Languages and coding

Esat Erkec

R script word-cloud in SQL Server Report Builder

November 28, 2017 by

What is R

R is a very popular data programing language. R is especially used in data analysis, statistics calculations, predictions, data mining and machine learning. R is used by data scientist, economist, genetic scientists, and statisticians. R has very wide usage in real life. Healthcare, finance, marketing, and manufacturing are some of them.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Data Interpolation and Transformation using Python in SQL Server 2017

November 21, 2017 by

As a continuation to my previous article, How to use Python in SQL Server 2017 to obtain advanced data analytics, a little bit of curiosity about Deep Learning with Python integration in SQL Server led me to write this latest article.

With Python running within SQL Server, you can bring the existing data and the code together. Data is accessible directly, so there’s no need to extract query data sets, moving data from storage to the application. It’s a useful approach, especially considering issues of data sovereignty and compliance, since the code runs within the SQL Server security boundaries, triggered by a single call from T-SQL stored procedures.

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Prashanth Jayaram

An overview of Python vs PowerShell for SQL Server Database Administration

November 2, 2017 by

Today, Microsoft claims that Linux runs like a First-Class citizen on Azure, .NET Core has been open-sourced, and has been ported over to Linux, taking PowerShell along. PowerShell runs really well on Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat Linux, and even Mac OS X. There are Alpha builds available for a few other platforms as well, all available for exploitation under the MIT License on GitHub. “Manage anything, anywhere” is what Microsoft is offering to its customers. Keeping with that, we now have:

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

ETL optimization using SQL Server TRY Functions

October 24, 2017 by

Introduction

An enterprise data warehouse ETL solution typically includes, amongst other steps, a data transformation step that converts source data from one data type into another. It is during this step that type conversion errors may occur and depending on the type of exception handling techniques implemented in the ETL solution (or lack thereof), frustration may occur for both ETL developers and DBAs when trying to identify and resolve type conversion errors. In this article we take a look at a trio of SQL Server built-in functions that were introduced in SQL Server 2012, namely, TRY_PARSE, TRY_CAST, and TRY_CONVERT and how they could be utilized to reduce type conversion errors in ETL solutions and thereby saving developers needless troubleshooting exercise.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Why would a SQL Server DBA be interested in Python?

October 23, 2017 by

If we follow blogs and publications on the technological advancement with respect to SQL, we notice the increase in the number of references to Python, of late. Often, that makes us think:

  • Why so much emphasis on Python these days?
  • Isn’t knowing PowerShell scripting sufficient for the automation requirements of today?
  • Is it the time DBAs started learning a programming language such as Python in order to handle their day-to-day tasks more efficiently?
  • Why do so many job postings these days include “knowledge of scripting” as a requirement?
  • Is all of this happening because the paradigm is shifting? Can’t the current Microsoft-specific languages such as PowerShell handle the shift?
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Prashanth Jayaram

Monitoring SQL Server database status changes using T-SQL and PowerShell scripts

October 17, 2017 by

Monitoring a SQL Server database is a critical component of database administration. Ninety percent of the organizations expect the number of databases to increase over the next twelve months. An increase in data volumes can have negative effects on the availability of databases. Hence, SQL Server database monitoring is considered a critical responsibility of a database administrator. Organizations tend to spend a lot of their funds towards enterprise solutions. And due to the sensitive and growing nature of business and user needs, application availability is very important nowadays.

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Prashanth Jayaram

How to configure Always Encrypted in SQL Server 2016 using SSMS, PowerShell and T-SQL

October 2, 2017 by

In an era of remote storage and retrieval of data, including the cloud, data security plays a vital role, especially since it’s vulnerable during the transit. Situations like database backup or copy from or to the cloud, there is always a risk of data exposure to outside world lurking around one corner or the other. We have seen a noticeable surge in the technologies around protection and security of data from the world full of unsafe hands. Efforts are being made to protect data at a very granular level of the encryption hierarchy. Protection of business data cannot be stressed upon more.

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Marko Zivkovic

How to create a linked server to an Azure SQL database

September 27, 2017 by

Linked servers allow to access data from another SQL Server or another data source (e.g. Excel) by using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or Transact-SQL.

This article will explain how to create and configure a linked server to retrieve data from an Azure SQL database. Also, we will explain how to solve some common problems/issues during the process of creating a linked server to an Azure SQL database.

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Ahmad Yaseen

T-SQL commands performance comparison – NOT IN vs NOT EXISTS vs LEFT JOIN vs EXCEPT

September 22, 2017 by

The T-SQL commands library, available in Microsoft SQL Server and updated in each version with new commands and enhancements to the existing commands, provides us with different ways to perform the same action. In addition to an ever evolving toolkit of commands, different developers will apply different techniques and approaches to the same problem sets and challenges

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Craig Porteous

How to connect to (and query) Power BI and Azure using PowerShell

September 13, 2017 by
Power BI “as a whole” is a bit of a black box. If you’re like me and used to using SQL Server & its components; SSRS, SSAS etc. you have access to installation directories, Event logs, trace logs, error logs, chocolate logs? You can see full instances & their contents in one go, whether that be databases, reports or cubes. It gives you the control over & responsibility for performance & maintenance. Read more »
Prashanth Jayaram

How to Capture Database(s) usage stats using sp_spaceused and PowerShell

September 11, 2017 by

Today’s businesses work with huge volumes of data. Sometimes, understanding the granularity of the data is helpful in data administration. Understanding the granularity poses unique challenges though and the database administrator needs to balance the key business and technical metrics of the environment. One of the key technical metrics is disk space estimation, which is vital to capacity planning and forecasting. The simplest way to get this information is by using the system stored procedure, called, sp_spaceused. The growth metrics can be captured periodically and stored in a central repository, a repository dedicated to helping with capacity planning and forecasting the disk requirements. This is a critical part of the day-to-day activities of a database administrator.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Multi-server Script to Find Orphaned Data Files using PowerShell

August 23, 2017 by

Having worked in busy dev-test environments, it isn’t uncommon to come across situations where someone detached a database from an SQL server, but forgot to reattach it, or drop it from the server. The next task we are then required to undertake, upon coming across such a situation, is to clean up the traces. This task can be complicated if the detached databases get deregistered from the SQL Server metadata catalog.

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Daniel Calbimonte

What is new in SSMS 17; PowerShell and DAX

August 21, 2017 by

Introduction

In earlier versions, SSMS was included in the SQL Server installer. Now it is a tool that is installed separately.

In this new article, we will emphasize PowerShell and DAX. PowerShell is handled in a different way than it was in SQL Server 2016. We will give you some tips to handle these differences. In the second part of the article, we will talk about DAX. If you do not have experience with DAX, we will give you an introduction to Multidimensional, Tabular databases and you will be able to understand the new features and run your first DAX query in the new SSMS 17.

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Vitor Montalvão

An introduction to sp_MSforeachtable; run commands iteratively through all tables in a database

August 18, 2017 by

Introduction

There have always been some undocumented objects in SQL Server that are used internally by Microsoft, but they can be used by anybody that have access to it. One of those objects is a stored procedure called sp_MSforeachtable.

sp_MSforeachtable is a stored procedure that is mostly used to apply a T-SQL command to every table, iteratively, that exists in the current database.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Planning a SQL Server Backup and Restore strategy in a multi-server environment using PowerShell and T-SQL

August 15, 2017 by

Introduction

Database availability is critical to every enterprise and conversely, unavailability directly can create a severe negative impact to the business in today’s world. As database administrators, it is important that we ensure we take all possible steps to minimize data loss. While it is naïve to think that our databases are invincible because of all such precautions, we can always aim to bring the databases back into operation as quickly as possible by meeting the RPO and RTO. This way, the business is unaffected, and we also meet our SLAs.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server SET Options that Affect the Query Result – SET CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL, SET NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT, SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER, SET NOCOUNT, SET XACT_ABORT

July 4, 2017 by

In the previous article of this two-part series SQL Server SET Options that Affect the Query Result – SET ANSI_NULLS, SET ANSI_PADDING, SET ANSI_WARNINGS and SET ARITHABORT, we described the first four SQL Server SET options and showed practically how setting these options ON and OFF affects the SQL Server Database Engine behavior and the query result. To recall, SQL Server SET options are a group of session-level options that control how the SQL Server behaves on the database session level, and the option value can be changed using the SET T-SQL command for the current session that you execute the SET command on.

In this article, we will describe another five SET options and see how turning it ON and OFF will change the SQL Server behavior and the query result.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server SET Options that Affect the Query Result – SET ANSI_NULLS, SET ANSI_PADDING, SET ANSI_WARNINGS and SET ARITHABORT

June 30, 2017 by

SQL Server provides us with a number of options to control SQL Server behavior on the connection level. These session-level options are configured using the SET T-SQL command that change the option value for the session on which the SET command is executed. Changing the default value of these session-level configuration affects how the session queries will be executed affecting the query result. The performed change on a session-level option will be applied to the current session until its value is reset or until the current user’s session is terminated.

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Jefferson Elias

How to use SQL Server Extended Events to parse Deadlock XML and generate statistical reports

June 29, 2017 by

Introduction

Context In previous article entitled “How to report on SQL Server deadlock occurrences“, we’ve seen how to extract deadlock information from either system_health or specialized Extended Event and store this information into a table in a SQL Server database. We also discussed a simple report which leads to the creation of a deadlock occurrences timeline. Read more »
Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to calculate work days and hours in SQL Server

June 26, 2017 by

Like any other enterprise RDBMS system, SQL Server ships with several built-in functions that make developers’ T-SQL code clean, convenient and reusable. To demonstrate the efficiency of functions, say we needed to retrieve a server name for one of our SQL Server instances. Well, one of doing this would be to write a SELECT statement that would query the system view [sys].[servers] from the master database as shown in Script 1.

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