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Latest Database Weekly Newsletter Articles


The Fastest Way to Combine DATE and TIME Data Types to a DATETIME
Recently while working with a table where there were two columns, one a DATE datatype and a second TIME datatype, I found that those needed to be combined into a single DATETIME result column. I won’t go into why the DATE and TIME were separated in this case, but suffice it to say that it seemed like a good idea at the time. read more...

“Attempt to read or write protected memory” error from SSMS for System.Data
Paul Randal reports on the cause of a connection error when trying to use the Dedicated Admin Connection (DAC) through SSMS. read more...

SQL Server: The Neglected Features
Have you ever experienced that moment in an exam, frantically scribbling your answer to the final question, when the invigilator looks sternly across the room and says “time’s up, now cease writing and put down your pens”? Phil Factor sometimes imagine this happening to the developers in the server division of Microsoft. read more...

Getting JSON out of SQL Server
SQL Server 2016 brings support for JSON. For those of you who don’t know, JSON is JavaScript Object Notation – it’s a way of representing application level objects as a string. Imagine XML without anywhere near as much line noise, and you’re pretty much there. read more...

Amazing Uses of Open Data and the Seven Ways People Try to Kill Them
Our taxes fund government to do a number of jobs, during which government collects data, so haven’t we already paid for it? And beyond the risk to individuals’ privacy (for which the protections are well-established) what harm does releasing this data cause? read more...

Defra's opening up its data
Defra has a lot of data. Its roles within farming, the rural economy, and management of the natural environment mean it collects all sorts of data about all sorts of geographical features, natural phenomena, agricultural activity, and much more besides. It’s an extremely broad data set, with specific collections that can be very niche. read more...

Using SQL techniques in NoSQL is OK, right? WRONG
There is a real danger that developers who see these SQL-like languages as an implementation of SQL are in for a world of pain as they try to leverage their SQL skills on a NoSQL database. read more...

I Can't Wait for NoSQL to Die
They don't teach you this in college, but the fundamental theorem of the software industry is the idea that everything needs to be rewritten all the time. As a corollary, web startup engineers believe that there is no problem but scalability, and architecture is its solution. And thus, the NoSQL movement was born. read more...

R-analyst Cheat sheet: Data Visualization in R
Data visualization has become an integral part of data science work flow. Hence, your main tool needs to have strong capabilities on both the fronts – data analysis as well as data visualization. Gone are the days when you could live with a tool which was good only in one of these. read more...

The Myth About Estimated Execution Plans
When you go to generate execution plans, you have a choice, Estimated or Actual. Well, who would want an estimated measure when you can get an actual measure? The problem is, the name in this case. An Estimated execution plan is a full execution plan. It’s not an estimate. read more...

Free Webinar: Should your databases be Continuously Delivered?
If you want to learn more about Continuous Delivery, and where your databases fit into the picture, join Dave Farley on September 2nd for a webinar covering why databases are an essential component of CD, and how to start modernizing your software development practices. read more...

Git for Beginners
Perhaps you’ve come across a great cache of publicly available SQL scripts that would be very useful in monitoring your databases, and these scripts are hosted on github. Getting those scripts is as simple as clicking the Download button. What if, however, you wish to contribute to the script library? read more...

Uploading Files to a HDInsight Cluster (No Scripting Required)
How to upload files without scripts. While this will work for our demo and learning purposes, I would encourage you to use scripting to handle production level loads or even if you want to upload a lot of files. read more...

Visualizing Data with R
It isn't just the attraction of the huge range of statistical analyses afforded by R that attracts data people to R. The language has also developed a rich ecosystem of charts, plots and visualizations over the years. In his second article about R Basics, Casimir Saternos shows how to get started with the three best-established graphics systems in R. read more...

SQL Prompt 7’s new snippet manager
During the development of SQL Prompt 7, we overhauled the snippet manager to make it more powerful and customizable. The snippet manager documentation lives here but there are some subtleties that I wanted to cover in in this post. read more...

Working with SQL Server data in Power BI Desktop
What's the best way of providing self-service business intelligence (BI) to data that is held in on-premise SQL Server? Not, it seems, Power BI 2.0 the hosted cloud service, but Power BI 2.0 Desktop. If moving your database to Azure isn't an option, Power BI 2.0 desktop could still bring smiles to the faces of your BI hotshots. read more...

T-SQL Window Functions Speed Phreakery
Before SQL Server had SQL window functions, SQL Server developers had to use all manner of tricks and algorithms to come up with ways to rapidly process large amounts of data. Do we need these techniques now that we can express a SQL task in terms of window functions? Kathi revisits a famous SQL challenge to find out. read more...

The Right Way to Move Tempdb Files on Azure Virtual Machines
On Azure Virtual Machines, you are provided with drive “D:” drive to store temporary data. Noa Brodezky describes an issue encountered moving tempdb files to the D: drive on a production environment, where attempts to subsequently log onto the server failed. read more...

Automatic Roll Forward Transaction Log Backups
Performing a transaction log backup every 15 minutes has its advantages. But it also has disadvantages. Ever tried to restore hundreds of transaction log backups one by one in order to bring your database back from disaster? Not a bit of fun. read more...

Tables, Columns and Defaults Oh My!
I know that one of the things I am frequently asked is to figure out what data type belongs with which column. Furthermore, does this same column exist in more than one table? read more...