Tony Davis is an Editor with Red Gate Software, based in Cambridge (UK), specializing in databases, and especially SQL Server. He edits articles and writes editorials for both the Simple-talk.com and SQLServerCentral.com websites and newsletters, with a combined audience of over 1.5 million subscribers. You can sample his short-form writing at either his Simple-Talk.com blog or his SQLServerCentral.com author page.
As the editor behind most of the SQL Server books published by Red Gate, he spends much of his time helping others express what they know about SQL Server. He is also the lead author of the book, SQL Server Transaction Log Management.
In his spare time, he enjoys running, football, contemporary fiction and real ale.
The tendency to attribute malice to inanimate objects is deeply entrenched in the human psyche. In a famous account from Ancient Greek times, a bronze statue caused the death of an angry demonstrator when it toppled onto him while he was whipping it with a flail. The statue was put on trial, found guilty of … Read more03 June 2016
In a recent blog post, Jonathan Kehayias demonstrates a clever way to “multi-thread” maintenance tasks, when they need to run against very large (i.e. multiple terabyte) databases. The tool he used? Good old-fashioned Service Broker. Simply create some basic Service Broker objects, an activation procedure to automate Ola Hallengren’s maintenance procedures, bind the activation procedure … Read more20 May 2016
For many good reasons, DBAs and database developers use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), not SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). It is a great relief for them, after several SQL Server releases-worth of general neglect, to see some renewed developmental vigor behind SSMS. Until the approach of SQL Server 2016, DBAs could have been forgiven … Read more05 May 2016
At Simple-Talk, we specialize in practical, down-to-earth technical articles, and usually choose our titles to match. There’s no mistaking what “Comparing Networking options in Azure“ might be about, for example. Nor is there much room to doubt what’s in store in “Debugging data flow in SQL Server Integration Services“. Are we wrong to be so … Read more21 April 2016
SQL Bits XV, the official launch event for SQL Server 2016, begins in Liverpool, UK, on May 4, 2016. Simple-Talk is a strong supporter of this event, and for good reasons; it’s a fantastic training event, and also one of those that feels “right” from the moment you enter the venue. There are so many … Read more11 March 2016
Conference season is upon us. Sessions, hands-on labs, round table debates, so many opportunities for learning! Of course what they don’t admit on the conference websites and brochures is that all the important business at a conference takes place not in the sessions, but at the many impromptu social events, usually at a local ale … Read more25 February 2016
Much of what we do in IT seems easy, from a distance; even the modification of a live functioning database while preserving production data. However, any DBA who isn’t gripped by a cold terror at the prospect has probably never been responsible for a live trading OLTP system, on which an organization depends. A lot … Read more11 February 2016
“Does anyone actually do this stuff?” This question came from a member of the audience at one of Brent Ozar’s training classes on SQL Server Database Continuous Integration. Mercifully, plenty of people confirmed in the comments that Database CI was alive and well, which was a relief, since I’d been toiling for several days on … Read more28 January 2016
I’m no database designer but I do occasionally need to build a very simple database model, no more than a small handful of tables, to test out some code for an article or presentation. The other day, I was indulging in my usual habit of slowly tapping out CREATE and ALTER TABLE statements in SQL, … Read more14 January 2016
One of the strange paradoxes of team development is that effort beyond the call of duty is generally discouraged. Developers who are new to team working assume that, if they work wonders to solve apparently intractable programming problems in record time, then all around them will smile in gratitude. The instinct to solve problems is … Read more31 December 2015
On Simple-Talk, we try to make sure that Information Technology is presented in an interesting way. We all tend to have more patience with a pedestrian article or blog that has information that solves an immediate problem, and we find the necessary energy to wade through the dull bits to get to the nectar. More … Read more18 December 2015
The IT workplace can often be stressful when untoward things happen. Maybe, it is business managers who demand new platforms, applications, and functionality to support bold new strategic objectives. The IT team, perhaps, begins to crack under pressure of an ever-increasing backlog of work to unrealistic deadlines while somehow holding together a creaking and patched-together … Read more03 December 2015
NoSQL was a bold new revolution. Many of these databases are schema-less, or rather the schema is implicitly defined by the developer, and therefore is flexible and can evolve. NoSQL databases lend themselves to very simple key-value access patterns; there is no need to design complex relations, or perform joins in ‘archaic’ languages such as … Read more19 November 2015
Over time, many bug and issue tracking systems decline into a graveyard for bug-reports, a place where problems are buried rather than resolved. I’m not a developer but even so, any mention of bug-tracking systems elicits unhappy memories. I was once one of the Business ‘stakeholders’ for a system. We performed user-acceptance tests to check … Read more23 October 2015
I have to admit that I’m not a ‘natural’ with presentations. My colleagues have caught the occasional look of panic as I prepare my presentation for Redgate’s SQL in the City event in Seattle (Oct 26). It’s on the topic of “Uncovering SQL Server Query Problems with Execution Plans”, a topic near to my heart … Read more14 October 2015
Redgate’s SQL in the City events are imminent, first in London (Oct 16) and then in Seattle (Oct 26). I’m speaking at both events, on the topic of “Uncovering SQL Server Query Problems with Execution Plans”. I’ve often heard developers confess, sheepishly, that they very rarely look at execution plans. They haven’t the time for … Read more09 October 2015
A build is a regular health-check for the database. If all is well, then automated builds will run regularly and smoothly. Assuming all necessary database and server-level objects have been accounted for in the build, the team will be confident that little can go awry as it is shepherded through the release process to deployment. … Read more25 September 2015
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. Much like a … Read more14 August 2015
In software development, one man’s meat is often another man’s poison. We come across a technique and it works for us. We assume it will work in all contexts and publish it as a ‘best practice’. It fails to live up to its promise in other circumstances. As an example of this, a migrations-based approach … Read more
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