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Author Profile

William Brewer

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.

Database Cloud Backup Cribsheet

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 more...

Disaster Recovery Planning for Data: The Cribsheet

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 more...

Database Deployment Cribsheet

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 more...

Database Source Control - The Cribsheet

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 more...

Fast and Free; SQL Scripts Manager's Script Generator

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 more...

SQL Scripts Manager with PowerShell

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 more...

SQL Scripts Manager: An Appreciation

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 more...

Advice on CSS you'll wish your mother told you

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...

Calling Stored Procedures from .NET Applications

Everybody knows how to call stored procedures from a .NET application. Right? But then, how often do you see stored procedures used to their full advantage in database applications? William Brewer goes through some of the basics, but uses PowerShell and IronPython as well as VB.NET as the example .NET applications just to freshen the subject up a bit, and avoids all mention of Northwind or AdventureWorks! Read more...

JSON and other data serialization languages

The easiest way to speed up an Ajax application is to take out the 'X' and use JSON rather than XML. Of course, it isn't that simple, as William Brewer explains, but JSON, and YAML, are fascinating solutions to the old problem of transferring complex data between modules, services and applications, nonetheless. Read more...

SQL Code Layout and Beautification

William Brewer takes a look at the whole topic of SQL Code layout and beautification, an important aspect to SQL programming style. He concludes that once you are tired of laying SQL out by hand, you had better choose a tool with plenty of knobs to twiddle, because nobody seems to agree on the best way of doing it Read more...

SQLTAC A workhorse for database chores

In which William Brewer, our software reviewer, goes through the spectrum of emotions whilst using SQLTAC until deciding that, quirks and all, it is very useful. He ends up feeling that the world of Software Tools will be enriched by this maverick offering, one that tackles a series of database chores, and does them rather well Read more...

Audit Crosschecks

In this short article, the second of a 2-part series, William suggests a solution, using SQL Data Compare 6.1, for providing an independent cross-check of database transactions to determine whether they have been retrospectively altered. Read more...

Top HAT

If there is one thing that developers and users always seem to disagree on, it is the relative importance of documentation. We take a look at the whole technology of producing Help and Documentation for tools and applications, and then review one particular product; EC Software's Help & Manual Read more...

The Science of Compliance

'William Brewer takes a look at what is involved with IT 'Compliance', and discusses what SOX compliance means for the DBA and IT Application developer.' Read more...

Quantifying Text differences in TSQL

In TSQL there is a limit to the way you can compare text strings. They're either equal or not. Sooner or later, usually when cleaning data, something more subtle is required! Read more...

SQL Server Endpoints: Soup to Nuts

SQL Server Endpoints are database objects that define the ways and means that SQL Server 2005 communicates on the network. Any DBA working with SQL Server 2005 will soon need to become familiar with them, particularly if using SOAP, Service Broker or Database Mirroring. Read more...

Using SQL Backup

William Brewer describes the role of SQL Backup in an enterprise SQL Server maintenance plan. Read more...

Database High-Availability: Soup to Nuts

William Brewer argues that, although there are technologies around that will minimise downtime in most circumstances, they are only part of the solution. At the heart of every robust system, there is planning, documentation, scripting, testing and drill. Read more...

Falling off the Web Log

Getting statistics out of website usage isn't a real problem. There are many ways to do it and plenty commercial packages that provide a 'turnkey' solution. The real problem is getting your hands on those elusive, meaningful statistics that will give you true insight into the effectiveness of your website and advertising campaigns. Read more...

Towards the Self-Documenting SQL Server Database

William Brewer investigates an unsung hero in SQL Server, extended properties, and shows how to use them to create self-documenting SQL Server databases. Read more...

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