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Latest Database Weekly Newsletter Articles


Hadoop Speeds Data Delivery at Bloomberg
Hadoop has rapidly become the dominant distributed data platform, much as Linux quickly dominated the Unix operating system market. With that platform come a rich ecosystem of applications for building data products, whether it’s for the growing SQL on Hadoop movement or real-time data access with HBase. read more...

Limited Options: Getting security compromises right
When it takes a year to install Magneto, something is wrong. Perhaps it was the challenge of translating the requirements into sufficiently concise and clear descriptions to be passed off to the foreign development team. Or, just perhaps, some of the company's own policies (or anti-policies) got in the way. read more...

WSJ website hacked, data offered for sale for 1 bitcoin
Dow Jones & Co. took two servers that store the news graphics for The Wall Street Journal website offline yesterday evening after a confirmed intrusion by a hacker calling himself “w0rm.” The hacker was offering what he claimed was user information and server access credentials read more...

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to security
cyber criminals often remain undetected for months or even years once they successfully get in. Finding them quickly and seeing what they have been doing and what applications and databases they have been compromising is the secret to preventing lasting damage. Then you can begin the process of being truthful with your customers, by letting them know you have a problem, but that it is under control and access to sensitive data is limited. read more...

Career Planning for DBAs: Your Next Two Years
You’ve been doing this database thing for a while, and you’re ready to get serious about it. What’s the next step? read more...

Get started backing up to the cloud with SQL Server Backup to Microsoft Azure Tool
There are some good reasons to back up your SQL Server database to the cloud. You have an offsite copy of your data for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes. You can choose to backup to Microsoft Azure even for databases that aren’t running the latest version of SQL Server – creating a consistent backup strategy across your database environment. read more...

For proven in-memory technology without costly add-ons, migrate your Oracle databases to SQL Server 2014
SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) is a free tool to help customers migrate their existing Oracle databases to SQL Server 2014. SSMA for Oracle is designed to support migration from Oracle 9i or later version to all editions of SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, and SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014. read more...

Merge Replication for SQL Server Auditing
This is a great way of managing Merge Replication in a data audit solution. Keep in mind, edition costs and other blocking events may cause you to not have access to features such as CDC but, there are many other features that provide much functionality far and beyond what they may seem to have on the surface. read more...

Data is like currency and should be treated as such
It is more than high time for all businesses to implement an adequate and efficient data security strategy. For this, the starting point should always be: what data do I store, where do I store that data and who has access to data? Once a clear picture emerges what happens to data where, when and by whom, its storage and retrieval can be made more secure. Data is increasingly perceived as a currency, and it should therefore be treated as such: by putting it in a safe place and making sure any exchange is authorized. read more...

Examining OLEDB Waits
Generally we will see OLEDB waits when we make a call to an OLE DB provider and we are waiting on our data. OLEDB waits happen a lot in environments that use linked servers (there are some exceptions, we’ll get into one specific one later in this article). read more...

Yes, Virginia, you can have too much white space
White space is a wonderful way to format your code. However it can, and frequently is, taken to extremes. I’ve heard “There is no such thing as too much white space” and I disagree. Strongly. read more...

Quick Tips–SQL Prompt Aliases for Every Table
Recently I’ve run into a few people that weren’t aware of some of the ways in which it can help you. Aliases are used to make code more readable, and shorten the amount of code that one needs to write. Typically we use these to give a short name to a table. SQL Prompt can automate aliases for me. read more...

SSIS: Value does not Fall Within the Expected Range
Every now and again I find myself working with SSIS for one reason or another. Every now and again I find myself fighting with SSIS because it provides less than useful error messages. This is one of those error messages that can be a pain until you understand what can be causing it. read more...

TPC-H: Data And Query Generation
The TPC council ships two utilities that can be used to generate the data and query for the TPC-H schema: DBGEN and QGEN. The utilities are written in C to make them portable between platforms. Unfortunately, the code is rather old and I dare say so: not particularly pretty. In an attempt at making TPC-H more accessible, I have created a new GIT repo on Bitbucket that should make it a easier to build TPC-H. read more...

State of the UNION
Correct now, optimize later. is one of the most important developer mantras and Scott K. followed it to a fault. He was on a team of programmers debugging a C# package management application, which used Microsoft SQL for revision tracking. Make sure it works right the first time; you can always tease out more performance after launch. But if your program takes ten minutes to extract a C# package, as Scott discovered, you might want to optimize sooner rather than later read more...

Performance Tuning SQL Server Transactional Replication: A Checklist
SQL Server transactional replication is a blessing and a curse. It’s a great developer tool that lets you scale out data to multiple servers, even using Standard Edition. But as your business picks up, your datasets get larger, and your customers grow more demanding, replication can start to fall behind. You need to learn how to tune it to keep up. read more...

Execution Plan Details
I wouldn’t say it’s common knowledge that you should look at execution plans when tuning queries, but it’s not exactly uncommon knowledge either. But, people tend to get focused on just looking at the graphical part of the plan and there’s just not enough information there. Let’s take a look at a query: read more...

Automate Registering and Maintaining Servers in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)
When you have a lot of SQL Server instances to manage and servers are retired and new ones are added, it becomes a headache to manually maintain these registered servers in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In this tip we look at how to use a control file that lists the structure to use within SSMS and a PowerShell script that will automatically maintain the list of registered servers within SSMS. read more...

Comparing Estimated and Actual Execution Plans in SQL Server
The estimated execution plan is designed to show what SQL Server would most likely do if it were to execute the query. Using statistics, it estimates how many rows may be returned from each table. It chooses the operators it will use to retrieve the data – scans or seeks. It decides how to best join the tables together – nested loops, merge joins, hash joins. It is a reasonably accurate guide to what SQL Server will do. read more...

How to Back Up Terabytes of Databases
When I’m building a SQL Server to hold multiple terabytes of databases, this backup question is the very first one we have to address – even before we talk about the speed of end user queries. Otherwise, we could end up designing a server with all local solid state drives, which is very inexpensive and satisfies end user performance goals – but we can’t back the data up fast enough read more...