Robert Seles

Installing SQL Server 2016

June 7, 2016 by

Introduction

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 provides faster transactions and queries, deeper insights on any device, advanced analytics, new security technology, and new hybrid cloud scenarios. Along with these features, comes the new installation setup. Although it is similar to the installation of SQL Server 2014 and other older versions, there are few notable differences:

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Timothy Smith

Useful DBCC log commands

June 1, 2016 by

Background

When we’re architecting or troubleshooting issues in an environment, understanding how the log is set up and its history helps us identify if improving it will carry significant impacts overall. We have some built in tools that we can use, such as DBCC LOGINFO and DBCC SQLPERF and in this tip we look at how we can use them when we’re debugging issues, designing our logs for scale, or monitoring our current setup. We also look at some ways we can retain the information these provide so that we can use this for historic measurements and benchmarking, as well as using them for potentially alerting.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2014 contained databases

June 1, 2016 by

SQL Server provides two ways to authenticate users; SQL Server Authentication, which requires a predefined username and password to connect to the SQL Server, and Windows Authentication, in which SQL Server trusts the windows integrated user. The server level user that is authenticated to connect to the SQL Server is called a Server Login. This login should be mapped to a database user and granted permissions at the database level in order to access the database and be able to perform the authorized tasks. The relationship between the Server login and the database user in addition to the database metadata stored in the master system database draw up the dependencies between the SQL Server databases the server-level resources.

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Marko Radakovic

Revision history of an object change in a SQL database using Team Foundation Server

May 31, 2016 by

Similarly, as described previously in this article, where the revision history is covered for the Git source control system, we’ll present the workflow of reviewing the history of committed SQL database objects using Team Foundation Server (TFS) source control system. In order to use TFS and have SQL database objects being version controlled, Visual Studio is required, as well as TFS server, either installed on a machine or TFS through Team Services, which is actually TFS “in the cloud”.

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Ed Pollack

Creating the perfect schema documentation script

May 27, 2016 by

Description

System views allow us to gain access to information about any objects within SQL Server, from tables to extended properties to check constraints. This information can be collected and used for many purposes, one being the need to document our objects without the need to click endlessly in the GUI or to incur an immense amount of manual work.

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Timothy Smith

Monitoring changes in SQL Server using change data capture

May 27, 2016 by

Background

In multi-user environments, changes may occur frequently to the architecture, data, or overall structure that creates work for other users. In this series, we look at some ways that we can track changes on the data and architecture layer for pin-pointing times, changes, and using the information for alerting, if changes should be kept to a minimum. SQL Server comes with some built-in tools that allow us to monitor changes, and depending on the architecture, we can create tools that allow us also to monitor and identify changes near the time that they occur.

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Timothy Smith

Some replication architecture errors and their resolutions

May 16, 2016 by

Background

From time to time, I’ve run into replication issues in inherited environments that I did not architect and some of these environments experienced errors in replication because of how it was constructed from the beginning. In this tip, we look at some of the basics in replication architecture and then at solving some of these problems. Some of the replication issues I’ve seen are caused by misunderstanding what is impossible and possible with replication.

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Daniel Calbimonte

DocumentDB from zero to 10 minutes

May 10, 2016 by

Introduction

In our last chapter, we talked about DocumentDB, which is available in Azure and explained that it is an Azure Database used to store NoSQL documents.

In this new article, we will show how to create and query the database from zero. The only requirement is to have an Azure Account. If you have an Azure account, this tutorial will take you just 10 minutes (if not, you can complain in the comments section below 😉 ).

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Timothy Smith

Troubleshooting some waits issues

May 10, 2016 by

Background

On occasion, I’ll see waits that exceed what I expect well above normal and a few of them have some architecture and standards to consider following when troubleshooting, though like most waits’ issues, there can be other underlying factors that are happening as well. In this article, I investigate the three waits ASYNC_NETWORK_IO and WRITELOG. In general, waits vary by environment and server, so before reading this article an immediate question to ask is, “Do you know what’s normal for yours?” When a wait suddenly spikes, or if the architecture is designed in a manner that should prevent a specific wait from consuming time, and yet you see that the wait does, I would be concerned. In addition, because applications and environments differ by architecture, you may want to consider other troubleshooting steps, as these may not apply to your situations.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

New Excel slicer feature for report users in Office 2016

May 9, 2016 by

Whilst researching for the article Report filtering: Excel slicers vs SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) parameters, I discovered a new Excel Slicer feature in Microsoft Office 2016 that allows users to select/deselect multiple items without having to hold down the control (Ctrl) keyboard key. For some people, this may not be a sufficient reason to upgrade to Office 2016 but for developers of business intelligence (BI) solutions, this new feature further enhances the experience of consumers of BI solutions.

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Timothy Smith

How to build better alerting

May 4, 2016 by

Background

One of the most popular complaints from developers to DBAs involves alerting, whether from third party tools or alerting built by other developers or DBAs in the environment. Building or using alerts for important applications, data layers, or processes within a SQL Server environment offer everyone benefits, but can become noisy if they’re architected poorly, or the purpose isn’t considered. In this article, we look at considerations for building effective alerts that tell us when something is wrong without creating situations where we learn to disregard them. We want to make sure that we respond when we need to, and not always be on high alert when there is no issue.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Report filtering: Excel slicers vs SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) parameters

May 4, 2016 by

At the heart of interactive reporting is the ability for end-users to filter report datasets according to their preference. Therefore, a great data visualisation tool is the one that caters for report filtering. Some of the popular data visualisation tools used by some of my clients to consume my Business Intelligence solutions usually include SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Microsoft Excel. Although these tools share similar publisher, Microsoft, they have several differences on their report usage and configuration. One difference they seem to share is in the way they are configured to enable report filtering, which is the focus of this article.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2014 Columnstore index

April 29, 2016 by

By default, SQL Server stores data logically in the tables as rows and columns, which appear in the result grid while retrieving data from any table and physically in the disk in the row-store format inside the data pages. A new data store mechanism introduced in SQL Server 2012, based on xVelocity in-memory technology, in which the data is stored in the column-store data format. This data store mechanism called the Columnstore index.

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