SQL Database development

Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Where’s my Team Explorer 2015?

October 28, 2015 by


If you have been using Team Foundation Server (TFS) for as long as I have, you will recall that just about every release of TFS has always been accompanied by standalone Team Explorer and Team Explorer Everywhere software installers. So you will understand my bewilderment when I couldn’t locate these installers following a successful setup of on-premise (on-prem) TFS 2015 server instance for my employer. After going through every possible link on search engine results relating to “Team Explorer 2015,” I concluded that only Team Explorer Everywhere 2015 was released this time around.

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Sifiso W. Ndlovu

SQL Server Database Source Control using Visual Studio Online: Git

October 23, 2015 by


Source-code versioning control has always been at the core of Continuous Integration (CI) development practice. In fact tools by JetBrains and Microsoft (amongst, many vendors) have provided development teams an ability to implement some form of CI in their Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). In recent years, however, the focus of an effective CI strategy has expanded to include mechanisms of keeping track of database files. The possibility of this gradual expansion has largely been driven by two factors:

  1. Stability and maturity of source control systems such as TFS and Git
  2. Availability of freeware and proprietary tools that make it convenient for data professionals to keep control of their database source code
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Kenneth M. Nielsen

New Features in SQL Server 2016 – Temporal Data Tables

July 6, 2015 by

There are many new features in SQL Server 2016, but the one we will focus on in this post is:

  • Temporal Database Tables

One of the many new features in SQL server 2016 is the built-in support for temporal data tables. This is a feature that many developers have been urging to have as a “out of the box feature” – and therefore many have developed their own ways of implementing the capability to store information about how data looked in a certain period of time.

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Daniel Calbimonte

How to work with the command line and Azure to automate tasks

April 20, 2015 by


The sqlcmd is a very powerful tool to run SQL Server scripts, T-SQL commands. It is also very useful in disaster recovery situations like restoring the master database.

The sqlcmd can also be used in the Cloud, specifically with SQL Server Azure. In this new article, we will describe how to connect from a local machine to an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) with SQL Server Installed using sqlcmd.

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Matija Lah

String Concatenation Done Right – Part 1 – Dubious Practices

April 15, 2015 by

Having to represent sets of data as strings is a very common requirement in information management, even in modern times where a variety of more or less elaborate standards for storing, and moving, data are at our disposal. For instance, XML, JSON, or similar techniques, allow the data to be extracted from one data source, using a well-known standard, and be stored temporarily until being loaded into a destination data store, or until being consumed in some other way. Actually, both XML as well as JSON might even be used as a standard way of storing data permanently; especially, if the consumers expect the data to use one or the other format.

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Régis Baccaro

Continuous Deployment using SQL Server Data Tools and Visual Studio Online

February 2, 2015 by

In the previous posts

Deployment to several databases using SQL Server Data Tools and TFS using a Custom Workflow file
Deployment to several databases using SQL Server Data Tools and Team foundation Server
Continuous integration with SQL Server Data Tools and Team Foundation Server

I have been mostly writing about the interaction between SQL Server Data Tools and Team Foundation Server. Microsoft provides a hosted version of Team Foundation Build Service called Visual Studio Online. The configuration and functionality is mostly the same than what I have previously been writing about but there are some specifics things that we need to be aware when using Visual Studio Online Build Service.

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Régis Baccaro

Deployment to several databases using SQL Server Data Tools and TFS using a Custom Workflow file

January 16, 2015 by

In the previous blog post : Deployment to several databases using SQL Server Data Tools and Team foundation Server I illustrated how it is possible to use TFS and a batch file to deploy a database to several SQL Server instances or to deploy several SQL Server databases to several instances. The main way to achieve that in the previous post was using a batch file. For more information about this technique please have a look at that blog post.

In this post on the other hand I will demonstrate how the same functionality can be achieved using a Windows Workflow Foundation file (xaml) deployment file and Team Foundation Server.

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Régis Baccaro

Automating database tests with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server

October 31, 2014 by

This is the third post in the series about database development and testing using SQL Server Data Tools and Team Foundation Server.

Post 1: Continuous Integration with SSDT and TFS

Post 2: Unit testing with SQL Server Data Tools

You can run test in Visual Studio to test the quality of your build. In VS 2012 and 2013 there are 5 kind of tests that are available for the user Read more »

Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Background to exception handling in SQL Server

June 26, 2014 by
Since the advent of SQL Server 7.0, the best way of raising T-SQL related errors back to calling applications has been through the usage of the RAISERROR statement. Figure 1 demonstrates a combination of mandatory parameters (i.e. msg_id/msg_str, severity, state) as well as optional parameters (i.e. WITH option) that ought to be provided for the purposes of successfully using the RAISERROR function. Read more »
Sifiso W. Ndlovu

Sequence objects feature in SQL Server

April 24, 2014 by

Introduction to Sequences

Sequence is a new object that was introduced in SQL Server 2012 for a key-generating mechanism. It has been made available across all editions of SQL Server 2012. It was added as an alternative to IDENTITY columns feature that has been prevalent in the previous versions of SQL Server. Despite being newly introduced in SQL Server 2012, sequences have long been prevalent in other database platforms such as Oracle and IBM’s DB2. Thus, the data migration into SQL Server 2012 from other database platforms is now more convenient and simplified.
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