Minette Steynberg

5 handy Transact-SQL tips you may (or may not) know

September 23, 2016 by

Introduction

Even if you are a SQL veteran, actually especially if you are, you sometimes get really stuck doing something in the old way not realizing that in newer versions of SQL Server some handy functions have been added that can make your life easier.

In this article, I will mention a couple of these which appeared in SQL Server 2008 or later versions or might have even been there before but most people just didn’t know about.

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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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Ed Pollack

Planning a SQL Server conference – Diving into the details

September 19, 2016 by

Many of us have been given the opportunity to run or help plan a SQL Saturday or another SQL Server event. This conclusion will dig much deeper into the nitty-gritty, such as planning food and budgeting. No two events are the same, and as such, not everything here will be the same for you. Consider these experiences a tool and list of ideas to pull from when deciding how to structure, divide, and conquer your conference!

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to stop a runaway SSIS package

September 13, 2016 by

There are many reasons for terminating a long running SSIS Package. Picture a scenario whereby an inexperienced DBA/developer accidentally kicks-off a monthly job instead of a daily job, inadvertently impacting SQL Server performance. Whatever the reasons, you are more than likely to encounter a situation in which you have to temporary stop a long running process.

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Artemakis Artemiou

Top 10 security considerations for your SQL Server instances

August 31, 2016 by

SQL Server is one of the world’s leading data platforms. It is being broadly used hosting millions of databases. These databases store data. These data are each organization’s most valuable asset. It is with this data that organizations run their everyday operations and processes. This fact makes it a necessity to efficiently secure your SQL Server instances, in order to protect your databases and consequently your data. This article suggests a list with the top 10 security considerations based on which you can efficiently secure your SQL Server instances.

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Ahmad Yaseen

Optimize NULL values storage consumption using SQL Server Sparse Columns

August 29, 2016 by

SQL Server 2008 introduces a new column attribute that is used to reduce the storage consumed by NULL values in the database tables. This feature is known as Sparse Columns. Sparse Columns work effectively in the case of the columns with high proportion of NULL values, as SQL Server will not consume any space storing the NULL values at all, which helps in optimizing the SQL storage usage.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

How to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to execute SQL Agent Jobs

August 22, 2016 by

Every production ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) solution is often intrinsically linked to a scheduling mechanism that is used to execute that ETL solution. In a SQL Server-based environment, SQL Server Agent is one of the scheduling mechanism that can be utilized to schedule an execution of ETL solutions such as SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) packages. In the organization that I currently work for, we’ve had several instances (for various reasons) whereby as the data team we’ve been required to provide a platform for business users to execute an ETL at their own convenience (i.e. on-demand). In this article, we will demonstrate on how we went about delivering self-service ETL execution requirement.

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Minette Steynberg

10 things you need to know to become a Data Scientist

August 22, 2016 by

Introduction

If you have been browsing job ads lately, you would have noticed a huge amount of positions available for Data Scientist. The demand seems to be much larger than the supply which means that there is a huge opportunity here. However, there appears to be a catch: Most of these positions requires some experience or knowledge in the field of Data Science. So if you want midway through your career, how can you skill up to become a Data Scientist?

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