Easily Repeating Work

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  • So, we maintain a collection of PowerShell modules in a shared Git repository for performing operational tasks like failing over an AOG node, starting/stopping traces, or enabling/disabling features. PowerShell is great, because it can automate not just tasks but an entire integrated "run book" end to end while prompting for input if needed - which is something T-SQL scripts can't do. A lot of these processes also send an email and/or slack channel alert whenever they are initiated.

    Then there is our "DBA Dashboard", an ASP.NET application we developed in-house for monitoring and instrumenting back end processes (like the aforementioned PowerShell functions). It won't win any awards for web UI design - but it's got a lot of great functionality. For example, SQL Agent jobs can be stopped/started from a consolidated interface, and the events are logged automatically be the dashboard. I also created a Server Activity screen, which looks sort of like the output from sp_WhoIsActive, except it has highlights for blocked / blocking SPIDs, noteworthy wait states or runtime duration. There is even a "KILL" button - which prompts the DBA to enter a reason which then gets logged before executing the operation.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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