09 November 2020
09 November 2020

DBA in training: Backups, SLAs, and restore strategies

There are a handful of options when backing up SQL Server databases. A DBA must understand the differences and come up with a plan that protects the organisation’s data. In this article, Pamela Mooney explains service level agreements, recovery models, and some strategies to ensure that the data can be restored quickly.… Read more
08 October 2020
08 October 2020

DBA in training: Security

Securing data is not always easy to do, but it should be the top responsibility for database administrators. From protecting the physical servers to preventing copies of backups files from getting into the wrong hands, there is a lot to consider. In this article, Pamela Mooney covers what DBAs need to think about when securing their organisation’s data.… Read more
10 February 2017
10 February 2017

SQL Server Temporal Tables: How-To Recipes

Tables that return the value of the data in the table at a particular point of time have been with us since the first relational database, but have always required special queries and constraints, and can be tricky to get right. System-versioned Temporal Tables, new in SQL Server 2016, make such tables behave like any other. How do you create one, or modify an existing table? How can you get an In-Memory Optimized OLTP table to be Temporal? Alex Grinberg shows how. … Read more
27 January 2016
27 January 2016

SQL Server System Views: The Basics

When maintaining or refactoring an unfamiliar database, you'll need a fast way to uncover all sorts of facts about the database, its tables, columns keys and indexes. SQL Server's plethora of system catalog views, INFORMATION_SCHEMA views, and dynamic management views contain all the metadata you need, but it isn't always obvious which views are best to use for which sort of information. Many of us could do with a simple explanation, and who better to provide one than Rob Sheldon?… Read more
15 December 2015
15 December 2015

JSON support in SQL Server 2016

At last, SQL Server has caught up with other RDBMSs by providing a useful measure of JSON-support. It is a useful start, even though it is nothing like as comprehensive as the existing XML support. For many applications, what is provided will be sufficient. Robert Sheldon describes what is there and what isn't.… Read more
30 September 2015
30 September 2015

Introducing SQL Server In-Memory OLTP

In-Memory OLTP, aka Hekaton, originally shipped with 2014, and although it certainly helped the performance of certain types of workload, it then had certain restrictions that impeded its widespread adoption.With SQL Server 2016, there is more support for In-Memory OLTP and a more seamless integration with SQL Server's Database Engine. It is time to consider whether In-Memory OLTP can help those pinch-points in your data throughput, explains Artemakis Artemiou.… Read more
09 April 2015
09 April 2015

Schema-Based Access Control for SQL Server Databases

Access-control within the database is important for the security of data, but it should be simple to implement. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the jargon of principals, securables, owners, schemas, roles, users and permissions, but beneath the apparent complexity, there is a schema-based system that, in combination with database roles and ownership-chaining, provides a relatively simple working solution.… Read more
22 September 2014
22 September 2014

Improving the Quality of SQL Server Database Connections in the Cloud

To access SQL Server from the client, you use TDS protocol over TCP. This is fine over reliable LANs but over the internet these connections are relatively slow and fragile, TDS is still used to connect to databases in the cloud, but you need to use a combination of the new features such as connection pools and idle connection resiliency to make applications faster and more reliable. … Read more
05 June 2014
05 June 2014

The SQL of The Game of Life

Joe finds a reference to Conway's Game of Life whilst clearing out his desk, and is suddenly gripped with nostalgia. It wasn't just flares, mullets and disco, but simple computer games in interpreted basic. Somehow, Conway s Game of Life was too intriguing to be abandoned in the attic. Can it be implemented in SQL? Joe sets up a challenge.… Read more
22 April 2014
22 April 2014

SQL Server XML Questions You Were Too Shy To Ask

Sometimes, XML seems a bewildering convention that offers solutions to problems that the average database user doesn't have. To make things worse, XML experts generally lack the wherewithal to provide simple answers to even the simplest questions. Rob Sheldon, in contrast, can answer even those questions we somehow feel silly asking in public, and think twice about doing so.… Read more
24 March 2014
24 March 2014

High Performance Relational Division in SQL Server

Relational division is used in SQL to select rows that conform to a number of different criteria. It is a neglected but effective technique for a number of tasks. Although the SQL can appear daunting and complex, it can perform very well if you reduce the rows as much as possible before applying the final logic. Dwain Camps explains how, and shows the performance gains.… Read more
12 February 2014
12 February 2014

SQL Server Indexed Views: The Basics

Views are a valuable tool for the SQL Server Developer, because they hide complexity and allow for a readable style of SQL expression. They aren't there for reasons of performance, and so indexed views are designed to remedy this shortcoming. They're great in certain circumstances but they represent a trade-off, and they come with considerable 'small print'. Jes Borland explains.… Read more