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Database Weekly
The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News
Hand-picked content to sharpen your professional edge

A Little Paranoia is Good

I read a lot of history and current events in addition to constantly trying to learn more about databases, data management, compliance, and DevOps. When you combine all these, it might tend to make you just a little bit paranoid.

See, an experienced DBA will tell you that things can go wrong, almost at random. A history nerd will tell you that, well, it may appear random at the time, but if you examine the path that things took, there were plenty of warnings. Whereas, the compliance person will begin to shout about stuff going wrong the whole time. The current events wonk will just be desperately trying to figure out how to avoid the bad outcomes while simultaneously preparing for the bad outcomes.

The DevOps nerd is just off on the side automating all the things!

Seriously though, the more I read about SQL Injection, data privacy, compliance, and our ever-growing data estate, I do get more paranoid about it all. I mean, in the real world, the family and I have a go-bag with just the basics for three days out of the house (see the time a Massachusetts neighborhood exploded). I keep a jumper battery in each of our vehicles because I spent two hours trying to find someone to give me a jump with cables once. Along with the jumper cables, I keep a first aid kit with the “big bandages,” a blanket, poncho and gloves. Emergencies seldom happen in good weather for some reason, and I’ve come up on more accidents with people wandering out on the street than I can count. Heck, I even travel with a little first aid kit with Band-Aids ™ instead of the big bandages. Since I live in the woods and power does go out occasionally, I have a flashlight in every room, every bag, and multiple ones in the vehicles.  (Funny how often I’m the only one pulling out a light at events). Even part of why I decided to learn Ham radio was to have emergency communications when the cell towers are down.

I tend more and more to treat data the same way. I used to think one backup was good. Then it was one tested backup (and the single best test is a restore). But now I know I need additional backups in multiple locations. We need more protection on the data, not less. We need better monitoring to catch SQL Injection because the developers just aren’t going to be allowed to fix the problem. We must have methods in place to protect our production data, not only from hacking, but from accidental access. The single largest problem we may face going forward is compliance violation.

Meanwhile, automate all the things!

Now, I may be crazy, but it doesn’t mean that THEY aren’t out to get my data.

Grant Fritchey

Join the debate, and respond to the editorial on the forums

Redgate Data Masker
The Weekly News
All the headlines and interesting SQL Server information that we've collected over the past week, and sometimes even a few repeats if we think they fit.
Vendors/3rd Party Products

Cloning all the Databases on a Server

A database application often consists of several d...

Monitoring your Servers and Databases with New Relic Infrastructure and SQL Monitor

New Relic Infrastructure is a capable server monitoring tool but adding Integrations provides only 'bare bones' monitoring for SQL Server. Grant Fritchey argues that to "instrument" a complex system such as SQL Server, effectively, you also need a tool that is built specifically for this purpose.

The Need for a Data Catalog

In the event of a breach of personal data, any organization must produce proof that they understand what data they hold and where, and how it is being used, and that they have enforced the required standards for access control and security. To make all this possible, it is essential to build a complete model of the data and its lineage, and a data catalog is the first step in this process.

Quickly Find and Mask Sensitive Data with Data Masker 6.3.1

Khie Biggs, a software developer on the Data Masker team at Redgate, explains how a recent set of Data Masker improvements should make it significantly easier and faster both to determine what data needs to be masked, and then to apply the masking, to protect sensitive and personal data in the tables and columns of your SQL Server databases.

.NET Related Articles

Debugging in Unity

Developers probably spend as much time debugging as they do writing code. In this article, Lance Talbert demonstrates how to use the debugging features in Unity.


Previous SQL Server Updates

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Using Alerts and Operators in SQL Server

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working with sql client aliases

Want your app servers to connect to your newly mig...

Fun with (columnstore) compression on a very large table – part 2

In part 1, I showed how both page and columnstore compression could reduce the size of a 1TB table by 80% or more. While I was impressed I could shrink a table from 1TB to 50GB, I wasn't very happy with the amount of time it took (anywhere from 2 to 14 hours).

Departure of a SQL Server Administrator – What to Check?

A SQL Server administrator has left. But what does that actually mean?

Creative XE Sessions – Funky Data

Playing around with emojis in a database is a fun ...

What is the program_name in sys.dm_exec_sessions?

If you’ve ever looked at the output for sys.dm_e...

sp_readerrorlog – Msg 22004, Level 16, State 1, Line 0 – Failed to open loopback connection. Please see event log for more information.

Recently while working on a SQL Server for a client I came across the following error when I attempted to view the SQL Server logs in SSMS. From there...

Help! My restore has finished but the database still has a status of recovering.

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a bit and then a co-worker actually had this problem recently, so, well, ... Continue reading The post Help! My restore has finished...

But the Database Worked in Development! Preventing Broken Constraints

Database table constraints such as foreign keys and default values ensure reliability of the data. In this article, Phil Factor demonstrates a way to find any data that breaks...

The curious case of the sqlcmd password

In August last year I posted about a command line parser problem I ran into with AzCopy, which I eventually resolved by writing a batch file and escaping a number of characters in the access token.

Redgate SQL Source Control
Azure SQL Database

Common Things Admins Miss in Azure SQL DB

This is by no means a complete list but more of a personal list of features I have seen not setup or just missed out when looking at Azure SQL DB. After reading, not only will I hope that you agree but it may provoke you to double check your setups.

Computing in the Cloud (Azure, Google, AWS)

Everything You Need to Know About Azure Infrastructure – December 2019 Edition

By the time you read this, it will be 2020. I hope you have had a great holiday season and are feeling all relaxed and ready for a new...

Conferences, Classes, Events, and Webinars

Extend DevOps to Your SQL Server Databases

Free Webinar Tuesday January 21 3-4 PM Central / 8-9 AM AEDT - Your business depends on rapidly deploying high-quality changes to databases while minimizing risk to data. Join Microsoft MVP Grant Fritchey to learn how to protect business-critical data and improve software delivery with Redgate’s Compliant Database DevOps solution for Microsoft SQL Server and Azure SQL Database.

My SQL Saturday Chicago Precon: Leveling Up Your Azure Skills

I’m doing another precon at SQL Saturday Chicago on March 20th, 2020. The event is at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. This time we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into Azure.


Truncating Paths in Powershell Prompts

Jeffery Hicks shares a method for shortening your ...

Building a Countdown Timer with PowerShell

Every DBA should have basic PowerShell skills. In this article, Greg Moore explains how to write a PowerShell script that can create a window for a countdown timer.

Database Design, Theory and Development

Paging Dr Column Store

And Cough

Memory Optimized Tables in SQL Server

Sometimes when I try to learn about a concept my brain blocks out everything about it. Talking about anything that uses the “In Memory” concept tends to do this...

DevOps and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

DevOps for databases: “DataOps”

DevOps, a set of practices that combines software ...

ASP.NET Core with GitOps: Orchestrating Your Containers with Kubernetes

Kubernetes can be used to deploy, scale, and manage containers. In this article, Mircea Oprea builds on the previous example in the series to show you how deploy your contains in the Elastic Kubernetes Service in AWS.

ETL/SSIS/Azure Data Factory/Biml

Free Webinar: Using Parameters in Azure Data Factory – 15 Jan 2020

Join Microsoft Data Platform MVP Andy Leonard for Using Parameters in Azure Data Factory 15 Jan 2020 at 12:00 PM EST! Azure Data Factory (ADF) uses parameters to extend...

HA/DR/Always On/Clustering

Getting most recent transaction log backup time irrespective of where the transaction log backup is performed in always on availability groups

I should mention outright that this post applies t...

SQL SERVER – Log Shipping Error: Only Members of the Sysadmin Fixed Server Role Can Perform this Operation

Many disaster recovery solutions are available in SQL Server. Let's learn how we can fix a specific log shipping error about the sysadmin fixed server role.  First appeared on SQL...

Performance Tuning SQL Server

SQL SERVER 2019 – How to Turn On or Enable Instant File Initialization?

In this blog, we would see the current setting of instant file initialization and how to make the modification. Let us learn about it today. First appeared on SQL SERVER...

Execution Plans: First Operator

The first time you see a new execution plan that you’re examining to fix a performance problem, something broken, whatever, you should always start by looking at the first...

Memory Optimized Tables in SQL Server

Sometimes when I try to learn about a concept my brain blocks out everything about it. Talking about anything that uses the “In Memory” concept tends to do this... The...

Cursors Are Misunderstood

Honk Honk People often trash cursors even when they’re used for perfectly fine reasons. I understand that this reaction may…


Data Virtualization in SQL Server 2019

Some of the most eagerly anticipated features now available in SQL Server 2019 relate to expanded data virtualization capabilities. Data virtualization enables you to bring all your data together...


Refresh Power BI Queries Through Power Platform Dataflows: Unlimited Times with Any Frequency

If you don’t have a Power BI Premium capacity license, then you are limited to refresh your dataflows up to eight times a day, with the frequency of 30...

Performance Overhead Of Using Power BI Custom Visuals

Power BI custom visuals may make your report slow to load

Top 5 Power BI items for 2019 (Roundup | January 6, 2016)

Thanks for watching this week's Power BI news roundup! Sources Grouping Visuals New Workspaces Shared datasets Decomp Tree Performance Analyzer Honorable...

Deep Dive into Linear Regression in Power BI: Key Influencers

I’ve gotten quite a few questions over the past few months about the new Power BI Key Influencers visualization. While many of my colleagues and clients really love the...

Extracting Data from Complex Web Pages with Power BI

Back in 2018 I wrote an article showing how to extract data from websites using Power Query in Excel. For simple websites this process is very straightforward. For more...

3 REASONS to use a single dataset for your Power BI reports

Are you copying your Power BI Dataset or PBIX multiple times? Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn't be doing that. Christopher Wagner Article: ExceleratorBI article:   The...

New Video Course: DAX and Calculations in Power BI

We are pleased to let you know that our DAX and Calculations in Power BI video course is now available. This course, like many other video courses we offer,...

Product Upgrades and Releases

New release: SQL Change Automation 4.1

Redgate have heard from users that they really care about static data and were missing the feature in the SQL Change Automation SSMS plugin. In v4.1, they have added support for the tracking of static data tables to the SSMS extension, alongside existing support in the VS extension. Maya Malakova has written a technical summary showing how to use this feature. Learn more about the release here.

Professional Development

Epic Life Quest – 2020 Update

I started keeping a written record on bigger goals...

The 2020 Data Professional Salary Survey Results Are In.

We asked what you make, and 1,734 of you in 63 countries answered. Altogether, you made $170,753,936 this year. Damn, y’all are bringing home the bacon! Download the 2020,...

Data Literacy

Being able to work with data effectively, along with critical thinking, are two skills that everyone should have – regardless of position or job. In this 5-part series, I’ll...

R Language

Working with Windows CMD system commands in R

From time to time, when developing in R, working and wrangling data , preparing for machine learning projects, it comes the time, one would still need to access the...

SQL Server Security and Auditing

Delegated Authentication with Managed Service Accounts

Delegated authentication (or double-hop authentication as it’s sometimes called) is a common requirement with SQL servers that are using Kerberos…

Let’s Talk About Ransomware (Again)

I’ve posted about ransomware a few times before. At DCAC, we’ve worked with a few customers who’ve fortunately been able to help them recover from their attacks. But ransomware...

Security News and Issues

Researchers unearth malicious Google Play apps linked to active exploit hackers

Apps used a variety of tricks to covertly install ...


T-SQL Basics: using OUTPUT

You are working on a database development project, and you need to obtain the records before/after an INSERT, DELETE, UPGRADE or MERGE Statement to present it to the user or do any work with that data.

SQL: Retrieve the results of executing a stored procedure in T-SQL

There was a recent question asked on Stack Overflo...

The Lighter Side

How modern tech has powered our favorite superheroes through the years

We live in an era of superhero stories, but they d...

Unicode, Emojis and Databases Oh My!

Explore an easy method to create a table of all un...

Virtualization and Containers/Kubernetes

How to update a SQL Server container on Docker for Windows (spoiler – there is a catch)

With the 1st CU for SQL 2019 released just yesterday, and Microsoft updating the docker image right away, the only natural response for me was to update the docker instance that I showed you how to deploy a few months back.

Interesting Note in SQL Server 2019 Release Notes

A wonderful reader of my blog sent me a note (than...

SQLpassion Online Training about SQL Server on VMware – Best Practices

(Be sure to checkout the FREE SQLpassion Performan...

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