Kaloyan Kosev

How-to: Proactive capacity management

December 26, 2014 by

Capacity management is one of the most important tasks you have to perform as a DBA. Usually we rely on threshold alarms for the disks volumes and the databases, however I find it very suitable for me to take actions in advance – this way I am sure the SQL Servers under my supervision will have the needed space to operate without issues. And yes, there is the auto-grow, however it’s a safety mechanism which role is to ensure that even in critical situations you can have your database operational, however this does come with a negative performance impact which I try to avoid for my key production systems.

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Daniel Calbimonte

The SQL Server system views/tables/functions. Common questions and solutions to real life problems

December 25, 2014 by

Introduction

In this new article, we will talk about the system views/tables/functions and how to solve common questions using them.

The system views are views that contain internal information about a Database.

The master database for example contains information about the SQL Server itself, while the msdb database contain information about the SQL Server agent and each database has its own system views/tables.

In this article we will show how to get the list of tables, views, stored procedures, how to get a list of tables of all the databases, how to find a table in multiple datatabases, how to get the list of users, logins, mapped logins, how to detect a fragmentation in a table and more.

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Kenneth Fisher

Reviewing the SQL Server Audit

December 25, 2014 by

Deciding what method to use to collect audit information can be a task in and of itself. Depending on your needs there are a number of different ways to collect the information. There are settings such as Login Auditing and Common Criteria Compliance that are fairly simple to implement but only collect very specific sets of information. There are also coding solutions such as Triggers and Audit Columns that are very flexible but can be tricky to get right. Then there are Profiler Traces but those have been deprecated and will be removed in a future version of SQL Server. Their replacement, Extended Events, has become easier and easier to use in recent versions and can be used to collect a huge variety of information. However Extended Events does not include any Audit specific information. If you are setting up an auditing solution in SQL Server you are probably going to want to consider using SQL Server Audits. Audits are based on Extended Events and so have all of the benefits of Extended Events but also include the audit specific events. Audits have a different interface than Extended Events and a different set of T-SQL Commands. Fortunately they are very easy. Read more »

Murilo Miranda

Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) – In-Memory OLTP: The Memory Challenge

December 24, 2014 by

In continuation of the previous post “Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) – Introduction to the Buffer Pool”, we will keep diving into the Buffer Pool Extension, this time, talking about another important factor behind this feature – the memory. No, we will not review how the memory works literally, we are talking about the great SQL Server 2014 new feature: The In-Memory OLTP, or the known HEKATON.

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Steve Simon

Getting started with Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) in SQL Server

December 22, 2014 by

Introduction

In our SQLShack discussions over the past few weeks, we have dealt with a few of the more conventional SQL Server data manipulation techniques. Today we are going to be a bit more avant-garde and touch upon a subject dear to my heart.

With Power Bi becoming more and more important on the business side within major industries worldwide, it is not surprising that sooner or later every SQL programmer is going to have to learn and be able to ‘talk’ DAX.

In this article we are going to have a look at the a few of the more important ‘constructs’ and produce production grade queries for data extraction and for reports; enabling the reader to ‘hit the ground running’.

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Miroslav Dimitrov

SQL Server Transaction Log – Part 1 – Log Structure and Write-Ahead Logging (WAL) Algorithm

December 18, 2014 by

SQL Server transaction log is one of the most critical and in the same time one of the most misinterpreted part. While being neglected, it can easily become a bottleneck to our SQL Server environment. We need to have this in mind and to take care of our transaction logs in order to streamline the performance of our queries and increase log’s throughput.

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Derik Hammer

Disaster Recovery Planning with Always-On Availability Groups

December 17, 2014 by

When I configured my first Always-On Availability Group, I setup a Windows Cluster and started with SQL Server Management Studio’s New Availability Group Wizard, scripting out the steps along the way. This entire process took only a matter of minutes. The minimum required steps for configuring the cluster and getting a database into an Availability Group (AG) are very few. This process, however, is deceptively simple. What some don’t realize is that the majority of work required for setting up an AG needs to occur in the planning phase, before a server is even requisitioned. Let us examine the questions that you should ask before implementing an AG.

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Steve Simon

SQL Server 2014 Data Access Layers

December 17, 2014 by

Introduction

As a person who has always enjoyed finding new and innovative ways to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively with SQL Server, I have endeavored to document some of the more ‘innovative’ ways and means of doing these things in our SQLShack ‘get-togethers’.

Today, we shall be looking at one of my favourites, the ‘Data Access Layer’, not to be confused with ‘Data Access Layers’ from the Visual Studio world.

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Steve Simon

Automatically load data into a SQL Server database by utilizing the Visual Studio Project

December 12, 2014 by

Introduction

A few months back, I encountered an interesting challenge at a client site. For those of you whom have read my previous article entitled “Excel in loading multiple workbooks into SQL Server“, you will know that the challenge centered around loading the data from multiple spreadsheets into our SQLShack financial database.

Now, one of the enterprises business rules was that the loading of this data was NOT to occur before that last of the daily spreadsheets arrived in the common data repository.

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Steve Simon

How to reduce the report complexity using the “Visibility” options in SQL Server Data Tools

December 11, 2014 by

Introduction

Far too often we encounter clients that are really too keen to establish all inclusive reports for decision making purposes. While this is super (in principle) oft times these folks will inform you that all the data that is within the tables should be present within the report, and this is not always feasible nor practical.

After much thought I came up with an alternative to permit these folks to have their ‘cake and eat it’ and yet not render a cluttered report.

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Murilo Miranda

Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) – Introduction to the Buffer Pool

December 9, 2014 by

Introduced on SQL Server 2014, the Buffer Pool Extension came to build up a new layer of cache, helping to maintain the “hot” pages accessible with less effort. With the introduction of Hekaton, the BPE has also an important role. In this article we will explore all the aspects of this new feature as well as understand how it works.

With the release of SQL Server 2014, earlier this year, some new features were released, with a special remark to the In-memory OLTP (Hekaton). Together with that new feature, new challenges were brought. The available memory is, of course, one of the main challenges. More ahead, we will understand better why.

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Steve Simon

Excel in loading multiple workbooks into SQL Server

December 8, 2014 by

Introduction

A year or so ago, I was working on a project that revolved around daily data loads (from various asset management groups within an enterprise) into the main SQL Server data repository. Each group completed and published its own daily figures within their own Excel Work Books. These Excel workbooks were then placed in a common directory and then loaded into the Corporate SQL Server database. Let us have a look at how this may be achieved. In short, we are going to create one package that will process all the spreadsheets within the given directory. Read more »
Daniel Calbimonte

SQL Server Replications

November 30, 2014 by

Introduction

This article is for people who need to replicate the SQL Server Databases. SQL Server includes several types of replications to synchronize the databases across different SQL Servers.

Sometimes we need to replicate the data to have a Backup. Sometimes we need to synchronize Servers that are located in different cities or countries.

In this article, we will introduce you to the SQL Server Replication Theory and then we will show a step-by-step tutorial to replicate a Table using the Merge replication.

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Steve Simon

How to design a map-based report using Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) and Excel

November 27, 2014 by

Introduction

One of a database designers’ worst nightmares is having to design a database for business analysts and data stewards whom insist upon creating their own reports, using Excel as a GUI. The reason that I mention this is that user created reports often open up “Pandora’s box”; with many of these folks creating their own ‘miss-information’ due to a lack of understanding of the underlying data. A few weeks back I had the ’fortune’ of working on such a project, which prompted an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I decided to design the backend SQL Server database using the Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) and to employ the super set of tools provided by Microsoft Power BI, with Excel as a GUI. The end results were wildly accepted by the user community and once you see how easy this is to apply, you will be ‘chomping on the bit’ to employ the same techniques on your own user driven projects.

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Daniel Calbimonte

Creating Backups with SSIS

November 21, 2014 by

Introduction

This Article is for people with experience using T-SQL and SQL Server Management Studio, but without experience in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

In this article, we will introduce you to the SSIS world and then we will show how to combine different SSIS task to create combined backup tasks. Read more »

Steve Simon

How to enhance your reports with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

November 18, 2014 by

Introduction

A few months ago, I was working on a few SQL Server reports for a client. The one request that I had received (from this client) was to ensure that the finished reports were as ‘all encompassing’ as possible, as they wanted to conduct a considerable amount of Business Analytics, via the reports.

Knowing this, I decided (where possible) to attempt to construct the reports so as to enable the firm to do their ‘what if’ scenarios with a minimal amount of time and effort.

The screen shot below is a sample of the final report AND we are going to look at the steps necessary to create this report. Stay with me!!!

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