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T-SQL Tuesday #154 – SQL Server 2022

Invitation from Glenn Berry.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write about what you have been doing (if anything) with SQL Server 2022. Maybe you have been doing a lot of testing with the public CTP builds and now RC0. Perhaps you have not had the time (or interest) in doing any SQL Server 2022 testing or research. Whatever you have been doing, now is your chance to talk about it, good or bad.

Maybe you can’t wait for SQL Server 2022 to be released, or perhaps you couldn’t care less about it. I would love to hear what your experience has been and what your opinions are about this release. If SQL Server 2022 is not on your future roadmap, please tell me why.

Just in case you haven’t heard much about SQL Server 2022, here are a few links from Microsoft.

T-SQL Tuesday #153 – The Conference That Changed Everything For Me

Invitation and roundup from Kevin Kline.

My invitation is about the social side of life as an data professional, specifically conferences and events. As one of the original nine founders of PASS and an early president of the association from 2004-2010, I always looked forward to the fall and the yearly PASS Summit. The leadership of PASS always worked hard to make the event feel like not only the best SQL Server and Azure SQL training event, but also like a big family reunion. (Check out the #sqlfamily hashtag on social media. It’s a thing!) Many bloggers have already written about #sqlfamily goodness from their attendance at the PASS Summit. Maybe we will see a couple of those blogs reposted?

With the last couple years pandemic lockdown behind us, we might not have many recent examples from the past two years. On the other hand, we have so much to look forward to with anticipation this fall! For many of us in this industry, conferences and events are the highpoint of our yearly business cycles. And with good reason, because we attended an event that had a lifelong positive impact on us. The invitation –

Tell us the story of how attending an IT conference or event resulted in an amazing career or life opportunity.

Of course, job and career opportunities readily jump to front of mind. But I ask you not to limit yourself to stories solely focused on career opportunities or job changes. I’ve seen so many other great outcomes happen for people who attended events like the PASS Summit, SQLBits, and others. I’ve even seen people meet, fall in love, and begin their journey as a couple because they both attended the same event. How wonderful is that?!?

Here are some other ideas. Did you connect with a new group of friends who are now a constant part of your life? Maybe you found a mentor who helped you in a multitude of ways? Perhaps you attended an event that started as the launch point of your own personal advancement as a speaker, blogger, writer, mentor, or community leader? Or maybe you learned an entirely new set of skills that amplified your success at your current job? It could be something even simpler, like finding out about a new musical act, writer, or artist who now is your favorite! Whatever your story might be, I would love to read your blog post about the conference that changed everything for you.

I hope I have inspired you to participate. Your action might then inspire others, starting a virtuous cycle of continued improvement for our community. Now, read the blog party rules below and get started!

T-SQL Tuesday #152 – It Depends

Invitation and round up from Deborah Melkin.

I came to a realization lately that I have a few opinions about databases. And I’m pretty sure that you do too. After all, I’ve read your blogs, chatted with you, and seen your Twitter rants.

But we’re database professionals. It’s supposed to depend, right?

Except we all have experiences that shape how we approach our work. One minute your coworker asks you a question about doing X. You reply with “It Depends…” leading into a 5-10 minute rant. This may include some or all of the following:

  • Stories starting with “that one time at that client”
  • References to blog posts you read\wrote\should write
  • Commentary on code – the good, the bad, & the ugly
  • Personal theories and philosophies on the topic

All of this is followed by “Thank you for coming to my TED talk” and a “I’m sorry, what was your question again?

So yeah… this may have been inspired by an actual conversation… or two… or ten. I apologize to my coworkers… again…

So for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, I want you to give us that rant. Tell us about the experiences, the code, the posts that inspired you, and all the gory details in between. And what is it that makes you so passionate about this topic that “It Depends” gets tossed out the window? Pull out your soapbox and tell us all about it

T-SQL Tuesday #151 – Coding Standards

Invitation and roundup from Mala Mahadevan.

My invite is about coding standards, or what I now call Linting Rules, for T-SQL. What are the T-SQL coding rules that are appropriate for where you work and what you do? If there are exceptions to those rules, state them too! If this is enough, read the blog party rules below and get started!!

  • Your post must be published on Tuesday June 14, 2022.
  • Your post must contain the T-SQL Tuesday logo (see above) and the image must link back to this blog post.
  • Trackbacks should work, but if not please put a link to your post in the comments section so everyone can see your contribution! (My comments are moderated so please don’t worry if yours doesn’t appear right away, I will make sure it does!)
  • If you are on twitter include the hash tag #tsql2sday – it helps with RT-s and visibility!!

More on why I picked this topic as below –

When I started out as a DBA two decades ago, I had a list of rules that I would carry with me into every job I went..these are things I look for in T-SQL code and try to enforce as standard. Some examples were casing rules, minimized usage of SELECT STAR, equating the right data types in columns, avoiding NOLOCK hint and so on. Standards ensure quality and consistency in code.

Standards differ for each firm, depending on what is appropriate for an environment..it is even possible to have varying standards in the same company, depending on the environment and what is appropriate for a database. This is an excellent article on what are the different components that comprise coding standards, and why we need them. I am also a big proponent of automated code checking for standards – there are lots of tools available for doing this – SQL Prompt, which is a personal favorite of mine, and many others as listed here.

Several tools currently do linting on many relational platforms, not just SQL Server. Almost all of them though, have rules that the author(s) think are best for the worlds they work in, and do not include other conditions which they have not encountered yet. A common example I like to use is unnamed primary keys on temporary tables. There is nothing inherently wrong with having an inline primary key constraint/index on a temporary table – but if you use Query Store, plan forcing on a plan that uses this temp table will not work simply because the constraint gets named differently each time. When I started to look for a linting tool for where I work – I ran into so many rules that were non-existent or not applicable to my environment with outside tools that I decided to write my own using ScriptDOM – a Microsoft-provided library that was created specifically for this purpose.

It would help greatly if we had a collection of rules that people use to pick from and enforce as appropriate for their environments. It will also help me to code some of these into ScriptDOM and put it out on GitHub, if the rule is one that ScriptDOM can find easily. So, re-stating the call for this month – What are the T-SQL coding rules that are appropriate for where you work and what you do? If there are exceptions to those rules, state them too!

T-SQL Tuesday #150 – Your First Technical Job

Invitation from Kenneth Fisher.

This month for TSQL Tuesday I’d like to hear about your first technical job(s). I know most DBAs don’t start out working with databases so tell us how you did start. I’m generally thinking of your first tech job, but if you had a job early in your career that wasn’t technical at all but still makes for a good story feel free to share! I can’t wait to hear about it.

T-SQL Tuesday #149 – Blog about T-SQL Advice you’d give to your younger self

Invitation and round up from Camila Henrique.

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blogothon where a host chooses one topic and bloggers around the world give their ideas about it. This month is my first time being the host and I’m so excited!

April’s theme: if you could give advice about T-SQL to your younger self, what would you say? I’m not defining any more specific sub-topics here, I’m opening the floor to hear ideas about your past experiences and what you wish you knew better back then.

T-SQL Tuesday #148 – Advice on Running a User Group

Invitation from Rie Merritt.

For this edition of T-SQL Tuesday, I’d like to ask everyone to write about all the various aspects of running a user group.  I’m not asking you to write a James Michener novel that starts at the beginning of time and includes everything a user group leader needs to know. Specifically, I’m asking people to pick one or two things and go deep on what works for you, what didn’t work for you and lessons learned.   Running a user group is a large umbrella of tasks and duties: be it in-person, virtual or hybrid.  My goal this month is to break that up into small bite sized pieces of knowledge for people.  There are so many directions you can go here: finding speakers, growing your membership, utilizing technology to make things easier, finding sponsors, finding a venue, picking a pattern to when you meet, etc.  The possibilities are almost endless!  

The Azure Data Community is building a How to run a user group wiki and we’d love to link to your post to offer new and old user group leaders some great resources to build and maintain a successful, healthy community.  

Special thanks to Steve Jones for running T-SQL Tuesday and finding a spot for me, thanks to Kenneth Fisher for being flexible with when he sponsors T-SQL Tuesday and finally to John MorehouseAnnette Allen and Josh Smith for all of the sweat equity they’ve already put into building the wiki.  

T-SQL Tuesday #147 Invitation – Upgrade Strategies

Invitation and wrap-up from Steve Jones

Planning for Upgrades

In my career, most of the time we don’t upgrade production databases very often. In most of my jobs, we’d change versions for new databases, but existing ones often lived on their original version. It’s how I got into a job where I was managing 4 different versions of SQL Server. These days I expect it’s common for many DBAs to have to deal with that many, or more, versions.

I do have customers these days that try to upgrade often, and limit the number of versions they work with. I have customers now that are on a mix of 2016-2019 only, some that might be working on 2014-2016 only, and I’ve run into a customer that only has SQL Server 2017. Of course, they have few databases and look to upgrade about every 5 years when mainstream support is running out for their edition.

This month I want you to write about how you look at SQL Server upgrades. A few things you might think about:

  • Why we wait to upgrade?
  • Strategies for testing an upgrade
  • Smoke tests or other ways to verify the upgrade worked
  • Moving to the cloud to avoid upgrades
  • Using compatibility levels to upgrade an instance by not a database.
  • Checklists of things to use in planning
  • The time it takes to upgrade your environment
  • What you evaluate in making a decision to upgrade or not?
  • Anything else

I don’t know when SQL Server 2022 will release, but certainly many of us will need to consider in 2023 whether we want to upgrade systems or not. Think about it and write about something that matters to you.

T-SQL Tuesday #146: Upending Preconceived Notions

Invitation and round-up from Andy Yun.

Welcome back to another edition of T-SQL Tuesday! I’m honored to be your host once again!

Theme to Kick off 2022

This month, I’d like to ask everyone to think about something you’ve learned, that subsequently changed your opinion/viewpoint/etc. on something. Maybe you’ve had a certain opinion, belief, or bias? Perhaps you’ve always thought something worked a certain way? Or you’ve always thought that a certain something (called “X”) was only good for “A”, only to later learn that it can help with “B”, and “C” as well. Regardless, you learned something and it totally upended and changed that preconceived notion you held previously.

When has this happened to you Andy?

Let me share an example. In my past as a T-SQL developer, I remember when I first learned about CTEs. I thought the world of them and started using them everywhere! However, there was one slight problem. I was under the mistaken impression that they pre-materialize each sub-query. And they do… in OTHER RDBMS’s. Whoops! After a few years, I learned that they don’t behave that way in SQL Server. Instead the query optimizer inlines the query in the CTE, making them functionally no different that a subquery. And well, let’s just say that that made me regret some of the coding decisions I’d made during my “CTEs-are-awesome” phase.

T-SQL Tuesday #145: The Pandemic, Costa Rica, and Events

Invitation from Xavier Morera.

Welcome back to this blog party tradition that has been going strong for years!

I am really happy to be hosting this month and since we are in the middle-ish (hopefully closer to the end) of a pandemic, I would like to ask you the following question:

How much do you love meeting in person, where would you like for your next event to take place, and why Costa Rica?

I am no stranger to in-person events. In fact, I’ve spent a good deal of my life traveling all over the world, teaching technologists from all kinds of companies – big and small – on a wide range of subjects.

Some of the places I have traveled are fantastic for that real-world interaction that we all need.

Yes, remote work is nice and many companies and employees have indeed found out that you can actually work from home in an efficient manner.

However, IMHO, there is no replacement for that feeling of walking into the presentation hall, having the chance to talk to experts and meet new and interesting people that are most likely having the same problems as you, or that are trying to change the world one application/solution at a time.

Now, help me by answering these questions:

  1. Which is your favorite conference and why?
  2. Which is the best venue that you have visited for a tech conference?
  3. Who is the best presenter that you have ever listened to?
  4. Which location would you like for your next event to take place and why Costa Rica?

Let me know what you think!