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

Getting Close

Last week we saw the release of SQL Server 2019 CTP 2.5, with enhancements for Big data clusterrs and a Java language SDK for SQL Server. This is the 6th public release of the next version, and one that’s coming at an increasing rate. If you look at the cadence, there was a release in September, then November, then December, about once a month. A long delay at the beginning of the year, but now 3 releases in a month and a half, which lead me to think that they’re getting close to being done with features. I have no idea when the product will release, and I do think that //build/ is a little too close, but I do think that it will release in the next few months.
For fun, I’ll send someone this mug (or a fun one of your choice) if you can guess which day the new version will release. Drop a note in the discussion with your guess.
For SQL Server 2017, we had seven CTPs and 2 RCs. For SQL Server 2016, we had 11 CTPs and 4 RCs. SQL Server 2014, I only had 2 CTPs tracked, though I think this was barely a major release. You can flip back through our build lists and check, but there has been both an increase in the pace of CTP/RC release as well as an increasing volume through the versions. I think this is a direct result of an better engineering process that has adopted DevOps to ensure the release of software is easier than ever.
I have to admit I’m torn on this. There is some effort to download and update software, and at times these versions have to be uninstalled to install a new version. That makes sense, and I certainly don’t want them spending time ensuring they can upgrade between CTPs if they can fix some bugs instead. Even if i have time to install the software and check a few things, I often don’t want to then recheck a number of things that used to work, and like many people, I probably just check one or two new things. Or if I haven’t finished checking something from a previous CTP, I might stick with that version.
This is one place that I think containers can really change the world. I can get the updated software without effort. Other than the download, starting a CTP 2.5 image is no different than starting a CTP 2.4 image. There is still a challenge with data files, but in a very rapdily changing world, we want to be able to upgrade quickly. With the changes made with CUs to allow roll forward and roll back, containers make even more sense. Stop one container, start a new one, same IP, same name, same data, new version of binaries. Upgrade or downgrade.
I’m both excited and intimidated by the new version. There are lots of enhancements that are going to make this a new generation of the platform, but as developers and customers request the use of new features, I’m going to be scrambling to better learn and understand some of the tricks I need to get the system to run well. Of course, with Intelligent Query Processing, maybe I’ll have a bit more free time away from some of the poor code that I’m stuck running.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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

Redgate SQL Source Control
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.

Generate script to recreate indexes

For me, this particular code to generate a script to recreate indexes has more practical use in a replication environment.  For example, the default replication setting is to exclude the... The...

Slow inserts across a linked server?

Linked Servers offer a great way to connect two SQL Servers together, allowing remote querying and DML operations. Frequently, this is used to copy data from production to reporting....

Proposed SQL Server defaults: optimize for ad hoc workloads

A few months ago I suggested that the following settings should be the default for most SQL Server instances: Set cost threshold for parallelism to 50 Disable lightweight pooling...

Enable a Named Instance to Connect on 1433

My default setup for a few years is to only use named instances, usually with a standard SQL2014 or SQL 2016 as the name of the instance. Recently, I... The...

Shrinking a large database with limited outage windows

Yes, I realize you shouldn’t shrink your database (data files or log files), but I recently had a case where ... Continue reading The post Shrinking a large database with...

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Intelligence vs. automation: The scope of analytics in successful AI deployment

There is a lot of excitement about artificial intelligence (AI), and also a lot of fear. Let’s set aside the potential for robots to take over the world for...

Azure Cosmos DB

Introduction to Continuation tokens in Azure CosmosDB

To understand what Continuation does in Azure CosmosDB, Let's look at how SQL Server handles query results first and try to compare SQL Server to CosmosDB. If you will run the following select statement in SQL Server. You will end up with all the data Orders table has. If there are 1 million rows, SQL Server will try to deliver 1 million rows to you like a warrior.

Cloud Computing

Dynamic Values in Linux Scripting

I do a LOT of scripting. Given the choice to click in a GUI vs. typing at the command line, I’ll choose the command line. Given the choice to...

Conferences and Events

Upcoming Events: SQL Saturday Raleigh

Key Details What: SQL Saturday RaleighWhere: Wake Tech RTP, 10908 Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville, North Carolina, 27560When: Saturday, April 27th, all dayAdmission is free. Sign up at the SQL...

Join me for a PASS Summit Pre-Con

I am very excited to announce I will be delivering a pre-conference session on SQL Server Performance Tuning on November 5th at PASS Summit 2019. If you have ever... The...

SQL in the City Summits – UK, US & Down Under

Redgate are inviting senior data professionals to attend one of the upcoming SQL in the City Summit events taking place in April, May and June. If you’re interested in learning how your business can benefit from implementing Compliant Database DevOps this event is for you. Find out who’s presenting and register for a Summit near you today

Database Design and Implementation

Understanding Data Modeling Part 2: “E/RM” and “RDM”

In Part 1 we presented some foundation knowledge with which to debunk misconceptions lurking in the industry's modeling mess that Friesendal has tried to map, and to show how...

Database Performance

SQL Server Monitoring Week – SQL Plan Warnings

Today I begin a week-long series where I will be discussing various SQL Server Monitoring Tools. My primary job is to help people with my consulting workshop Comprehensive Database...

Why Plan Cache Scripts Can Be Misleading

A Long Way From Home Most scripts (even ones I’ve worked on!) that look at the plan cache, have had…

Yes, pulling just the data you need is really important.

I was asked the other day why a customer was having performance issues on a table. A simple SELECT that ... Continue reading The post Yes, pulling just the data...

When READPAST Doesn’t Read Past

Oh, Bother Sometimes, you only wanna work on one thing. Other times, you only wanna work on something if it’s…

Slightly Less Not SARGable

Date Debate Searching dates is a common enough task. There are, of course, good and bad ways to do this.…

Devops and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Using the same Azure DevOps build steps for Terraform with different Pipelines with Task Groups to build an Azure Linux SQL VM

In my last post I showed how to build an Azure DevOps Pipeline for a Terraform build of an Azure SQLDB. This will take the terraform code and build... The...

ETL/SSIS/Azure Data Factory

Where should I clean my data?

As a follow-up to my blogs What product to use to transform my data? and Should I load structured data into my data lake?, I wanted to talk about where you... The...

SSIS 2019 has arrived!

It is not a joke: SSIS is available for Visual Studio 2019 as a preview. Whoa, hold on. SQL Server 2019 hasn’t been released yet? But there’s already an... The...

How to fix SSIS Deployment Error “Please Create a Master Key”

Problem: You are deploying a SQL Server Integration Services Package to the SSIS Catalog and keeps on failing with the following error: The error is succinct and direct to...

Redgate SQL Prompt

ASRock DeskMini A300 Review: An Affordable DIY AMD Ryzen mini-PC

Small form-factor (SFF) machines have emerged as a major growth segment in the desktop PC market. Performance per watt is an important metric for such systems. Intel has pretty...

New HP Spectre x360 Laptop

Introduction Earlier this week, I bought a new HP Spectre x360 13-AP0023DX convertible laptop at Best Buy. I have often criticized Best Buy as a bad place to buy...

The Intel Optane Memory H10 Review: Two SSDs In One

Intel's latest SSD caching solution using 3D XPoint memory is here. This time, the Optane cache is paired with QLC NAND flash, and all bundled onto one M.2 module...

Microsoft News

Microsoft Increases Minimum Storage Requirements for Windows 10 Feature Updates

Microsoft is increasing the minimum storage requirement for Windows 10 feature updates but if this impacts your environment, you have more than a year to find a solution. The...

Microsoft Edges Toward $1 Trillion Valuation on Results Beat

The results reflect Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s efforts to draw some customers away from cloud market leader Inc. and ink more significant clients. Microsoft also is benefiting...

Microsoft Q3 FY19: Windows has a surprisingly strong quarter

While Microsoft's $9.6 billion in 'commercial cloud' revenues stole the headline show for its Q3 FY19, Windows also contributed significantly to Microsoft's numbers.

Windows 10 May 2019 update blocked for anyone using USB or SD storage

If you really want to install the update now, you'll have to unplug your drives.


Taking Buttons in Power BI Desktop to the Next Level

Amanda Cofsky joins us to show how you can use buttons, in Power BI Desktop, to take your reports to the next level. Blank buttons can really make your...

Using The “Skip Test Connection” Option For Power BI Data Sources To Avoid Scheduled Refresh Failures

One of the most popular blog posts I have written in recent years is this post on how the RelativePath and Query options for the Web.Contents() M function can...

Improve Power BI Report performance by using the filter pane

If you are using slicers in your Power BI report, moving them off to the filter pane could improve performance. Patrick shows you what this could look like based...

Power BI Streaming Datasets for More Than IoT

Power BI real-time streaming is the perfect solution for IoT. Whether processing data through Azure Stream Analytics, the PubNub data stream network, or a custom Internet of Things solution,...

Power BI Paginated, DAX, Power Query and more… (April 22, 2019)

Thanks for watching this week's Power BI news roundup! Last weeks roundup: 2 Minute Tuesday: Patrick's tech video: Adam's tech video: Sources DAX 101: Summing...

Export data from Power Query to Local Machine or SQL Server using R scripts

There is always a discussion on how to store back the data from Power BI to local computer or SQL Server Databases, in this short blog, I will show...


When does a Failing Pester Test return Green?

I’ve been working more with different people in different departments more and more lately at work.

Building an inventory view of SQL Servers with dbatools

The situation Hey all, I am Andreas Schubert and I am working as a Principal Consultant and Database Reliability Engineer for SQL Server & Azure for multiple national and...

Product News

SQL Server 2019 community technology preview 2.5 is now available

We’re excited to announce the monthly release of SQL Server 2019 community technology preview (CTP) 2.5. SQL Server 2019 is the first release of SQL Server to closely integrate...

Released: Version-agnostic Management Pack for SQL Server (

Version-agnostic management pack for SQL Server now supports SQL Server 2012, 2014, and 2016 in addition to 2017 and up This management pack is virtually a new version of the...

Product Reviews

Book Review: Mastering .NET Machine Learning

This is a review of Jamie Dixon’s book Mastering .NET Machine Learning. For the sake of transparency, Jamie is a friend and if I hated his book I wouldn’t...

Free SQL Server Load Testing Tools

So you wanna run a load test against SQL Server. One thing I need you to understand first: you have to provide the database and the queries. Almost all...

HowTo: Install SSIS Framework Community Edition

SSIS Framework Comunity Edition is available from DILM Suite (Data Integration Lifecycle Management Suite). SSIS Framework CE is not only free, it is open source. To install SSIS Framework...

SQL Server on Linux

Azure SQL Linux VM – configuring SQL, installing pwsh and connecting and interacting with dbatools

In my posts about using Azure Devops to build Azure resources with Terraform, I built a Linux SQL VM. I used the Terrafrom in this GitHub repository and created...


Disabled Database User?

In my many years of working as a DBA, I have encountered many disabled logins. However, I have never really encountered what looks to be a disabled database user account. I didn’t even think it was possible to disable a user account in a SQL Server database.

Password1, Password2, Password3 no more: Microsoft drops password expiration rec

For years, Microsoft's baseline security policy has expired passwords after 60 days.

The top five vulnerabilities that could lead to a cyberattack

Have you ever wondered how devastating a cyberattack could be for your enterprise? A recent study by Poneman determined that the average cost of&

Data Breaches: All Your Fault

One part of my job is to understand the compliance landscape. This means that I read a lot about the GDPR and related similar laws. I also have to...

Security Scar Tissue Can Make Organizations Smarter and Stronger

IT pros slammed again and again by security breaches can become desensitized--or they can gain strength from the experiences.


Using IGNORE NULLS With SQL Window Functions to Fill Gaps

I found a very interesting SQL question on Twitter recently

The Lighter Side

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh

The Vineyard Wind project will also commit $15 million to battery development.

These are the best new vehicles of the 2019 New York International Auto Show

American auto shows are in decline, but we still found a few things to excite.


SSMS v18 and Azure Data Studio: The Golden Age of SQL Server Tooling

Yesterday, SQL Server Management Studio 18.0 shipped. Here’s the official announcement, the download page, and the release notes. Yes, it’s still free, and yes, they’re still adding features. Yes,...

Virtualization, containers, and k8s

Gathering VMWare Metrics

Anytime that you a large environment, gathering metrics in any form can be daunting and cumbersome.  Using scripting languages can usually greatly improve the efficiency of this process as...

SQL SERVER – Docker Volume and Persistent Storage

I have received some rave reviews of my article on SQL SERVER – How to Get Started with Docker Containers with Latest SQL Server?. It was amazing to hear...

data masking

Data Masker For Oracle 6 is here

Introducing a new user interface, enhancements and new features, you can now try the latest version of Data Masker for Oracle. Deliver production like data to development teams while ensuring that confidential data remains protected.

software development

Excellent Analysis of the Boeing 737 MAX Software Problems

This is the best analysis of the software causes of the Boeing 737 MAX disasters that I have read. Technically this is safety and not security; there was no...


Data Privacy Week: Navigating the New World

Monday May 20-Friday May 24 - Join Redgate and PASS for a week of events designed to help SQL Server teams navigate the new world of global data privacy.

Easing the transition from shared to dedicated database development

Wednesday May 8, 4PM-5PM BST / 10AM-11AM CDT - Discover how transitioning from shared database development to individual development environments is easier than ever thanks to database virtualisation and source control technology.

Test data provisioning for compliant database development

Wednesday May 1, 4PM-5PM BST / 10AM-11AM CDT - In this webinar, you’ll learn how to implement a test data provisioning solution that accelerates your development cycles and meets the needs of data privacy regulations such as HIPAA, SOX and the GDPR.

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