William Brewer is a SQL Server developer who has worked as a Database consultant and Business Analyst for several Financial Services organisations in the City of London. True to his name, he is also an expert on real ale.
Not long ago, I was having to do a fairly simple DBA task onsite. It involved database provisioning by copying a database from one server to another, something I’ve done countless times. I was taking a backup of the source and restoring it under another name on the other server to create the target database. … Read more
Although it is well-known that the best efforts of a development team can be derailed by mistakes in the architecture, design and general governance of a development project, few attempts have been made to describe what needs to be done to increase the chances of success in the development of a database application. William Brewer steps into the breach to itemise what a delivery team needs to succeed.… Read more
With the new range of cross-platform runtime-systems, based on WebKit and Node.js, we developers are once again offered the lure of being able to write one application that, with minor differences, works in the browser as a cloud application, on the desktop PC, and in mobile devices. If you are already versed in the culture … Read more
There are few parts of SQL Syntax as familiar as the GROUP BY clause of the SELECT statement. On the other hand, CUBE and ROLLUP remain mysterious despite their usefulness and GROUPING SET is positively arcane, especially if you are too shy to reveal your ignorance of the subject by asking!… Read more
When the different teams that are involved throughout the life of a database fail to reconcile their different roles and priorities, and so fail to cooperate, or work adaptively, the result is gridlock: databases defined as though carved in stone rather than by code and data. DLM offers an alternative that allows databases to respond quickly to business change.… Read more
What is IT Compliance and is it really necessary for contemporary Agile applications to be constrained by the requirements of compliance? William Brewer argues that if the objective is rapid delivery of applications, then compliance controls must be understood as early as possible in development.… Read more
It is not just the rapid and painless testing, deployment and update of databases that requires care in the retention and management of configuration information. Configuration information is also essential for audit, resilience, and support. The range of documentation varies widely with the database and its setting, but the underlying principles remain the same. Without appropriate configuration management, automation is likely to be futile.… Read more
A secure cloud-based file system that can provide offsite backup is better than no offsite backup, but is there a beter way? Are there more opportunities in offsite backup for improving disaster recovery, or providing a scalable archive? … Read more
Planning for disaster recovery and business continuity aren't amongst the most exciting IT activities. They are, however, essential and relevant to any Database Administrator who is responsible for the safety and integrity of the companies' data, since data is a key part of business continuity.… Read more
As part of our long-running Cribsheet series, we asked William to write a guide to deployment that described in general terms what is involved in the deployment of a database application, and the sort of issues that one is likely to come up against. … Read more
As part of our long-running Cribsheet series, we asked William to come up with a brief summary of what was involved in bringing database development work under source control. What are the advantages it brings, and are there disadvantages?… Read more
When William produced his second article on the free tool 'SQL Scripts Manager', revealing that it worked just as well with PowerShell and Python scripts as it does with TSQL, he thought that would be the end of the series. Oh no; in response to feedback, comes a small add-in called 'Script Generator' that makes a big difference to the speed of developing and producing new scripts.
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SQL Scripts Manager was released as a Christmas present to Simple-Talk subscribers. William Brewer then wrote an appreciation of the tool. Now, he reveals a secret:: It also runs PowerShell scripts, and hence, SMO. He has the scripts to prove it, though hopefully, you'll soon be running your own PowerShell from SQL Scripts Manager.… Read more
SQL Scripts Manager is Simple-Talk's present to its readers. William Brewer was an enthusiastic bystander when Red Gate involved the 'Friends of Red-Gate' in helping them design and contribute towards SQL Scripts Manager over the past few months. Here he gives his impressions of the new tool and explains why it is useful to him.
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William Brewer turns a jaundiced eye to the task of laying out web pages using CSS, and gives some nuggets from years of occasional page design. It is, of course, set with a a stylesheet he's come up with to demo a few of his points.… Read more
Everybody knows how to call stored procedures from a .NET application. Right? But then, how often do you see stored procedures used to their full advantage in database applications? William Brewer goes through some of the basics, but uses PowerShell and IronPython as well as VB.NET as the example .NET applications just to freshen the subject up a bit, and avoids all mention of Northwind or AdventureWorks!… Read more
The easiest way to speed up an Ajax application is to take out the 'X' and use JSON rather than XML. Of course, it isn't that simple, as William Brewer explains, but JSON, and YAML, are fascinating solutions to the old problem of transferring complex data between modules, services and applications, nonetheless.… Read more
William Brewer takes a look at the whole topic of SQL Code layout and beautification, an important aspect to SQL programming style. He concludes that once you are tired of laying SQL out by hand, you had better choose a tool with plenty of knobs to twiddle, because nobody seems to agree on the best way of doing it… Read more
In which William Brewer, our software reviewer, goes through the spectrum of emotions whilst using SQLTAC until deciding that, quirks and all, it is very useful.
He ends up feeling that the world of Software Tools will be enriched by this maverick offering, one that tackles a series of database chores, and does them rather well
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In this short article, the second of a 2-part series, William suggests a solution, using SQL Data Compare 6.1, for providing an independent cross-check of database transactions to determine whether they have been retrospectively altered. … Read more