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The Voice of the DBA

Searching for Answers Inside

How easy is it for you to search your codebase, especially across projects, and find out if there are dependencies, similar code solutions, or even other reports of problems? Do you feel comfortable that you can find out what you need to know?

Or is it cumbersome?

In the 2019 State of DevOps report, one of the important areas that designated high and elite performers was their likelihood to easily find internal information. Those users were more productive when using internal sources of information to find knowledge related to their work. They also know how to, and are able to use external sources as well. I certainly know that if I needed to write T-SQL everyday, having access to the SQLServerCentral forums would be invaluable for me, and I'm sure it is for many of you as well.

I think one of the very hard things for inexperienced people in any organization to do is find information. So often knowledge is gained over time by employees that have spent significant amounts of time working on systems. No matter how much we might preach and mandate documenting things, many items won't be written down. Over time, many of us internalize lots of information that might seem obvious and unimportant to us, but is necessary for more inexperienced people to succeed at different tasks. If you doubt this, just look at any DR test where someone tries to follow the directions written by experienced pros. They'll fail almost every time because we don't document every step.

I'm not sure we should even try. I think the idea of trying to help others more easily find information is a better solution. Having tools to enable this can certainly help new people get up to speed quickly, as can group programming (or administration) efforts like pairing or mob style work. We might not easily ensure someone could pick up the pieces if no staff were around, we can make it easier for those that want to learn and succeed to seek out the knowledge they need.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

Redgate SQL Provision
  Featured Contents
Stairway to AlwaysOn

Stairway to AlwaysOn Level 8: Segregate Mirror Traffic in AlwaysOn

Perry Whittle from

this article details how to segregate the mirror traffic in an AlwaysOn group configuration

Azure Data Factory If Condition Activity

Additional Articles from

In this tip we look at how to use an If Condition activity in an Azure Data Factory pipeline for conditional logic.

Free eBook: Defensive Database Programming

Press Release from Redgate

Resilient T-SQL code is code that is designed to last, and to be safely reused by others. The goal of defensive database programming, the goal of this book, is to help you to produce resilient T-SQL code that robustly and gracefully handles cases of unintended use, and is resilient to common changes to the database environment.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Automate Your SQL Notebooks with Two New Options

Aaron Nelson from SQLvariant

There are two new options for automating your SQL Notebooks with your SQL Servers. Earlier this month, the Insiders build of Azure Data Studio received the ability to add...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Troubleshooting NUMA Node Inbalance Problems

Klaus Aschenbrenner from Klaus Aschenbrenner

(Be sure to checkout the FREE SQLpassion Performance Tuning Training Plan - you get a weekly email packed with all the essential knowledge you need to know about performance...


  Question of the Day

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


An Empty Data Frame

How do you create an empty data frame in R? (Set this to the variable df)

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)

Indexing Computed Column

I have a column with names. I make a non persisted computed column with the length of the field. with this code:

ALTER TABLE dbo.Customer ADD CustomerNameLen AS LEN(CustomerName)

I want to index the length of the field. If I create this index

CREATE INDEX Customer_NameLength ON dbo.Customer (CustomerNameLen);

Will this work?

Answer: Yes, works fine

Explanation: This works fine. You can create an index on a non-persisted computed column. Ref: Indexes on Computed Columns -

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
Why did the SPN's disappear? - Ran into a very puzzling issue this morning: a 2017 SE server suddenly lost all its SPN's, and I can't figure out why or how. Background: The service account was changed on 7/18, and the SPN's under the old account were deleted and new SPN's under the new account created. All was well. On 9/27, […]
SQL Server 2017 - Development
Recursive CTE/Bill of Materials question -- how to get only lowest level? - I'm trying to sort out someone's Bill of Materials process that's happening half in Access VBA and half in SQL Server, so if I sound confused, well, I am. I'm trying to return a "shopping list" of all the components necessary to build everything in the work order. (If you use the AdventureWorks2017 database as […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
Ola Hallengren backup failing with syntax error - Hi experts, Just curious if anyone has a quick answer to this. If not, I will email Ola Hallengren about it. I set up Ola Hallengren's Database Maintenance Solution Version date: 2019-06-14 00:05:34. I tested out the scheduled full user database backup. It failed with this error: Executed as user: ... . Incorrect syntax near […]
Point in Time Restore from only Full Backup - We take a Daily Full Backup, a Differential Backup every 4 hours, and Log backups every minute. We retain Full and Diff Backups for 1 week, and Log backups for 24 hours. I understand that to do a point in time restore for today, I'd restore the Last Full Backup, the latest Diff Backup, then […]
High Avilabilty Secondary Server Error: 976, Severity: 14, State: 1. - Error Occurred in Secondary Server But both Primary and Secondary Server  Data Synchronized No Data Loss The target database, 'DBName', is participating in an availability group and is currently not accessible for queries. Either data movement is suspended or the availability replica is not enabled for read access. To allow read-only access to this and […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
SCD maintenance with the help of MERGE - Hello folks, I am trying to maintain SCD type 2 based on merge statement and here are my cases and results: 1. If source and target contain same records, then no action. Successful. 2. If source and target match based on matching ID but there is a change in data (i am using binary_checksum), then […]
SQL Server 2016 timeout weird error - Dear All, I have a win form c# 4.5 app which connects to SQL server 2016 DB, most of the functions work correctly. For one of the functions, we make a simple 'select col1,col2 from table' query (datareader) we get below error Inner exception:: System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005): The wait operation timed out. The same works fine […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
ssisdb in alwayson - Good morning all, We have implemented the following architecture: Server A: SQL 2014 Entreprise + Integration Services Server B: SQL 2014 Entreprise+ Integration Services We created an AlwaysOn availability group (Basics) using both servers as replicas, and protecting the SSISDB database. The problem we are having is that during a flip-flop, we have to reopen […]
RHS crash - We had an outage where RHS windows cluster service got restarted because the file share witness was not accessible. We are trying to replicate it on test environment but failed to do so. Environment: windows server 2012 R2 standard SQL 2014 Appreciate if anyone can guide me in the right direction on how to replicate […]
Development - SQL Server 2014
Sql script Transpose Multiple Column into Rows - Hi   i've the current situation DtCont        | DtCont       | DtCont | --------------------------------------------------------- "20180229"|"20180330"|"20180428" and i need the follow result |DtCont        | ------------------------------------------ |"20180229"| |"20180330"| |"20180428"|   With Unpivot is not possible,only solutuon i find is create a sequente of select with union select a.PM_DataContabileBKI as r0 […]
SQL Server 2008 - General
Adding a formula to Computed Column Specification formula in SQL Server 2008 - I am trying to add the following query to the formula property to  calculate minutes to hours. (CONVERT(char(5), DATEADD(MINUTE, convert(int,[sun_total])), '19000101'), 108) as MinuteToHour) If i run it using a Select statement t it works fine but when I add it to the formula box without the SELECT it errors. The  sun_total = 150   […]
Analysis Services
How to calculate capacity for Analysis services - Hi everyone, I need to plan disk capacity requirements for Analysis servers that I support.  Each Analysis DB is 90GB.  I am not sure how to check historically how much the analysis DB has grown.  Any pointers on how I should calculate this requirement. Sorry, If I posted this questions in the wrong channel. I wasn't sure where […]
Integration Services
SSIS merge 2 files with different columns - Hi I am trying to create a pipe delimited file with double quoted qualifier. It also needs to include a header and footer row. The data comes from SQL and outputs like so.... "1"|"Hello"|"a column"|"a person"|"a thing" "2"|"Goodbye"|"another column"|"another person"|"another thing" The header should read : HEADER|YYYYMMDD The footer should read : FOOTER|YYYYMMDD|2   <-- this […] Announcements
Status Update 30 Sept 2019 - SPAM Reporting - It's been awhile since I posted, mostly because we transitioned out of migration mode to ongoing support mode. There is still some work being done, but it's prioritized around other work on other sites. There are two good changes made this past week. HTTP/2 is now being used, which should speed up some of the […]
SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
Determine user SSIS package run as - I have an SSIS package that is failing. The SSIS package was built in Visual Studio 2005, and is run from a SQL Agent Job on a server running SQL Server Management Studio 2005. The job uses a FileWatcher task to monitor an FTP site (accessed via a network share) and looks for xml files […]


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