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SQL Server Central
Featured Contents
Question of the Day
The Voice of the DBA

Daily Coping Tip

Find an action you can take to overcome a problem or worry

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.

Changing Computer Retail

When I was a child, there were a number of small computer stores, including quite a few that were authorized retailers for Apple, selling Apple IIs, software, dot matrix printers, and the loud 3.5" external disk drives. I'd go and window shop, dreaming of being able to afford one. I'd walk by Radio Shack, with their TRS-80s, considering a purchase there instead since my high school used those. Over time, my window shopping evolved to flipping through the massive Computer Shopper, trying to decide which mail order retailer I might trust.

Life has certainly changed, with online retailers dominating many computer hardware sales, though there are still some local stores in that we can visit. I've enjoyed wandering through Microcenter in Denver, and even taking my kids to Best Buy for their college machines. I've rarely visited an Apple store, though those seem to be quite popular with consumers. I have been to a Microsoft store, and saw recently that there will be fewer Microsoft stores in the future. I wonder if retail computer shopping is becoming a niche market.

There are lots of choices these days for purchasing new hardware. Many organizations have agreements with particular retailers and lots of data professionals never get much choice in what machine they might use at work. Some companies allow limited choice, some just assign a hand me down to new employees. Relatively few give an allowance, though I wish more did.

A computer is a tool that we use, but like any other tool, we all have preferences. I've been lucky enough to be able to choose most of my machines. I ask for advice, weigh different costs, options, lead time, and reviews. It's not an efficient process, but it is a nice break from work for a few hours and usually I find myself content with the end choice. I know there are lots of form factors, choices, and even colors these days. If you have the chance to build your own machine, it's a very satisfying experience, at least once in your life. Glenn Berry has good information on his site and advice on building machines.

The search for computing hardware can be fun, whether you want to build a machine or purchase something ready to go, it's one task that I think most technical professionals enjoy.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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

  Featured Contents
Stairway to Row-Level Security

An Introduction: Level 1 of the Stairway to Row-Level Security

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from

Learn the basics of how Row-Level Security works in SQL Server.

Heaps in SQL Server: Part 2 Optimizing Reads

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

In the second article of this series, Uwe Ricken discusses ways to affect the performance of queries involving heaps, including the TOP operator, compression, and partitioning.

Free eBook: SQL Server Backup and Restore

Press Release from Redgate

In this free eBook Shawn McGehee offers advice on query tuning, cutting stored procedures, and system process design and implementation for high availability. Discover how to perform backup and restore operations using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), basic T-SQL scripts and Redgate's SQL Backup tool.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Running SQL Server in Google Cloud Platform

Daniel Janik from Confessions of a Microsoft Addict

On a few occasions I’ve referred to GCP (Google Cloud Platform) as the “Windows Phone of cloud providers” and what I meant by that is they have a great...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Extended Events Capturing the T-SQL of Prepared Statements

Grant Fritchey from The Scary DBA

I asked this question myself: Is there a way to use Extended Events to capture the T-SQL of a prepared statement? Why would I be concerned with prepared statements?...


  Question of the Day

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


Plotting Data in Python

I am using the pandas module for some data analysis in python. I want to use the plot() method for a dataframe. Which of these is not a type of chart I can produce?

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)

The C in ACID

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

Answer: Consistency

Explanation: The C is for consistency, that the transaction state is consistent when moving from one valid state to the next. Ref: ACID -,errors%2C%20power%20failures%2C%20etc.

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 - 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 - 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)  
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 2019 - Development
Script works on one server, errors on others - I am running a script that yields exactly what I'm looking for in test, but when I copy and paste the identical script to a prod box I get: Msg 537, Level 16, State 3, Line 1 Invalid length parameter passed to the LEFT or SUBSTRING function. I can recopy and repaste it back to […]
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 […]
Analysis Services
Azure Analysis Service: Process Tabular Model with SSIS - Hello, I hope you are well. I know this is not the right place to discuss Azure Analysis Services but I have not found a forum for this product. I would like to process an Azure tabular model using SSIS but I am experiencing connection difficulties in SSIS. I think it should have a configuration […]
Integration Services
how to convert the below procedure into ssis for each loop and send mail task - I am tryting to convert the below procedure into SSIS, even if i get temp1 and temp2 into object variable.. how can i use those in for each loop container where it starts while condition in ssis? BEGIN TRY BEGIN Select PG.ID , PG.Time ,G.Address ,PG.Date ,b.Description as [D] ,b.Rec INTO #temp1 FROM tblPep PG […]
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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