Aren’t DBA’s Just System Admins for Databases?

Last week I ran into an argument I’ve had since I left the mainframe space decades ago. A developer told me “DBA’s don’t design databases.” The inference was that DBA’s (i.e., Database Administrators) only worry about hardware, security, OS, database backups, things like that. He seemed amazed that a DBA would ever do “data” work….


Quote of the Day – On Thankfulness

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the U.S. – a time not just for family, rest and food, but most supremely of giving thanks. We give thanks to God and to each other for the infinite blessings we share. No matter what we think we have need of, that which we have is so much more….


The Magical World of SQL Server Licensing

Licensing. Sometimes it feels like to you need a specialized degree, a black robe and a secret handshake to really understand it – but it’s not quite that bad. There are several licensing “models”, from just buying SQL Server off the shelf to Software Assurance, or SA, where you just install to your heart’s content…


Code that Writes Code

I have scripts that re-create my databases for testing and development purposes. But sometimes I want to take the data from a set of tables and move it as well – I could use SSIS, or a SELECT INTO statement, but what if I want to “re-set” the data to a point in time? In…


Changing the Primary Key After You Have Data

Yesterday I blogged about changing a Primary Key (PK) during the design phase, and before you have data in the database. Even then, it’s not trivial to change the data type or column(s) that make(s) up the PK. When you have data in that Primary Key and/or you have Foreign Keys (FK) that point to…


Changing the Primary Key Before You Have Data

In my class this week, the students went through the inserts, updates and deletes that they had created for their database design, and then the moment of truth – creating the queries that answer the questions from the requirements. It’s often at this stage when you realize that the design isn’t exactly what you want….


Quote of the Day – On Having a Purpose

I try to live by this every day: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” – Charles Dickens


Using Perfmon with SQL Server – Part Two

Yesterday I posted a header from a script that shows you some links for how to use “Logman”, a Windows command-line utility that can automate your collection of Windows Performance Monitor counters. Towards the bottom, you can see the logman command I use, and you can see that it points to a counter file for…


Using Perfmon with SQL Server – Part One

I held a workshop on performance tuning in Portland, Oregon yesterday, and as part of that I mentioned a process I follow for automatically collecting Performance Monitor Counters for a system. I use this data to store a baseline and then subsequently to have a reference set of data to compare with. I use the…


Channeling Bruce Lee: Tuning without Tuning

I’m leading a Performance Tuning workshop here in Portland, Oregon today, and I normally start this kind of workshop with a segment on “pre-tuning” – or, the steps you take so that you don’t have to tune as much later. When we set up a system is the greatest opportunity for optimal performance. From buying…