SQL Server 2016

Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Report Subscription Changes in SQL Server Reporting Services 2016

December 30, 2016 by

What makes SQL Server 2016 one of my favorite SQL Server release since the release of SQL Server 2012 is the increased number of exciting new features that have been introduced. Whilst my article Top 5 New SQL Server 2016 DMVs for DBAs reviewed some of these new features albeit from a DBA point of view, in this article I continue to review SQL Server 2016 but from the perspective of an SSRS administrator in relation to the changes in report subscriptions.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Top 5 New SQL Server 2016 DMVs for DBAs

December 20, 2016 by

Since its initial release that was part of SQL Server 2005, Dynamic Management Views (DMV) changed – mostly for the better – the role of database administration (DBA) within SQL Server-based environments. They improved the efficiency of DBAs regarding database server monitoring, issue diagnoses, and subsequent performance optimisation. As a result of this positive reception, it has become customary that some of the highly anticipated items in every release of SQL Server includes discovering what new DMVs will be added. In this article I take you through my favourite top 5 DMVs to come out of SQL Server 2016.

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Rajendra Gupta

How to create and configure the Tree Map Chart in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services

October 28, 2016 by

In the previous article, in this series, How to create and configure a Sunburst chart in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services, we have explored new chart types in SQL Server 2016; the Sunburst chart and the Tree Map chart, that are used to display hierarchical data. The Sunburst chart is a way of presenting relational datasets together in a compact form. The Tree Map Chart is also a way of showing hierarchical data.

In this article, we are going to show how to create a Tree Map chart and its comparison with the Sunburst chart.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2016 Database Scoped Configuration

October 21, 2016 by

SQL Server 2016 introduces a new set of configurations that can be applied at the database level to control its performance and behavior. These configurations were previously applicable only at the SQL instance level before version SQL Server 2016, With the ability to configure settings at the database level, many databases that are hosted in the same instance can now be isolated from each other, with each database has its own customized configurations. The database level configurations allow us also to set different database configurations for the Always On Availability Groups primary and secondary databases to meet the different types of workloads.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2016 Parameter Sniffing

October 19, 2016 by

SQL Server tries always to generate the most optimized execution plan for each stored procedure the first time that the stored procedure is executed. The SQL Server Engine looks at the stored procedure passed parameter values when compiling the stored procedure, the first execution, in order to create the optimal plan including the parameters and keep that plan for future use in the plan cache. This parameter analysis process is called the Parameter Sniffing.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Using Dynamic Data Masking in SQL Server 2016 to protect sensitive data

October 17, 2016 by

Dynamic Data Masking is a new security feature introduced in SQL Server 2016 that limits the access of unauthorized users to sensitive data at the database layer.

As an example of the need for such a feature is allowing the applications developers to access production data for troubleshooting purposes and preventing them from accessing the sensitive data at the same time, without affecting their troubleshooting process. Another example is the call center employee who will access the customer’s information to help him in his request, but the critical financial data, such as the bank account number or the credit card full number, will be masked to that person.

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Samir Behara

SQL Server Management Studio 2016 Productivity Enhancements

October 11, 2016 by

Problem Statement

Developers who work in both SQL and .NET world must have experienced the differences between Visual Studio IDE and SQL Server Management Studio IDE.

Being a full-stack developer myself, I always felt that SSMS lacked a lot of basic features when compared to the functionalities which Visual Studio IDE provided out of the box. With SSMS being tightly coupled with SQL Server Core engine, the IDE had quite a technical debt associated with it over a period of time.

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Ahmad Yaseen

How to filter and block the data access using SQL Server 2016 Row-Level Security

September 28, 2016 by

SQL Server 2016 came with many new features and enhancements for existing ones, that concentrate on the aspect of SQL Server security. One of the new security features introduced in SQL Server 2016 is Row-Level Security. This feature allows us to control access deeply into the rows level in the database table, based on the user executing the query. This is done within the database layer, in complete transparency to the application process, without the need to manage it with complex coding at the application layer.

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Ahmad Yaseen

How to track the history of data changes using SQL Server 2016 System-Versioned Temporal Tables

September 23, 2016 by

SQL Server 2016 introduces a new type of table that is designed to keep the full history of data changes, where row validity is managed by the system. This new table type is called a System-Versioned Temporal Table. In earlier SQL Server versions, user tables would enable you to hold only the most recent copy of the row, without being able to query the value before the UPDATE or DELETE operations. Using a Temporal Table, you will be able to query the recent state of the row as usual, in addition to the ability to query the full history of that row, which is fully managed by the SQL Server Engine, as you can’t define the rows validity period explicitly.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Database checkpoints – Enhancements in SQL Server 2016

September 21, 2016 by

When a new row is inserted or an existing one is updated in your database, the SQL Server Database Engine will keep that change in the buffer pool in the memory first, without applying each change directly to the database files for IO performance reasons. These data pages located in the buffer pool and not reflected yet to the database files are called Dirty Pages. The SQL Server Database Engine uses a special kind of processes to write these dirty pages to the data and log database files periodically. These processes are called Checkpoints. The Checkpoint creates a mark that is used by the SQL Server Database Engine to redo any transaction that is committed, written to the database transaction log file without reflecting the data changes to the data files due to an unexpected shutdown or crash. Also, this recovery point that is created by the Checkpoint will be used to roll back any data changes associated with uncommitted transaction, by reversing the operation written in the transaction log file. In this way the SQL Server Engine will guarantee the database consistency. The time that is taken by the SQL Server Database Engine to redo and undo the transactions is called the Recovery Time. All information about the Checkpoints will be written to the database boot page to identify till which point the database files are synchronized with the buffer pool when the system wakes up after crash or shutdown.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Troubleshoot SQL query performance using SQL Server 2016 Live Execution Statistics

August 19, 2016 by

SQL Server Management Studio a graphical interactive that allows you to interact with the databases hosted on your servers. SSMS provides you with the ability to write, edit, execute, analyze and monitor your SQL queries. It also helps database administrators answer important questions about the SQL query performance, such as why a query is slow or why an index is not used. The answer to these questions can be found simply by tracking the Query Execution Plan.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server 2016 Trace flags modifications

August 9, 2016 by

SQL Server Trace Flags are special switches that are used to customize and control specific behaviors of the SQL Server Engine. Trace Flags can be defined in two forms; Session Trace Flags that are activated and visible at the current connection level only, and Global Trace Flags that are enabled and visible at the SQL Server Instance level and applied to all connecting sessions in that SQL Server. Global Trace Flags should be enabled globally in order to take effect, where some Trace Flags that can be either Global or Session Trace Flags can be enabled in the appropriate scope, and its effect will appear on the defined level.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Top 5 T-SQL functions introduced in SQL Server 2016

August 1, 2016 by

One of the exciting things to look out for in a release of SQL Server are the new built-in T-SQL functions that are usually introduced. Some of the reasons for the new functions may be because SQL Server is catching up to other competitors, attempting to stay ahead of the competition or simply responding to SQL Server feature-requests from the Microsoft Connect site. In this article, I take you through my top 5 T-SQL functions released in SQL Server 2016.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Force query execution plan using SQL Server 2016 Query store

July 29, 2016 by

SQL Server Query Store is a new feature introduced in SQL Server 2016 that is used to automatically and asynchronously capture query execution history, statistics and plans, with minimal impact to overall SQL Server Performance. The Query Store feature makes performance problem troubleshooting simple; you can view the query execution plans changes and compare its performance to decide which execution plan the SQL Server Query Optimizer should use for that query.

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Jean-Pierre Voogt

The new SQL Server 2016 sample database

July 22, 2016 by

Background

We have all learned to love and hate the trusty Bike shop database. Almost every demo or presentation pertaining to SQL Server we do, we use the AdventureWorks sample database. Almost every code sample on books online references AdventureWorks for illustrations and practical explanations of a feature. When SQL Server 2005 was released Microsoft replaced the old Pubs & Northwind Sample databases with a more complete and more feature rich database called AdventureWorks. Ever since we have been using this new sample database for almost everything we want to test. Microsoft has now given us an even better sample database called WorldWideImporters, which utilises almost every SQL Server feature I can think of from Temporal Tables to In-Memory table.

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Steve Simon

SQL Server and BI – How to document your Tabular model with Reporting Services 2016

July 20, 2016 by

Introduction

A few weeks back I had been working on an interesting proof of concept for a client within the food/grocery industry. The objectives were to be able to provide the client with information on sales patterns, seasonal trends and location profitability. In our previous “get-together” we discussed how to create a tabular model project and how to create efficient and effective reports utilizing Excel.

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Jean-Pierre Voogt

Stretching temporal history tables in SQL Server 2016

June 20, 2016 by

Background

With the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 a lot of new features were introduced, one of which was Temporal Tables, a feature that gives you the ability to view the state of your data at a given point in time. This means you can go back in time with your data. Another very popular feature is Stretch Databases which allows for remote archiving of data to Azure Stretch region.

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