Where Do You Go for Authoritative SQL Server Best Practices?

  • I tend to evaluate sites over time. Some authors I learn to trust, others I use to provoke thought.

    In general I look for articles that give examples. In effect they document the experiment and the results therefore both are up for peer review.

    An article may give a good write-up of results but without the experiment you have no idea of the circumstances that gave the result.

    There are one or two MVP blogs that are really good but not all MVPs are created equally. Some MVPs seem to have gained their status through general competence but mainly wide ranging services to the M$ community. Others seem to have gained it through a more specialised focus. Both have their value, it just depends on what you want to achieve.

    I sometimes find value in less experienced DBAs asking questions. You can learn as much from a good question as you will from a good answer.

  • I find the last part of the question the most interesting: "Do you ever take this advice at face value, or do you always test it to ensure that it works well in your environment?"

    Of course, in an ideal world, nobody would ever take anybody else's word for it and would *thoroughly* test all code/patterns/workaround etc before using them... but just suppose the sugar has already hit the fan and thorough testing is impractical - how much testing is 'enough' before deploying?

    And does the source of the advice make a difference to the amount of testing you deem necessary?

    Suppose the bosses are screaming and jobs are on the line (or your reputation as a miracle-worker is being questioned) - do you test less thoroughly if you get a suggestion from a more reliable source than from an un-trusted source? Would a quick once-over on Developer edition on your laptop provide enough comfort to convice you to deploy to a live production server *IF* the advice came from BoL or an MVP?

    And what if a heretofore reliable source suddenly gives a duff bit of advice (even monkeys fall out of trees)? Do you stick by them because of their historical reliability, or feel cheated and shun them in future?

    I'm genuinely curious what people think (and what they do in the real world 😉

    My own $0.02 worth is that I tend to turn to Google when I hit an immediate problem, use blogs and forums to keep up to speed with what's going on in the rest of the world, and use books when i need to deep-dive into a topic. I'm in agreement with the posters above who say that past performance is generally the most important factor when deciding which blogs and books to choose: considering both the author and the publisher.

  • John Neville (7/8/2011)


    Suppose the bosses are screaming and jobs are on the line (or your reputation as a miracle-worker is being questioned) - do you test less thoroughly if you get a suggestion from a more reliable source than from an un-trusted source? Would a quick once-over on Developer edition on your laptop provide enough comfort to convice you to deploy to a live production server *IF* the advice came from BoL or an MVP?

    BOL has its flaws and so does MVP code. Not all MVP's are created equal.

    Let's turn the question around... are you willing to stake your reputation as a miracle-worker on code that you haven't tested or have only done cursory checks on? I'm not.

    A major key to success is to be able to quickly build enough of the right kind of test data to test just about everything in a very quick manner.

    As a side bar, if the bosses are screaming, then they're probably the ones that came up with an over-aggresive schedule and they need to be reigned in. They need to understand that it's THEIR jobs that are "on the line", as well.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Personally I use the following:

    SQL Server Customer Avisory Team (SQLCAT)

    http://sqlcat.com/

    The Professional Association For SQL Server (PASS) (24 Hours of Pass, SQL Rally, SQL Saturdays and Local SQL User Groups)http://www.sqlpass.org/

    SQL Server Central

    sqlservercentral.com

    Business Inteligence Developer Network

    BIDN.com

    MVP Blogs

    Paul S Randal

    Kimberly L. Tripp

    Glen Berry

    Brent Ozar

    Buck Woody

    Allen White

    Kendra Little

    Jeremiah Peschka

    Thomas LaRock

    Johathan Kehayias

    Matt Hester

    (and others)

    Then I search to see if the information is consistant from multiple sources.

  • eccentricDBA (7/8/2011)


    Personally I use the following:

    SQL Server Customer Avisory Team (SQLCAT)

    http://sqlcat.com/

    The Professional Association For SQL Server (PASS) (24 Hours of Pass, SQL Rally, SQL Saturdays and Local SQL User Groups)http://www.sqlpass.org/

    SQL Server Central

    sqlservercentral.com

    Business Inteligence Developer Network

    BIDN.com

    MVP Blogs

    Paul S Randal

    Kimberly L. Tripp

    Glen Berry

    Brent Ozar

    Buck Woody

    Allen White

    Kendra Little

    Jeremiah Peschka

    Thomas LaRock

    Johathan Kehayias

    Matt Hester

    (and others)

    Then I search to see if the information is consistant from multiple sources.

    That's a good list

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Being a noob, I have been leaning heavily on my trusted gurus at work, and from what I have picked up from SQLServerCentral.

    I tried the MS training, and videos, but the concern is that many of my questions are just too specific for general theory to cover.

    I am loving the Murach's SQL Server for developers that I got last year in school. He explains things mountains better than others, like Dietel.

    - Erik

  • Jeff Moden (6/27/2011)


    paul s-306273 (6/27/2011)


    As for coding, if you can't make sense of something that's been posted reasonably quickly, I suggest you move on to something that you can comprehend.

    On the other hand, I've learned a whole lot of things by analyzing other people's code until I have an excellent understanding. High performance code isn't always easy to understand. For example, the absolute fastest method for resolving overlapping dates takes some reading and experimenting to fully understand. Once it's understood, though, it becomes "trusted" code and similar problems become child's play.

    Here's the link for the method I'm talking about.

    http://www.solidq.com/sqj/Pages/2011-March-Issue/Packing-Intervals.aspx

    ....

    Jeff - do you have either another link to this Itzik Ben-Gan article that shows it in its entirety (without registering at the solidq site) or have it yourself? I'd like to read the whole thing.

    Thanks

    Kindest Regards,

    Just say No to Facebook!
  • I haven't downloaded it but, even if I did (as they have allowed and for personal use only), I've got this little thing about ethics. Even though they've not explicitly put a copyright notice on the article, I respect the material as if it were implicitly copyrighted. All they ask is to register with the site to be able to do the downloads and I understand the business reasons why they do that.

    Registering with the site is much like registering on SQLServerCentral... I've received no spam that I can attribute to being registered on their site. My recommendation is to register with the site so you can download the article yourself.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

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