William Brewer is a SQL Server developer who has worked as a Database consultant and Business Analyst for several Financial Services organisations in the City of London. True to his name, he is also an expert on real ale.
You can produce HTML from SQL because SQL Server has built-in support for outputting XML, and HTML is best understood as a slightly odd dialect of XML that imparts meaning to predefined tags. There are plenty of edge cases where an HTML structure is the most obvious way of communicating tables, lists and directories. Where data is hierarchical, it can make even more sense. William Brewer gives a simple introduction to a few HTML-output techniques.… Read more10 February 2017
Big Data has its origin in science, but it is now being used commercially to increase the information that organizations have about people. This information can uniquely identify individuals and reveal their likes, habits, propensities and wealth. The power of this information is so great that legislation on its use is having to become more … Read more12 December 2016
Let's forget the actual PowerShell code for a moment: Why is PowerShell important? Why should I use it? Where did it come from? Why did it take so long to arrive? These and many other basic questions are answered in William Brewer's latest addition to the series that answers those seemingly simple questions that you were too shy to ask in public.… Read more18 November 2016
Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) aims to provide a roadmap of what is required, and when, to deliver and maintain effective databases that can respond quickly to business change. How does the DevOps movement, as it applies to databases, fit into this? William Brewer explains how DevOps provides the organisational change between delivery and operations to make important parts of the process easier to introduce.… Read more04 November 2016
For many developers, database security and Access control is just something that gets in the way of development work. However, several recent security breaches have had devastating consequences and have caused a change in attitude about the value to any organisation of having database applications that meet industry standards for access control and security. The problem, however is in admitting that you have a problem and finding answers to those problems you are just too shy to ask in public. … Read more20 October 2016
Not long ago, I was having to do a fairly simple DBA task onsite. It involved database provisioning by copying a database from one server to another, something I’ve done countless times. I was taking a backup of the source and restoring it under another name on the other server to create the target database. … Read more09 June 2016
Although it is well-known that the best efforts of a development team can be derailed by mistakes in the architecture, design and general governance of a development project, few attempts have been made to describe what needs to be done to increase the chances of success in the development of a database application. William Brewer steps into the breach to itemise what a delivery team needs to succeed.… Read more24 February 2016
With the new range of cross-platform runtime-systems, based on WebKit and Node.js, we developers are once again offered the lure of being able to write one application that, with minor differences, works in the browser as a cloud application, on the desktop PC, and in mobile devices. If you are already versed in the culture … Read more03 November 2015
There are few parts of SQL Syntax as familiar as the GROUP BY clause of the SELECT statement. On the other hand, CUBE and ROLLUP remain mysterious despite their usefulness and GROUPING SET is positively arcane, especially if you are too shy to reveal your ignorance of the subject by asking!… Read more13 July 2015
When the different teams that are involved throughout the life of a database fail to reconcile their different roles and priorities, and so fail to cooperate, or work adaptively, the result is gridlock: databases defined as though carved in stone rather than by code and data. DLM offers an alternative that allows databases to respond quickly to business change.… Read more06 February 2015
What is IT Compliance and is it really necessary for contemporary Agile applications to be constrained by the requirements of compliance? William Brewer argues that if the objective is rapid delivery of applications, then compliance controls must be understood as early as possible in development.… Read more05 November 2014
It is not just the rapid and painless testing, deployment and update of databases that requires care in the retention and management of configuration information. Configuration information is also essential for audit, resilience, and support. The range of documentation varies widely with the database and its setting, but the underlying principles remain the same. Without appropriate configuration management, automation is likely to be futile.… Read more06 March 2013
A secure cloud-based file system that can provide offsite backup is better than no offsite backup, but is there a beter way? Are there more opportunities in offsite backup for improving disaster recovery, or providing a scalable archive? … Read more07 December 2012
Planning for disaster recovery and business continuity aren't amongst the most exciting IT activities. They are, however, essential and relevant to any Database Administrator who is responsible for the safety and integrity of the companies' data, since data is a key part of business continuity.… Read more29 October 2012
As part of our long-running Cribsheet series, we asked William to write a guide to deployment that described in general terms what is involved in the deployment of a database application, and the sort of issues that one is likely to come up against. … Read more08 November 2011
As part of our long-running Cribsheet series, we asked William to come up with a brief summary of what was involved in bringing database development work under source control. What are the advantages it brings, and are there disadvantages?… Read more10 June 2011
When William produced his second article on the free tool 'SQL Scripts Manager', revealing that it worked just as well with PowerShell and Python scripts as it does with TSQL, he thought that would be the end of the series. Oh no; in response to feedback, comes a small add-in called 'Script Generator' that makes a big difference to the speed of developing and producing new scripts.
… Read more17 February 2011
SQL Scripts Manager was released as a Christmas present to Simple-Talk subscribers. William Brewer then wrote an appreciation of the tool. Now, he reveals a secret:: It also runs PowerShell scripts, and hence, SMO. He has the scripts to prove it, though hopefully, you'll soon be running your own PowerShell from SQL Scripts Manager.… Read more22 December 2010
SQL Scripts Manager is Simple-Talk's present to its readers. William Brewer was an enthusiastic bystander when Red Gate involved the 'Friends of Red-Gate' in helping them design and contribute towards SQL Scripts Manager over the past few months. Here he gives his impressions of the new tool and explains why it is useful to him.
… Read more21 May 2010
William Brewer turns a jaundiced eye to the task of laying out web pages using CSS, and gives some nuggets from years of occasional page design. It is, of course, set with a a stylesheet he's come up with to demo a few of his points.… Read more
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