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The Smiling DBA

Thomas LeBlanc is a Business Intelligence Consultant/Data Warehouse Architect in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He uses his 25+ years in IT to help develop OLTP systems with normalized databases for high-performing T-SQL and end-to-end dimensional data marts using SSIS, SSAS, PPS, and Excel. His SQL Server certifications include MCSA 12, MCITP 08 BI and DBA, MCITP 2005 DBA, and MCDBA 2000. As a PASS volunteer, he is current chair of the Excel BI virtual chapter, past chair of the Data Architecture virtual chapter, and past virtual chapter mentor. He has helped the Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group with SQLSaturdays and speaks at local IT meetings.

Covering Indexes

Microsoft continues to improve indexes and options for additional performance enhancements. One I see frequently is the need for a covering index. Before we look at those options, let’s talk about the need for a covering index.

The term covering index was created probably a decade ago. The idea is… Read more

0 comments, 98 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 26 November 2015

Idera Ace

I started using a product called SQL Diagnostic Manager from Idera about 10 years ago at a Home Health company. It was very useful with monitoring a SQL Server instance and helped us estimate the future size of databases based on historical data. The numbers were very accurate for a… Read more

1 comments, 96 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 5 November 2015

PASS Summit 2015

Yes, it is that time of the year again. You know, when all the nut case and normal SQL Server experts collide in Seattle (or wherever the Summit is located) to experience the largest gathering of data experts on this planet. Well, I might be lying a little about the… Read more

1 comments, 118 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 19 October 2015

#ITDevCon15 Conner Cunningham Keynote

On Wednesday morning, Conner Cunningham from Microsoft was the keynote speaker for IT/DevConnections in Las Vegas. His talk focused on SQL Server 2016. To summarize the things he said that got my attention were a Live Query Plan, the Query Store to retrieve a previous query plan and Azure… Read more

1 comments, 158 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 17 September 2015

Dustin Ryan: Power Pivot 101: An Introduction

The PASS Excel Business Intelligence virtual chapter presents Dustin Ryan introducing everybody to Power Pivot in Excel. This chapter has gotten a lot of questions during some of the last couple of sessions that can be directly done in Power Pivot through Excel.

Please join us this Thursday September 10th… Read more

0 comments, 193 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 7 September 2015

DevConnections Sept 14-17th 2015 – Las Vegas

DevConnections is a new conference for me and I am excited about the opportunity to present 2 different sessions. The conference is at ARIA Resort in Las Vegas, NV. There are many great speakers at this event including Grant Fritchey, Itzik Ben-Gan, Denny Cherry and many more. The conference… Read more

1 comments, 179 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 11 August 2015

SQLSaturday #423 Baton Rouge

This is I believe the 7th SQLSaturday in Baton Rouge. Please come out this Saturday at the LSU Business Center to enjoy free training, prizes and networking with over 500 IT professionals.


Here is the schedule.

Read more

0 comments, 190 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 27 July 2015

Power Bi Desktop Release Today

You can download the much hyped up Power BI Desktop (formerly Power BI Designer). There are many blogs about the new features, but I am going to mention one here that I have been waiting for.

It involves connecting to the Analysis Service database as a connection and not an… Read more

0 comments, 271 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 24 July 2015

New Features of SQL Server 2016

The next version of SQL Server looks to add more and more features helpful in database design and administration as well as Business Intelligence.

The first I found interesting is Temporal Tables. This table keeps a history of the changes made to the table over time. This will change… Read more

0 comments, 352 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 16 July 2015

PASS Summit Selection Process

I was thinking today about why I submit sessions to speak at the PASS Summit.

My first summit was in Denver back around 2006 or 2007. We (my boss and me) saw an ad for it on SQL Server Central. We enjoyed every minute of the Summit and… Read more

0 comments, 148 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 26 June 2015

PASS Excel BI VC presents Ásgeir Gunnarsson: End to End Risk Assessment – Using PowerView

Join us today at noon central for Asgeir presenting for the Excel BI VC.

Thu, Jun 18 2015 12:00 Central Daylight Time

PASS Excel BI VC presents Ásgeir Gunnarsson: End to End Risk Assessment – Using PowerView



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0 comments, 182 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 18 June 2015

SQLSaturday #408 Houston

I have been selected again to speak in Houston (Saturday, June 13th) for a SQLSaturday event and look forward to connecting with some Texas PASS members like Nancy, Alan, Jen, Sean and many others. The facilities at San Jacinto College in the Southwest part of the Houston area were great… Read more

0 comments, 198 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 4 June 2015

PASS Elections and Verifying Account

It is that time of the year when PASS starts a process to help update memberships and clean up duplicate account. I just Deactivated an old account setup in 2006 I never used.

Here is some more info and links. This material is copied from PASS website and emails.


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0 comments, 163 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 7 May 2015

My Favorite FREE Reports in SSMS

Microsoft has given us DBAs/Developers/etc. a wealth of free reports integrated into SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in order to see what is happening in our environment. These reports are really nice because you do not need to know the DMV/DMF in order to get the results.

The first report… Read more

0 comments, 246 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 7 April 2015

PASS Excel BI VC presents Devin Knight on Getting Started on PowerQuery

Come join us Thursday April 2nd for an Excel BI virtual chapter session at noon central with Pragmatic Work’s Devin Knight who will help us get started with PowerQuery.

Thu, Apr 02 2015 12:00 Central Daylight Time

Getting Started with Power Query by Devin Knight



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0 comments, 236 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 29 March 2015

Simple-Talk Article

In December, I was asked to write an article(s) on Database Refactoring. It started as 2 topics, but then consolidated into one. I really wanted to talk about the database design issues I see with a development department. Please give some time to reading the article and comment. First, I… Read more

0 comments, 260 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 3 March 2015

SQLSaturday #362 – Austin, TX – Let’s Get Weird

I used to spend the 4th of July weekend (or week) in Austin with some buddy’s when we were in our 20s. There was so much to do and enjoy while there it is exciting to go back to this great city. Not only that, but there are some really… Read more

0 comments, 378 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 20 January 2015

PASS – Connect, Share and Learn

The Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) has a slogan for what they do – CONNECT, SHARE and LEARN. So, what does this mean to me and the SQL Server professionals I have meet in this community (#SQLFamily)?


First, I connected. Where did that start? SQLServerCentral.Com (SSC). I started… Read more

0 comments, 225 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 18 December 2014

PASS Summit: Blogger Q&A with Board of Directors Executive Committee

On Thursday, I was invited as a blogger to attend an intimate conversation (Q&A) with the PASS Board of Directors: Adam Jorgensen (EVP – Executive Vice President), Denise McInerney (VP Marketing) and Thomas LaRock (President). I started to try to understand why I was asked, but gave up due to… Read more

0 comments, 356 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 7 November 2014

PASS Summit 2014

Well, it is that time of year again. The Professional Associations for SQL Server (PASS) annual summit. This year we go back to Seattle where Microsoft mostly lives and hope we can get lots of their employees to visit and talk shop.

One of my main goals is to Network… Read more

0 comments, 345 reads

Posted in The Smiling DBA on 29 October 2014

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