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Latest Database Weekly Newsletter Articles


Windows 10 Editions Compared
Microsoft has finally created tables outlining what the different versions of the operating system are going to feature. read more...

Ensuring Columns Are Always Present In A Table Returned By Power Query
Disappearing or renamed columns in your data source can cause all kinds of problems when you’re importing data using Power Query: errors when you try to refresh the query, broken calculations in Power Pivot, PivotTables that reformat themselves and then need to be manually recreated. read more...

Report Server database migration fails at "Setting DSN" step
Don Castelino troubleshoots a failed attempt to migrate the ReportServer database from SQL 2008 R2 instance to SQL 2014. read more...

Stretch Database
Stretch Database lets you archive your historical data transparently and securely. In SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview 2 (CTP2), Stretch Database stores your historical data in the Microsoft Azure cloud. After you enable Stretch Database, it silently migrates your historical data to an Azure SQL Database. read more...

Azure SQL DB Previews Elastic Database Query
A flexible new distributed query capability is now available in preview in Azure SQL Database. Elastic database query allows tools and applications to retrieve data from an entire collection of databases through a single connection. read more...

PowerShell Day-to-Day Admin Tasks: Monitoring Performance
By reading performance counters from services such as SQL Server or Exchange, you can get a wealth of performance information. By automating the process of gathering and storing appropriate counters, you can routinely check a range of devices quickly using visual tools such as PerfMon. read more...

“We take security seriously”, otherwise known as “We didn’t take it seriously enough”
"We're sorry for the inconvenience, but both your privacy and security are very important to us"! Oh good, feeling much better now! So privacy and security are important, but with the benefit of hindsight, probably not important enough. read more...

Biml - Unpivot transformation
I had cause today to use the Unpivot transformation in SSIS. My source database was still in 2000 compatibility mode, don't laugh, so I couldn't use the PIVOT operator and I was too lazy to remember the CASE approach. read more...

FORMAT() is nice and all, but…
FORMAT() looks convenient, but it's expensive (oh and that AS VARCHAR thing is bad too). If you're doing this onesy-twosy and for small resultsets, I wouldn't worry too much about it; but at scale, it can get pretty expensive. read more...

Temporal Tables – Part 2 – Changing history
How can you edit row history in a temporal table? Well, the answer is simple, but the process isn’t exactly simple. Basically, you have to turn off system versioning, update history, and reapply system versioning. read more...

Temporal Tables – Part 1 - Simple Single Table Example
Temporal Tables are a very cool new feature that takes something that used to be very painful (capturing history of changes to a table, allowing the user to see the data at a point in time), and makes it very easy. read more...

Getting Started with Azure DocumentDB Programming
In this post, I’ll help you get started with the really interesting DocumentDB stuff, namely – programming with DocumentDB in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 read more...

How to drop a Temporal Table
No no, I didn’t say temporary, but temporal! SQL Server 2016 introduces a great new feature called Temporal Tables. Or in other words, system-versioned tables. read more...

Primary Key vs. Clustered Index
A Primary Key constraint and a Clustered Index is not really the same in SQL Server. By default SQL Server enforces the Primary Key constraint with a Unique Clustered Index. But if you want you could instead enforce it with a Unique Non-Clustered Index. But that approach wouldn’t really make sense as a default, because you need to have specific problems to justify that approach. read more...

Preview the new JDBC 4.2 for SQL Server Driver
Just released: the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Microsoft JDBC 4.2 Driver for SQL Server! The driver provides robust data access to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database for Java-based applications. read more...

Using DateDiff() To Calculate Time Intervals In DAX
One of the most useful new additions to DAX in Excel 2016 and the Power BI Designer is the DateDiff() function. read more...

Replication Won’t Refresh Your Dev and Pre-Production Environments
At first glance, SQL Server’s transactional replication seems like it’s useful for moving data around in all sorts of situations: it works in Standard Edition, it’s not synchronous, and you can have multiple subscribers. read more...

The Fastest Way to Reconfigure a Bunch of Servers
The fastest way, if your hosted on SQL Server RDS, is to use parameter groups. read more...

Indexing for GROUP BY
You can get some pretty dramatic gains from indexes that cover columns on which you’re performing aggregations. read more...

Should You Put Things in the master Database?
Growing up as a young boy, my elementary teachers always warned me about the perils of putting stuff in master. But what’s the real deal? Why is this such a bad idea? read more...