SQL Server Expert Blogs
Before the SQL Window functions were implemented, it was tricky to calculate rolling totals or moving averages efficiently in SQL Server. There are now a number of techniques, but which has the best performance? Dwain Camps gets out the metaphorical stopwatch.
SSIS is able to take sorted data from more than one OLE DB data source and merge them into one table which can then be sent to an OLE DB destination. This 'Merge Join' transformation works in a similar way to a SQL join by specifying a 'join key' relationship. this transformation can save a great deal of processing on the destination. Annette Allen, as usual, gives clear guidance on how to do it.
Sqlcmd makes many SQL Server tasks, such as automating test runs and maintenance tasks, easier and quicker. The sqlcmd command-line utility is valuable to any database developer or DBA as the prime means of executing batches of SQL Statements to SQL servers, and saving results to file. Rob Sheldon gives you the basic facts about this great utility
Too often, the batch systems that underlie a lot of database processing just grow without conscious design. When runs start to extend beyond their allotted time, and tuning no longer solves the problem, it is often discovered that batches are run in series, with draconian error handling. It is time to impose some rational design, and Nigel is a seasoned healer of batch processes.
This article is an extract from the book Tribal SQL. In this article, Mark S. Rasmussen offers a concise introduction to the physical storage internals behind SQL Server databases. He doesn't dive into every detail, but provides a simple, clear picture of how SQL Server stores data.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) has evolved over the years to incorporate many new data visualization capabilities. In this article, Scott Murray illustrates how DBAs can use these tools to produce reports that include Indicators, Embedded Charts, Sparklins, and Chart overlays.
DBAs are expected to know how to administer the technologies that are available with and peripheral to SQL Server. To properly administer them, it certainly helps to understand the technology from the point of view of the user. By using an existing SSRS report as a data feed for Excel, Rodney Landrum explains how these users can now take advantage of development efforts in new ways.
There are a large number of articles on Simple-Talk that tackle the subject of Source Control, and the extension of source control into the practicalities of build and the deployment of application code and database together. Together, they cover a wide range of topics and contain a great deal of information and experience.
Following on from his first four articles on using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) with tabular databases, Robert Sheldon dives into some of the DAX statistical functions available, demonstrating which are the most useful and examples of how they work.
Richard Morris interviewed Michael Stoop, a database developer at Calvi, Europe's leading provider of Telecom Invoice Management software. The discussion focused on how Calvi transformed their database delivery process to accommodate massive database growth, statutory regulations, and developments in their application. Here's their story.
Although it was primarily designed for System Administrators, PowerShell is now extending its use to Database, SharePoint, Exchange and all Microsoft products. In this article Laerte Junior offers an introduction to PowerShell and describes how DBAs can use PowerShell to automate repetitive tasks. He also explains when to use PowerShell instead of, or in addition to, T-SQL and SSIS.
A Dominoes game of Texas 42 inspires Joe to explore unusual uses for check constraints and views. Sometimes, the best way of discovering useful SQL techniques is to tackle the more unusual problems.
In real-world applications, it often makes sense to show denormalized data such as delimited lists within the application's user interface. Dwain Camps shows why, and how, the distribution business stores information about 'islands' in sequences in order to track the status of the shipping of a consignment. It makes a great SQL puzzle
You can use DAX to create reports from a tabular database in SQL Server Reporting Services. To do so requires a few workarounds. Rob Sheldon describes a poorly-documented but important technique for Business Intelligence.
The best way of checking SQL Server backups is to restore them and run DBCC CHECKDB on the restored database. To do this regularly means that you need to automate the task. Allen White shows how, with PowerShell.
With ODBC, you can summarise, and select just the data you need, in an Excel workbook before importing it into SQL Server. You can join data from different areas or worksheets. You can even get data from the result of a SQL Server SELECT statement into an Excel spreadsheet. Phil Factor shows how, and warns of some of the pitfalls.
A DBA should provide two things, a service and leadership. For Grant Fritchey, it was whilst serving a role in the Scouts of America that he had his epiphany. Creative chaos and energy, if tactfully harnessed and directed, led to effective ways to perform team-based tasks. Then he wondered why these skills couldn't be applied to the workplace. Are we DBAs doing it wrong in the way we interact with our co-workers?
If you need to start monitoring your SQL Server instances and database, and there are many good reasons to do so, Tony Davis gives you the eight essential steps to diagnosing problems quickly.