The Dangers of TechnoMarketingBabble

Everyone’s encouraged to be a content producer these days. It’s not marketing, it’s content! Sometimes the tell-tale signs are obvious. The author feels obliged to lapse into unrestrained hyperbole in the first paragraph, proclaiming unprecedented greatness for some unproven new feature or technology that represents a “total revolution” in the way you tackle a certain … Read more

Virtue in the Virtual

Are we now seeing just a frisson of excitement amongst database professionals at the potential of virtualization, and containerization technologies? I read with interest Andrew Pruski’s recent post on SQL Server and containers. Wow, I thought: so I can now run a Docker SQL Server Express in a Hyper-V Container on Windows Server 2016! Then … Read more

When Stored Procedures Go Bad

It is far easier to work out what is wrong with a slow-running SQL query than one that shows erratic performance. DBAs will groan when a process occasionally performs terribly without apparent reason. There is always a good chance that this is a symptom of the painful problem of parameter sniffing. It can afflict database … Read more

Skilling and De-skilling

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 more

Removing the Clutter from Graphs

You can quickly get an audience to see patterns and trends in data if you present that data graphically. Data visualization is often the most persuasive of mediums; and yet, it’s so easy to get it very wrong. With any of the rich variety of available data tools, it is the work of a moment … Read more

PSYaml: PowerShell does YAML

PSYaml is a simple PowerShell module that I’ve written that allows you to serialize PowerShell objects to “YAML Ain’t Markup Language” (YAML) documents and deserialize YAML documents to PowerShell objects. It uses Antoine Aubry’s excellent YamlDotNet library To start, you can simply load the PowerShell file and the manifest from its home on GitHub PSYaml … Read more

On Being Economical with the Truth

A while back, I attended a presentation about a suite of software that allowed IT managers to track in some detail the progress of a development project, via static code analysis, a range of source control metrics and other magic. Bathed in these insights, management could instantly track the detail of what was going on … Read more

SQL Server Geeks Annual Conference

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to be able to travel out to Bengaluru in India to attend SQL Server Geeks Annual Summit. It was my first time at the event and my first time in India. While the food was wonderful and the people were great, please allow me to focus on … Read more

Careful With Trustworthy Setting

Trustworthy database setting is an easy solution for some problems in the server, especially cross database access. However, this setting has also a security problem in some scenarios. The scenario that has a security break is the following: One or more databases are owned by a user with ‘sysadmin’ rights. If the databases were created … Read more

JSON and the Arguments

Now that we’re getting better support for storing JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) in databases, what is it really giving us? Whatever else, the technique of “stuffing data into a JSON blob and adding an index” doesn’t always absolve us from the task of carefully designing and normalizing our database schema. There are many advantages, I’ll … Read more

The SQL of Textonyms

The task of finding textonyms in SQL involves importing a list of common words and doing transformations on every word to convert it into what you'd need to type into the numeric keypad of your mobile phone to get that word. It's not that hard to do, but what is the quickest and most efficient way of doing it? Phil Factor investigates.… Read more

Creating schemas without DBO permission

One result of having the correct care with the access permissions in our databases is the need to avoid the DBO permission even to the users responsible for the database model. Using the database roles such as ddl_admin or even in more grainy ways it’s easy to achieve this goal. However, it’s more complex when … Read more

Why is Uninstalling SQL Server Such a Pain?

A developer friend of mine recently, upon the briefest mention of SQL Server, descended unexpectedly into a rant about the pain of getting rid of the blasted thing. I was somewhat taken aback. “Surely”, I protested, “the uninstall button is easy enough to find?” He shot me a pitying look; apparently it’s not as straightforward … Read more

Software Animism

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 more

Ten Years Later

Simple Talk has just celebrated its tenth birthday, has changed its platform, and has been given a make-over. The original site was designed for a small select readership, but we now get a million page-views a month. Security, page-speed, manageability, readability and convenience have all played their part in in directing what we did, but what do you think?… Read more

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Lives!

Frequently when a new piece of tech that I’m excited about is launched, total nerd that I am, I’ll start quoting Colin Clive in, still the best, James Wale’s Frankenstein. It’s ALIVE! ALIVE! Well, time to get excited. On Monday, July 11, Azure SQL Data Warehouse moves from being in preview on Azure to a … Read more

Invoke-SqlCmd Just Got Better!

If you’ve read even just a few of my articles on Simple-Talk you know that I’m a big fan of PowerShell + SQL Server.  Over the years I have written a lot about how to collect data from your SQL Servers and store it somewhere, maybe in a database, maybe in a word document. Well … Read more

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