Database development

Dejan Sarka

Introduction to data science, data understanding and preparation

March 14, 2018 by

Data science, machine learning, data mining, advanced analytics, or however you want to name it, is a hot topic these days. Many people would like to start some project in this area. However, very soon after the start you realize you have a huge problem: your data. Your data might come from your line of business applications, data warehouses, or even external sources. Typically, it is not prepared for applying advanced analytical algorithms on it straight out of the source. In addition, you have to understand your data thoroughly, otherwise you might feed the algorithms with inappropriate variables. Soon you learn the fact that is well known to seasoned data scientists: you spend around 70-80% of the time dedicated to a data science project on data preparation and understanding.

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Ed Pollack

Reporting and alerting on job failure in SQL Server

March 12, 2018 by

SQL Server Agent can be used to run a wide variety of tasks within SQL Server. The built-in monitoring tools, though, are not well-suited for environments with many servers or many databases.

Removing reliance on default notifications and building our own processes can allow for greater flexibility, less alerting noise, and the ability to track failure conditions that are not typically tracked by SQL Server!


At the heart of the SQL Server Agent service is the ability to create, schedule, and customize jobs. These jobs can be given schedules that determine at what times of day a task should execute. Jobs can also be given triggers, such as a server restart or alert to respond to. Jobs can also be called via TSQL from anywhere that has the appropriate access and permissions to SQL Server Agent.

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SQL Server formatting tools

March 8, 2018 by

This collection of content will provide an overview of SQL Server formatting tools, with product page links for each of the tools. If you noticed a tool we missed, please let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Calbimonte

How to upload multiple images to SQL Server

March 6, 2018 by


Sometimes we need to store information including photos in our database. For example, the photo of the product, the photo of the team members. But how can we store images in SQL Server?

We could create an application in .NET or Java, but if we do not have experience in those programming languages, we could use SQL Server tools to do it.

In this new article, we will learn the following tips that will help us to work with images including how to:

  • insert one image into SQL Server
  • store multiple files into a table
  • verify that the images were inserted
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Craig Porteous

Top 10 things you must document in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

February 26, 2018 by

Documentation is never fun. I curse having to do it and I curse the person who didn’t do it. It’s a no-win situation.

Luckily I don’t want to tell you to write long documents for setting up or maintaining Reporting Services or creating reports etc. This is more about the main aspects of SSRS that you should be keeping a backup of or maintaining to make your life (and other people’s lives) easier in future. I’ll keep your typing to a minimum.

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Timothy Smith

How to archive SQL Server data with scale in mind

February 21, 2018 by

We manage data in a growing environment where our clients query some of our data, and on occasion will query past data. We do not have an environment that scales and we know that we need to archive some of our data in a way that allows clients to access it, but also doesn’t interfere with current data clients are more interested in querying. With the current data in our environment and new data sets will be using in the future, what are some ways we can archive and scale our environment?

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Ben Richardson

Debugging stored procedures in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

February 20, 2018 by

Debugging is one of the most important but painful parts of any software process. To find some errors you have to run the code step by step to see which section of the code is responsible for the error. This is called runtime debugging.

Luckily, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) comes with automated debugging capabilities to help developers debug their scripts. In this article, we will explain practically how SSMS can be used to debug stored procedures in SQL Server by working through a very simple example.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server table hints – WITH (NOLOCK) best practices

February 14, 2018 by

SQL Server table hints are a special type of explicit command that are used to override the default behavior of the SQL Server query optimizer during the T-SQL query execution This is accomplished by enforcing a specific locking method, a specific index or query processing operation, such index seek or table scan, to be used by the SQL Server query optimizer to build the query execution plan. The table hints can be added to the FROM clause of the T-SQL query, affecting the table or the view that is referenced in the FROM clause only.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Impact of CLR Strict Security configuration setting in SQL Server 2017

February 13, 2018 by

Every seasoned SQL Server developer will tell you that no matter how hard you try, there are just operations in SQL Server better implemented elsewhere than relying on native Transact-SQL language (T-SQL). Operations such as performing complex calculations, implementing regular expression checks and accessing external web service applications can easily lead to your SQL Server instance incurring significant performance overhead. Thankfully, through its common language runtime (CLR) feature, SQL Server provides developers with a platform to address some of the inconveniences of native T-SQL by supporting an import of assembly files produced from projects written in. Net programming languages (i.e. C#, VB.NET). I have personally found CLR to be very useful when it comes to splitting string characters into multiple delimited lines.

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Jefferson Elias

How to create charts from SQL Server data using PowerShell

February 8, 2018 by


Intended audience

This document is intended for application developers and database administrators who are willing to learn how to generate charts from data stored in Microsoft SQL Server using PowerShell.


In previous article entitled Overview of PowerShell Charting capabilities we’ve seen some components of an assembly called System.Windows.Forms.DataVisualization assembly that is part of the .NET Framework and how to load it inside PowerShell.

Now, it’s time to use what we’ve learned so far.

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Craig Porteous

Migrating SSRS content with PowerShell

January 29, 2018 by

With a distinct lack of up-to-date, fully featured or built-in options to get Reporting Services content cleanly from A to B, it can often be a challenging task maintaining proper Development and QA environments or even moving reports from a SharePoint integrated installation to a native mode one, and vice versa.

I want to explore the two most efficient methods of bulk-migrating Reporting Services content & also explore other options I’ve used over the years and those that have come and gone.

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Marko Radakovic

How to move SQL database files (MDF and LDF) to another location

January 22, 2018 by

How often you got to the point that for any reason you don’t have enough space on the specific drive to host a database? In case of database development or other tasks outside the production environment, this should not be a problem as a database can be eventually re-created, restored from a backup and set to be hosted on another location. By default, SQL Server stores database files in its installation folder, specifically in the Data folder:

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Ed Pollack

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

January 19, 2018 by


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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Prashanth Jayaram

Top 8 new (or enhanced) SQL Server 2017 DMVs and DMFs for DBAs

January 17, 2018 by

Dynamic management views (DMVs) and dynamic management functions (DMFs) are system views and system functions that return metadata of the system state. On querying the related system objects, database administrators can understand the internals of SQL Server. It allows us to monitor the performance of the SQL Server instance, and diagnose issues with it.

SQL Server 2017 ships with a number of new and enhanced dynamic management views and dynamic management functions that will help DBAs monitor the health and performance of SQL Server instances. A few existing DMV’s such as sys.dm_os_sys_info and sys.dm_db_file_space_usage have been enhanced. Some have also been newly built and available only for SQL Server 2017.

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Brian Lockwood

Using production data for testing in a post GDPR world

January 15, 2018 by

To SQL Server DBAs who are the shepherds of data in organizations, key GDPR questions, in general, center around whether data will need to be treated differently, safeguarded more etc. and specifically, as it relates to allowing production data to be used in testing.

That will be the focus of this article as we’ll work our way through the details of this regulation as well as various authoritative articles on the subject, to address this key question. Then we’ll look to ways and means to potentially ameliorate our findings to provide alternatives and workarounds if possible.

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