Steve Simon
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A story of Whigs and Tories

December 9, 2016 by

Introduction

As many of you by now know, I am a fan of utilizing expressions within Reporting Services reports to add additional flexibility. Recently I received a client request to create a stacked bar report which in turn would provide access to the underlying data the made up the bars on the chart. My client sells two articles: “Whigs” and “Tories”. Many people like to “buy” them .The idea is to display the aggregated data as may be seen below (grey black and turquoise) and depending upon which bar and color is selected( clicked upon), to drill down and to display the underlying detailed data (see below).

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu
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How to setup SQL Agent Job alerts to include SSIS catalog errors

December 7, 2016 by

I must have been one of the first people who abandoned BIDS as soon as SSDT was first introduced. Although I have never regretted that decision, I do sometimes feel that SSDT has introduced an unnecessary additional layer of troubleshooting package execution failures. Regardless of whether your SSIS packages are deployed using BIDS or SSDT, the common scheduling mechanism used to run those packages is usually the SQL Server Agent. This is where you are likely to encounter additional layers of troubleshooting SSDT-deployed packages. This is because unlike BIDS where package execution details were stored in the same database (msdb) as were the execution details of SQL Server Agent job, the advent of SSDT came with an introduction a new database – SSISDB – which is used to, amongst other things, store package execution details. Subsequently, in order to retrieve details of package execution, we ought to query the SSIDB database.

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Daniel Tikvicki
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How to use SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) query results in Excel with Power Pivot

December 2, 2016 by

Prerequisites for using query results from any Analysis Services model database in Excel through Power Pivot add-in are SQL Server 2014 or higher with installed Analysis Services Tabular instance (Multidimensional is installed by default), deployed Multidimensional or Tabular model database (for data source) and Power Pivot add-in for Excel 2010 or higher (Power Pivot is native add-in in Excel 2016).

In this article, the custom SSAS Tabular model database will be used (“AW Tabular”) as an external data source.

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Gerald Britton
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How to see the schema of a result set before running a query

November 30, 2016 by

Introduction

Suppose you’ve been asked to run a query against some SQL Server database but you don’t know anything more than the name of a stored procedure that you need to call. If you are going to do anything with the result set, you need to know at least the names and types of the columns to expect. This is actually a problem faced by many applications, including SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

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Ahmad Yaseen
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Understanding the SQL Server Proportional fill algorithm

November 22, 2016 by

When creating a database, SQL Server maps this database with minimum two operating system files; the database data file MDF and the database log file LDF. Logically, the database data files are created under a collection set of files that simplifies the database administration, this logical file container is called the Filegroup. Database data files can come in two types, the Primary data files that contains metadata information for the database and pointers to the other database files in addition to the data, where each database should have only one Primary data file and the optional Secondary files to store data only. The basic storage unit in SQL Server is the Page, with each page size equal to 8KB. And each 8 pages with 64KB size called Extent.

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Daniel Calbimonte
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3 ways to improve T-SQL performance

November 22, 2016 by

Introduction

When customers used to ask for advice to solve some T-SQL Problem, they would show me their scripts, stored procedures and cursors. I saw horrible things doing that job, some things I do not want to remember, and even some I cannot tell you about 😉 In this article, we will talk about performance problems when using while loops in T-SQL. We will also talk about problems with UNIONsand finally the use of JOINS of two or more tables using the where clause (ANSI 89) instead of using INNER, LEFT or RIGHT JOINS using the from clause (ANSI 92).

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Aamir Syed
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PowerShell: Get a daily database status email

November 22, 2016 by

The need for this script came about when I took a new job as a DBA. One of my responsibilities was to make sure all databases were available after the maintenance window which ran during the weekend. Rather than log into each database server and check that the databases were online, I had a script do the work for me and shoot me an email.

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Ahmad Yaseen
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SQL Server Partitioned Views

November 18, 2016 by

SQL Server table partitioning is a great feature that can be used to split large tables into multiple smaller tables, transparently. It allows you to store your data in many filegroups and keep the database files in different disk drives, with the ability to move the data in and out the partitioned tables easily. A common example for tables partitioning is archiving old data to slow disk drives and use the fast ones to store the frequently accessed data. Table partitioning improves query performance by excluding the partitions that are not needed in the result set. But table partitioning is available only in the Enterprise SQL Server Edition, which is not easy to upgrade to for most of small and medium companies due to its expensive license cost.

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Daniel Calbimonte
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How to create and configure Microsoft Azure HDInsight

November 18, 2016 by

Introduction

In our chapter about PolyBase, we presented this new SQL Server 2016 feature to query CSV files stored in Azure Storage accounts. We mentioned that in PolyBase you can query data in Hadoop (HDInsight) using SQL Server. HDInsight is a very popular system in Azure that eventually you will need to interact with if you use SQL Server. That is why we will give an explanation for newbies about it.

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Ahmad Yaseen
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What’s new in SQL Server 2014 Cardinality Estimator?

November 14, 2016 by

The Cardinality Estimator is a SQL Server Query Processor component that is responsible for predicting the number of rows that the query will return. This estimation of the number of rows in addition to the SQL Server statistics will be used by the SQL Server Query Optimizer to create the optimal and the most accurate execution plan for your query that has the lowest processing cost to execute.

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Nesha Maric
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Creating reports based on existing stored procedures with SQL Server Reporting Services

November 10, 2016 by

Basic extraction of the SQL Server database data is usually achieved by querying the databases and creating stored procedure to automate the extraction process. Unfortunately, extracting the information in this way will not yield high-end reports, and only basic table-shaped reports are available when extracting the information via SQL Server Management Studio or similar tools. In order to create high-end reports that will include additional projections of the data, such are graphs, lists, charts… SQL Server offers powerful reporting options within the SQL Server Reporting service.

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Steve Simon
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With a little help from my friends (DQS)

November 9, 2016 by

Introduction

An interesting opportunity arose at a client site during early October which provided a phenomenal opportunity to do a Data Quality Services implementation. My client (a grocer) had been requested to produce summary reports detailing the amount of funds spent during 2016 (YTD) with the myriad of manufacturers from whom the chain purchases their inventory. All “accounts payable” entries are done manually and as such are prone to errors.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu
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Two methods for restoring a data warehouse/data mart environment

November 8, 2016 by

Implementing best data warehouse designs and practices such as data lineage reduces the need to ever have to restore an entire relational data warehouse. However, sometimes there are instances whereby you have inherited poorly designed data warehouse environments that leaves you with no other options but to perform an entire database restore in an event of a sudden disaster. I recently found myself in a similar situation of having to recover one of my data mart following a data integrity issue wherein all data of a type 1 dimension was updated/overwritten using an incorrect source file. In this article I take a look at how different approaches can be utilised to restore the compromised SQL Server-based data mart back to its “good state”.

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Aamir Syed
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Have your database server talk to you: Send emails directly from SQL Agent Jobs

November 7, 2016 by

Recently, I was asked if I can write and run a specific query and have the results, (if any) emailed to a specific group of people every day? But only send the email if the query returns results. Who wants to open and empty email after all?

As with any DBA, we need a way to automate this process, as our time is valuable. Who wants to manually run a script, paste it into excel and then email it directly to users every morning?

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Steve Simon
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A festive gift: Working with images

November 2, 2016 by

Introduction

With Christmas just around the corner, in today’s “get together” I thought that we would have some fun by cataloging a collection of ‘your favorite items’. Whether it be a coin collection, a china plate collection or a stamp collection, the process is the same and certainly something that you will enjoy creating and maintaining. For today’s example, we are going to construct a “Postage Stamp” cataloguing system. We are going to see how we are able to get from this..

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