Archives for October 2011

Everybody Needs a Test Harness

When you're developing new Transact-SQL code or modifying some existing code, do you just launch directly into programming? I know that I did just that, for years.  It wasn't until I was trying to performance tune some existing code that I realized I hadn't actually taken caching of data and execution plans into account.  So all those modified stored procedures that I was so proud of might not actually be faster than the first generation of procedures because I hadn't checked to ensure that I was testing cached programs against uncached programs (and, by extension, the data used by those … [Read more...]

Simplifying CSV Data Loads

Data files containing comma separated values, or CSV, are some of the most common data formats used for data representation and storage outside the database.  When it comes to loading CSV data into the database, many options exist, however, few make it as simple as CSVexpress, powered by expressor software.  I recently visited www.csvexpress.com to check out just how simple it could get.   In short, CSVexpress offers a repeatable and quick way to load any CSV file into SQL Server (or any other database).   For those whose data quality is not as pristine as it should be, CSVexpress also offers … [Read more...]

[OT] Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins

In light of the 99% and "Occupy Wall Street" movements, the Great Recession, historic levels of partisan rancour, terrorism, environmental havok, and continuous global warfare, I am reminded of the great Mahatma Gandhi in "Young India", 1925, and his Seven Social Sins. Who can point to a list of social sins better than this: Politics without principles Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Commerce without morality Science without humanity Worship without sacrifice It seems like our society and our daily news broadcasts depict a nation whose … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting Repeated Login Failures on SQL Server

 I’d recently experienced a situation where I was getting repeated login failures to a SQL Server where I knew that I had the correct user name and password.  Each time, I’d get error 18456 in response. "Login failed for user '<user_name>'. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18456)". The challenge when troubleshooting this error message is that you may have a problem with SQL Server or you may have a problem with Active Directory or Kerberos, if you’re using one of those authentication technologies. A False Trail When times are good, and you’re able to make a connection, you … [Read more...]

PASS Summit 2011, Day 3 – A Tribute to Wayne Snyder

First things first, Wayne Snyder is rolling off the board of directors for PASS this year.  We'd worked together, shoulder to shoulder along with Joe Webb (blog | @joewebb) and other outstanding members of the SQL Server community, for many years of on the PASS board of directors and I'm certain that my tenure on the board and as president of the organization would've been nothing but trouble had Wayne not been there, covering my blind side(s), at every turn.  Here's my tribute to Wayne Snyder: If you were to mention “Wayne Snyder” to me, I’d instantly start to grin and, probably, nod a … [Read more...]

PASS Summit 2011, Day 1

I've already had a few good days in Seattle/Redmond this week, meeting with the Microsoft SQL Server program teams and with other Microsoft SQL Server MVPs.  I was as excited as a squeeling Justin Beiber fangirl waiting for his new video, wishing I could tell you all of the cool things I learned at Redmond about the future of SQL Server.  But as you'd expect, all of that cool stuff is presently NDA.  I'm sure there'll be some cool announcements from Microsoft this week.  So be on the lookout for the good word from Microsoft. Keynote Rushabh Mehta, the PASS president, spent a few moments … [Read more...]