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A Different View of Technical Debt

Today we have a guest editorial from Grant as Steve is teaching a pre-con.

I’ve recently got my General license as a Ham radio operator. I’m working on getting ready to pass the exam for the Extra. Upon passing I’ll have access to all the frequencies open to amateur radio. The hobby is a lot of fun, but it’s also enlightening as a technologist.

There are amazing new radios, especially around the SDR, or software-defined radio, space. There are also a ton of digital transmission mechanisms with more coming out all the time. However, there are also a number of operators working on old, vacuum tube radios (boat anchors is the affectionate term), some of them using Morse code (CW being the appropriate term). That’s right, hundred year old tech is still alive and well (OK, mostly well), side-by-side with the most advanced tech possible.

All of which makes me think about technical debt. The concept is simple to understand. Choices you made when you designed and built a system may not have been perfect at the time. Over the years those choices begin to inflict more and more pain on you, hence, a debt you’ve built up and will have to pay off at some point. Frequently, refusing to upgrade to newer versions of software is lumped in to the technical debt discussion. However, I think we should be very wary of that.

Like an old CW radio, SQL Server 2000 may be working perfectly well for some people. It’s not seen as technical debt, or even a problem, because it does everything they need and it does it well enough for them. Yeah, there can be all sorts of issues tied to this (and as a consultant, I don’t know that I’d ever advocate for staying on twenty year old technology), but it’s working.

So, while I would personally still advocate to upgrade to newer versions of software (security, compliance, performance, the list of reasons why is long), I want to try to be understanding of why an organization may dig in their heels at moving to a newer version of SQL Server. Listening to people who’ve forgotten more about how radio waves operate than I’ll ever know, and their resistance to move to newer radios or digital communications mechanisms, I feel I’ve got a better understanding for exactly why not everyone is going to upgrade on the same schedule and some, may never upgrade.

Grant Fritchey

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 Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Printing the String

I am trying to debug a T-SQL script and want to return some information to the messages tab in SSMS. I decide to use the PRINT statement. I have a static message, but I want to include the name of the user in the middle of it.  Right now I have:
PRINT 'This action was initiated by  and it failed.'
I want to insert the user name between the "by" and "and". How should I edit my code?  

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.



 Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Hadoop Connectivity

I want to enable my SQL Server 2017 instance to connect to Hadoop through the Polybase technology. When I go to configure the instance for connectivity, how many options do I have for the value to set in sp_configure?

Answer: 8 (0-7)

Explanation: When configuring the instance option for 'hadoop connectivity', you have 8 options. 0 is off, and the other seven value specify the type of Hadoop distribution and platform you are connecting to. Ref: PolyBase Connectivity Configuration -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

SQL Server 2017 - Administration
Collation change - Hi, We recently built a server using a prebuilt AWS AMI and the default collation isn't what the application vendor asked for. We ran the sqlservr -m -T4022 -T3659 -s"SQL2017" -q"somecollation" command which seems to have changed the DB collations but the default server collation seems to still be the same SELECT CONVERT (varchar, SERVERPROPERTY('collation')) […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
query execution plan - hello experts, i need help to understand query plan and what i can do to make it better . i am really confused about the missing index message .
Check if the statistics are off for table variables - Hi, How do I check if statistics are off for table variables? Thanks,
The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object for user in db_owner - Hello experts, A user who is in the db_owner role for a database reported that he is getting this error: Msg 229, Level 14, State 5, Procedure ReportProc, Line 1 [Batch Start Line 1] The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object... Does anyone know why EXECUTE would fail for an owner of the database? […]
Performance impact by running 2 scripts on the prod server. - I have 2 script which I want to run in our production environment since we don't have a monitoring tool in place and I have a feeling that there is a runaway query which is filling up the log file. The log file grows to be 300+ sometimes. We use DPM (Microsoft product) to take […]
SQL Server 2016 cannot show correct cpu cores in CPU affinity - Hi Guys, I wonder if SQL Server cannot support too many cpu cores? select @@version Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (SP2-CU8) (KB4505830) - 13.0.5426.0 (X64) Jul 21 2019 21:16:47 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Edition: Core-based Licensing (64-bit) on Windows Server 2016 Standard 10.0 (Build 14393: ) select * from sys.configurations where name = 'affinity […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
wierd type conversion error - Hi I've been tracking through some code that has a type conversion error from varchar to uniqueidentifier I started commenting out parts of the code and found the offending line of code WHERE vaoq.Questionnaire_ID = '09C4C7B4-1275-460A-AE23-FFA9256B1ABE' I checked that this is a valid GUID (using convert) the only way I managed to get this fixed […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
Table Rows deleted but not shrinking in size - Hi Folks, a general question here for better admin on a database. Have a number of tables, with approx 100 rows that clear down and re-populate every 5 minutes, however they're growing in size, up close to 10 gb even though the data is small. I deleted one of these tables, but the database is […]
SQL 2012 - General
Database Backup and corruption Jobs - Hi, Please advise of the below scenarios 1Q) I am trying to reduce the sql agent back up job running time. The job pickups a SSIS package which basically takes full backup of all user db's; which is taking 7+ hours to succeed  ( Due to the fact that 2 of the databases are of […]
SQL Server 2008 - General
Recycle SQL Agent Error Logs - hi all I want to keep 1 month worth of SQL agent Error logs and plan to cycle every week  by running : EXEC dbo.sp_cycle_agent_errorlog ( using SQL JOB) How do I do this ? Thanks All  
Reporting Services
permissions to connect to a report server 2016 - I have upgraded a web form application to be 2012. This application can currently call a report server that is 2008 or 2010 with no problem. I am trying to get this application to connect to a report server 2016. I am getting the error message, 'The permissions granted to user 'X\User' are […]
RC4 cipher disabled, Report Manager / Server no longer accessible - We not too long ago were required to remove / disable the RC4 cipher suite on our servers.  Shortly after that, I found I could no longer access the SSRS Report Manager and Report Server pages via IE.  At the time, this was not a pressing concern and I let it slide until just recently […]
SSRS 2014
trying to get everything to fit on 1 page - Hello, this might be very easy but not sure, i have an invoice, and after the invoice, i am trying to print the terms and conditions etc., however that needs to always be on a seperate own page... anyway to do that? example: invoice invoice info ... page 2 or page 3 depending on how […]
Map a drive to a particular login and make it available all the time -   I am not sure if this is something possible, i would like to map a share to a drive letter using a particular login and if that login tries to hit that server remotely it should be able to see that mapped drive.
Analysis Services
MDX query: how to use the unequal operator between different attributes - Hi all, I am new to MDX and I have already tried Google to find a solution for my query but didn't get any answer by myself. For the use case, I have a role-play dimension (geography), a customer and store. Geography is used both in customer and store. I want to figure out, how […]


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