Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to execute SQL Agent Jobs

August 22, 2016 by

Every production ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) solution is often intrinsically linked to a scheduling mechanism that is used to execute that ETL solution. In a SQL Server-based environment, SQL Server Agent is one of the scheduling mechanism that can be utilised to schedule an execution of ETL solutions such as SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) packages. In the organisation that I currently work for, we’ve had several instances (for various reasons) whereby as the data team we’ve been required to provide a platform for business users to execute an ETL at their own convenience (i.e. on-demand). In this article, we will demonstrate on how we went about delivering self-service ETL execution requirement.

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Minette Steynberg

10 things you need to know to become a Data Scientist

August 22, 2016 by

Introduction

If you have been browsing job ads lately, you would have noticed a huge amount of positions available for Data Scientist. The demand seems to be much larger than the supply which means that there is a huge opportunity here. However, there appears to be a catch: Most of these positions requires some experience or knowledge in the field of Data Science. So if you want midway through your career, how can you skill up to become a Data Scientist?

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Brian Bønk Rueløkke

Ready, SET, go – How does SQL Server handle recursive CTE’s

August 19, 2016 by

First of all, a quick recap on what a recursive query is.

Recursive queries are useful when building hierarchies, traverse datasets and generate arbitrary rowsets etc. The recursive part (simply) means joining a rowset with itself an arbitrary number of times.

A recursive query is defined by an anchor set (the base rowset of the recursion) and a recursive part (the operation that should be done over the previous rowset).

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Ahmad Yaseen

Troubleshoot SQL query performance using SQL Server 2016 Live Execution Statistics

August 19, 2016 by

SQL Server Management Studio a graphical interactive that allows you to interact with the databases hosted on your servers. SSMS provides you with the ability to write, edit, execute, analyze and monitor your SQL queries. It also helps database administrators answer important questions about the SQL query performance, such as why a query is slow or why an index is not used. The answer to these questions can be found simply by tracking the Query Execution Plan.

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Miroslav Dimitrov

SQL Server stretch databases – Moving your “cold” data to the Cloud

August 18, 2016 by

Tons of new and exciting features have been introduced with the release of the latest SQL Server 2016. It simply is faster, better and more reliable! 🙂 As with the last several releases, there are again a lot of improvements with regards to the integration between on-premises databases and databases sitting into the Cloud. The ultimate goal is to have as convenient and easy as possible migration of the data in both directions. Today’s focus will be one of those features: Stretched Databases. Fasten your seatbelts and discover what is beneath this term!

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Aamir Syed

SQL backup reports with PowerShell

August 15, 2016 by

Let me preface this post by saying that this was a process that evolved over time. It started as a simple sql statement that emailed me a csv file. From there the actual SQL code evolved to display cleaner results. When I learned what powershell could do, I spent some time learning it during my lunch breaks at work. Even when I implemented a powershell script for the first time, it still wasn’t a clean looking report, but it was still better than what we had prior. Even now there is room for improvement but I am happy with the results and hope that it can provide some help to other SQL DBA’s out there.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2016 Trace flags modifications

August 9, 2016 by

SQL Server Trace Flags are special switches that are used to customize and control specific behaviors of the SQL Server Engine. Trace Flags can be defined in two forms; Session Trace Flags that are activated and visible at the current connection level only, and Global Trace Flags that are enabled and visible at the SQL Server Instance level and applied to all connecting sessions in that SQL Server. Global Trace Flags should be enabled globally in order to take effect, where some Trace Flags that can be either Global or Session Trace Flags can be enabled in the appropriate scope, and its effect will appear on the defined level.

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Derik Hammer

Measuring Availability Group synchronization lag

August 9, 2016 by

With all of the high-availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) features, the database administrator must understand how much data loss and downtime is possible under the worst case scenarios. Data loss affects your ability to meet recovery point objectives (RPO) and downtime affects your recovery time objectives (RTO). When using Availability Groups (AGs), your RTO and RPO rely upon the replication of transaction log records between at least two replicas to be extremely fast. The worse the performance, the more potential data loss will occur and the longer it can take for a failed over database to come back online.

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Steve Simon

Smart charts and tablices

August 4, 2016 by

Introduction

In our last “fire side chat” we discussed a few of the challenges that the HR Manager of a major hardware chain was experiencing. Mary Smith, the HR manager has since approached us to modify her existing reports to function more efficiently and effectively by utilizing her existing data, yet reduce the total number of reports.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Top 5 T-SQL functions introduced in SQL Server 2016

August 1, 2016 by

One of the exciting things to look out for in a release of SQL Server are the new built-in T-SQL functions that are usually introduced. Some of the reasons for the new functions may be because SQL Server is catching up to other competitors, attempting to stay ahead of the competition or simply responding to SQL Server feature-requests from the Microsoft Connect site. In this article, I take you through my top 5 T-SQL functions released in SQL Server 2016.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Force query execution plan using SQL Server 2016 Query store

July 29, 2016 by

SQL Server Query Store is a new feature introduced in SQL Server 2016 that is used to automatically and asynchronously capture query execution history, statistics and plans, with minimal impact to overall SQL Server Performance. The Query Store feature makes performance problem troubleshooting simple; you can view the query execution plans changes and compare its performance to decide which execution plan the SQL Server Query Optimizer should use for that query.

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Jean-Pierre Voogt

Running with running totals in SQL Server

July 29, 2016 by

Background

Running totals have long been the core of most financial systems, be statements or even balance calculations at a given point in time. Now it’s not the hardest thing to do in SQL Server but it is definitely not the fastest thing in the world either as each record has to be evaluated separately. Prior to SQL Server 2012, you have to manually define the window/subset in which you want to calculate you running total, normally we would define a row number with a window on a specific order or a customer depending on the requirements at hand.

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