Gerald Britton

Gerald Britton

Gerald Britton

Gerald Britton is a Senior SQL Server Solution Designer, Author, Software Developer, Teacher and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. He has many years of experience in the IT industry in various roles.

Gerald specializes in solving SQL Server query performance problems especially as they relate to Business Intelligence solutions. He is also a co-author of the eBook "Getting Started With Python" and an avid Python developer, Teacher, and Pluralsight author.

You can find him on LinkedIn, on Twitter at twitter.com/GeraldBritton or @GeraldBritton, and on Pluralsight

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Gerald Britton

Top 10 questions and answers about SQL Server Indexes

October 5, 2017 by

Introduction

Without a doubt, few technologies in SQL Server cause as much confusion and the spread of misinformation than indexes. This article looks at some of the most asked questions and a few that should be asked but often are not. We’ll be using SQL Server 2016 for the examples and a free tool, for SQL Server query execution plan analysis, ApexSQL Plan, to explore the effects of indexes on a typical business problem: A table of customers.

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How to compare tables in SQL Server

September 26, 2017 by

Introduction

If you’ve been developing in SQL Server for any length of time, you’ve no doubt hit this scenario: You have an existing, working query that produces results your customers or business owners say are correct. Now, you’re asked to change something, or perhaps you find out your existing code will have to work with new source data or maybe there’s a performance problem and you need to tune the query. Whatever the case, you want to be sure that whatever changes have been made (whether in your code or somewhere else), the changes in the output are as expected. In other words, you need to be sure that anything that was supposed to change, did, and that anything else remains the same. So, how can you easily do that in SQL Server?

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How to track SQL Server database space usage with built-in functions and DMVs

June 12, 2017 by

Introduction

In the previous article in this series on dynamic management views in SQL Server, we used DMV’s to discover some basic information about databases on an instance you are connected to, along with some ideas about getting basic file system and security info. I promised to dive into security next but first I’d like to explore a topic that is currently quite critical for the company I work for today: tracking space usage.

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Discovering database specific information using built-in functions and dynamic management views (DMVs)

May 15, 2017 by

Introduction

In the last two articles on dynamic management views in SQL Server, Discovering SQL server instance information using system views and Discovering more SQL Server information using the built-in dynamic management views (DMVs), we used DMVs to discover a fair bit of information about the SQL Server instance we’re connected to. In this article, we’ll begin diving in to database specifics. There is a lot of territory to cover! We’ll also use several of the built-in functions that come with SQL Server.

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Discovering more SQL Server information using the built-in dynamic management views (DMVs)

April 6, 2017 by

Introduction

This is the second article in a continuing series on the many system tables, views, procedures and functions available in SQL Server. In the first part of this series, Discovering SQL server instance information using system views, you learned how to discover many attributes of a SQL Server instance you have been given access to. In this part, we will continue the journey and see what else we can find.

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Discovering SQL server instance information using system views

February 28, 2017 by

Introduction

Out of the box, SQL Server comes with a substantial and – release by release – ever-growing set of system tables, views, stored procedures and functions. There’s a good chance you’ve never directly used more than a handful of them. That’s certainly the case with me!

This is the first article in a series designed to explore this world that lives just below the surface of our everyday interactions with SQL Server through the same objects we create to enable the applications we write and support.

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Options for Partitioned Tables and Indexes in SQL Server

January 31, 2017 by

Introduction

I work for a large, multinational financial institution. Like most companies in this field, ours is conservative and subject to much regulatory oversight. The first has meant that we’re slow to adopt new technologies. We need to be really, really, really sure things won’t break, customer accounts won’t vanish or lose their balances and that the regulators will not raise any red flags. Everything we do is subject to the scrutiny of our internal auditors, even something that seems simple, like rerunning a production job that failed because the host compute was down. I really mean everything!

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Why is my CTE so slow?

December 22, 2016 by

Introduction

Have you ever written up a complex query using Common Table Expressions (CTEs) only to be disappointed by the performance? Have you been blaming the CTE? This article looks at that problem to show that it is a little deeper than a particular syntax choice and offers some tips on how to improve performance.

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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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