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Teaching DevOps in Indianapolis

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There is literally nothing I like better than working on automation. Before we had all the cool toys that we have now, I was working on automating database deployments. Now, with all the cool toys, I'm not automating deployments. I'm automating builds, tests, environment setup, containers, multiple database platforms and more. If you want to learn about DevOps, source control, tools, automation, artifacts, testing and more, I've got an opportunity for you. In just a couple of weeks, on Friday, June 16th, 2019, I'll be teaching an all day seminar on database DevOps. There are some seats left, but don't wait until it's too late. Click here now to get signed up. This is the only time this year that I'll be presenting this course in the United States. If…
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Sample Azure DevOps Pipelines

DevOps
I've said it before and I will repeat myself on this because it's an important concept: DevOps is about culture and communication, not tools Now, that said, to implement the automation required in DevOps, you're going to have to get into some degree of tooling. There are a whole slew of possible tools to support you: Jenkins, Team City, Octopus and more. All these tools offer excellent solutions with variations on limits, methodologies, etc. You'll need to explore them to understand which ones are best for you and your processes. I've been doing a lot of work lately in another tool, Azure DevOps. Let me show you a little of what I've done. Azure DevOps Pipelines I don't mean for this to be a complete tutorial on setting up Azure…
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Importance of Testing

DevOps
I've always said if you're running a script for the first time in a production environment, you're doing it wrong. Testing is fundamental to technology, yet it is one of the single most frequently skipped processes. Let's talk about this a moment. Developing in Production Through my work, I travel quite a bit. That means I get to meet a lot of different people with varying circumstances on their systems. I've even met someone who did all their development directly in production. Why? They ran a software that ran an assembly line. There wasn't a test assembly line. Oh yeah, they had checks and validations that all their inputs and outputs were valid prior to ever putting the code into production. However, they had no mechanisms, of any kind, for…
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Implement DevOps One Step At a Time

DevOps
In preparation for my upcoming DevOps training days (see the bottom of this post for details) and for some articles I'm working on, I've been building all new automation processes for database deployments. In the past, I've been using a fairly simple (and far too simplistic) example to do most of my demos. I haven't built a full process in a little while. OH MY GOD!!! IT'S PAINFUL!!!!! Automation Ain't Easy The easy part of getting your DevOps done is the tooling. I say that all the time because it's true. The hard part is changing your organizations culture to support the level of communication necessary for a successful DevOps implementation. However, easy by comparison doesn't mean just simply easy. There's a lot of work involved and making mistakes early…
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sp_execute_external_script and SQL Injection

SQL Server
In order to take advantage of R and Python (and Java in SQL Server 2019) directly from your SQL Server scripts, you'll be using the function sp_execute_external_script. When you see this code in use for the first time, it's going to remind you of sp_execute_sql. The very first thing I thought about was, "Oh no. Another SQL Injection vector." I have a little good news and a little bad news. It's Not SQL The first and most important thing to understand is, we're not talking about SQL. Let's start with looking at some code. This is straight from the examples in the Microsoft documentation linked above: DROP PROC IF EXISTS generate_iris_model; GO CREATE PROC generate_iris_model AS BEGIN EXEC sp_execute_external_script @language = N'R' , @script = N' library(e1071); irismodel <-naiveBayes(iris_data[,1:4], iris_data[,5]);…
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Continuous Learning

Professional Development
In case you can't tell from some of my blog posts, I'm a bit of an advocate for DevOps. I'm extremely fortunate in my employer, Redgate Software, that they are also huge advocates for DevOps. We not only teach it and promote it, and, oh yeah, make AWESOME tools for it, we practice DevOps in what we do. However, this post is not about DevOps. Instead, I'm trying to leverage some of the concepts of DevOps, Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, to arrive at some ideas around learning that I want to share. Pi-Hole Yesterday I spent several hours getting the software Pi-Hole set up for my home network. Now, this software really doesn't take several hours to set up. The reason it took me that long is because I hadn't…
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From Evangelist to Advocate

Redgate Software
It's time for a little bit of change to occur. I am no longer a Product Evangelist for Redgate Software. No, they haven't fired me and I haven't quit. We're changing the role, just a little. I am now a Product Advocate for Redgate Software. Why Advocate? It's simple enough. If you look up the definitions for evangelist and advocate, it's pretty clear that my job has always been more of the advocate role than the evangelist. After all, I'm not trying to convert you to use Redgate. Instead, I want to recommend and support the position that Redgate offers you a superior product. The core role that I fill, teaching, writing, recording videos, testing and training, using Redgate tools in support of your data and data estate will be…
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The Constant and Constantly Changing Role of the DBA

DevOps, Redgate Software, SQL Server
I've been working in and around data for over 30 years now. My title has changed a number of times and is poised to change again. My responsibilities have also shifted fairly continuously over that time. Even though it has been more than 20 years since I first took on the title of DBA, some aspects of the job are the same. However, over that 20 years, a stack of new technologies and processes have fundamentally changed a whole swath of what I do. The DBA Song Remains the Same Are your servers online? Are all databases available? Did the data load process run successfully last night? When was the last time a backup was run on this database? I honestly don't care if you're in the cloud, on-premises, or…
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SQL Server Containers Are Boring

Containers
Not really, but sort of. The beauty of containers, at least in a dev/test environment, is the ability to spin them up while you need them and then throw them away when you're done. Containers give you a bunch of functionality not otherwise available through a VM. However, once you've spun up a container, they're so dull. Why Are Containers Boring Grant? I'm so glad you asked. Last week I was presenting at SQLIntersection (great show, you should consider attending). I was talking about Query Store in SQL Server 2019. One person in the audience asked, "Can Query Store run inside a container?" I responded, "Great question, let's check." I then switched over to VS code to show this: docker run ` --name DemoSharedVol ` -p 1460:1433 ` -e "ACCEPT_EULA=Y"…
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