New on DBTA.com: Database Benchmarking Tools, the final article in the database benchmarking series

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In the last several articles on Database Trends & Applications, I've been describing the benefits of reading and analyzing the benchmarking case studies released by the Transaction Processing Council. I've given you from a broad overview of the TPC benchmarks and shown ways that the vendor-published TPC benchmarks can help you save money and how the vendor-published TPC benchmarks must explain in disclaimers how they tweak their workloads. I have described how to run your own benchmarks and explained how to properly prepare your environment for a benchmark test. Pictured (L-R): Scott … [Read more...]

Two New Slide Decks. Plus, the Week in Colorado.

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I had the honor of traveling the great state of Colorado last week, speaking at the PASS chapters in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver.  At all three events, we had a stellar attendance and, at least in Denver, broke all the records in recent memory both in terms of overall attendance and in first-timers.  Denver, in fact, was standing room only and had nearly 30 first time attendees.  Great news!  I also want to give a special shout-out of thanks and appreciation to Chris Shaw (Twitter | Blog) whose hard work and tenacity ensured that all of Colorado got to see me speak. From left to … [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...]

Everybody Needs a Test Harness

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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...]

Blogger, Have You Heard of Microsoft Broadcaster?

  Introducing the Microsoft Broadcaster: A self-service technical content repository that provides you with rich content for your blogs/sites. On behalf of Microsoft, I would like to invite you to dive into Microsoft Broadcaster.  It's a site that unleashes a torrent of free technical content like Videos, Webcasts, Whitepapers, eLearning, and more, which you can use in your blogs or user group site to drive deeper engagement with your audience and community. Key Features of Microsoft Broadcaster include: Download and embed content on your sites without sending traffic away … [Read more...]

SQL Server Migration Roll-Up

There are so many great tools out there for data professionals using Microsoft SQL Server.  I really like to see all of these great tools made free to the public.  On the other hand, I'm bummed that the tools are cast about in a very decentralized fashion. If you haven't done migrations before, you might want to start with these good white papers first. Here are a hand full of cool migration tools worth mentioning: Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for MySQL: Migrate from MySQL to SQL Azure or SQL Server with ease.  Plus, here are a few related Knowledge Base (KB) … [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...]

Database Maintenance Scripting Done Right

I first wrote about useful database maintenance scripts on my SQLBlog account way back in 2008.  Hmmm - now that I think about it, I first wrote about my own useful database maintenance scripts in a journal called SQL Server Professional back in the mid-1990's on SQL Server v6.5 or some such.  But I digress... Anyway, I pointed out a couple useful sites where you could get some good scripts that would take care of preventative maintenance on your SQL Server, such as index defragmentation, updating statistics, and so forth.  One of the script kits came directly from Microsoft's internal … [Read more...]

What’s Up With Discovery Wizard for SQL Server?

First, the Good News I really like the free SQL Server utility from Quest Software, nicknamed "Disco", that enables you to discover and inventory all versions and editions of Microsoft SQL Server from the mid-1990's onward.  You can see what it does at http://questkb.com/category/sqlserver/discovery-wizard/. I've had a lot of customers who have faced the challenge of bringing an unwieldy and chaotically growing SQL Server infrastructure  to heel.  It can be really daunting in a big enterprise trying to find all of the SQL Servers tucked behind third-party applications, Microsoft … [Read more...]