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Tony Davis

Rapid SQL Server Database Deployment

With the right tools, it is possible to rapidly deploy upgraded databases. By deploying early in development, it's easier to iron out any potential problems that the new deployment could cause in production long before it's time to actually release the software. Tony Davis explains. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

SQL Enlight for SQL Server Management Studio

The process of doing SQL code-reviews used to be tedious and error-prone. Until SQL Enlight, it was a process that was difficult to automate for release and deployment. As it is now both a Command-line utility and an SSMS add-in, the database developer can see immediately the parts of the code that would raise eyebrows with the vigilant production DBA. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

SQL Server tablediff utility

Rob Sheldon continues on his quest to explain all those command-line tools such as SQLCMD, Logparser, SQLIO and tablediff that are part of SQL Server. TableDiff can be used for comparing tables, as when you run automated tests that check a result against a table of expected values. The best way to learn TableDiff is to see it in action and Rob talks you through several examples. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Microsoft's Log Parser Utility: Swell ETL

For loading text, CSV or XML files into SQL Server, the Log Parser utility, with its amazing SQL engine, is likely to be the obvious choice. Although initially developed purely for converting IIS logs, the Log Parser can turn its hand to a range of formats including even event logs or the Windows registry. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

SQL Server SQLCMD Basics

Sqlcmd makes many SQL Server tasks, such as automating test runs and maintenance tasks, easier and quicker. The sqlcmd command-line utility is valuable to any database developer or DBA as the prime means of executing batches of SQL Statements to SQL servers, and saving results to file. Rob Sheldon gives you the basic facts about this great utility Read more...

Simple-Talk Editorial Team

Simple-Talk Source Control

There are a large number of articles on Simple-Talk that tackle the subject of Source Control, and the extension of source control into the practicalities of build and the deployment of application code and database together. Together, they cover a wide range of topics and contain a great deal of information and experience. Read more...

Michael Sorens

MySQL Data Compare: The Manual that Time Forgot

MySQL Data Compare can both compare the data in MYSQL databases and also synchronise them. It is handy for a number of tasks for which MySQL has no built-in tools. Although it is intuitive to use and has online help, there has never been a manual; until now! Read more...

David Atkinson

Continuous integration for databases using Red Gate tools

Once databases are placed in source control, it is possible to integrate them into the existing build automation process.  This will ensure that the whole development project, including the database, can be  integrated regularly and tested by an automated build system. This, in turn, leads to opportunities for more frequent, reliable deployments. Read more...

Michael Sorens

MySQL Compare: The Manual That Time Forgot, Part 1

Although SQL Compare, for SQL Server, is one of Red Gate's best-known products, there are also 'sister' tools that allow you to compare and synchronise MySQL and Oracle databases. MySQL Compare was originally a 'down-tools' project, so never had the extra features or lavish documentation of its siblings. In respect for a highly useful tool, we publish simple instructions of how to use it. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

Custom Metrics for Monitoring Database Mirroring

SQL Monitor comes with plenty of metrics, but there are always going to be things that you want to measure that can't be done 'out of the box'. Taking database mirroring as an example, Grant shows that custom metrics can be used to monitor and alert whatever aspect of SQL Server or database that you need. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

Top Six SQL Monitor Metrics for Analysis

Many SQL Server metrics tell their story best when displayed together on the same graph, so you can see how the things you're measuring vary against each other, over time, in order to gain a summary of the stresses on the server. So what six metrics should you choose? Grant comes up with his six favourite diagnostic metrics. Read more...

Feodor Georgiev

SQL Monitor - Using the performance data smartly

How does a Database Consultant use a tool such as SQL Monitor? The seasoned expert doesn't just dive into DMVs before considering baseline information, application stress and the interrelation of different factors over time, to understand what's changed. It is the art of putting performance data in context. Read more...

Rodney Landrum

Centralizing and Analyzing SQL Backup Pro Backup and Restore Data

The more servers that a DBA is responsible for, the more important it is to have an automated way of documenting and reporting the admin events and activity in these servers. It is particularly useful to know about the outcomes of backups and restores. Read more...

Jonathan Kehayias

Free Tools for the DBA: PAL Tool

The Performance Analysis of Logs tool is a general tool for collecting and analysing log data. With the addition of a template, it becomes an effective way of analysing data from performance counters for SQL Server, in order to diagnose performance problems and capture baseline information. Read more...

Michael Sorens

Database Source Control Basics: The Unified Solution

It isn't easy to use source control effectively for a database project unless you have a single solution that covers both your application files and your database, but which also allows you direct access from the file system. As always, it is the detail that can trip you up. Read more...

Michael Sorens

Database Source Control Basics: The Essential Operations

Database Source Control operates much like a conventional file-based source control, particularly with the Commit and Update operations. The complexities of applying updates to databases, doing rollbacks and deployment, come from the requirement to preserve the data in the database and ensure that it goes in the right place as the schema changes Read more...

Michael Sorens

Database Source Control Basics: Getting Started

It makes a lot of sense to do it, but how do you get started? Whatever you use to build Applications with SQL Server, there is a good way of using source control and many reasons for doing so. Read more...

Dave Green

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Using tSQLt and SQL Test

The open-source Unit Test framework tSQLt is a great way of writing unit tests in the same language as the one being tested. In retrospect, after using tSQLt for a while, what are the 'gotchas'; those things that you'd have been better off knowing about before you get started? David Green lists a few tips he wished he'd read beforehand. Read more...

Phil Factor

Registered Servers and Central Management Server Stores

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) has many features that make it particularly convenient for the database developer and DBA. Registered Servers are typical: poorly documented, but essential for the busy DBA, since they are easily scriptable via TSQL or PowerShell as well as the SSMS GUI, to access groups of servers to perform a wide range of tasks. Read more...

Ernest Hwang

Database Build and Release with Jenkins

One of the frustrations of implementing a Continuous Integration (CI) system is understanding how the individual components of the workflow work together to contribute to the process. The software engineer for a successful system describes how his team designed and use a useful CI system based on Jenkins, Subversion and Red Gate Tools. Read more...

Richard Morris

Database Continuous Integration with Bamboo

We were so interested in Atlassian's Bamboo, and it's role in Continuous Integration, that we wanted to find out more, such as 'why the name?'. So we sent our roving reporter, Richard Morris, out in his proverbial raincoat and trilby to find out more. Who better to ask than their marketing manager, Sarah Goff Dupont Read more...

Brad McGehee

Proactive Data Growth Management: Reducing your Storage Footprint

There are plenty of detailed step-wise ways in which you, as DBA, can reduce the escalating cost of data storage for your organisation, but to get a radical effect, you'll need to apply some powerful compression techniques. Brad explains more... Read more...

Grahaeme Ross

Working with Continuous Integration in a BI Environment Using Red Gate Tools with TFS

Continuous integration is becoming increasingly popular for database development, and when we heard of an implemention of a system based on TeamCity, TFS, SQL Source Control, SQL Compare, and SQL Data Compare, we were interested to find out more. Grahaeme Ross gives a practical guide to how it was achieved. Read more...

Rodney Landrum

The Strategic Value of Monitoring SQL Servers

Why would you ever need to automatically monitor the SQL Servers in your care? What is the business value of doing so? What are the important features that a DBA should look for in a performance-monitoring tool? Rodney gives answers based on long experience. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Checking Out SQL Backup Pro 7’s New Automatic Backup Verification

Wouldn't it be great to offload the daily chore of checking the integrity of your production databases, and checking that your backups can successfully be restored. It can be done, and managed automatically too, in one process; as Brad explains. Read more...

Laerte Junior

The PoSh DBA: Grown-Up PowerShell Functions

Laerte goes step-by-step through the process of tidying up and making more reusable an untidy collection of PowerShell routines, showing how pipelines and advanced functions can make PowerShell more effective in helping to automate many of the working DBA's chores. Read more...

Timothy Wiseman

SQL Scripts Manager and IronPython

As well as running TSQL and PowerShell, the free SQL Scripts Manager tool can also run Python scripts. This allows even more sophisticated scripting possibilities for managing automated database tasks. Read more...

Dave Green

Using SQL Test Database Unit Testing with TeamCity Continuous Integration

With database applications, the process of test and integration can be frustratingly slow because so much of it is based on manual processes. Everyone seems to agree that automation of the process provides the answer to accomodating shorter development cycles, but how, exactly? Dave Green describes a successful process that integrates third-party tools. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

SQL Cop Review

Static code analysis is used a lot by application programmers, but there have been surprisingly few tools for SQL development that perform a function analogous to Resharper, dotTest, or CodeRush. Wouldn't it be great to have something that can indicate where there are code-smells, lapses from best practice and so on, in your Database code? Now there is. Read more...

Rob Sullivan

SQL Test: Seeing Red Change to Green

Now that we have some very good test frameworks for SQL Server, particularly tSQLt, all that was missing was a way of running your unit tests from within SQL Server Management Studio, and 'seeing red change to green'. Now the wait is over, with the arrival of SQL Test in preview. Rob Sullivan is one of those users who are helping shape the way that SQL Test develops, and explains what is going on, and why. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

SSMS Tools Pack 2.0

If you work with SSMS, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when tasks you perform every day aren’t part of the core features. Mladen Prajdic certainly did, which is why he developed his free SSMS Tools Pack. Now on its second version, Grant Fritchey explains the functionality of this great free plugin. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Implementing Checkpoints in an SSIS Package

Like any other application, an SSIS package can fail. Once the problem has been resolved, you'll usually restart the package, but if you implement SSIS checkpoints, then you have another option: you can restart from the point of failure. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

SQL# (SQLsharp): A Review

Only the brave, and foolhardy, write production CLR routines if you can get the functionality already-written and tested. Whether you’re a DBA or developer, there are plenty of times when a CLR routine will save a lot of time, and occasionally provide new functionality. Read more...

Richard Morris

Agile Techniques for developing SQL Source Control

In this interview, Stephanie Herr, Development Manager for SQL Tools at Red Gate, talks about the recent SQL Source Control development project. As a certified Scrum Master, Stephanie was keen to use Agile techniques throughout the development process, and she explains how the team maximized user feedback and ensured that customers got what they wanted, as quickly as possible. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Monitor 3.0

This is an updated article by Brad M McGehee on how DBAs can use SQL Monitor to help monitor their SQL Server instances. It focuses on the latest edition, SQL Monitor 3.0, which includes several key new features, including custom metrics, user roles, and SQL Server 2012 support. Read more...

William Brewer

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...

John O'Neill, SourceGear

Life After Retirement: Replacing Visual SourceSafe

Source control systems aren't exciting, and they don't come less exciting than Visual SourceSafe. Developers continue to use it but Microsoft will soon be retiring the product officially. What's the best strategy then? TFS? Not if you are looking for the most painless approach. Read more...

Troy Hunt

The unnecessary evil of the shared development database

One of the greatest pain-points in developing a database-driven application happens when the application is in source control,but the database isn't. When the development database is shared, the pain increases, and it is not alleviated by source control alone. Troy Hunt spells out why each database developer must have their own version of the database. Read more...

Grant Fritchey

Supporting Large Scale Team Development

With a large-scale development of a database application, the task of supporting a large number of development and test databases, keeping them up to date with different builds can soon become ridiculously complex and costly. Grant Fritchey demonstrates a novel solution that can reduce the storage requirements enormously, and allow individual developers to work on their own version, using a full set of data. Read more...

Troy Hunt

Continuous Integration for SQL Server Databases

When it comes to the subject of putting databases into source control, Troy Hunt is no shrinking violet. “Database source control is no longer negotiable”. In this article, published originally in his Blog, Troy explains how to do Continuous Integration from a database that is in a Version Control System (VCS). Read more...

William Brewer

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...

William Brewer

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...

Troy Hunt

Foolproof Atomic Versioning of Applications

Bad things tend to happen to developments where the scripts for the database layer are left out of source control. Now that we have the means to do it properly, there are many reasons to make the database an equal partner in the development process. Troy discusses some of those reasons. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Storage Compress

SQL Storage Compress does just that, and encrypts as well, allowing the files associated with a live database to take much less file-space, and securing them from unauthorised access. Why would this be useful, and is it really a free lunch? Brad puts it to the test to find out. Read more...

Michael Francis

SQL Source Control - Less Pain for Red Jungle

As a dedicated 'twitcher', Michael's eye is caught by a 'tweet' from Red Jungle. In this case, it was not an exotic species, but a user of SQL Source Control who was pleased with the way that it had saved them considerable time in the development process. Out of curiosity, Michael contacted them to find out more. Read more...

Corrin Lakeland

Snapper's Sweet Source Control

Corrin Lakeland's busy role as a Data Manager includes supervising the work of all database development. Although he was already a keen user of SQL Compare, the arrival of SQL Source Control came as a godsend to him. He explains why. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL HyperBac 5.0

In the second of a series of in-depth software reviews, Brad investigates SQL Hyperbac 5.0. This has always been thechoice of the gurus for backup software, but Brad now blows away the mystery and explains how it works; for it uses a simple but very clever idea to give all the benefits without forcing you to scrap your existing scripts. Read more...

Andrew Clarke

SQL Source Control: The Development Story, Part II

When creating SQL Source Control, the team had to make decisions as to which source control systems the tool would support, and needed to accomodate a range of different development practices. It also had to avoid the potential problems from the fundemental differences between database builds and application builds, David and Stephanie, from the team that wrote the tool, explain what they did, and why. Read more...

Brad McGehee

Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Virtual Restore

In the first of a series of in-depth software reviews, Brad investigates a newcomer, SQL Virtual Restore. What does it aim to do? How does it achieve it? Why is it safe to use? What are the benefits? Brad aims to answer a range of questions fairly and squarely. Read more...

John Rummell

SQL Source Control - no more database development without it

John Rummell had a problem that is shared by most database developers. How can one use SQL Server Management Studio to put source control files into a source control system such as SubVersion? The processes he tried were all error-prone and awkward to use. And then he found a solution. Read more...

Bruce Armstrong

Product Review: Schema Compare for Oracle

One of the more important tasks in the process of rolling out incremental developments to a multi-server production system is to double-check that all of the planned modifications, and nothing else, have been deployed. An Oracle expert, Bruce Armstrong, comes across SQL Compare for Oracle, and sees if it helps with this time-consuming task. Read more...

Andrew Clarke

SQL Source Control: The Development Story

Often, there is a huge difference between software being easy to use, and easy to develop. When your pilot users tell you "by week three of any development project you've thrown out anything that takes time or just gets in your way", then it is time to be serious about usability, as well as quality. We decided to find out from some of those at the sharp end of the development of Red Gate's SQL Source Control. Read more...

Andrew Clarke

Redesigning Red Gate's SQL Server Performance Monitoring and Alerting Tool

It isn't easy re-designing a successful tool, but it is fascinating work. Andrew Clarke talks about the challenges with Tom Randle and Adam Walker, the user experience designer and usability test coordinator, behind Red Gate’s SQL Server monitoring and alerting tool SQL Response v2. Read more...

Fabiano Amorim

SQL Server Intellisense VS. Red Gate SQL Prompt

Fabiano Amorim is hooked on today's Integrated Development Environments with built-in Intellisense, so he looked forward keenly to SQL Server 2008's native intellisense. He was disappointed at how it turned out, so turned instead to SQL Prompt. Fabiano explains why he prefers to SQL Prompt, why he reckons it fits in with the way that database developers work, and goes on to describe some of the features he'd like to see in it. Read more...

Andrew Clarke

Who Tests the Tester?

It is scarcely surprising that it can take up to five years to release a new version of SQL Server when one understands the extent of the effort required to test it. When enterprises depend on the reliability of an application or tool such as SQL Backup, the contribution of the tester is of paramount importance. It is an interesting and enjoyable role as well, as Andrew Clarke found out by chatting to testers at Red Gate. Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

SQL Search- The Search and the Sequel

It started out as an experiment to try to explore different ways of creating a software tool that people would want. It ended up as a tool that Red Gate is giving away to the SQL Server community in return for the contribution to the project of so many of Red Gate's friends within the community. But was it easy to do? Bob Cramblitt and Richard Collins went to find out by talking to Tanya Joseph, who managed the project that turned the concept into a product. Read more...

Barry King

SQL Server Partitioning without Enterprise Edition

Table partitioning is a valuable technique for managing very large database tables. It has always been possible with SQL Server, even if slightly cumbersome. SQL Server 7.0 introduced partitioning through partitioned views: These were combined with constraints to allow the query optimizer to remove irrelevant tables from the query plan and reduce the overall plan cost when a UNIONed view accessed multiple tables. As Barry King explains, this is still a valuable feature that works in every current version of SQL Server. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Downloading Software: the SQL Prompt 4 Experiment

What is the best way for a Software vendor to get people to try out their tools? Is dialogue with the vendor support team an essential part of the trial? Or should the download process just be made as simple as possible? Simon Galbraith, joint-CEO of Red Gate, explains the SQL Prompt 4 download experiment. Read more...

Shawn McGehee

SQL Backup 6: Wind of Change

One could be forgiven for thinking that there is little more you can do with any third-party Backup software than just ...er... backup databases. It takes a DBA who has to use such software every day in a real commercial setting to appreciate the full implications of the improvements that have been made to SQL Backup for version 6. It is the hard-working DBAs who are best-placed to judge whether it is all worth-while. So we asked DBA Shawn McGehee to give us his true thoughts on SQL Backup 6. Read more...

John O'Shea

Doing Schema Comparisons with Production Servers

There are usually strict rules against accessing production servers that generally apply even to the developers of the systems involved. John O'Shea comes up with a very elegant and versatile solution with Powershell that uses SQL Compare's ability to take, and compare, snapshots of databases to enable the developers to then compare development databases against the latest snapshots of production ones. Result? Happy developers! Read more...

Roger Hart

Continuous Integration with SQL Toolbelt

Sometimes, you wish you had a tool to run a software development process exactly the way you need it to run. You click your heels together and then realise that you already have the means to do it. By combining tools that can work in command-line mode, or can be automated in other ways, you can sometimes save a great deal of time and tedium. Roger Hart rummages into the SQL Toolbelt and comes up with some practical examples for providing Continuous Integration, along with the code! Read more...

Bob Cramblitt

William Durkin, Serial Red Gate Beta Tester

An interview with William Durkin. When he has the time, William finds it useful to work as a pre-release software tester. His most recent testing work was for Red Gate’s SQL Backup 6.0, just released this month. Read more...

Simon Cooper

Using the Filtering API with the SQL Comparison SDK

Red Gate's SQL Comparison SDK provides a means to compare and synchronize database schemas and data from within your own applications, with a greater degree of control than the command line interfaces. Filters, introduced in V8.0, provide an easy way of limiting which database objects you deal with, and can be created with any arbitrary expression in a SQL-like syntax. Read more...

Brad McGehee

How to Identify Blocking Problems with SQL Profiler

Many SQL Server developers and DBAs have, in the past, had their own favourite diagnostic Stored Procedures for investigating blocking issues, but since SQL Server 2005, it is a good idea to use the SQL Profiler for all but the most complex problems. This has a blocked process report which can tell you what the problem is, and give a good indication as to how to correct it. Read more...

Thomas LaRock

Using Operations Manager Reports to Validate Your Uptime

Operations Manager has a number of reports to help you monitor the uptime of your applications, but reporting can be difficult to learn until you understand all the different options, the different parameters possible, and the way the Operations Manager health model is structured. Firstly, you need a clear idea about the way that your organisation defines 'uptime'. then you can start your reports from any of the views in the Monitoring tab, and then add or remove objects to get the report you need. Thomas LaRock explains... Read more...

Roger Hart

Good Wow / Bad Wow - The SQL Compare Development Process

Roger points out the difference between a good 'Wow!' and a bad 'Wow!', when uttered by users trying to find features in your tools. You really should listen to both kinds when you're developing your software... Read more...

Thomas LaRock

Operations Manager: A Big Tinker Set

To illustrate the great possibilities of Systems Center Operations Manager 2007, Thomas shows how to create a Custom Monitor for SQL Agent Jobs, and concludes that Operations Manager is nothing more than a big tinker set with all the pieces available to make your working life easier. Read more...

Robert Sheldon

Using Powershell to Generate Table-Creation Scripts

For all of us who learn best by trying out examples, Bob Sheldon produces a PowerShell script file for SQL Server that can be used in either SQL Server 2005 or 2008, has error handling and prompts for user-input, is easily extended and, does something useful. He then explains how to run it and what each line does. Magic Read more...

Richard Morris

SQL Response: The dim sum interview

Richard Morris met David and Nigel of the SQL Response team, in a dim sum Restaurant in Cambridge. They had just finished a new Red-Gate product called SQL Response. Away from the office, they described the fourteen month software project that had been dominating their lives; and they were still able to say that they loved writing software. Read more...

Brian Harris

SQL Response: Choosing Our Words Carefully

Historically, the profession of "technical author" emerged from the nascent aerospace and technology industries following the war, and brought with it a military-style rigidity of approach to standards and formality. But documenting (and putting words into) software in 2008 is very different from documenting the wiring of a cockpit in a fighter jet in 1952; perhaps we need to relax more… and be more like Google. Read more...

Brian Harris

SQL Response: Does Everything Need a Name?

Our overriding goal at Red Gate is to make our software more usable by "doing whatever works". That means to do whatever users are most likely to instinctively understand. As we analyse and consider every use of language in our applications, this sometimes leads me as a writer to ask the following question: Read more...

Brian Harris

Ziggurats, Batman and the Town Crier

We asked Brian for a description of the Help System for the software he's working on and ends up quoting Blake's poetry, discussing town criers, Ziggurats, security guards and the BRAD signal. Read more...

Richard Morris

SQL Toolbelt 2008: Predominantly an Engineering Task

The conversion of the Red-Gate tools to be compatible with SQL Server 2008 might not seem, on first impression, the most interesting or creative project ever undertaken by the company. However, the two people most involved in the project were adamant that it was a fascinating and rewarding experience. Why? We sent the indefatigable Richard Morris to find out. Read more...

Jason Cook

Installing SQL Backup on Multiple Servers using SQL Multi Script

Jason Cook shows you how you can use SQL Multi Script to install or upgrade your SQL Backup server components across the network in one go, rather than installing the components manually for each server. Read more...

John Spears

A Prompt Use for XSLT

John Spears, of the SQL Prompt team at Red-Gate, Shows us how easy it is to use XSLT to transform an XML file such as the SQL Prompt snippets, to print it out, or share snippets across a development team. Read more...

Ben Hall

Using SQL Data Generator with your Unit Tests

Ben Hall, one of the team who wrote SQL Data Generator, has gone on to develop ways of using it to provide test data for a wide variety of Unit Testing requirements. Whether you use NUnit, XUnit, MbUnit or MSTest, you can now lay your hands on as much data as you need. Read more...

David Connell

Towards a Better Beta

David Connell describes how the team that developed Red-Gate's SQL Data Generator tool came to realise that database developers and DBAs already knew what they wanted for their test data. The team wanted to use the Beta version of the program to get a clear message from them. . And then came the daunting task of working out the best way of incorporating all this wisdom into the final product. Read more...

Arthur Fuller

The Database From Hell

In which Arthur Fuller comes to the aid of a friend who is doing his best to administer The Database From Hell, and manages to set up a reasonable test database with which to solve some of the headaches that only a 65 million row, 600 column, table can cause. Read more...

William Brewer

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...

William Brewer

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...

Steven Sanderson

SQL Data Generator: A Case Study

Steve Sanderson wonders why he no longer fliches at the thought of the laborious task of stocking his test databases with lashings of convincing test data. Its because he's managed to get a preview copy of the Beta SQL Data Generator. Read more...

Robyn Page and Phil Factor

The SQLCMD workbench

Robyn and Phil feel strongly that there are two striking features in SSMS that extends its usefulness dramatically. The first is the Template, and the second is the powerful functionality hidden by those strange words 'SQLCMD Mode'. Here they try to demonstrate how useful SQLCMD can be to anyone who is tasked with having to administer a database. Read more...

András Belokosztolszki

SQL Refactor and the Table Splitting Headache

SQL Refactor is well-known as a way of formatting, and beautifying, SQL Code from within SSMS, but few users seem to be aware of the Table-Splitting wizard. This wizard is explained by another, András Belokosztolszki. Read more...

András Belokosztolszki

Discovering Security Uses for SQL Compare

Much of the security of SQL Server is implemented as part of the database schema. This provides some bonus uses for SQL Compare. Andras, the architect of SQL Compare v 4, 5, and 6, tells how. Read more...

Greg Larsen

Custom reports in Management Studio, using the Performance Dashboard

If you are using SSMS and SQL Server 2005 sp2 You've probably tried out the database reports that are available in the Performance Dashboard, and decided how useful they are, but did you know that you can create your own dashboard reports? Read more...

William Brewer

Using SQL Backup

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

Phil Factor

The Simple-Talk SQL Prettifier

Tired of struggling through dull, monchrome SQL, C# and VB code in website blogs and forums? Then check out the all-new Simple-Talk code prettifier! Read more...

Robert Chipperfield

Database Documentation Using SQL Doc

Robert Chipperfield is a member of the development team at Red Gate Software. In this article he describes the key features of Red Gate's new database documentation tool, SQL Doc, and provides insight into the development process and some of the design philosophies that underpin the tool. Read more...

Phil Factor

The Ultimate Excuse Database

Is your IT project in trouble? Do you need to create a smokescreen so that no-one can pin the blame on you? No problem! Marvel at Phil Factor's versatile use of T-SQL functions in creating the "ultimate excuse database" and then start generating your excuses immediately! Read more...

Richard Mitchell

A Database Development Model Using SQL Compare

Richard Mitchell and Steven Davidson describe how they used Red Gate's database schema-comparison tool, SQL Compare, to develop the latest version of red-gate.com Read more...

William Brewer

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...

András Belokosztolszki

Faster Database Development with SQL Refactor

Insights into SQL Refactor, a groundbreaking refactoring tool for SQL Server databases, from its architect and lead developer, András Belokosztolszki. Read more...

Tony Davis

SQL Bundle 5: the developer's perspective

Last month saw the release of the SQL Bundle 5. Here, some key members of the Red Gate development team offer insight into some of the major new features, and the technical challenges they faced in implementing them. Read more...

Default Administrator

SQL database control and deployment

SQL Bundle Developer Edition helps building company customize installation and upgrades of key SQL databases. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Attack of the predatory sales force

Low-cost software is almost always a better solution, but if you must purchase the high-cost stuff, don’t get caught with blood in the water. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Trends in the SQL Server market

Brad McGehee interviews Red Gate’s marketing director about his thoughts and views on major trends in the SQL Server market. Read more...

Phil Basham

Return on investment

How to justify the purchase of a new software development tool. You might believe the benefits are obvious, but others can easily view such a purchase as little short of indulgence. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

Take emotion out of software purchasing decisions

Do you find indecision each time a purchase decision needs to be made, a requirements analysis can help you provide your boss with information to choose the right software development product. Read more...

Simon Galbraith

An automated solution for migrating database structures

Migrating database changes from the development database to the testing, staging, and live databases poses plenty of challenges. Learn why using an automated tool is the best way to deal with these challenges. Read more...

Phil Factor
Searching for Strings in SQL Server Databases

Sometimes, you just want to do a search in a SQL Server database as if you were using a search engine like Google.... Read more...

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