Using PowerShell to attach PST files to Outlook

This one is a really quick note. Yet another example to show off the power of the PowerShell pipeline and its interoperability with the COM world. Recently I had to add 30+ existing PST files to an instance of Outlook. I hate using the mouse and keyboard for repetitive tasks (File –> Open Outlook Data…

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WOW64 madness: debugging through the confusion

Last week I was teaching unmanaged code debugging to one of my customers. They were using 32-bit applications on 64-bit servers, which does create some unique problems. For example, capturing a ‘hang’ dump using right click on the Task Manager –> Processes list, will create a ‘64-bit dump’ (if that makes sense ) and the…

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Correctly handling Linked Server objects in SSDT

Recently I had spoken at the SQL Bangalore User Group about using SSDT and Visual Studio Online to have an efficient and agile development process for the cloud-first world. After my talk meeting, an attendee had asked me about correctly handling four-part names (objects referenced in other servers). Problem In his case he had added…

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Potential data latency with AlwaysOn Availability Groups and Memory Optimized Tables

Today I was testing a scenario with a readable secondary in an Availability Group (AG). The database in the AG contained a memory-optimized table and I was testing read-only query support on the secondary. The mystery While changes for on-disk tables are replicated near-instantaneously (of course in my test setup there was no other overhead)…

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NUL or NULL?

Ever since the old MS-DOS days, the Windows OS family has supported a special ‘null device’ – NUL. Notice the single ‘L’. This is a ‘reserved’ device identifier which you can use as a path. The special thing about this null device (NUL) is that it essentially swallows whatever is sent to it. NUL and…

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Strange issue when enabling AlwaysOn AG feature in SQL 2014

Today I ran into an issue, which eventually turned out to be a really silly thing, but I think it is important that I share the details. I was trying to install SQL 2014 side-by-side with an already existing SQL 2012 AG setup. Everything went fine till the customary step when I tried to ‘tick…

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Changes in SQL 2014 RTM ScriptDom

It has been over 3 months now that SQL Server 2014 is generally available. The well-known and much talked about features such as in-Memory OLTP and Clustered ColumnStore indexes are big motivations to move your workload to the new platform. With the new features, the T-SQL language surface has also changed of course. Under compatibility…

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Exotic spinlocks: X_PACKET_LIST and XID_ARRAY

A Twitter conversation sparked this blog post; the question there was about the relevance of the X_PACKET_LIST spinlock. As with most spinlocks, there is no public documentation on this one, and that is primarily because the spinlock is an implementation detail and can change from release to release. ‘Do it yourself’ That said, we can…

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SQL 2012 Setup Rules – The ‘Missing Reference’

Troubleshooting SQL Server setup can be a ‘dark science’ at times. There is overall documentation on where to look, and some interesting articles on the Support website. But other times, you might be left clueless on the root cause of failures, or why you are receiving a specific error message. Situation For example, one of…

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Too many files causing RAM pressure? (a.k.a. DynCache to the rescue!)

Readers of this blog might recall a previous post which described one impact of having too many similarly named files in one folder in NTFS. It turns out that the 8.3 naming convention is not the only thing you need to worry about when you have very large amounts of (smaller) files in the same…

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