Languages and coding

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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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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Prashanth Jayaram

How to use Python in SQL Server 2017 to obtain advanced data analytics

June 20, 2017 by

On the 19th of April 2017, Microsoft held an online conference called Microsoft Data Amp to showcase how Microsoft’s latest innovations put data, analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of business transformation. Microsoft has, over the last few years, made great strides in accelerating the pace of innovation to enable businesses to meet the demands of a dynamic marketplace and harness the incredible power of data—more securely and faster than ever before.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Top SQL string functions in SQL Server 2017

June 8, 2017 by

SQL Server 2017 has been in the talk for its many features that simplify a developer’s life. With the previous versions, developers had to write T-SQL, or user-defined functions using temporary tables, and build complex logic, just for string manipulation. In almost every database I work with, I see many user-defined functions for string manipulation and string aggregation.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Understanding the Impact of NOLOCK and WITH NOLOCK Table Hints in SQL Server

June 6, 2017 by

Every once in a while, SQL Server database administrators find themselves in disagreements with their application developer counterparts – particularly when it comes to some of the latter’s Transact SQL (T-SQL) developmental practices. One of my first observations when I joined my current employer is that almost all T-SQL scripts written by application developers uses the NOLOCK table hint. However, from the interactions that I have had with these esteemed developers it doesn’t seem like they understand how the NOLOCK table hint works. Furthermore, although they seem to be aware of a distinction between NOLOCK and the WITH NOLOCK table hint, they again do not seem to comprehend how the two differ from one another. In this article, I explore the internal workings of the NOLOCK table hint and examine the implications of omitting the WITH keyword.

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Jefferson Elias

T-SQL as an asset to set-based programming approach

April 27, 2017 by

Introduction

This article is the third and last one of a series of articles that aims to introduce set-based programming approach inside SQL Server, so using Transact SQL. In first article “An introduction to set-based vs procedural programming approaches in T-SQL”, we’ve compared procedural and set-based approaches and came to the conclusion that the second one can facilitate developer or DBA’s life. In second article “From mathematics to SQL Server, a fast introduction to set theory”, we’ve made the parallel between mathematical definition of set theory and its implementation in SQL Server. Now, we’ll discuss about some other features from T-SQL that can’t be left aside when considering sets.

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Timothy Smith
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T-SQL for DBAs – Three ways of using T-SQL for quick data analysis

April 26, 2017 by

Background

As a database administrator, sometimes you need to identify details about a problem as quickly as possible and being able to build and analyze data for analysis will help you solve the problem. From getting information about the latest backups, to saving information about waits or indexes and comparing that to other captured metrics, we will run into issues where being able to get, store and analyze data are important for decisions to solve urgent problems.

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Samir Behara
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SQL Server Code Review Checklist for Developers

April 26, 2017 by

In a software development life cycle, Code Review plays an integral role in improving the product quality. Having a Code Review Checklist is indispensable since it ensures that the best practices are followed and reviews are performed consistently. It is essential for developers to be aware of the coding guidelines while working on their code changes. Catching a bug early in the process is inexpensive and easier to resolve, than compared with a bug caught later in the game. Having all the common mistakes added to the checklist document is a great way to create awareness and ensure good code quality over a period of time.

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Jefferson Elias

From mathematics to SQL Server, a fast introduction to set theory

April 25, 2017 by

Introduction

In the previous article of this series “An introduction to set-based vs procedural programming approaches in T-SQL”, we’ve seen from a simple example that we could find actual benefit from learning set-based approach when writing T-SQL code.

In this article, we will carry on in this way by having a look at what a set is and what we can do with it in a mathematical point of view and how it’s implemented and provided to us in SQL Server. We will also have a look at more “realistic” examples using Microsoft’s AdventureWorks database.

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