Database Fundamentals #3: What’s In a Database?

Database Fundamentals
It’s worth noting that a lot of people will never need to create their own database. You may never create your own tables or other data structures either. You may only ever run backups and restores and manipulate the security on the system and let application installs create databases for you. That’s completely understandable and perfectly in line with the needs of many businesses and many accidental DBAs. However, it's a good idea to understand what this stuff is and how it works as part of understanding SQL Server. A Database Is Actually Files You need to store information that you want to be able to retrieve later. It’s necessary that you organize that information. If you were working with a word processing program, you store different documents in different…
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The Three T’s of Backups

TSQL
I just read several more horror stories that include, among other things, failed backups. I've said it before (at volume, extreme volume), and evidently I have to say it again. Simply creating a backup file is not enough to ensure the protection of your information. In order to attempt to reinforce the importance of this idea, I'm going to introduce a new concept. Maybe it'll help. I'm calling it "The Three T's of Backups." Take 'Em First, and most important, you have to Take backups. That's your first "T". No, disk redundancy through RAID or a SAN or some other setup is not adequate to protect your information. You must take backups. They have to be created and they have to be run regularly. You absolutely should automate this. Test…
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T-SQL Tuesday #091 – Round-Up

DevOps
Thank you to everyone who participated in T-SQL Tuesday #091 which was on databases and DevOps. As I anticipated, this brought out quite a bit of variety on the posts. This is because DevOps is still... not quite cooked...(?) in many peoples minds. I think with the range of posts we saw here, it'll be a lot more clear to those who are just getting an introduction to it. Here are the posts (in no particular order) and a few comments on each: Databases and DevOps: Rob Farley - I like Rob's approach to this intro to DevOps. He's a consultant. It'd sure be nice if you had the protections that DevOps offers in front of your systems before he starts recommending changes. What Playing at Minecraft has Taught Me…
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DevOps and Visual Studio

DevOps
The hardest part about implementing DevOps is not the tools you choose, but the processes you use to make DevOps work. That said, you do need to think about the tools you're going to use to automate those processes. Frequently the emphasis is on third party tools, but it doesn't always have to be. Microsoft's Visual Studio has a number of tools that you can use to automate your DevOps methods. Visual Studio Team Services Connecting a project into Team Services opens up the world of DevOps pretty handily. You can host this all locally and do an install to a server to support it. With more and more of us working with teams that span continents and oceans, it probably makes more sense to use the online version. There's…
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Database Fundamentals #2: SQL Server Management Studio

Database Fundamentals
The best way to learn any software is to start using it. There are a bunch of software tools in the SQL Server toolbox, but the biggest and most important is SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). SSMS is where you'll spend most of your time when you start to work with SQL Server. It provides a very large series of graphical user interfaces for creating databases, setting up security, reading data out of the database, and all sorts of other things within your SQL Server instances, the databases stored there, and all the stuff inside those databases. It also supplies you with an interface to the basic scripting language of SQL Server, through which you can do almost anything to the server. The scripting language is called Transact Structured Query…
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T-SQL Tuesday #091 – Databases and DevOps

DevOps
Implementing DevOps with databases presents a unique set of challenges. However, just because something might be hard doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done. I had the opportunity to work with a team of developers, database developers and DBAs under a management team that all agreed on the common goal we had, delivering more, better performing applications, faster. We didn't know it at the time, but we were doing DevOps. DevOps gets a bad name because, well, the problems that DevOps sets out to solve, poor communication, bad teamwork, dysfunctional development and badly configured and maintained processes, are  done by the same team that attempts to implement DevOps. However, they look on it as a purely mechanical switch that they throw, assign some poor person to the role of DevOps…
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Database Fundamentals #1: Install SQL Server

Database Fundamentals
To get started with SQL Server, you need to install it. However, I'm not going to teach you how to do a SQL Server install. Instead, I want to point you towards a couple of sources of information, and, give you some alternatives to installing SQL Server. Install SQL Server As much as I enjoy sharing information with you through this blog, and despite the fact that I read a lot of other technology blogs and other resources online, the single best source of information on SQL Server remains Microsoft and their SQL Server Documentation. This information is up to date and very well maintained. Yes, I'm sure you can find somethings to complain about in there, but overall, it's the starting point for all SQL Server learning and understanding.…
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Database Fundamentals

Database Fundamentals, Professional Development
One of my favorite things about being a technologist is constantly learning new things, but, this can lead us to forget about the fundamentals. More importantly, in our pursuit of the latest and greatest things, it's very easy for those of us who teach to forget to reach back and pull others forward. With this in mind, I'm going launch a new blog series called Database Fundamentals. Database Fundamentals The goal here is simple. I'm going to talk about the basics. Creating a database. Creating tables.  Inserts, selects, primary keys, and on and on. I have a bunch of material accumulated around these topics. I may as well share it as much as I can. I will continue posting information about all the fun cutting edge stuff I get to…
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Technology Gender Gap By State

Professional Development
This is my first ever guest blog post. Take it away Hazel Garcia. Though the gender gap narrows by the year, there remains a noticeable lack of balance in the professional workplace. This gap reflects in everything from gender-based pay scale discrepancies to the ratio of women to men in the workforce. Interestingly, the gap varies by region, though it significantly impacts the professional gender balance all fifty states. The gender gap displays quite prominently in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, despite a growing number of young female graduates who carry all of the qualifications that their male counterparts possess. Still, highly qualified female candidates in STEM fields frequently find themselves passed over in favor of similarly, or even less qualified male candidates. Despite overwhelming evidence showing the harm…
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MySQL and Backups As A Service

Azure
With today's announcement that MySQL is available as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering through Azure, a lot more exciting opportunities have presented themselves for companies to build and manage their information. According to the DB-Engines Ranking, MySQL is the second most popular data management system out there. At last, you get to incorporate it directly into your Azure eco-system. While there are tons of reasons this is exciting, I'm going to focus on one very particular issue, backups. Why Are Backups Important? I'm not going to answer that question. Everyone knows that backups are important. Everyone knows that they need to have backups. Yet... There is example after example where people either haven't bothered to set up backups or didn't know what a real backup entails, or even…
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