Michael J. Swart

June 21, 2016

T-SQL Tuesday #079 Roundup: It’s 2016!

Filed under: Miscelleaneous SQL,SQLServerPedia Syndication — Michael J. Swart @ 7:54 pm

The invite post

Twenty Snazzy Bloggers!

There’s always some anxiety when throwing a party. Wondering whether it will be a smash. Well I had nothing to worry about with the twenty bloggers who participated last week. You guys hit it out of the park!
Everyone

The Round Up

Let’s get to it:

Rob Farley
1. Rob Farley (@rob_farley) SQL Server 2016 Temporal Table Query Plan Behaviour
Rob digs into the query optimizer to highlight an interesting plan choice when temporal tables are involved. So extra care is needed when indexing and testing features that use temporal tables.
What I Thought: I really enjoy Rob’s posts that digs into query plans and the optimizer in general.

Did you know that Rob has participated in every single T-SQL Tuesday? Even the rotten months when there’s like only three participants. Rob’s one of them.

Ginger Grant
2. Ginger Grant (@DesertIsleSQL) Creating R Code to run on SQL Server 2016
Ginger writes about how to get started coding with the R language.
What I Thought: If you want to do the kind of analysis that R enables then bookmark her website! Her blog is becoming a real resource when it comes to working with R and SQL Server.

Ewald Cress
3. Ewald Cress (@sqlOnIce) Unsung SQLOS: the 2016 SOS_RWLock
Have you ever had to troubleshoot spinlock bottlenecks? You have my sympathies. Spinlocks are meant to be internal to SQL Server, something that Microsoft worries about. Ewald writes about new SOS_RWLOCK improvements.
What I Thought: Do you like talks by Bob Ward? Do you like to dig into SQL Server’s internals? Does inspecting SQL Server debuggers and callstacks sound like a fun evening? This post is for you.

Russ Thomas
4. Russ Thomas (@SQLJudo) When the Memory is All Gone
Russ hasn’t posted to his blog recently because he’s been busy creating In-Memory OLTP courseware. So I’m glad that Russ is taking a break from that, returning to blogging and writing about … In-Memory OLTP. Specifically
What I Thought: I like Russ’s style. He has to keep things professional and respectable for Pluralsight, but on his own blog he gets to talk about sandwiches, ulcers and tempdb.

Guy Glanster
5. Guy Glanster (@guy_glantser) We Must Wait for SP1 before Upgrading to SQL Server 2016
To be clear, Guy talks about why the wait-for-sp1 advice doesn’t apply.
What I Thought: One sentence Guy wrote struck a chord with me: “I have never agreed with this claim, but in my first years as a DBA I didn’t have enough experience and confidence to claim otherwise, so I just assumed those people know what they’re talking about.” Wow, I’ve recognize that feeling. All I can say is that when you get past that feeling. That’s a really really good sign.

Patrick Keisler
6. Patrick Keisler (@patrickkeisler) SQL Server 2016 Launch Discovery Day (aka Hackathon)
Patrick gives a recap on a SQL Server hackathon called “SQL Server 2016 Launch Discovery Day”.
What I Thought: Wow, read the whole post, but if you can’t, at least check out the challenges and the scoring criteria. For example, the first challenge is to answer “From how far away do attendees travel to SQL Saturday? Are there any geographic trends to the distances traveled”. How would you approach this?”

Justin Goodwin
7. Justin Goodwin (@SQL_Jgood) Use the Query Store In SQL Server 2016 to Improve HammerDB Performance
Justin describes query regressions he found in benchmark workloads when run against SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2016. Then, in 2016, he shows how to use Query Store to fix it!
What I Thought: Fantastic post. And probably the best organized post of the month.

Kenneth Fisher
8. Kenneth Fisher (@sqlstudent144) Comparing two query plans
My friend Ken introduces the SSMS feature of comparing query plans.
What I Thought: I have to admit that after reading his post I tried the feature out last Tuesday. I’ve since found myself using the feature a few times since. It’s a valuable tool for database developers. Thanks Ken!

Andy Mallon
9. Andy Mallon (@Amtwo) COMPRESS()ing LOB data
Andy wrote about new functions COMPRESS and DECOMPRESS which do that using the gzip algorithm. Andy gives an example of how you would use COMPRESS and what situations would make best use of this feature.
What I Thought: I did not know about this. It’s a feature that I will use (once we adopt 2016).

Erik Darling
10. Erik Darling (Erik Darling) Availability Groups, Direct Seeding and You
Erik introduces direct seeding for Availability Groups. Direct seeding lets DBAs avoid a step when launching a new replica.
What I Thought: Apparently if you’re a DBA this is a CoolThing™. I kind of lost my taste for replication solutions – specifically transactional replication on flaky networks – in 2004. It’s nice to see that eleven years later, Microsoft is still working on making it easier to “move data from here to there”. (On the sincerity-sarcasm meter, that lies somewhere in the middle)

Deb Melkin
11. Deb Melkin (@dgmelkin) Temporal Tables
Temporal tables – not to be confused with temp tables – are the subject of Deb’s post. Earlier Rob Farley warned us to be careful about indexes on temporal tables. In Deb’s post, we’re warned about the precision of datetime2 columns in temporal tables.
What I Thought: Thanks for writing Deb, I like your perspective and how you walk us through your thinking. Very compelling.

Chrissy LeMaire
12. Chrissy LeMaire (@cl) So Why is sp_help_revlogin Still a Thing?
Chrissy Lemaire, Powershell MVP writes about how it’s still hard to migrate logins using only SQL Server. However there’s an easy solution using powershell.
What I Thought: Chrissy is one of the bloggers who used my “It’s 2016, why is X still a thing?” writing prompt. Chrissy also points out how rapidly powershell is growing to better support DBAs. It turns into a very exciting story.

Aaron Bertrand
13. Aaron Bertrand (@AaronBertrand) This Weird Trick Still Missing From SQL Server 2016
Fellow Canadian and all around good guy Aaron also used the “It’s 2016, why is X still (not) a thing?” format. As developers, we’d like a way to use Developer edition to be able to deploy to Standard edition confidently without worry that we’ve accidentally used some feature only available in Enterprise Edition.
What I Thought: Aaron’s absolutely right and I’ve been burned by this missing feature in the past. He links to two connect items and asks us to vote on them and leave business impact comments. I encourage you to do that too.

Robert Pearl
14. Robert Pearl (@PearlKnows) It’s SQL Server 2016 – stupid
Robert writes about SQL Server 2016 launch activities and three features he’s excited about, temporal tables, query store and better default tempdb configuration.
What I Thought: It appears that NYC was the place to be when SQL Server 2016 launched. Maybe I’ll keep my calendar clear for SQL Server 2018.

Steve Jones
15. Steve Jones (@way0utwest) Row Level Security
Row Level Security is Steve’s topic. He describes what it is, how it’s used and how he’ll never have to implement that feature from scratch again.
What I Thought: Steve is optimistic about the feature and I am too. I think I was first introduced (in a way) to the idea behind the feature when I tried to look at sys.procedure definitions as a data reader.

Lori Edwards
16. Lori Edwards (@loriedwards) It’s 2016
Lori’s writes a good introduction to temporal tables.
What I Thought: You know how when you visit documentation on a SQL Server keyword or function, you have to scroll to the bottom of the page to see an example? Not so with Lori’s introduction, her examples are up front and excellent.

Mike Fal
17. Mike Fal (@Mike_Fal) SQL 2016 Direct Seeding
Mike Fal is the second one to mention direct seeding for Availability Groups. Nice! This promises to be a good feature for DBAs.
What I Thought: In Erik’s post, he mentioned the lack of SSMS support. And so he pointed to a connect item about it. Mike Fal recognizing the issue tackled it with powershell. Good job.

Taiob Ali
18. Taiob Ali (@SqlWorldWide) JSON Support in SQL 2016
New JSON support! I was glad that someone wrote about it. And Taiob’s not just a JSON user. His workplace uses MongoDB as well.
What I Thought: Thanks Taiob, At first I noticed your website’s domain: “SQLWorldWide” and wondered if you chose that name based on Microsoft’s new sample database World Wide Importers, but then I noticed you’ve been blogging for a while. If you know SQL Server and want to know what JSON is all about, this post is for you. If you’re a developer who uses JSON and want to know how to incorporate it into a SQL Server solution, this post is for you too.

Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan
19. Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan (@KennieNP) Temporal Tables are Just System History Tables (For Now)
Kennie writes about temporal tables. Wow, this seems to be a popular feature this year. He explains how relevant this feature is when compared with more traditional ways to implement type 2 history tables (slowly changing dimensions).
What I Thought: Kennie mentions watching Chris Date and warehouse scenarios, so it’s nice to have the perspective of someone familiar with relational theory and also with data warehouses.

Riley Major
20. Riley Major (@RileyMajor) Let me count the ways…
Riley: I’d like a numbers table please
Microsoft: SQL Azure Features? You got it.
Riley: No, I said I’d like a…
Microsoft: MORE AZURE COMING UP!

Thanks again everyone. Have a wonderful summer and a wonderful 2016!

June 13, 2016

It’s 1966!

Filed under: Tongue In Cheek — Michael J. Swart @ 10:56 pm

Fifty years ago this week, Percy Sledge had the number one single with “When A Man Loves A Woman”. I’m going to break my SQL-only rule and write just this once about something besides SQL or data. Call it my NoSQL post.

I’m going to break down the song into parts and grade it. Here’s the song:

Vocals
Percy Sledge sang his heart out and he’s never sung better since. Which is kind of unfortunate because this was his first hit. Still if you want to leave a legacy, you could do a lot worse than “When A Man Loves A Woman”. He also benefits from retroactive comparison to Michael Bolton’s version. I was never a fan of Michael Bolton. He starts every song 100% full out and he has nowhere to go. Good work Percy Sledge! A+

Organ
The organ has a big job in this song, it carries the chord progression (the classic Pachelbel’s Canon one). There’s something really funky about the organ. Somehow it got replaced by the synthesizer in the seventies. Then the synthesizer got cheesy in the eighties (think Van Halen’s Jump) so the sound disappeared after that. Personally, I would welcome an organ comeback. A

Drums, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Bass
Competent, they do their job. But most importantly, they don’t stand out at all. This isn’t their show.B

Horns
The horns in this song are the WORST! They don’t really come in until the last twenty seconds but when they do, they’re way too loud. I have a theory that the guy who did the horns was the cousin of the sound mixer in the studio. Wikipedia tells me that the horns are also out of tune. They were re-recorded but the old horns somehow got released on the track anyway. Ugh. So now I can’t not notice them. They make a great soul song just a little less great. F

June 6, 2016

T-SQL Tuesday #079: It’s 2016!

Filed under: SQLServerPedia Syndication — Michael J. Swart @ 9:41 pm

#TSQL2SDAY
Update: the roundup post
Time to exercise those blogging fingers. It’s T-SQL Tuesday again! And this month’s T-SQL Tuesday is going to rock!

SQL Server 2016 is Out!

SQL Server 2016 went RTM this week and so naturally, we’re going to write about it. Here are a few writing prompts for you:

  • Check out what’s new. Microsoft has written a lot about their new features. Thomas Larock has written a really nice landing page for those posts, SQL Server 2016: It Just Runs Faster – Thomas Larock. Look through those links. Do you feel optimistic about 2016? Or maybe a bit disappointed? Let us know either way
  • Haven’t had time to download the bits, install them, explore and form thoughts on 2016 yet? Have no fear, check out Microsoft’s Virtual Labs. It lets you explore features without worrying about all the setup. In minutes you’ll be typing SELECT 'hello world';

Still Not Inspired Eh?

  • Write a post starting with “It’s 2016, why is this still (not) a thing?” <cough>regular expressions</cough>
  • Think outside the box and maybe write about something besides SQL Server. Write about something you did in 2016 that would have been impossible at the same time last year.

Follow These Rules

#TSQL2SDAY
The post must go live on your blog between 00:00 GMT Tuesday, June 14, 2016 and 00:00 GMT Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
In other words, set your sql server date, time and timezone properly and run this script:

IF GETUTCDATE() BETWEEN '20160614' AND '20160615'
    SELECT 'You Can Post'
ELSE
    SELECT 'Not Time To Post'

Your post has to link back to this post, and the link must be anchored from the logo which must also appear at the top of the post. (A thing about logos. We’re sticking with the status quo. Find cleaned up versions here)

Leave a comment here (below) or I won’t be able to find your post. I really encourage you to participate and then come back in a week for the round up. I think you’ll like it.

Your humble host,
Michael J. Swart

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