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The Voice of the DBA

The Impediments to Change

SQL Server is releasing a new version of the engine every 12-24 months at this point. That puts pressure on all of us to learn constantly about the changes. Even if we don't look to upgrade all of our existing instances, we can't buy older versions when the new one is released. Often many of us would like to install the latest version for new systems, but that isn't always possible.
Recently I was reading ArsTechniaa and they posed a question about the impediments to adopting new technology at work. Their query was in the form of a survey, and they'd like you to answer if you can. I took the survey, and I thought it was a bit vague in some sense, mostly around networking and communications rather than other areas, but perhaps that's their focus.
In any case, it often can be difficult for some companies to decide to upgrade their database servers. Licensing cost is a real concern, and while it pales with the cost of labor, I am not sure I've seen many features that would actually reduce labor costs significantly. Most the features might make some aspect of development easier (or quicker), but often we have solutions or code in place. Adding a new license cost isn't changing the outlay we face on a regular basis. The same could be true for many other features. Adding in better HA/DR, quicker data loads, etc. might be worth changing versions, but the capital cost can be hard to justify.
Perhaps hardware limits you. Is there a point in upgrading from SQL 2008 to SQL 2017 for working applications if you don't change hardware? Is it worth buying modern hardware? Glenn Berry would argue yes, but not everyone agrees, especially in upper management. This might even be true in upgrading minor parts of your existing system. Can you add RAM? Cores? Does your storage subsystem ever receive improvements? While hardware is certainly a capital expenditure, small changes could make big impacts to users.
Are there other reasons you don't upgrade? Is staff knowledge an issue? Perhaps you have concerns about support personnel having to work with new systems. There might even be other reasons to avoid chance. Time might be the biggest one with people busy on other projects. If you have some thoughts, drop a note in the discussion today. I'd be especially interested if you have Software Assurance and don't regularly take advantage of that to upgrade. We'd also love some short articles on your experiences upgrading.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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

  Featured Contents

Database Cloning Tools in Lower Environments

SQLBlimp from

With exciting products like SQL Clone making their debut, the DBA will need to think through the approach to implementing such powerful tools. Done properly, these tools will provide a massive benefit to both the DBA and developer.

Fixing Performance By Throwing Cloud At It

Additional Articles from Brent Ozar Unlimited Blog

Your databases are hosted in the cloud – either in VMs or in a database-as-a-service – and you’re having a performance emergency that’s lasted for more than a day. Queries are slow, customers are getting frustrated, and you’re just not able to get a fix in quickly. Just ask management if they want to throw hardware at it.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Initialize-HgsServiceName Fails in VMWare

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from SQLServerCentral

A short one, but one that took some digging and debugging and help from others. Saving here, so I remember, as do others. I had a VMWare Workstation v12.x...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Deploy SSIS Packages with PowerShell .ISPAC Deployment, using the SSIS Provider

Aaron Nelson from SQLServerCentral

In today's world, people expect to be able to commit one change, then have the entire project re-deployed and automated tests run against it. Using the SSIS PowerShell...


  Question of the Day

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


Service Broker Contracts

How do we add a new contract in SQL Server Service Broker?

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  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Strange Sorting

I have a table full of orders and another with line items. I want to get a list of the orders and their totals, but grouped. I run this query:

 DATENAME(mm,oh.OrderDate) AS MonthName
 , SUM(oli.qty * oli.unitcost) AS TotalCost
 FROM dbo.OrderHeader AS oh
 INNER JOIN dbo.OrderLineItem AS oli
 ON oli.OrderID = oh.OrderKey
 GROUP BY DATENAME(mm,oh.OrderDate)
 ORDER BY CAST(DATENAME(mm,oh.OrderDate) + ' 1900' AS DATETIME)

What do I get?

Answer: A sum of orders grouped by the months and ordered by month number

Explanation: This is a common issue. We want to display names for a report, but we want the ordering to be by the month number, as in Jan, Feb, Mar, etc. This query will sum the orders and group them by month. The ORDER BY will then change the ordering to be by month number. Ref: Sorting Months By Number (SQL Spackle) -

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.

Best Compression Tool for Encrypted Databases - Hi there, I was tasked with TDE encryption of our Clients databases. I set up all the needed keys and certificates and encrypted couple pre production databases. But now I am facing a problem. Our Company is utilizing Dell LiteSpeed software for SQL Server as out Backup and Restore tool. Compression level of this tool […]
Grant Bulk Insert Restrictions - Hi, Is it possible to restrict Bulk Insert permissions?  Let's say you want to grant BULK INSERT for Temporary tables only.  Can this be done?   Thanks,   TJ
Can i create a table from my parameters? - If yes, any links to instructions would be great. I am often times asked to search for parts, and their associated data (price, seller, buyer, size, etc. in our database. note: I use SSMS, but then I load the reports into SSRS/SharePoint for the end user. I am given a list of, for example, 100 […]
Report on the entire SQL Server environment for a newcomer - Is anyone aware of a script/SP  somewhere that would produce in one big result-set or report the overall information on a given SQL Server? I mean all database sizes, users, security, server configurations, replication, etc. etc. , etc., and EVERYTHING that a newly hired DBA would be interested to see and learn about each particular […]
Question on AWS DMS - Good morning Experts, Primary keys are mandatory for transactional replication. If table has no primary key, it will not be replicated. How is it in AWS DMS? Are primary keys mandatory and If table has no primary key, it will not be replicated?
help to fix hash procedure - hi, i create a procedure to get hash code from entire table's contents. it works fine in 99% , but in some cases it returns the same number for different data. in this code the ord value is swapped for two records, bat the hash is the same. is there a way to fix the […]
Code snippets removing line spaces - I just posted a topic in the SQL 2012 T-SQL forum group and the board removed all the line spaces between sections of code, making (to my eyes) what I posted completely unreadable. It's hard to tell one line from another, even though when I go to edit the post, the code box shows my […]
Converting Substring to DateTime - extra eyes please - I'm experimenting with a backup / purge backup solution for our non-prod environment. Every 3 hours, a copy-only backup of a prod database gets taken and pushed down to a non-prod NAS share. I'm only supposed to keep 4 backups (12 hours worth), so I wrote a script to purge them. My original code looked […]
Availability groups and dedicated NICs - Hi there,   Looking for some advice here:   I currently have 3 SQL servers in a single AG with a single network card on each server. During times of heavy network usage, we are sometimes seeing failovers to a secondary server. After some research, I see that the way round this is to have […]
Delimited Identifiers in code interpreted as BBCode - It seems that if you delimit identifier a single value in brackets using inline code markup (surround it with backticks) the value is interpreted as bbcode markup instead.  In all the below examples I use [ U S E R ]. For example, the value in a code sample And in inline code: . It […]
Help in SQL server - Hello everyone, I am New in this Forum and in SQL Server, i will glad for your Help for a little quastion: I want to create a job, that execute Backup for five database, every day in certain time. How do i create the jobs? thanks!
Connect to SQL Database in Visual studio 2017 via Active directory - Hello! I am authenticating my SQL database via active directory. Now when I am trying to connect to the database via Visual studio then the connection is failing because of login in windows authentication. The problem is I am using laptop given by my employer to work for client. So the windows authentication fails since […]
A set has been encountered that cannot contain calculated members - Hi Guys, I have a cube and works for more then 4 years. I get a error when I trying to browse in the Cube: A set has been encountered that cannot contain calculated members The following MDX Im running: SELECT NON EMPTY { [Measures].[% hours] } ON COLUMNS FROM ( SELECT ( { [Bookperiod].[Bookperiod].[All […]
Status Update 6 May 2019 - Mostly unchanged from previous days. The fixes logged today are mostly backend, infrastructure items that should improve some performance. We've had a few timeout issues that I hope will not re-occur. Two resources out this week, but another developer should be coming online. Perf and Infrastructure - 38 items backlogged, 1 in progress, 3 fixes […]
OLE DB Destination Editor VS OLE DB connection VS ADO NET - I am having trouble displaying table as set out in the book "Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services: An Expert Cookbook" page:96. The Book states i must return to OLE DB Source Editor. In the OLE DB Source Editor, i am not able to view the table that has bee created. I can view the […]


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