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...]

Let’s Talk Licensing and Virtualization for SQL Server

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I have two new articles up on Database Trends & Applications magazine.  I'd love to get your thoughts and feedback! Welcome to the Weird, Wild World of SQL Server Licensing Not long in the past, SQL Server licensing was an easy and straightforward process. You used to take one of a few paths to get your SQL Server licenses. The first and easiest path was to buy your SQL Server license with your hardware. Want to buy a HP Proliant DL380 for a SQL Server application? Why not get your SQL Server Enterprise Edition license with it at the same time? Just pay the hardware vendor for the … [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...]

New on SQLMag Tool Time Blog – Update to FineBuild

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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...]

Is There Such a Thing as Easy ETL?

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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...]

From SQLMag Tool Time Column: SSMS Plug-in News

I first wrote about Mladen Prajdic's excellent tool in my Tool Time column at SQL Server Magazine HERE.    The tool is a nice plug-in to SSMS and definitely worth having.  If you’ve never installed it or have only installed an older version, but sure to pick up the newest release.  Here’s Mladen’s press release complete with hyperlink for the tool: SSMS Tools Pack 1.9.4 is out! Now with SQL Server 2011 (Denali) CTP1 support. As Mladen says: ...this release adds support for SQL Server 2011 (Denali) CTP1 and fixes a few bugs. Because of the new SSMS shell in SQL 2011 CTP1 the SSMS Tools … [Read more...]

New on SQLMag.Com: Update to SP_WHOISACTIVE

I profiled Adam Machanic's (blog | twitter) excellent stored procedure, SP_WHOISACTIVE, back in August of 2010 in my monthly SQLMag column, Tool Time.  Adam has been diligent about maintaining the tool and adding new features. Read the details on my SQLMag Tool Time column. Enjoy! -Kev Twitter at kekline … [Read more...]

SQLServerPedia Has a New Editor-in-Chief. Oh no, it’s Me!

Attrition has taken its toll once again as a few good friends  move from being colleagues to being former colleagues. As a result of the folks moving on to bigger and better things, I'm now stepping up in to the roll of editor-in-chief of SQLServerPedia.  This roll is mostly about checking on the quality of content produced by our syndicating bloggers to make sure that they're not trying to sell products or services and that their posts are of high quality.  That's about where the official duties end, save for things like acting as a judge in big SSP contests. One new aspect that I want … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Dealing with Micromanagement

Imagine you’re working on a new project.  It’s an important project and its success will be a big win for the organization.  You were chosen for the job because of your competency, skill, and effectiveness.  You get things like this done all the time and have a track record for pulling it off.  Now that the project is underway, you’re finding that trust and support you need from management is absent.  Instead, you’ve got a micromanaging boss, who’s put so many additional requirements on your for reporting, meetings, and whatever their favorite nit-picking happens to be that management is … [Read more...]

Free Poster – SQL Server Dynamic Management Views

I enjoy working at Quest Software partly because we do a lot to give back to the community. Here's one example, a free poster describing all of the SQL Server 2005 and 2008 dynamic management views.  Get it here.  It's the perfect compliment to the free system map poster available from Microsoft here. … [Read more...]