Prashanth Jayaram

An overview of Python vs PowerShell for SQL Server Database Administration

November 2, 2017 by

Today, Microsoft claims that Linux runs like a First-Class citizen on Azure, .NET Core has been open-sourced, and has been ported over to Linux, taking PowerShell along. PowerShell runs really well on Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat Linux, and even Mac OS X. There are Alpha builds available for a few other platforms as well, all available for exploitation under the MIT License on GitHub. “Manage anything, anywhere” is what Microsoft is offering to its customers. Keeping with that, we now have:

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Ahmad Yaseen

What’s new in SQL Server Management Studio 17.3; Import Flat File wizard and XEvent Profiler

November 1, 2017 by

SQL Server Management Studio is an integrated graphical user interface tool that is used to perform wide range of administration and development tasks on the SQL Server instances, hosted locally on the user machine, remotely on a Windows or Linux server or on SQL Azure or Azure Data warehouse instances hosted in the cloud. You can use SQL Server Management Studio to easily administrate, develop, deploy, configure and monitor the SQL Server instances.

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Craig Porteous

How to build a SQL Server Virtual Lab with AutomatedLab in Hyper-V

October 30, 2017 by

There are often situations I want to test a piece of software or the latest version of SQL Server for a proof of concept, maybe even the new Power BI Report Server. I could install these locally, where I’ve likely got previous SQL installs or an already burgeoning system. You could be lucky that you have access to Virtual Machines that you can build out for the task. Now add a few hours to setup Windows or even just the applications themselves. Those VMs may be in Azure, or AWS, now add a few £’s or $’s every time you want to work on something. Did you remember to turn them off?

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Marko Zivkovic

How to import/export data to SQL Server using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard

October 27, 2017 by

This article will explain the steps for importing and exporting data using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard.

Depending on the options that are selected in the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard, some steps may be different than those described in this article.

For the purpose of this example, exporting data from the SQL Server database to an Excel file will be shown.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Commonly used SQL Server Constraints: NOT NULL, UNIQUE and PRIMARY KEY

October 25, 2017 by

SQL Server Constraints are predefined rules and restrictions that are enforced in a single column or multiple columns, regarding the values allowed in the columns, to maintain the integrity, accuracy, and reliability of that column’s data. In other words, if the inserted data meets the constraint rule, it will be inserted successfully. If the inserted data violates the defined constraint, the insert operation will be aborted.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

ETL optimization using SQL Server TRY Functions

October 24, 2017 by

Introduction

An enterprise data warehouse ETL solution typically includes, amongst other steps, a data transformation step that converts source data from one data type into another. It is during this step that type conversion errors may occur and depending on the type of exception handling techniques implemented in the ETL solution (or lack thereof), frustration may occur for both ETL developers and DBAs when trying to identify and resolve type conversion errors. In this article we take a look at a trio of SQL Server built-in functions that were introduced in SQL Server 2012, namely, TRY_PARSE, TRY_CAST, and TRY_CONVERT and how they could be utilized to reduce type conversion errors in ETL solutions and thereby saving developers needless troubleshooting exercise.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Why would a SQL Server DBA be interested in Python?

October 23, 2017 by

If we follow blogs and publications on the technological advancement with respect to SQL, we notice the increase in the number of references to Python, of late. Often, that makes us think:

  • Why so much emphasis on Python these days?
  • Isn’t knowing PowerShell scripting sufficient for the automation requirements of today?
  • Is it the time DBAs started learning a programming language such as Python in order to handle their day-to-day tasks more efficiently?
  • Why do so many job postings these days include “knowledge of scripting” as a requirement?
  • Is all of this happening because the paradigm is shifting? Can’t the current Microsoft-specific languages such as PowerShell handle the shift?
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Prashanth Jayaram

Monitoring SQL Server database status changes using T-SQL and PowerShell scripts

October 17, 2017 by

Monitoring a SQL Server database is a critical component of database administration. Ninety percent of the organizations expect the number of databases to increase over the next twelve months. An increase in data volumes can have negative effects on the availability of databases. Hence, SQL Server database monitoring is considered a critical responsibility of a database administrator. Organizations tend to spend a lot of their funds towards enterprise solutions. And due to the sensitive and growing nature of business and user needs, application availability is very important nowadays.

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Jefferson Elias

How to choose and check the right Database Recovery Model in accordance to your backup strategy

October 11, 2017 by

Introduction

Following best practices, we should apply principles like segregation of duties. This implies the segregation of application environments. In particular, we might see for a given application that it incorporates at least two environments: a production environment and a non-production environment that exists for testing, Q/A, training, etc

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Thomas LeBlanc

Managing A Slowly Changing Dimension in SQL Server Integration Services

October 10, 2017 by

A data warehouse has to be historically correct. This becomes an issue when data like the Product List Price for a previous year needs to be saved historically. Dimensional Modeling methodologies provide a solution for the situation. The Slowly Changing method integrated with components from SQL Server Integration Services solves the issue. This article will look at updating a product dimension table using the Slowly Changing Type 2 Dimension while maintaining the Type 1 columns.

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Prashanth Jayaram

The evolution of SQL Server towards Digital Transformation challenges

October 9, 2017 by

In a data-driven world, where every second see a transfer of billions of pieces of data, enterprises are focused on making the access to data fluid and capable of being accessed on demand on a myriad of devices. Leveraging these capabilities to deliver better business results is now the prime focus. Information Technology is no more what it has been. What the web saw during the dot-com boom is what enterprise data is seeing now. Social, mobile, analytics, cloud, Big Data, Internet of Things… They’ve been enabling organizations to scale.

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Gerald Britton

Top 10 questions and answers about SQL Server Indexes

October 5, 2017 by

Introduction

Without a doubt, few technologies in SQL Server cause as much confusion and the spread of misinformation than indexes. This article looks at some of the most asked questions and a few that should be asked but often are not. We’ll be using SQL Server 2016 for the examples and a free tool, for SQL Server query execution plan analysis, ApexSQL Plan, to explore the effects of indexes on a typical business problem: A table of customers.

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Kimberly Killian

How to automatically refresh a SQL Server database

October 4, 2017 by

As a DBA, I am often asked to automate tasks. In addition to this, I generally work with a lot of developers that need to test with data refreshing on a regular basis. A lot of the time, I am asked to either stand up a new test environment or overwrite/refresh an existing one. Now, these tasks are not difficult to complete, but why not just automate them into a SQL Agent job and just run it whenever you need it or schedule it and let the job do all the work? If you have read some of my previous articles (What is causing database slowdowns or Simple SQL Server automated user auditing), you will know I am a big proponent of automating repeatable tasks. The best part of this is if you have multiple clients like I do is that you can script out the job, change the variables and use it over and over again. I cannot tell you how many times I say “I have a job for that” when a client asks me to automate a task.

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Ahmad Yaseen

SQL Server Data Type Conversion Methods and performance comparison

October 3, 2017 by

When you define SQL Server database tables, local variables, expressions or parameters, you should specify what kind of data will be stored in those objects, such as text data, numbers, money or dates. This attribute is called the Data Type. SQL Server provides us with a big library of system data types that define all types of data that can be used with SQL Server, from which we can choose the data type that is suitable for the data we will store in that object. You can also define your own customized user defined data type using T-SQL script. SQL Server data types can be categorized into seven main categories:

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