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The Voice of the DBA

Daily Coping Tip

Adopt a growth mindset. Change “I can’t” into “I can’t … yet”

I also have a thread at SQLServerCentral dealing with coping mechanisms and resources. Feel free to participate.

For many of you out there working in a new way, I'm including a thought of the day on how to cope in this challenging time from The Action for Happiness Coping Calendar. My items will be on my blog, feel free to share yours.

Renting Features

The licensing, use, and ownership of software has been quite a contested topic for years. Many people have assumed they "own" the copy of Quicken or Halo that they bought, but modifying or even reselling the bits has been a contested right by many vendors. It seems that courts seem to lean towards the perpetual rental of those bits rather than ownership.

We've gotten used to that in software, but what happens when this extends into the real world? There is a piece at Ars Technica about BMW looking to "unlock" features on their cars if owners want to pay for them. These are things like heated seats or perhaps sports suspension that are installed, but not activated. You could subscribe to the feature on a trial basis, and then activate it for a year or two if you wanted to pay a fee. The interesting thing here is that you could even do this with a secondhand car.

The comments from many people are disparaging, and rightly so, since so many vendors have looked to make money with these options, often in a way that isn't quite fair for the consumer. There is certainly concern and outrage about the cost of these features if they can be installed in every car without payment, and there are weight/fuel considerations as well. While heated seats might not use more fuel, I'd assume something like adaptive suspension or extra speakers in a sound package do reduce mileage.

In some sense, I do understand this approach. I've purchased computer hardware with extra CPU and RAM that could be "rented" for a short time, or purchased. In the case of a car, I'd like to be able to "purchase" heated seats forever with a similar charge to what I'd initially pay. Or maybe a rental makes sense if this includes a warranty while the item is rented. Certainly being able to turn this on later on a secondhand car would be great. There's also the idea that you could turn off a feature you didn't like and stop paying.

I also understand the cost structure here. If every car is built the same, the costs of manufacturing go down, even if there is some loss on a percentage of customers not using the feature. If too few turn this on, I'm sure BMW (and others) abandon the idea. If enough do, I expect we'll see other features, especially the electronic ones, being added to the list of options.

Ultimately, the use of software to lock features, and unlock them, makes sense in some cases and not in others. The devil is in the details, and certainly I think companies need to tread carefully here, ensuring they are pricing the options in a fair way. I also think they need to account for perpetual ownership as one of the options.

Cars are notoriously modifiable, and I do think this will succeed. I'm sure jailbreaks and unlock codes will be available all over the Internet., but they are for iPhones already. I'm not sure most consumers care.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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

  Featured Contents

Basic Git for DBAs: Making Changes in GitHub

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from SQLServerCentral

In this article, learn how to work with your repo online at GitHub.

Using SQL Data Compare to Sync Reference Data

Additional Articles from Redgate

Let's say your QA team maintain two similar test databases. They run tests to verify that different versions of the same application still produce the same, correct results. Therefore, any differences in the test data, between the two databases, needs to be corrected before the tests start. This is the sort of task for which SQL Data Compare is ideally suited, and Bob Sheldon explains how it all works.

Using SQL Server Query Store & Plan Guides to Fix Problem Queries

Additional Articles from

This webinar will cover how to use SQL Server plan guides and the query store to fix problematic queries and ways to improve query performance.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - More ADLS Gen2 enhancements

James Serra from James Serra's Blog

On the heels of More Azure Blob Storage enhancements come more enhancements for Azure Data Lake Store Gen2 (ADLS Gen2): Archive tier is now GA: The archive tier provides...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - SSIS Parameters

Tim Mitchell from Tim Mitchell

SSIS parameters help to ease the process of passing runtime values to SSIS packages. For values that can change over time, using parameters in SSIS is an ideal means...


  Question of the Day

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


The C in ACID

What does the C in ACID stand for when related to relational databases?

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)

Serverless Compute Cost

I define my Azure SQL Database Servless edition settings like this:

Max vCore: 8

Min vCore: 4

This should ensure good performance for my system. If the database is in use, and not paused, what would my charge be if my usage during an hour was 1 vCore worth of work?

Answer: 4 vCores

Explanation: The min vCore level is what you are charged if the compute usage is below this and the database is not paused. Ref: Azure SQL Database Serverless -

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
DBCC CHECKDB output - I ran a DBCC on a database and it found some anomalies. Just looking for some insight as to how to interpret this output (the part of the output that was in red), what do you think? Do these indexes found below need to be rebuilt or reorganized, or perhaps I need to rerun DBCC […]
SQL Server 2017 - Development
View will not run from System Databases - I'm planning an upgrade to SQL 2017 standard edition from 2008 workgroup Edition. On a new Server with new OS. I'm restoring the DBs to the new server and keeping their compatibility levels (100). After restore I'm updating Statistics. The queries run slower on the new server. The new Server is not live so I'm […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
Why is sys.master_files showing the size of RBS files as 0? - Dear Everyone I hope you are all safe in these strange times. I am trying to find the size of the database datafiles, transaction log files and RBS files in my SharePoint database where filestreaming is enabled and I tried to run the query below but I get the size of the RBS files as […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
No record in an UNION query - Sorry if the title is unclear. The following query is used in an Excel pivot table. It is an union of Cie1 and Cie2 companies.  The main criteria is to show the back orders (b/o) I would like that as soon  that either one has a b/o, both Cie1 and Cie2 will show, Currently, only […]
Sanity Check of (possibly) over-complicated query. - Background: We have a Document Management System which currently has 10 file servers configured in the DMS Database table DOCSERVERS. Relevant Columns: CREATE TABLE [MHGROUP].[DOCSERVERS]( [DOCSERVER] [NVARCHAR](32) NOT NULL, --internal DMS fileserver name reference [OS] [NVARCHAR](32) NOT NULL, [LOCATION] [NVARCHAR](254) NOT NULL, --\\hostname\share [ROOTPATH] [NVARCHAR](254) NULL --\root dir ) The user table DOCUSERS stores all […]
Sum Pivot by Dynamic Quarter - i have a report to create a prediction for 12 months (yearly prediction by month). example when will be the shipment date is base on input from user. the report will run by month. for example this month is July, shipment will only show July onward. i manage to create the dynamic pivot. how can […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
Primary Data Files - Good day experts, I added a second mdf file to my database but the second file is not writing any data. Am i missing something? i am using standard 2014 edition and the settings are as below:   Thanks for your advise    
Development - SQL Server 2014
SSRS NaN Error - Good day Gents, I have an SSRS report that I'm working on, and one of my expression is returning a "NaN" when dividing by zero. Can you guys provide some insight on a workaround to the "NaN"? Below is my expression: =(Sum(Fields!Reciept.Value) + Sum(Fields!Balance.Value)) / Count(Fields!VisitID.Value)  
In where condition use column value which contains column name - Hi Team, Greetings! I have below table. let table name =Emp I need to query in the table like below. select * from Emp where (Here instead of writing country='India', I want to use the column business_rule directly so that i can get the records ) Thanks in advance!
SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL
Large difference in Actual rows vs Estimated rows - I have a small query between 2 tables that i can't seem to figure out why the actual vs estimated rows is so far off.  The actual is 66466, the estimated is 1268.13.  What info do you guys need to help me out?  Thanks.   Edit: attaching query plan for a start.
SQL Server Newbies
How to Setup/Configure AlwaysOn Availability Group in SQL Server - Hi, I am learning how to setup and configure the AlwaysON Availability group and have couple of questions. 1 - Is it possible to setup/do this  on single  windows machine. I wanted to do this on my own lab which has 2 named instances running. 2 - Do I have to install Windows clustering services […]
Reporting Services
SSRS 2017 Report parameters show on the top of the page not left - Hi I am migrating reports from SSRS 2012 to SSRS 2017. In 2012 the report parameters show up on the left of the page, in 2017 they show on the top. Is there anyway to specify the top of the page for parameters? Any help is appreciated Thanks
How to do a Matrix properly - Hi everyone I have some events data with related delegates.  The events have two parameters (Category and Region - an event only has one of each of these), I've created datasets and parameters for these lists and they appear to be working fine.  I have a row group of Event Name and a column group […]
Integration Services
Binary(Document) Extraction using SSIS - derived column - Hello all - I'm reaching out for some pointers regarding a task I have pending: I have a specific task whereby I have to extract some files out of a database(Varbinary) column. I've done this on a couple of occasions using an SSIS package - albeit in a pretty simplistic manner.   For all intents, it […] Website Issues
"Stairway Series" page exposes article revisions - I clicked on the "Stairway Series" link below an article title and it brought me to the main "Stairways Series" page: As I scrolled down, I noticed that there were 3 entries for one of my articles: "Stairway to SQLCLR Level 2: Sample Stored Procedure and Function". One of them is listed as "Stairway […]


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