Roundup from Simple Talk and Beyond – March 31 2014

New Articles

We’ve always liked the idea of mixing our more in-depth articles with others that just give simple answers to simple questions, or a list of nuggets: Articles like Plamen Ratchev‘s ‘Ten Common SQL Programming Mistakes‘; Grant Fritchey‘s ‘The Seven Sins against TSQL Performance‘, SQL Server Statistics Questions We Were Too Shy to Ask or SQL Server Backup Questions We Were Too Shy to Ask; William Brewer‘s Advice on CSS you’ll wish your mother told you or Ryan Duclos‘s Ten Common SQL Server Reporting Services Challenges and Solutions. This week, Rob Sheldon starts a new series of articles in the ‘…Questions We Were Too Shy to Ask’ series with ‘SQL Server Indexing Questions We Were Too Shy To Ask’. The idea with this series is to answer the type of question that you feel a bit foolish asking in public, but which may occasionally prove to be quite tricky to answer.

After Matt Wrock wrote his ‘Toward the Perfect Build’, we watched in some amazement at the work he then put into Chocolatey and BoxStarter. Boxstarter is an open-source application written in PowerShell on top of Chocolatey and Nuget that is versatile enough to entirely build working windows machines with an unattended automated install, with all the apps you’d want and expect, from the new Azure or Hyper-V VM, or a bare-metal machine. His new article ‘Automate the Complete Windows Environment Setup and Configuration‘ describes, step by step, how you would go about building a complete TFS Server, including SQL Server. It is powerful magic, and shows how close we’re getting to entirely automated builds.

Dwaine Camps just loves to get the best possible performance from SQL. In this latest article ‘High Performance Relational Division in SQL Server‘ he takes a difficult aspect of SQL, Relational division, and shows that, whatever algorithm you use, it is possible to wring more performance from it by reducing the rows as much as possible before applying the final logic. It is a good general principle that applies to many SQL performance tasks. With Dwain’s work, the interest isn’t just in the insights he gets but also the methods he uses to get large datasets and measure the performance.

With ‘Data Science Laboratory System – Distributed File Databases’, Buck Woody has finished his Data Science Lab series. It’s taken over a year to complete his epic series that starts here. It now has all the ingredients in place to help Database Developers and DBAs to get to grips with some of the diverse technologies that are currently in use. We’re already grateful to the series for introducing us to Neo4J.

Dino Exposito continues to be an authoritative voice in ASP.NET MVC on Simple-Talk. His article ‘Social Login in ASP.NET MVC‘ tackles the problem of allowing visitors to comment on things, using their Facebook, Google, or twitter identity. It wouldn’t suit every site, but it is handy to have and ASP.NET MVC makes it pretty easy.

Article Updates

Robyn Page’s classic ‘Simple-Talk SQL Server Backup Crib Sheet’ has had its third make-over now. Robyn’s original article was revised a while back by Phil Factor. Brad McGehee revised it in 2012, and Grant has given it a new extensive makeover for SQL Server 2014. We think it is still the quickest way to get up to speed with SQL Server Backups and Restores.

William Brewer’s article ‘Quantifying Text differences in TSQL’ is probably most famous for the mediaeval illustration that includes a computer and LCD screen, but over the years it has captured the imagination of several people who wanted to quantify textual differences. William always worried that it didn’t include character-based algorithms was well as word-based, so he asked Phil to add a SQL-based version of a Levenshtein_Distance function. Levenshtein_Distance is based on the number of character edits to get from one string to another, but what if a whole block of characters could be counted as one ‘edit’? If you can work out how to do it, we’d love to hear from you

Help Required

As usual, we’re on the lookout for new talented writers. We’d particularly like to do some good coverage of Hadoop (and its’ surrounding ecosystem), AngularJS and NodeJS.

Secret parts of Simple-Talk

More for our own use, but very handy if you are searching for that special article, there are a number of links on Simple-Talk that are basically lists of authors, articles and blogs.

These include Articles listed alphabetically, Most highly-rated articles , Most viewed articles, Authors, Blogs, listed in author order, Authors and their articles. The list of Blogs in author order is new. They aren’t automatically kept up to date but are updated occasionally when we can.

From Around the Web

On SQLServerCentral, there wasTransactional Replication and the Ballooning Log File, Using EXCEPT to Determine Row Differences, Reaping the benefits of the Window functions in T-SQL, SFTP, encrypt or compress data files in SSIS using custom components and Grant EXEC on all Stored Procedures to a Role.