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Latest Database Weekly Newsletter Articles


Clustered Columnstore Index in Azure SQL Database
Columnstore index is the preferred technology to run analytics queries in Azure SQL Databases. We recently announced general availability of In-Memory technologies for all Premium databases. Similar to In-Memory OLTP, the columnstore index technology is not available in databases in the Standard and Basic pricing tiers today. read more...

Extended per-operator level performance stats for Query Processing
Back in March we announced the availability of per-operator level performance stats for Query Processing (exposed in Showplan XML) with SQL Server 2014 SP2 and SQL Server 2016, such as CPU and I/O. read more...

What keeps clearing my query stats?
I was building out a blog post about cardinality today and noticed that sys.dm_exec_query_stats was getting cleared my my Surface Pro 3 dev instance about every 30 to 60 seconds. read more...

R is better than M for difficult data wrangling tasks in Power BI
Yep, I said it! In most cases I believe that it is true. R has been around for over 20 years so it is much more mature than M. It has close to 10K packages many of which are meant just for data wrangling. If you don’t agree with me now I think by the end of this post it’s a good chance that you will think otherwise. This blog is written for those with little exposure to R so I will keep it simple. I am going to start with a very basic file import example and I will end with a somewhat simple but slick multiple file import example. read more...

Custom Functions Made Easy in Power BI Desktop
I have written a lot about Power Query M scripting language, and how to create custom functions with that. With recent updates of Power BI Desktop, creating custom functions made easier and easier every month. read more...

Cleaning Up SSISDB
I really appreciate what MS has done w/ the SSIS Catalog. We have built-in logging at a level that wasn’t possible in prior releases, but that comes at a cost. The default retention is pretty high (365 days) and MS chose to handle cleanup using cascading deletes. This sort of coding makes life easier for the developers, but almost always performs poorly. read more...

Power Query, R is here to help you!
Microsoft Power BI has an embedded ETL tool called Power Query that is great for basic data transformation. You can handle many data transformation tasks with just a few clicks. But when your data transformation tasks become complex you often have to result to writing custom M code. M is a relatively new programming language and is not that intuitive. The community of M developers is small so finding help is limited in comparison to finding help with other programming languages. read more...

INTRODUCTION TO BACKUP ENCRYPTION IN SQL SERVER
One of the most essential need of every Database Administrator is a backup file. This file acts as a life savior when any disaster occurs either on machine or on the server. When talking about SQL server, such backup files are very much essential in order to have a duplicate copy of the server data. read more...

SQL SERVER – GENERATE AND USE TIME / DURATION DIMENSION
Recently, I was working on a backups dashboard in PowerBI to do some analytics on the health of our database backups across the board. We set out to understand some basic things about our backups read more...

Does Truncate Table Reset Statistics?
Short answer: the SQL Server optimizer will know that the table was truncated, but statistics might not update when you expect. read more...

SQL Server Interpreter for Apache Zeppelin 0.6.2
I’ve updated the code-base to Apache Zeppelin 0.6.2 and I’ve also finished a first simple-but-working support to autocomplete (you can activate it using CRTL + .). Right now the autocomplete is based on the keywords specified here: read more...

Format measures as dates in Power BI
If you want to format a measure as date in Power BI, you need an expression returning a date/time data type. This is different from what you can do in Power Pivot and in SSAS Tabular, where you can format any numeric expression using a date and/or time format, and the conversion is implicitly done to perform such a visualization. read more...

Broken References in the SSIS Catalog
It’s possible to create a broken reference in the SSIS Catalog. What’s a “broken reference?” Let’s begin by explaining SSIS Catalog References. I wrote a lengthy explanation of SSIS Catalog References and Environments in SSIS Catalog Environments – Step 20 of the Stairway to Integration Services at SQL Server Central . read more...

Query Tuning Training in Early 2017: Boston and Cleveland!
A couple of days ago in Washington DC I presented the final 2016 delivery of my Tuning Your Biggest Queries seminar. The class went really well (at least from my perspective!) and it was a great end to a busy 2016 training schedule. read more...

Learn More About the SSIS Catalog
Join Kent Bradshaw and me for three free webinars about the SSIS Catalog! SSIS Academy: Using the SSIS Catalog is Tuesday – Thursday, 27-29 Dec 2016. read more...

Transaction Commit latency acceleration using Storage Class Memory in Windows Server 2016/SQL Server 2016 SP1
SQL Server 2016 SP1 adds a significant new performance feature, the ability to accelerate transaction commit times (latency) by up to 2-4X, when employing Storage Class Memory (NVDIMM-N nonvolatile storage). This scenario is also referred to as “persistent log buffer” as explained below. read more...

What’s new in Mobile Reports in SQL Server 2016 SP1
In our last post around SQL Server 2016 SP1, we promised to do a post about some enhancements we’ve made to mobile reports in the latest release. We’ll highlight two major items we’ve updated and also provide the full change list of updates and fixes for mobile reports that many of you have asked for to date. read more...

NoSQL .NET Core development using an local Azure DocumentDB Emulator
I was hanging out with Miguel de Icaza in New York a few weeks ago and he was sharing with me his ongoing love affair with a NoSQL Database called Azure DocumentDB. I've looked at it a few times over the last year or so and though it was cool but I didn't feel like using it for a few reasons: read more...

Unable to connect to SQL Server AlwaysOn Listener on Azure due to misconfigured subnet mask
When it comes to troubleshooting, the more you know the better troubleshooter you are (in my option). Sometimes knowing more actually gets in the way. We repeatedly get calls where customers couldn’t connect to AlwaysOn Listener on Azure because of the misconfiguration of the subnet mask for the listener IP. read more...

Scaling securely at the frontend
High volume web sites that offload scale to the frontend using techniques like leveraging edge caching with a partner content delivery network (CDN) see many benefits, including better performance and a much simpler, more resilient, and potentially cheaper infrastructure to maintain. read more...