Reading to Learn

spatial data, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
I just finished chapter 1 of Alastair Aitchison'snew book on SQL Server spatial data, "Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008." If this is the beginners book... oh boy. The advanced book must be insane. Seriously though, Mr. Aitchison seems to have written a fantastic book. I'm going to tear through it as fast as I can because I've got two projects that are looking to start using spatial data and quite frankly, I'm a bit lost. There's a great discussiongoing on over at SSC as to the worth of technical books for DBA's. It's based on this editorialby Tony Davis. I'm surprised by the number of people who say they don't use books. It seems that a lot more people use blogs and articles and discussion groups to learn. Maybe…
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Connect Works

SQL Server 2008
Microsoft Connect works. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but it really does work. You will get the attention of MS developers and they will respond. It's not always fast, but it gets there. Of course, I was trying to create samples for the book, which came out almost two weeks ago, so this is a bit late for me personally... HA! But it really does work.
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Microsoft Links to Help Your Career

I received this list of links from my Microsoft rep. It was really an impressive list. So I asked if I could post it to the blog. Figures, it was already out there. Buck Woody had compiled it. It's worth a look through. There really is a lot of information that focuses on you and your career available from Microsoft. Who knew that a big company like that could be so helpful. Also, how great was it that Buck Woody pulled it all together for convenience.
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PASS, SNESSUG, SQLServerPedia Syndication
I'm always impressed and amazed with what happens in the SQL Server community. If you need help, there almost always seems to be a willing and able hand that reaches down to pull you up. It happens again and again, all around. I take part in SQL Server Central, one of the best, and biggest, communities out there for SQL Server. The people that pitch in every day are some of the nicest you're ever going to meet, but they're also extremely well informed. I regularly benefit from people swinging by this blog to offer suggestions or solutions or improvements to my ramblings. I've been making friends and developing contacts at the PASS Summit for the last four years and at my local user's group for the last two.  I've also been…
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PASS Call for Speakers

Yeah, everyone has a blog post up about it. Who am I to buck the trend. The call for speakers is officially open. You will need to set up a PassPort if you don't have one already (a wise move, whoever thought of it). Get on over there and register.
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Visual Studio
Raise your hand if you think this is a real pain in the bottom method for editing user permissions? Yeah, me too. Visual Studio Team System Database Edition is far to fine a tool to make us edit XML to set database user permissions. A co-worker has posted a change request on MS Connect. Connect works really well as long as people vote for what you report. I've seen several things change in SQL Server or get fixed primarily because of the reports in Connect. So if doing this: <PermissionStatement Action="GRANT">      <Permission>EXECUTE</Persmission>     <Grantee>UserRole</Grantee>      <Object Name="dbo" Type="SCHEMA"/> </PermissionStatement> Makes you crazy and you would rather type this: GRANT EXECUTE ON SCHEMA :: dbo TO UserRole ; Then click on the link and get the word in front out to Microsoft.
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Execution Plan Estimated Operator Cost

SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
I've said it over and over again, the costs on operators in execution plans, even in actual execution plans are estimates.  You need to understand that when looking at your execution plans. It's vital because you need to be able to distinguish between the truly costly parts of a plan and the less costly parts of a plan. Don't believe me? Take a look at this picture and see if you can spot the discrepancy: Spot it yet? Add up the costs for the operators visible in the part of the plan... Yep 125%.  And there's more to the plan that I'm not showing. I think this one must total near 200%. The statistics are up to date and there's no consistency errors in the database. These estimates are just off sometimes.…
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