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13 Questions about SQL Server Data Types You were Too Shy to Ask

Although SQL Data Types seem to cause a lot of grief for database developers and can be tricky in their use, we seem to be expected to know all about them, and so it is embarrassing to ask questions about them in forums. Rob Sheldon continues in his mission to answer all those questions that we hesitate to ask.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/07/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: data types
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 16,184 reads

Database Configuration Management for SQL Server

It is not just the rapid and painless testing, deployment and update of databases that requires care in the retention and management of configuration information. Configuration information is also essential for audit, resilience, and support. The range of documentation varies widely with the database and its setting, but the underlying principles remain the same. Without appropriate configuration management, automation is likely to be futile.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/12 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: configuration files
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,338 reads

The Role of the Technical Architect in Development

What do Technical Architects (TAs) actually do when in a development role? Are they just senior developers 'pushed upstairs' into a management role? Is there a clear distinction between a TA and a product, or project, manager? In an increasingly automated and joined up development environment, the role is important, varied and wide-ranging; as Grzegorz Strzelecki explains.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/24 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: role
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 10,325 reads

Questions About Using TSQL to Import Excel Data You Were Too Shy to Ask

It is easy to import Excel data into database tables via TSQL, using OLEDB, either by the OPENROWSET function or linking to the spreadsheet as a server. The problem is that there are certain things that aren't obvious that you need to know about.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,070 reads

Exploring Your SQL Server Databases with T-SQL

Scott Swanberg shares 38 scripts he uses time and time again for discovering more about database objects.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/21 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,806 reads

Does NoSQL = NoDBA?

There’s a joke doing the rounds at SQL conferences and seminars: three DBAs walk into a NoSQL bar and leave when they can’t find a table. You may have heard it before, but it made Matt Hilbert sit down and ponder. What’s happening? Is there a division opening up between the newly fashionable NoSQL followers and DBAs? Matt enters the world of NoSQL to investigate.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/30 | Source: SimpleTalk
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,609 reads

The Data Center that Exploded

A while back, in a Simple-Talk editorial meeting, someone bet Phil Factor that he couldn't come up with a Halloween story. To our surprise he said he could, as long as he didn't have to keep to the strict literal truth. In the end, he came up with a story about a story, and it is true that he first told the story in a data Centre at Halloween!  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/31 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: fun
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,106 reads

Using Stored Procedures to Provide an Application’s Business-Logic Layer

When faced with a complex business application, Dwain's team chose to encapsulate and implement most of an application’s business logic in SQL Server, using an interface made up of stored procedures. Here's how they did it.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/01 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: business logic
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 7,784 reads

Filling In Missing Values Using the T-SQL Window Frame

Since SQL Server delivered the entire range of window functions, there has been far less justification for using the non-standard ex-Sybase 'Quirky Update' tricks to perform the many permutations of running totals in SQL Server. One of these related problems is the 'Data Smear'. Do window functions make this easier, and what is performance like? Dwain Camps investigates.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/01 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: t-sql
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,724 reads

The Mindset of the Enterprise DBA: Harnessing the Power of Automation

After you have done the necessary groundwork of standardising and centralising your database adminstration processes, you are now in a position to implement some effective automation of some of these processes. Which ones do you choose, and how do you set about automating these tasks?  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/09/17 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: dba skills
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 9,485 reads

The Mindset of the Enterprise DBA: Delegating Work

A lot of the routine jobs demanded of a DBA can be automated, but a tougher prospect is to automate these jobs in a way that the requestor rather than the DBA can actually set of the job running themselves without compromising security and without risk. Is it true to say that some tasks can be made self-service?   Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/10/23 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: delegation
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,399 reads

Developing a Custom SSIS Source Component

SSIS was designed to be extensible.Although you can create tasks that will take data from a wide variety of sources, transform the data is a number of ways and write the results a wide choice of destinations, using the components provided, there will always be occasions when you need to customise your own SSIS component.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/07/17 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: integration services (ssis)
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 11,840 reads

Stop Relying on Cloud File Stores as a Backup Strategy

There is a growing assumption that Cloud file-storage services represent an ideal way of backing up files. It seems a compelling idea because it is so easy and seems secure. The truth is, as always, more complicated. There is more to any backup strategy than just cloud storage.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/06 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: backup
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,308 reads

Getting Data Into and Out of PowerShell Objects

You can execute PowerShell code that creates the data of an object, but there is no cmdlet to generate the 'object notation' code from an existing PowerShell object; until now, that is. Phil Factor also produces a ConvertTo-YAML function and explains how they both work, with illustrative code.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/04 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: powershell
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 8,261 reads

Practical PowerShell Unit-Testing: Getting Started

If you're using PowerShell for automation, you'll probably need to automate the unit-testing of the PowerShell scripts themselves. Michael Sorens introduces you to Pester, the leading test framework for PowerShell, and shows how it can make it easier to produce reliable scripts  Read more...
By 2014/11/14 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: powershell
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 7,354 reads

Free eBook: SQL Server Transaction Log Management

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA's reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works.  Read more...
By Press Release 2014/11/19 (first published: 2013/08/14) | Source: Red-Gate | Category: transaction logs
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 46,497 reads

The SQL Scrabble Puzzle

An enhancement to a Phil Factor puzzle gives you a chance to play scrabble in T-SQL.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/12/05 | Source: Other | Category: contest
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 6,536 reads

Free eBook: SQL Server Execution Plans, Second Edition

Every day, out in the various online forums devoted to SQL Server, and on Twitter, the same types of questions come up repeatedly: Why is this query running slowly? Why is SQL Server ignoring my index? Why does this query run quickly sometimes and slowly at others? My response is the same in each case: have you looked at the execution plan?  Read more...
By Press Release 2014/12/10 (first published: 2013/07/30) | Source: Red-Gate | Category: execution plans
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 50,107 reads

Guidelines for Using Natively-Compiled Stored Procedures in SSIS Packages

As you may know, SQL Server In-Memory OLTP introduced in SQL Server 2014 offers great performance improvements for ETL processes. In this tip we cover techniques you need to know about various behaviors of SQL Server In-Memory OLTP depending on the options you select.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/11/28 | Source: MSSQLTips.com | Category: in-memory oltp
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 7,190 reads

Why Put Your Database into Source Control?

Checking program code into source control is a daily ritual for most developers, but versioning database code is less well-understood. Grant Fritchey argues that getting your databases under source control is not only vital for the stability of development and deployment, but it will make your life easier when something does go wrong.  Read more...
By Additional Articles 2014/07/25 | Source: SimpleTalk | Category: source control
Rating:  Rate this |   Briefcase | 11,361 reads