Microsoft Mumbai Tech Community meeting on 31 Jan 2015

A community is a social unit that shares common values and what better than technology as a binding force. We are very excited to announce the launch of the Microsoft Mumbai Tech Community. Our goal as part of this community is to:   Knowledge sharing by our experts here at Microsoft Create awareness about new…

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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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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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Database size limitation in SQL Express

I would generally not blog about this kind of topic, except that my customer recently talked to me about it. According to his tests, he seemed to find that the total size limitation across all databases was 10GB. That did not sound correct to me, because it is quite clearly documented that the 10GB limit…

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Managed Service Accounts (MSA) and SQL 2012: Practical Tips

One of the most common dilemmas for SQL Server administrators is whether they should use AD based domain users as the service accounts, or can they leverage the inbuilt accounts like Network Service etc. If your SQL Server instance is never going to participate in any cross-server contexts (such as availability Groups, Linked Servers, Log…

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Top Support Solutions for SQL Server

One of the teams within the Customer Support organization at Microsoft has been busy aggregating information about the most common and useful solutions for many products, including SQL Server. You can view their work at this blog post. The categories they cover in that post include: Performance Failover Clustering Crashes and Exceptions Backup & Restore…

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‘Cannot resolve the collation conflict’ error message with temp tables

Scenario Today my customer told me that he is facing an error message ‘Cannot resolve the collation conflict’ when executing an JOIN between two tables: a base table and a temporary table. They had recently created the database afresh from scripts and were facing this issue since. On the existing ‘good’ server the problem did…

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TechEd India 2013 – Bengaluru

I just delivered a session on ‘T-SQL Horrors: how NOT to code’ at TechEd India. The response has been great, and those of you who see this after attending my session, thank you very much for your interest and participation! What I appreciate the most is that people stayed till the very end despite the…

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T-SQL formatter: a PowerShell script

This is a ‘quick-and-not-so-dirty’ version of a T-SQL formatter / ‘pretty printer’ in PowerShell. To use this, please install the SQL 2012 SP1 version of the SQLDOM from the Feature Pack page. (If you already have SQL 2012 client tools on your machine, you should be ready to go.) And you will need PowerShell of…

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The Top 10 Issues uncovered by the SQL Server Risk Assessment Program (SQLRAP)

Firstly – Happy New Year, everyone! In my job as a Principal Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft Services, I am a regional lead for a proactive risk identification program called the SQLRAP. For over 7 years now we have evolved this from a manually conducted ‘Health Check’ offering to a highly automated and comprehensive Risk…

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