General database design

Nikola Dimitrijevic

SQL Server trace flags guide; from -1 to 840

March 4, 2019 by

SQL Server trace flags are configuration handles that can be used to enable or disable a specific SQL Server characteristic or to change a specific SQL Server behavior. It is an advanced SQL Server mechanism that allows drilling down into a hidden and advanced SQL Server features to ensure more effective troubleshooting and debugging, advanced monitoring of SQL Server behavior and diagnosing of performance issues, or turning on and off various SQL Server features

Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Understanding benefits of Graph Databases over Relational Databases through Self-Joins in SQL Server

May 21, 2018 by

Earlier this year, I published several articles on SQLShack with an aim of demonstrating tools available for visualising SQL Server 2017 graph databases. I was so caught up in the excitement of having SQL Server finally support graph databases that I forgot that some people still do not have a good grasp of how graph databases work let alone consider replacing their relational databases models in favour of graph. Although there are several ways that one can go about explaining the usefulness of graph databases over its relational counterpart, I have opted to focus on the benefits and strengths of graph databases by demonstrating the differences in which graph and relational databases deal with hierarchical datasets.

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Timothy Smith

Logging SQL Server database errors

May 15, 2018 by

We receive many database alerts with many of the alerts logging some of these same alerts or information to files or tables. What we’ve found over time is that the logging is now costing us quite a bit of resource. Our logging server (where both files and table logging are stored) has had a few outages related to conflicts from messages for other servers. We’ve considered scaling the alerting by environment type, but we’ve also considered that we may be logging too much information about our databases. In addition, since we receive so many alerts each day, it’s impossible for us to resolve them and assist with other issues that arise. What are some techniques that we can use to help us with the issue of too much logging information and too many alerts? Read more »

Ed Pollack

How to quickly generate a large number of dimension tables for reporting applications

January 19, 2018 by

Description

When building reporting structures, we typically have the need to build fact and dimension tables to support the apps that will consume this data. Sometimes we need to generate large numbers of dimension tables to support application needs, such as in Tableau, Entity Framework, or Power BI.

Creating this schema by hand is time-consuming and error-prone. Automating it can be a way to improve predictability, maintainability, and save a ton of time in the process!

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to enable and disable the Identity Cache in SQL Server 2017

December 20, 2017 by

Every data warehouse developer is likely to appreciate the significance of having surrogate keys as part of derived fields in your facts and dimension tables. Surrogate keys make it easy to define constraints, create and maintain indexes, as well as define relationships between tables. This is where the Identity property in SQL Server becomes very useful because it allows us to automatically generate and increment our surrogate key values in data warehouse tables. Unfortunately, the generating and incrementing of surrogate keys in versions of SQL Server prior to SQL Server 2017 was at times challenging and inconsistent by causing huge gaps between identity values. In this article, we take a look at one improvement made in SQL Server 2017 to reduce the creation of gaps between identity values.

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Esat Erkec

How to implement a graph database in SQL Server 2017

December 19, 2017 by

Introduction

Graph database

A graph database is a type of database whose concept is based on nodes and edges.

Graph databases are based on graph theory (a graph is a diagram of points and lines connected to the points). Nodes represent data or entity and edges represent connections between nodes. Edges own properties that can be related to nodes. This capability allows us to show more complex and deep interactions between our data. Now, to explain this interaction we will show it in a simple diagram

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Timothy Smith

How to return data use, index compression, and row information with PowerShell

December 6, 2017 by

Background

We recently inherited a database environment where we’re facing significant data growth with limits on the sizes we can allow our databases to grow. Since we maintain multiple development, QA and production environments and these environments must be sized appropriately. We set a few standards about tables that exceed certain sizes – rows, data or both, or have certain growth patterns and our standards force compression at thresholds we set for our different environments (including using page, row, or clustered columnstore index compression) We’re looking for how we can get information about data and compression in tables and options we have so that we can quickly determine candidates that don’t currently match our best practices design we’ve set for our environments.

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Neeraj Prasad Sharma

Nested Loop Joins in SQL Server – Batch Sort and Implicit Sort

September 1, 2017 by

In SQL Server, it`s not always required to fully understand the internal structure, especially for performance and optimization, if the database design is good, because SQL Server is a very powerful Relational Database and, as such, it has many inbuilt optimization processes which assure a response to the users as fast as possible. But it is always beneficial for the SQL Server developers and administrators to understand the internal structure of the SQL Server so that they can understand and fix the problems that slowed the response of the Database.

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Vitor Montalvão

SQL Server system databases – the msdb database

July 14, 2017 by

Introduction

This article is the third I am writing about Microsoft SQL system databases.

In this article, I will focus only on the msdb database, one of the four system databases that exist in any MSSQL instance:

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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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Vitor Montalvão

Configuration, operations and restrictions of the tempdb SQL Server system database

June 28, 2017 by

Introduction

tempdb is one of the 4 system databases that exists in all SQL Server instances. The other databases are master, model and msdb. In case of using Replication, a fifth system database named distribution will also exist. You can find all existing system databases in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) under the Databases / System Databases folder:

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2016 Memory-Optimized Tables – The Checkpoint operation

June 21, 2017 by

The SQL Server Database Engine stores data changes in the buffer pool, in memory, before applying it to the database files, for I/O performance reasons. After that, a special kind of background process, called Checkpoint, will write all of these not reflected pages, also known as Dirty Pages, to the database data and log files periodically.

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