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Phil Factor

SQL Server: The Neglected Features

Have you ever experienced that moment in an exam, frantically scribbling your answer to the final question, when the invigilator looks sternly across the room and says “time’s up, now cease writing and put down your pens”? I sometimes imagine this happening to the developers in the server division of Microsoft. Read more...

Kathi Kellenberger

T-SQL Window Functions Speed Phreakery

Before SQL Server had SQL window functions, SQL Server developers had to use all manner of tricks and algorithms to come up with ways to rapidly process large amounts of data. Do we need these techniques now that we can express a SQL task in terms of window functions? Kathi revisits a famous SQL challenge to find out Read more...

Michael Sorens

The Zen of Code Reviews: Best Practices

If you don't feel that you are getting helpful and comprehensive feedback from code reviews, it may well be your fault. Unless you are considerate to your reviewers in a number of ways, they might find it difficult to check your code and provide helpful advice. What ways? Michael Sorens outlines the eight golden rules that, if you follow them, might even even make your code a pleasure to review! Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Working with SQL Server data in Power BI Desktop

What's the best way of providing self-service business intelligence (BI) to data that is held in on-premise SQL Server? Not, it seems, Power BI 2.0 the hosted cloud service, but Power BI 2.0 Desktop. If moving your database to Azure isn't an option, Power BI 2.0 desktop could still bring smiles to the faces of your BI hotshots. Read more...

Casimir Saternos

Visualizing Data with R

It isn't just the attraction of the huge range of statistical analyses afforded by R that attracts data people to R. The language has also developed a rich ecosystem of charts, plots and visualisations over the years. In his second article about R Basics, Casimir Saternos shows how to get started with the three best-established graphics systems in R. Read more...

David Berry

Improving Web Page Performance

Visitors to a website are put off by having to wait for pages to load. Google uses the metric as well to rank your site. Why, when there are tools and techniques around to help reduce WebPage Lethargy, do we still experience slow page-loads? David Berry provides the simple ways of finding and fixing the problems Read more...

Tony Davis

Basic SQL Server Performance Troubleshooting For Developers

The speed of a slow SQL Query can almost always be improved. In SQL Server, the query optimizer determines the best way of executing the query, based on the evidence it has. The same query can be executed in many different ways as the data size increases, new indexes become available, or as the data distribution changes. If the appropriate index doesn't exist or can't be used, then SQL Server shrugs and does the best it can. Tony Davis explains how to find out what a query needs to perform well Read more...

Dino Esposito

Selective Updates with ASP.NET SignalR

SignalR is great for all those tasks that one would otherwise need to rely on AJAX. However, it is much more versatile than this: it allows, for example, a server process to update users' browser windows selectively rather than broadcast to all, and can treat groups of users in different ways. Dino explains how this magic works. Read more...

Michael Sorens

When to Quote in PowerShell

The one question about PowerShell that trips up almost everyone is about when and how to quote strings. Because PowerShell replaces the old command shell, it has to be able to work the way that it did with string parameters, but it also has to behave like a .Net scripting language to replace VBA. PowerShell grapples with this apparent contradiction, and manages to square the circle. Michael Sorens explains the how and when of PowerShell quoting. Read more...

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