Communication

Object Relational Mapping, SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools, Visual Studio
It sure seems like there’s a lot of miscommunication between developers and database specialists. In fact, the communication can become so poor that outright hostility between the groups is common. At the end of the day we are all working towards a common goal, to add value to whatever organization we are working for. It's a shame that we all lose sight of this commonality and create such a false dichotomy between the groups. I think there are some ways that we, as database specialists, can use to attempt to cross that gap. Prior to being suborned to the dark side, I was a developer. I had a little over 10 years experience working in VB, Java & C#. I remember, distinctly, cursing our database team for being so problematic…
Read More

Powershell to Automate SQL Compare

Tools
A question came up on the SQL Server Central Forums, how could you use Red Gate SQL Compare to automate creating scripts for all your databases at once. What’s the first thing that popped into my head? Yep, Powershell. SQL Compare Pro comes with a command line utility that allows you to automate just about everything you can do with the GUI. I like to use it when I’m setting up deployment mechanisms for systems because it makes one click deployments possible. I won’t go into all the methods of that type of automation here. For a lot more information on that topic, check out the Team-Based Development book. If you’re interested in exploring how you can use the command line, just type this: [crayon-5cb4a6da20f09144087320/] Now is a good time…
Read More

Life/Work Balance

SQL Server, Tools
Technology, especially information technology, is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind, freeing us from toil and drudgery. Technology, especially information technology, is a pernicious evil taking over our lives forcing us to work harder and longer. Depending on the time of day, the day of the week, my mood, my wife’s mood, or the direction the wind is blowing, either of these statements could be true. The fact is, I love technology and I do have to wrestle with keeping it from taking over my life, but only because I have so much fun with the toys that technology brings. You want to know how much I love toys, ask me about my Droid sometime. Pull up a chair. We’re going to be here a while. The trick…
Read More

Review: Idera SQL Doctor

SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools
Recently, a co-worker practically slammed me up against the wall, exclaiming “You have to check out this new tool, right now!” The piece of software he was so excited about was Idera’s SQL Doctor. Based on this assaultrecommendation, I decided to take a little time & look the software over. SQL Doctor, as the name implies, is a diagnostic tool. It runs a set of best practice rules against your server, your databases and your code. As the rules are executed, your system’s compliance with these best practices is evaluated and an interactive report is generated. With the report you can drill down on various aspects of your system to see where you may have gone wrong. All that sounds very clinical, just laid out like that. But the fact…
Read More

SQL Spackle

SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools
I previously mentioned how SQL Server Central was listing ideas for articles, primarily for short, quick, pointed articles that they were terming SQL Spackle. Spackle is a term in the US that represents the filler you put into dry-wall to smooth it out or fix small holes, so SQL Spackle is meant to fix small gaps in knowledge or documentation. My first SQL Spackle article was published today. I kind of forgot it was coming. I wrote a quick and pointed outline of how to set up and schedule a server-side trace. This is something I've always advocated, and now I can point to a bit of spackle to fill in the gaps for those who don't know how to get it done.
Read More

Red Gate SQL Source Control

SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools
You just have to love Red Gate tools. They find the small area that they want to cover and then they cover it extremely well. I rave regularly about SQL Prompt and SQL Compare and SQL Search (free one, btw). I've got SQL Data Compare and SQL Data Generator open & working on my desk regularly. I'm dabbling in their other tools fairly often as well. I just like Red Gate tools. I guess my constant & consistent praise is why I'm a "Friend of Red Gate." I like to mention that before I start praising their tools some more, just so no one thinks I'm hiding it. Why would I hide it? I'm proud to say it. I am a Friend of Red Gate! ... anyway... where was I... right, new software.…
Read More

Buy vs. Build

PowerShell, Tools
It's the classic question faced by everyone in Information Services. I know how to do this and I could build software to do it, but I'm a lazy b_____d so I'd rather just pick up a piece of software that does it for me. I love working for large companies because I can usually get them to purchase stuff so that I can loll around stuffing my face all day instead of doing actual work. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pick up Microsoft's Operations Manager or Idera's Diagnostic Manager. But you still need to monitor your servers. With buy eliminated, that leaves build. Which, is where this excellent blog post by Laerte Junior comes in. He lays out how to build a wrapper around calls to get Performan Counter…
Read More

Confio Ignite: Part II

Tools
I'm continuing to evaluate Confio's Ignite database monitoring tool. I've had it collecting data on a couple of production servers for about a week now. Based on what I've seen so far, it's looking like a pretty good piece of software. Breaking with the usual tradition, I'm going to talk about the things I'm not crazy about with the software, before I start singing its praises. The first thing, that I thought was missing, but is actually just hard to find, is the ability to look at the query information that Ignite collects, broken down by database. It looks like you should be able to get to it by looking at the Databases tab, but instead you have to first drill down into a time-period, then select specific databases within that time period,…
Read More

Database Design Process

Misc, Tools
Buck Woody recently asked a question; how do you design a database. He outlined the process he followed and asked four questions about how each of us do our work: What process do you follow? How important are the business requirements? What tool do you use to create the design, do you need it to diagram, do you even care about diagrams? What's your biggest pain-point about designing? Funny enough, I haven't done a full on database design in over a year. My company just finished about 6 years of very hard-core engineering work, designing and building or redesigning and building, the majority of our data input and collection systems. Then, I was doing lots of design work. Now, we're either largely in maintenance mode for most of those systems, or the…
Read More

A Lack of Excitement

PASS, PowerShell, SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools
I usually use all the problems, crashes, and issues that I run into at work as grist for my mill, aka, material to blog about. But lately, we haven't been crashing & burning much <knock wood, turn three times, throw salt over my left shoulder, spit>. But it was suggested that may be I should mention why that is. The fact of the matter is that I've been spending a lot more time working on methods for monitoring our systems so that we avoid more of the stupid stuff, full disks, failed backups, long running agent jobs, etc.. I've blogged before about our use of Microsoft's Operations Manager for monitoring our servers and how we've built custom rules and monitors to keep an eye on things. I've also mentioned how…
Read More