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Grant Fritchey

Database Continuous Integration

Have you ever longed for a way of making the delivery of databases more visible, predictable and measurable? Do you ever wish that they would be of better quality, quicker to change, and cost less? Grant Fritchey explains some of the secrets of doing Continuous Integration for Databases to relieve some of the pain-points of the Database Delivery process. Read more...

Jason Crease

Releasing Databases in VSTS with Redgate SQL CI and Octopus Deploy

You can still do Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) workflows in the hosted version of Team foundation Server (TFS) in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) . If you are doing your database development in SSMS, you can use a mix of tools to set up the functionality in VSTS. Jason Crease demonstrates how to build and deploy a simple database into the test environment using SQL CI, SQL Source Control, Octopus Deploy, tSQLt, SQL Cop and SQL Release, all with the minimum of hassle and effort. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Five Online Database Modelling Services

To design, or redesign, a database of any complexity, the Entity-Relationship modelling tool becomes essential. The specialized tools that have dominated the industry for a long while are expensive and are installed on a workstation. Now that browser technology has progressed so rapidly, the online database modelling tools have become viable and are starting to attract the attention of database designers. Are they good enough to use now? Robert Sheldon finds out. Read more...

Joe Celko

SQL GROUP BY Basics

It sometimes pays to go back and look at what you think you already know about SQL. Joe Celko gives a quick revision of the GROUP BY and HAVING clauses in SQL that are the bedrock of any sort of analysis of data, and comes up with some nuggets that may not be entirely obvious Read more...

Robert Sheldon

SQL Server System Views: The Basics

When maintaining or refactoring an unfamiliar database, you'll need a fast way to uncover all sorts of facts about the database, its tables, columns keys and indexes. SQL Server's plethora of system catalog views, INFORMATION_SCHEMA views, and dynamic management views contain all the metadata you need, but it isn't always obvious which views are best to use for which sort of information. Many of us could do with a simple explanation, and who better to provide one than Rob Sheldon? Read more...

Sergei Dumnov

Using R Machine Learning Script as a Power BI Desktop Data Source

You can develop a Power BI Dashboard that uses an R machine learning script as its data source and custom visuals. Here is a simple example that shows how to connect to data sources over the Internet, cleanse, transform and enrich the data through the use analytical datasets returned by the R script, design the dashboard and finally share it. Read more...

Enrico van de Laar

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Accessing Query Store Information Using DMVs

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store provides several new ways of troubleshooting queries, studying their plans, exploring their context settings, and checking their performance metrics. In using the Query Store to ensure that performance is as good as possible, it isn't long before it becomes important to be familiar with the DMVs that are associated with the query store, and using them in custom queries. Read more...

Murilo Miranda

Monitoring In-Memory OLTP: What's Important?

In-Memory OLTP has evolved to be a great solution. However, a production system that uses it needs careful monitoring to avoid stress conditions becoming problems. As with many new features of SQL Server, it pays to plan a monitoring strategy to ensure that you are alerted as soon as possible when things go awry. Read more...

Edward Elliott

Connected Development with SQL Server Data Tools

Although SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) encourages 'disconnected' database development, it also provides the SQL Server Object Explorer (SSOX) tool in SSDT’s Visual Studio shell to connect to a live development instance or view an SSDT project once all references have been resolved. Read more...

Laerte Junior

The PoSh DBA - Towards the Re-usable PowerShell Script

When starting out with PowerShell, it is hard to escape from the detail to work out the best strategy for creating scripts. Laerte explains how, when and why it pays to think in terms of versatile functions to meet varying demands. Read more...

Joe Celko

Declarative SQL: Using CHECK() & DEFAULT

SQL is unusual is that data is not passively stored. Instead you use declarative SQL to specify the rules that underlie the data and its integrity. When used properly, constraints can avoid having to provide a lot of logic elsewhere. CHECK() and DEFAULT can do a lot to ensure that your data is correct Read more...

Enrico van de Laar

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Built-in Reporting

One of the most important features of the SQL Server 2016's new Query Store is the reporting. With these features, it is now possible to get a wealth of information on how your query workload is performing, either aggregated for the entire query workload or for a single query. With this information, you can see the effects of 'forcing' an execution plan for specific queries and get feedback of the consequences. Read more...

Richard Macaskill

Wherever I Lay My Hat: Release Management in TeamCity with Redgate DLM

Where you have multiple services, applications and databases in your environment, and perhaps with high levels of scrutiny and governance, you'll probably want a Release Management system for deploying database and application code together: You can, alternatively, use a separate Release Management component. But for simpler applications, you can use your existing build system such as TeamCity to deploy changes. Using a database deployment example, Richard Macaskill shows how. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

JSON support in SQL Server 2016

At last, SQL Server has caught up with other RDBMSs by providing a useful measure of JSON-support. It is a useful start, even though it is nothing like as comprehensive as the existing XML support. For many applications, what is provided will be sufficient. Robert Sheldon describes what is there and what isn't. Read more...

Joe Celko

Declarative SQL: Using References

There are several ingenious ways of using SQL References to enforce integrity declaratively. Declarative Referential Integrity (DRI) is more effective than using procedural code in triggers, procedures or application layers because it uses the SQL paradigm, thereby making optimisation easier and providing clearer expression of the rules underlying the data. Read more...

Joe Celko

Declarative SQL: Using UNIQUE Constraints

In SQL, you can express the logic of what you want to accomplish without spelling out the details of how the database should do it. Nowhere is this more powerful than in constraints. SQL is declarative, and Joe Celko demonstrates, in his introduction to Declarative SQL, how you can write portable code that performs well and executes some complex logic, merely by creating unique constraints. Read more...

Laerte Junior

The PoSh DBA - Using the Basic PowerShell Paradigms

PowerShell is like any computer language: you must understand the paradigms, the constructs, and the way it is designed to work to get the most value from it. It is no good just translating 'sausage-string' procedural algorithms. To demonstrate how PowerShell should be used as its' creators intended, Laerte Junior shows the difference between PowerShell problem-solving with, and without, PowerShell paradigms. Read more...

Enrico van de Laar

The SQL Server 2016 Query Store: Overview and Architecture

SQL Server's Query Store, introduced in SQL Server 2016, helps to troubleshoot query performance by capturing a range of information about query usage, CPU, memory consumption, I/O and execution time, and retaining every Execution Plan for analysis. Much of this information is available through queries. It looks set to be the most significant enhancement of SQL Server 2016. Read more...

Chris Heppell

Jodie Beay and the Production Database Drift

You make an example database, like NorthWind or WidgetDev in order to test out your deployment system and the next thing you know you're worrying about constraints, backup and security. Then you add an index to the production system and feel a pang of guilt. What would the Devs say? Somehow databases take on lives of their own, populated by the lost souls of users, Developers and DBAs. Has the Redgate DLM Team's practice Forex database somehow come alive? Read more...

Omid Afzalalghom

Doing a SQL Server Healthcheck via PowerShell

PowerShell is an ideal tool for doing health checks of a collection of SQL Server instances, and there are several examples around, but few acknowledge the fact that individual DBAs have their own priorities for tests, and need something easily changed to suit circumstances. Omid's health check allows tests to be SQL or PowerShell and requires only adding, altering or deleting files in directories. Read more...

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Phil Factor
Routine SQL DML Testing for the Unenthusiastic Tester

There are more exciting things in life than unit testing SQL Statements, checking the results, timings, and... Read more...

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