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Tony Davis

Questions About SQL Server Transaction Log You Were Too Shy To Ask

You can give a deep-dive presentation about SQL Server's transaction log, and round it off by inviting questions. Your audience will stare awkwardly at their boots. Afterwards, to your surprise there will be a queue of questioners, and the questions are the ones they were too shy to ask out loud. Tony Davis answers these apparently simple, yet tricky questions. Read more...

Joe Celko

The DRI Subject of References

A database must be able to maintain and enforce the business rules and relationships in data in order to maintain the data model. It does this through referential constraints. They aren't complex, but are powerful, especially with the means to attach DRI actions to them. Joe Celko explains all, and pines for the ANSI CREATE ASSERTION statement Read more...

Dennes Torres

Checking the Plan Cache Warnings for a SQL Server Database

How often do you check your query plans to see if they contain any warnings? If you're missing them, it means that you're not getting all those hints about missing indexes, join predicates or statistics. Is the query optimiser trying to tell you about implicit conversions? Dennes shows how to view the warnings in plan cache for a particular database using SQL Read more...

Feodor Georgiev

Curing Data-Obesity in OLTP Databases

OLTP databases work best when data that becomes no longer current is then transferred to a separate database for analysis and reporting. There are many ways to do this, but Feodor describes a rapid technique that takes advantage of partitions to automates the rotation of the data and moving it to the analysis server. Read more...

Jonathan Watts

The Promise - and the Pitfalls - of In-Memory OLTP

When SQL Server 2014 was released, it included Hekaton, Microsoft’s much talked about memory-optimized engine that brings In-Memory OLTP into play. With memory-optimized tables 30 times faster than disk-based tables, higher performance is promised – but at what cost? Jonathan Watts looks at the features that have improved, and those that need careful consideration. Read more...

Michael K Campbell

The Importance of Caching

Performance tuning and optimization definitely have their place in minimizing SQL Server Licensing costs – by helping keep CPU utilization low. But it’s important to remember that the fastest and most efficient query possible is the one that you never execute against your SQL Server. That might sound trite, but it’s at the heart of caching – which is key to helping organizations save significant money on SQL Server licensing costs while simultaneously enabling better application performance and increased scalability. Read more...

Tim Hidalgo

Managing Test Data as a Database CI Component - Part 1

Constructing a test environment for your databases can be a difficult task at the best of times. Once you’ve actually acquired the hardware needed and architected the environment, you still have to arrange and securely transport the data. And with the rising demand for fast feedback and continuously integrated processes, having all of this automated and operating at speed is a challenge all of its own. Read more...

Dwain Camps

Bowled Over by SQL Window Functions

What better way to learn how to construct complex CHECK CONSTRAINTs, use the SQL 2012 window frame capability of the OVER clause and LEAD analytic function, as well as how to pivot rows into columns using a crosstab query? Create the SQL code to score Ten-pin Bowling, of course. Dwain Camps explains the how, what and why. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Questions About T-SQL Control-of-Flow Language You Were Too Shy to Ask

Surely, we all know how T-SQL Control-of-flow language works? In fact it is surprisingly easy to get caught out. What, for example, do the BREAK, RETURN and CONTINUE keywords do, precisely, in their various contexts? the answers to this and other questions aren't all entirely obvious, but we're too shy to ask them in public, and risk displaying our ignorance. Read more...

Dennes Torres

Centralize Your Database Monitoring Process

SQL Server Data Collector, together with Management Data Warehouse, is a fine and useful component for gathering information centrally about how SQL Server instances are being used, and thereby keeping an eye out for problems. It comes into its own when you have figured out how to configure it to run on maybe hundreds of instances using Central Management Server. Dennes describes how to tame the system so that it scales. Read more...

Phil Factor

A Start with Automating Database Configuration Management

For a number of reasons, it pays to have the up-to-date source of all the databases and servers that you're responsible for in a central archive, in version control, and this is a job that is best automated. If you enlist the help of SQL Compare Pro, you can create a Powershell-based system that can be extended to warn you of changes, roughly when they happened, with a report of exactly what changed and how. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

Why Developers Need to Understand Execution Plans

As a coder, the more you know about the business, the better code you're going to write. The more you know about the language in which you code regularly, the better code you're going to write. Similarly, if you're tasked with writing code against a relational database engine, you're going to need to know more about that engine. If you can examine and understand execution plans, you can achieve better understanding of the database system and you will write better database code. Grant Fritchey shows you how. Read more...

Feodor Georgiev

How to get ETL Horribly Wrong

ETL ( Extract, transform, load) doesn't have to be like a spell on hell. To make a success of ETL systems, you need the freedom and ability to make graceful U-turns when you detect a mistake in architecture or configuration: to fix the root problem rather than to merely tackle the symptoms. Feodor lists the eight most common root causes of failure in ETL systems, and how to fix them. Read more...

Joe Celko

Discrete and Continuous data in SQL

Not all data is discrete; some data types represent a continuum. In SQL, we have to approximate them and live with the special problems of handling continuous data. We need to understand the problems associated with continuous data types, when these will happen, and how it affects constraints and the results of queries. Joe Celko explains. Read more...

Kathi Kellenberger

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Deploying Reports

Having designed and tested our reports, it's time to deploy them to the Report Server, so that our users can access them. Kathi Kellenberger demonstrates how to configure reports for native-mode deployment using Report Manager, and then deploy them from within SSDT-BI. She also explains how to use the Report Builder to provide "self-service" reporting to end users, allowing them to build custom reports based on report parts and shared datasets. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Questions About Pivoting Data in SQL Server You Were Too Shy to Ask

Of all the basic SQL operations, the pivot seems to cause the most problems. We can tell from the way that old articles on Simple-Talk on the topic continue to be read. It turns out that there are several questions that come to mind while learning about pivoting, but which are seldom asked on forums. Once more, Robert Sheldon attempts to answer these unspoken questions. Read more...

Various Simple-Talk Authors

Database Lifecycle Management Patterns & Practices Stage 2 - Version Control

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Various Simple-Talk Authors

Database Lifecycle Management Patterns & Practices Stage 4 - Release Management

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Various Simple-Talk Authors

Database Lifecycle Management Patterns & Practices - Culture and Organization

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