Database development

Eli Leiba

Construct a special multi-statement table function for checking SQL Server’s health

December 24, 2015 by

The Problem

Checking the many SQL Servers health conditions is one of the DBA basic tasks. Monitoring many servers and databases, day after day can be a very tedious job. There are many aspects to look for when checking the server performance figures. Such aspects include among others: CPU, Read and Write Disk counters, Various memory counters and locks performance counters. The DBA needs a tool that checks the most important counters and output a report that states whether the server is considered to be healthy or not. For every aspect, a counter is chosen to represent it to be included in the overall report.

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Joshua Feierman

A DBA’s introduction to Mercurial – When and why we should use version control

December 18, 2015 by


As DBA’s we usually have a lot of utility scripts sitting around that we use in our daily work. Examples might include things like common administrative duties (setting up users for an application for example), installing standardized maintenance routines, or even something as complex as a home grown utility database. Often times these scripts languish on some network share or (worse) our own computers, with previous versions lost for all time when changes are made. For those of us that come from a development background, this approach makes us shiver. Keeping code that is not in some kind of version control system is inexcusable for any level of software professional, and DBA’s should be no exception. Used for quite some time by software developers, version control is a wonderful tool for administrators as well, for reasons we will discuss. But first, I want to talk a little bit about my version control system of choice, Mercurial.

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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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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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Steve Simon

Share your data!… Loading SQL data from SharePoint

November 12, 2014 by


In the process of doing the round of PASS SQL Saturday’s, I have often been asked how to load data into SQL Server from SharePoint. Naturally and at first glance it should be a ‘no brainer’ however the gotcha is normally related to a security issue. Over the past few days, I have been working on just such an issue. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself!

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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 »

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