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Tony Davis

The LeanPub Crawl

After many years as an editor, I’m finally working, rather apprehensively, on my first “lean publication”. This is a book that attempts to describe the importance of Database Lifecycle Management techniques in improving the quality of all database processes involved in the design, governance, development, delivery and ongoing operation of a database. Read more...

Phil Factor

Dependencies and References in SQL Server

It is important for developers and DBAs to be able to determine the interdependencies of any database object. Perhaps you need to work out what process is accessing that view you want to alter, or maybe find out whether that table-type you wish to change is being used. What are all these dependencies? How do you work out which are relevant? Phil Factor explains. Read more...

Adam Aspin

SQLXML Bulk Loader: The Sequel

SQLXML isn't exactly new technology, and parts of it aren't pretty, but if you need to heave vast quantities of XML data into a SQL Server database then you may come to appreciate the raw speed of which it's capable. Adam Aspin shows how to configure the SQL XML Bulk Loader tool for optimal data loading performance. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Power Query Formula Language in Power BI Desktop

The Power Query Formula Language (PQFL) is a functional language that drives the Power BI transformations, and allows you to create mashup queries from scratch. Rob demonstrates how to use it in Power BI Desktop to extract data from its source, filter rows, specify the columns, clean the data, and create visualisations. Read more...

Casimir Saternos

SQL and R

Not only can you easily retrieve data from SQL Sources for analysis and visualisation in R, but you can also use SQL to create, clean, filter, query and otherwise manipulate datasets within R, using a wide choice of relational databases. There is no reason to abandon your hard-earned SQL skills! Read more...

Michael Sorens

Build Your Own Resource Monitor in a Jiffy

It's great to be able to monitor a counter or any other changing metric while engaged in development work. You'd think that the two alternatives would be using a third-party tool or hacking a PowerShell script. Well no, because there could be an existing open-source PowerShell module that would do it for you, and with a little customization could give you precisely what you need. Read more...

Dino Esposito

Monitor Server Tasks with ASP.NET SignalR and Bootstrap

Despite the fact that browsers were designed specifically to get information from the server only by requesting or 'pulling' it, developers have always yearned to be able to push data to browsers from the server. Typically, it would be to display, within a web page within the browser, the progress of a long-running task. Now ASP.NET SignalR and Bootstrap make it possible, with care. Dino explains how. Read more...

Uwe Ricken

How Forwarded Records are Read and Processed in a SQL Server Heap

Before you deliberately use a heap in SQL Server rather than a table, it is worth understanding why a heap has such different characteristics, and therefore relative benefits and disadvantages. Forward pointers and the Page Free Space page are designed with performance in mind, but only in certain circumstances. Uwe explains why, and how heaps can be used to advantage. Read more...

Frazier Kendrick

Stumbling Towards Database Change Management

The scale of change in the insurance and financial markets is such that there is little time for the application or database developer to sit back and work out ways of improving the delivery process. Over time, however, it is possible to improve the process so that individual heroics are required less and less as release and deployment become more managed and predictable. It can be messy and error-prone at times but the long-term benefits make the struggle worthwhile. Read more...

Gail Shaw

How to Confuse the SQL Server Query Optimizer

Gail Shaw examines three common forms of generic SQL that can and will confuse the SQL Server Optimizer to the point that it generates and reuses very inefficient execution plans. Want to 'trick' SQL Server into performing millions of logical reads to return the data, when only are few thousand were really required? Try writing catch-all queries, or using control flow statements to create general-purpose procedures, or switching parameter values within a procedure. Just don't expect the resulting queries and procedures to perform well, or consistently. The ideal solution to the problem of generic T-SQL is not to write it, but failing that Gail demonstrates techniques such as recompiling the query on each execution, using hints, dynamic SQL, or splitting generic procedures into sub-procedures. Read more...

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