Load Testing SSAS with PowerShell

Over the years, there has been much confusion as to the best way to load test Analysis Services. I have seen solutions ranging from as simple as using ascmd to completely custom console apps in Visual Studio. One of the challenging aspects of Business Intelligence solutions has been unit testing in the past, and I…

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Getting Started with Always Encrypted Part 2

In this blog post I am going to continue discussing the new Always Encrypted feature in SQL Server 2016.  There are 2 main aspects to Always Encrypted – first is generating the Column Master Key and Column Encryption Keys in the database where the encrypted database will be stored.  Second is the usage of a…

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Getting Started with Always Encrypted Part 1

New to SQL Server 2016 are several new security features, each aimed at protecting your data in a very specific way.  Dynamic Data Masking allows you to create rules to mask data that you choose so that lower-security users do not see the actual data in the table but rather a mask of it instead. …

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SSIS Tip: Using a Filepath Parameter for Multiple Flat Files

SSIS with SQL 2012 and above brought a lot of great enhancements to SSIS that ease deployment and reconfiguration of packages. The project deployment model, SSIS Catalog, and parameters make it a lot easier to manage SSIS. It also helps decouple environmental configurations from the SSIS code. This way DBAs don’t need to be modifying…

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SSRS Subscriptions (What goes on “under the hood”)

One of the more difficult features to understand/troubleshoot that I’ve found in my experiences working with SSRS customers is the SSRS subscription functionality, especially the subscription processing piece of it before the report execution starts. Once we get to the report execution it’s fairly easy to figure out what’s happening or not happening from there…

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SQL PFE has a Pre-Con at the PASS Summit!

At the 2014 PASS Summit in Seattle on Tuesday November 4, Denzil Ribeiro and I (Tim Chapman) will be giving a Pre-Conference seminar entitled “Troubleshoot Customer Performance Problems like a Microsoft Engineer.”  In this full-day session Denzil and I will cover a plethora of troubleshooting tools and methodologies that we use as field engineers when confronted…


Generating a trusted TDE Certificate in the proper format from a Certificate Authority

I recently worked with a customer who was attempting to deploy Transparent Database Encryption using a trusted certificate which was generated by a certificate authority (CA). They were unable to import the certificate using the CREATE CERTIFICATE command as it kept failing with a 15468 error. This blog post attempts to explain this error and…


Inadvertently Promoting a Local Transaction to a Distributed Transaction

I recently dealt with a customer issue where they were troubleshooting MSDTC, and upon hearing the explanation of exactly what they were doing, I was a bit surprised that a distributed transaction was being used. Upon further investigation, they were unintentionally promoting a local transaction to a distributed transaction.  The reason behind this that they…


SQL PFE PASS Content Now Available!

First off, thanks to everyone who decided to attend a Microsoft SQL PFE session at the PASS Summit in Charlotte. We know you have a lot of great sessions to choose from, and we are thrilled if you happened to have chosen to listen in on one of ours. As promised, we are posting the…

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