professionals from around the globe. All of us are volunteers, from the attendees to the speakers, from the… Read more

0 comments, 393 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 September 2016

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer is now free

You’ll probably hear about this from other sources, but an announcement made this morning bears repeating: One of my favorite tools, SQL Sentry’s Plan Explorer, is now completely free.

I’ve used Plan Explorer since its first version. It started out as simply a better way to view execution… Read more

0 comments, 2,418 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 9 September 2016

Defending your data

Which of these is more secure?

shilmar / Pixabay

Nicolas Chadeville / 500px

It’s a trick question – the correct answer is “neither”.

Both castles and vaults have their strengths. Castles are built to withstand large-scale assaults and sieges, but an individual has a good chance of getting inside. Conversely,… Read more

0 comments, 261 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 7 September 2016

SQLSaturday Indianapolis Wrap-Up

This weekend, I attended SQLSaturday in Indianapolis for the first time. It’s one of the larger events in the Midwest and I’ve tried to schedule it for several years, but it’s always fallen on a weekend when I couldn’t attend. This year, the date finally worked out!

My presentation for… Read more

0 comments, 308 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 15 August 2016

Security VC Webinar: TLS 1.2 and SQL Server

The PASS Security virtual chapter hosted a great webinar on Thursday. Amit Banerjee from Microsoft’s SQL Server Tiger Team (b|t) spoke about upgrading our SQL Server instances to use TLS 1.2, including many pitfalls that are frequently encountered.

We’re all familiar with SSL – we use… Read more

0 comments, 519 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 2 July 2016

I’m speaking at Summit!

I’m excited to announce that I have been selected to speak at PASS Summit again this year! I’ll be presenting a new session, “Extending Applications Securely Using Service Broker”:

If you’ve ever tried to build a distributed application – one that spans multiple servers or even multiple sites – you…

Read more

0 comments, 220 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 23 June 2016

SQLSaturday Iowa City is this weekend!

If you’re within driving distance of Iowa City, IA, I’d love to see you at SQLSaturday Iowa City this weekend!  We have a fantastic weekend planned:

  • On Saturday, June 11, we have our free conference, with around 30 sessions on all aspects of SQL Server, plus a Women in Technology…

Read more

0 comments, 315 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 6 June 2016

Save the date: SQLSaturday Iowa City

Q: True or False – Iowa has one of the world’s longest-running SQL Server conferences?

A: True! SQLSaturday #19 was held in the fall of 2009 in Iowa City. We’re one of only a handful of chapters to host an event every year since then.

We’ll hold our eighth SQLSaturday… Read more

0 comments, 651 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 28 January 2016

Speaking at SQLSaturday Chicago

I’m happy to announce that my first public session of 2016 will be at SQLSaturday Chicago on March 5! I will be talking about the system_health Extended Events session and the default trace. Here’s the details:

Dammit Jim! Dr McCoy’s Field Guide to system_health (and the default trace)

As DBAs,… Read more

0 comments, 318 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 26 January 2016

The SQL Server Security Model, Part 1: Logins [Foundations Friday]

How secure are your databases?

No, not your network. Just your databases. If your company is like most, the strongest security has been placed around the outside of your network, at the perimeter. Not all threats come through the front door, though. An increasing number of breaches occur because a… Read more

0 comments, 552 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 22 January 2016

Foundations Friday starts now

Earlier this month, my friend Tim Ford (b|t) proposed an idea:

I think this is a fantastic idea. The hardest part of beginning anything is… Read more

0 comments, 346 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 21 January 2016

New Year, New Look, New Focus

Happy New Year, and welcome back! One of the projects I undertook over the holidays was to give the site a facelift. I didn’t follow my original plan, but I definitely like the way it turned out. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Another of my… Read more

0 comments, 191 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 12 January 2016

[T-SQL Tuesday] Data modeling: The trouble with prefixes

This month, Mickey Stuewe (b|t) hosted T-SQL Tuesday, giving us a topic of “data modeling gone wrong“. This is a fantastic topic – there are just so many ways that data modeling can go wrong, even by experienced pros – that I wanted to… Read more

5 comments, 2,007 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 17 November 2015

[T-SQL Tuesday] Data modeling: The trouble with prefixes

This month, Mickey Stuewe (b|t) hosted T-SQL Tuesday, giving us a topic of “data modeling gone wrong“. This is a fantastic topic – there are just so many ways that data modeling can go wrong, even by experienced pros – that I wanted to… Read more

5 comments, 315 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 17 November 2015

[T-SQL Tuesday] Data modeling: The trouble with prefixes

This month, Mickey Stuewe (b|t) hosted T-SQL Tuesday, giving us a topic of “data modeling gone wrong“. This is a fantastic topic – there are just so many ways that data modeling can go wrong, even by experienced pros – that I wanted to… Read more

5 comments, 286 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 17 November 2015

SQLNewBlogger, Week 3

I have a confession to make: I haven’t been writing much this week.

Last weekend, I didn’t feel well and didn’t do much of anything. This week, I’ve been buried in work and didn’t have time. Because of those, I missed Tuesday’s post, and I don’t have a writing prompt… Read more

0 comments, 159 reads

Posted in The Data Files on 15 November 2015

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