One Preparation that makes SSMS Crash Dumps Easy to Survive

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  Uh oh! So you're plugging along in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) when it suddenly goes belly up. Now you're staring at various dialog boxes telling you that SSMS crashed. Usually the first dialog box you get will ask you if you'd like to close OR the program. If you choose to close the program, you'll be presented with the opportunity to recover your lost SQL scripts once you reopen SSMS, as shown above.  (Image above courtesy of Aalam Rangi). But let's say that closing the program represents a big issue for you due to lost time, productivity, etc. You want to go … [Read more...]

SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 Released!

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SSDTBI for Visual Studio 2012 enables customers to use the Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services project templates within the Visual Studio 2012 shell.  The components are delivered as a web download on the Microsoft Download center and will be available through Web Platform Installer.   This release is the equivalent functionality to SSDTBI (BIDS) for Visual Studio 2010 that shipped in the SQL Server 2012 box.  The team adapted the UI to meet the new Visual Studio 2012 UI design.   This release delivers on the SQL commitment to provide BI Project Templates supporting … [Read more...]

The Year That Was – 2012

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2012 was, simply stated, a year that kicked my butt.  When I wasn't struggling professionally, I was struggling personally.  Health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of Type II diabetes, and the passing of my father soon after Thanksgiving marked my biggest struggles.  I apologize to those of you who are normally on my Christmas card list for not sending any this year. The wind was not in my sails.  On the positive side of the ledger, I made a scary but exciting leap to SQL Sentry midyear. This was a huge shake-up after 10 years with my previous employer, but one which has been met with … [Read more...]

SQLMag = SQL Server Pro. Goes all-digital!

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I was recently chatting with Megan Keller, my long-time editor for the Tool Time column and Executive Editor at SQL Server Pro, DevProConnections, and SharePoint Pro. I've subscribed to SQLMag ever since it was first put to print back in the late 1990's.  (That's a pic of me, on the right, in the shirt given my by SQLMag's first publisher way back in the day).  I have many bookshelves in my office, but SQLMag consumes more than half of the shelf closest to my desk.  It's that good.  Some of my personal favorites and perpetual must-read content are the columns SQL Server Questions Answered … [Read more...]

Dev Advice: Make a Tiny Dev Database Act Like a HUGE Prod Database

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Here's an evergreen question.  It's a question that never completely goes away.  But lately, I've been getting it a few times per week.  So I thought it's time to readdress the question, which usually takes some form of the following: I can't really do effective development on my little dev laptop because our production SQL Server database is 15 gazillionbytes, way too big for my workstation.  What's a uber-nerd to do?  Well, maybe they didn't use the word "uber-nerd".  But you get my drift, right?  The production database is really, really big - unmanageably big for keeping a local copy.  … [Read more...]

New on SQLMag Tool Time Blog – Update to FineBuild

Recall back in January 2011 that I profiled the cool tool, FineBuild for SQL Server, which helps you configure and quickly deploy installations of SQL Server.  Not only does FineBuild help you install a new SQL Server using the settings and configuration options you desire, it goes a few steps further by ensuring that any additional programs, tools, and utilities are also installed. Ed Vassie, the creator of FineBuild, has revised and improved the tools since I last wrote about it.  Ed has naturally added a number of bug fixes and documentation improvements. Several new features... [READ … [Read more...]

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...]

What I’m Reading, July 22 2011

I read too much, and that, my friends, is an entirely separate topic for a blog post. But I thought I'd share with you a little more about what I'm reading because sometimes, if I'm lucky, it might be something you'd enjoy too. So I'm going to start sharing what I'm reading at least once per week, partly so that I don't firehose too many reading links directly into your brain (where I to do it say once per month) and partly to solidify in my own mind the information that I'm reviewing. So here are a few good links for the seven days leading up to July 22, 2001: Microsoft and Whitehouse … [Read more...]

Microsoft Windows Platforms Blog Watch

Remote Desktop Services Component Architecture Poster Grab your own poster! A visual guide to key Remote Desktop Services technologies in Windows Server 2008R2   Virtually Free Get the latest update rollup package for the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 R2 and be sure to bookmark the Windows Virtualization Team Blog.  Be sure to check out blog World Simplified is a Virtual World. And doncha evah neglect application virtualization, such as the goodness at the App-V Product Team Blog.   Let's Optimize Some Desktops (Assuming You Have Gone Full Cloud … [Read more...]

Is There Such a Thing as Easy ETL?

E.T.L. That's Extract - Transform - Load.  That doesn't sound like a lot of work when all you need to get loaded is a simple Access database or an Excel spreadsheet.  In a situation like that, the process is so simple, all you really need to focus on is the L in ETL.  There's not a whole lot of E.T. to process, despite how wonderful that movie is. [pun intended]  But as soon as your data loading process involves some difficult or sophisticated cleansing or transformations, it gets really, really hard. The other cross-thread that had really caught my interest lately is the USA federal … [Read more...]