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Tony Davis

Tony Davis

Getting the Measure of Your Application

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The idea of ‘instrumenting’ an application often seems to puzzle application developers. Modern IDEs are so full of code-tracers, debuggers and profilers that developers seem to resent the idea that applications should be designed and developed so as to be measurable. The application’s methods need to be instrumented so that, on demand, the application can […]

31 July 2015 11:10 am by
Tony Davis

The Railmap Towards Easier Query Tuning?


Recently, I’ve been getting more and more engrossed in SQL Server Execution plans for various reasons, including editing the forthcoming third edition of Grant Fritchey’s book. There are certain infographics that ‘speak’ to everyone. They represent highly complex concepts clearly and unequivocally. Unfortunately, the SQL Server graphical execution plan is not one of them. I […]

3 July 2015 9:52 am by
Tony Davis

We Don’t Need Any More Heroes


Where do I start? It’s a question each of us asks when faced with any learning goal, whether it’s how to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on a guitar, or how to deploy a database. The answer, as any teacher will tell you, is to work out where you are now, in terms of skills and […]

17 June 2015 10:27 am by
Tony Davis

Test Driving Your Database


In any engineering project, you can’t avoid testing your product against reality. A friend who once worked at a car design center told me that throughout each development cycle, in adding to a component-testing program with test-rigs and simulations, they would drive each newly-designed automobile down “Dunmore Lane”. This local road was infamous for its […]

4 June 2015 2:39 pm by
Tony Davis

The Art of the Author


When tidying out an old cupboard a few weeks ago, one after another I casually tossed outdated, dusty technical books into a recycling box. I paused however, when I reached one particular book, on “ASP for Databases” with which I’d had some editorial involvement. At the time, it had seemed just another book, albeit a […]

7 May 2015 3:38 pm by
Tony Davis

Taming Transaction Logzilla


A transaction log, if sized sensibly, is like a ring buffer. It will stay the same size however much data it holds, up to a point. It is when something goes wrong that the log can turn into a disk-space-devouring monster, and my heart sinks whenever I stumble across a forum or Q&A post advocating […]

24 April 2015 10:19 am by
Tony Davis

PsGet I love you


Much of the versatility of PowerShell comes from its impressive array of modules, mostly contributed by the community. With a simple command, one can install a module to perform a Find-String, similar to grep, or one to integrate PowerShell with a version control system (PoshGit), or to install a build automation system (Psake). With another […]

26 March 2015 11:15 am by
Tony Davis

One Man’s Panacea is another Man’s Poison


It can be dispiriting when we see the IT Industry take genuine attempts to solve problems, and turn them into vacuous marketing opportunities, or ways of disguising IT cuts on essential services. If a codified set of practices gets a name, and visibility, troubled organizations often clutch it as a panacea for deeper problems of […]

13 March 2015 11:04 am by
Tony Davis

On Selecting a Database System Fit for the Task


Now that the rate of hot air hissing out of the NoSQL marketing balloon seems to be abating, we can take stock of the obvious qualities of the technologies in a less excitable atmosphere. There are some impressive technologies out there. The oddly-named Neo4J, for example, is an excellent ‘Graph’, or network, database that can […]

13 February 2015 11:20 am by
Tony Davis

Ooh R


Why has Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, the company who provide open source distributions of R, alongside commercial “Enterprise” extensions for big data infrastructures? R is a programming language and platform for data manipulation, time series analysis, statistical modelling and graphics. It provides powerful statistical methods that can, for example, explore the relationships between the many […]

30 January 2015 10:52 am by
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