How we did it: PASS 2017 Summit Session Similarity using SQL Graph and Python

I had previously shared a sneak preview of our upcoming session on Graph data processing in SQL Server. The talk is at the PASS Summit 2017. In that post, I had promised to share more details closer to the session. And here it is! Inferring Graph Edges using SQL ML Services In many cases, the…

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Strange errors with SQLBindR

I recently encountered a strange problem while trying to bind a SQL Server 2016 instance to Microsoft R Server 9.1. On running the below command: sqlbindR /list I got the error: An unexpected error has occurred: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: input I had a hunch that this was related to an ‘orphaned’ pre-release…

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Sneak Preview: SQL Graph session at PASS Summit 2017

At PASS Summit 2017, Shreya Verma and I will be co-presenting a session on using the newly added Graph data (nodes / edges) processing capabilities in your applications. One of the patterns we will discuss in that session is how to leverage in-database Python scripts to detect “similar” nodes and thereby ‘infer’ edges in the…

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How to fix the ‘Class not registered (pfutil)’ error in SQL Profiler

Yesterday, on a whim I launched SQL Profiler on my laptop. I had not launched the Profiler client for a long time, especially given its deprecated status. All the more, with the recent introduction of XE Profiler within SSMS 17.3, there is even lesser motivation to use the old standalone Profiler. But still… I launched…

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How to fix SQLIOSim error “Failed to create random hash”

Hi there! If you have been working with SQL Server for any length of time, I am sure you know how crucial I/O is to the overall reliability of your SQL Server instance. Many years ago (over a decade now, actually!) we released SQLIOSim, which has been included in the out-of-box installations for SQL Server…

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SQL Server 2017 Setup: the step ‘sql_inst_mpyConfigAction_upgrade_confignonrc_Cpu64’ seems stuck, or slow? Here’s why!

SQL Server 2017 is one more step further in Microsoft’s philosophy of bringing advanced analytics capabilities closer to where the data resides. With Python now supported as an ‘external script’ language (adding to the existing support for R), customers have the full power of Python at their disposal, including external packages like Tensorflow. Now, what…

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The ‘aggregate concatenation’ T-SQL (anti-)pattern

Some time back, Dimitri Furman who works as a Senior Consultant in the Microsoft Services team shared a very useful tip. It pertains to a pattern of usage wherein strings from multiple rows are concatenated into a single large (typically comma delimited) string. The usual way that we see this being accomplished is by code…

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T-SQL ranking functions to the rescue once again!

This week I happened to assist with an internal application where there was a performance issue with a specific query. One of my observations with that query was that it was doing self-joins in order to determine the latest iteration of a specific record. That’s a common anti-pattern which can be fixed by using T-SQL’s…

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Common sub-expression elimination in SQL Server: what you need to know

In working with our customers, I come across some very interesting patterns in T-SQL. Not all of these patterns are complex on the face of it, but their impact can sometimes be substantial. Here is a simple example to demonstrate what I am referring to: select CASE WHEN EXISTS (SELECT * FROM Person.Person P where…

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