Automated Database Provisioning for Development and Testing

If your development team needs to work on anonymised copies of the current production database, and if changes are being delivered rapidly as well, that could mean a lot of time and routine DevOps work copying databases. SQL Clone was designed for tasks like this. Grant Fritchey investigates whether you save time, effort and scripting over the more traditional approach, and at what point it makes sense to use it.… Read more

SQL Server Database Provisioning

Database provisioning for development work isn't always easy. The better that development teams meet business demands for rapid delivery and high quality, the more complex become the requirements for the work of development and testing. More databases are required for testing and development, and they need to be more rapidly kept current. Data and loading needs to match more closely what is in production. Grant Fritchey explains.… Read more

Your Professional Development and the PASS Organization

There are so many ways of keeping your technical skills and knowledge up-to-date. There are books, articles, conferences, video courses and so on, but nothing beats discussion and debate with professional people in other organisations facing a similar range of technical challenges, some of which you share, and others you maybe haven't yet. PASS is unique in providing just this vital ingredient for database professionals using the Microsoft Data Stack.… Read more

Who the Devil Wrote This SQL Code?

The way that you format T-SQL code can affect the productivity of the people who have to subsequently maintain your work. It is never a good experience to see SQL Code, cry out “Who the devil wrote this code?”, and then realise that it was you. Grant gives some examples of bad formatting and explains why you should never check-in badly-formatted SQL code.… Read more

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Lives!

0
1
Frequently when a new piece of tech that I’m excited about is launched, total nerd that I am, I’ll start quoting Colin Clive in, still the best, James Wale’s Frankenstein. It’s ALIVE! ALIVE! Well, time to get excited. On Monday, July 11, Azure SQL Data Warehouse moves from being in preview on Azure to a … Read more
0
1

Better Ways to Build a Database

The purpose of a database build is simple: prove that what you have in version control can successfully create a working database. And yet many teams struggle with unreliable and untested database build processes that slow down deployments and prevent the delivery of new functionality. Grant Fritchey explains how to achieve an automated and reliable database build that is only as complex as the database system it needs to create.… Read more

Database Continuous Integration

Have you ever longed for a way of making the delivery of databases more visible, predictable and measurable? Do you ever wish that they would be of better quality, quicker to change, and cost less? Grant Fritchey explains some of the secrets of doing Continuous Integration for Databases to relieve some of the pain-points of the Database Delivery process.… Read more

Using SQL Prompt to Accelerate the Top 10 Most Common Database Scripts

There may be some people who enjoy repetitive typing, but Grant Fritchey doesn't. He's always preferred SQL Prompt. The standard snippets suit developers fine but aren't so DBA-oriented, so he set about asking the SQLServerCentral community what they typed in the most, and set about producing a set of DBA snippets with the results. … Read more

Top 10 Most Common Database Scripts

What are the scripts that a working DBA uses so often that they become part of the 'muscle memory'? Grant Fritchey asked the question on the forums of SQL Server Central. From the large response, Grant was able to pick out the ten most popular T-SQL commands, scripts, or fragments. It seems as if, despite the range of tasks we do, there are some common tools we use.… Read more

Why Developers Need to Understand Execution Plans

As a coder, the more you know about the business, the better code you're going to write. The more you know about the language in which you code regularly, the better code you're going to write. Similarly, if you're tasked with writing code against a relational database engine, you're going to need to know more about that engine. If you can examine and understand execution plans, you can achieve better understanding of the database system and you will write better database code. Grant Fritchey shows you how.… Read more

Database Build Automation – The First Step to Continuous Integration

So you're keen to take the first steps to the continuous integration of your database. You have to start by getting your database into source control. You can then begin to automate your build processes in order to generate and test a database. By doing this regularly, you'll be much better prepared for the deployment process because you'll have solved integration issues when they happen, and facilitated the broader testing process.… Read more

SQL Server Performance Troubleshooting with SQL Monitor 5

Any SQL Server monitoring tool must gather the metrics that will allow a DBA to diagnose CPU, memory or I/O issues on their SQL Servers. It should also provide a set of accurate, reliable, configurable alerts that will inform the DBA of any abnormal or undesirable conditions and properties, as well as specific errors, on any of the monitored servers. This article provides an in-depth guide to the monitoring and alerting functionality available in one such tool, Redgate SQL Monitor. It focuses on the latest edition (5.0), which includes several key new features, such as performance diagnosis using wait statistics, the ability to compare to baselines, and more.… Read more

Why Put Your Database into Source Control?

Checking program code into source control is a daily ritual for most developers, but versioning database code is less well-understood. Grant Fritchey argues that getting your databases under source control is not only vital for the stability of development and deployment, but it will make your life easier when something does go wrong.… Read more

Rollback and Recovery Troubleshooting; Challenges and Strategies

What happens if your database deployment goes awry? Do you restore from a backup or snapshot and lose all the data changes that have happened since then? Do you prepare rollback scripts to revert the changes whilst preserving the data? Do you branch by abstraction and toggle off the changes? Have you a blue-green deployment that can be switched? Do you quickly roll forward? … Read more

SQL Enlight for SQL Server Management Studio

The process of doing SQL code-reviews used to be tedious and error-prone. Until SQL Enlight, it was a process that was difficult to automate for release and deployment. As it is now both a Command-line utility and an SSMS add-in, the database developer can see immediately the parts of the code that would raise eyebrows with the vigilant production DBA.… Read more

Database Administration as a Service

A DBA should provide two things, a service and leadership. For Grant Fritchey, it was whilst serving a role in the Scouts of America that he had his epiphany. Creative chaos and energy, if tactfully harnessed and directed, led to effective ways to perform team-based tasks. Then he wondered why these skills couldn't be applied to the workplace. Are we DBAs doing it wrong in the way we interact with our co-workers?… Read more