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February 2011 Blog Posts

PASS: Bylaw Changes

While you’re reading this, a post should be going up on the PASS blog on the plans to change our bylaws.  You should be able to find our old bylaws, our proposed bylaws and a red-lined version of the changes.  We plan to listen to feedback until March 31st.  At that point we’ll decide whether to vote on these changes or take other action. The executive summary is that we’re adding a restriction to prevent more than two people from the same company on the Board and eliminating the Board’s Officer Appointment Committee to have Officers directly elected by...

posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:59 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Tracking "To Do" Items

One of the challenges I struggle with is keeping a good "to do" list of things I need to do on the various SQL Servers I support. I have servers that I don't visit on a regular basis so my situation may be different than many of you. Though I'm sure you all have servers that you only touch every few months. (And it's usually the accounting server!) It's difficult for me to remember what changes I made and what changes I need to make. I've tried Outlook, OneNote and various other to do list managers and haven't been...

posted @ Tuesday, February 22, 2011 7:30 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Utilities ]

How are Reads Distributed in a Workload

People have uploaded nearly one millions rows of trace data to TraceTune.  That’s enough data to start to look at the results in aggregate.  The first thing I want to look at is logical reads.  This is the easiest metric to identify and fix. When you upload a trace, I rank each statement based on the total number of logical reads.  I also calculate each statement’s percentage of the total logical reads.  I do the same thing for CPU, duration and logical writes.  When you view a statement you can see all the details like this: ...

posted @ Monday, February 21, 2011 9:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Stuff ClearTrace ]

Six Unusual Blogs I Like

I subscribe to and read over 100 SQL Server blogs every day.  I link to posts that I think are interesting.  I also read a fair number of non-SQL Server blogs.  Here are a few that I think are interesting. danah boyd. She is a researcher with Microsoft and writes about privacy, social media and teenagers.  I discovered her blog while looking for strategies to keep my personal and professional life separate.  (I haven’t found a good solution to that yet.)  Her stories of how teenagers use Facebook and other social media tools are fascinating. Clayton’s Web Snacks. ...

posted @ Friday, February 18, 2011 7:43 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous ]

PASS: NomCom selection process draft

The ERC has released a draft (or strawman as I like to say) of how we might select the Nominating Committee for the PASS elections.  If you’d like to comment on this, now is the time.

posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:57 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

The Changing Face of PASS

I’m starting my sixth year on the PASS Board.  I served two years as the Program Director, two years as the Vice-President of Marketing and I’m starting my second year as the Executive Vice-President of Finance.  There’s a pretty good chance that if PASS has done something you don’t like or is doing something you don’t like, that I’m involved in one way or another. Andy Leonard asked in a comment on his blog if the Board had ever reversed itself based on community input.  He asserted that it hadn’t.  I disagree.  I’m not going to try and list...

posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:02 PM | Feedback (8) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Generate MERGE statements from a table

We have a requirement to build a test environment where certain tables get reset from production every night.  These are mainly lookup tables.  I played around with all kinds of fancy solutions and finally settled on a series of MERGE statements.  And being lazy I didn’t want to write them myself.  The stored procedure below will generate a MERGE statement for the table you pass it.  If you have identity values it populates those properly.  You need to have primary keys on the table for the joins to be generated properly.  The only thing hard coded is the...

posted @ Tuesday, February 15, 2011 7:47 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Stuff Utilities ]

TraceTune: Improved Comment View

I wanted an easier way to identify queries I’d already looked at so I could skip them.  I’ve been entering comments for each query as I review it.  These comments typically fall into three categories: a change I made, no easy fix available or something needs to be changed on the client.  TraceTune now highlights any statement with a comment in bold.  If you hover over the statement you’ll see the most recent comment for that statement. This gives me a quick way to see what’s new and identify those queries that still need work. ...

posted @ Monday, February 14, 2011 7:40 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Utilities ]

SQL Server Scripts I Use

When I get to a new client I usually find myself using the same set of scripts for maintenance and troubleshooting.  These are all drop in solutions for various maintenance issues. Reindexing.  I use Michelle Ufford’s (SQLFool) re-indexing script.  I like that it has a throttle and only re-indexes when needed.  She also has a variety of other interesting scripts on her blog too. Server Activity.  Adam Machanic is up to version 10 of sp_WhoIsActive.  It’s a great replacement for the sp_who* stored procedures and does so much more.  If a server is acting funny this is one...

posted @ Tuesday, February 08, 2011 6:45 PM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Utilities ]

PASS: 2013 Summit Location

HQ recently posted a brief update on our search for a location for 2013.  It includes links to posts by four Board members and two community members. I’d like to add my thoughts to the mix and ask you a question.  But I can’t give you a real understanding without telling you some history first. So far we’ve had the Summit in Chicago, San Francisco, Orlando, Dallas, Denver and Seattle.  Each has a little different feel and distinct memories.  I enjoyed getting drinks by the pool in Orlando after the sessions ended.  I didn’t like that our location in...

posted @ Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:21 AM | Feedback (9) | Filed Under [ PASS ]

Enter comments on queries in TraceTune

I’m trying to make TraceTune (and eventually ClearTrace) work the way I do.  My typical query tuning session goes like this: Run a trace and upload to TraceTune/ClearTrace Tune the slowest queries Goto 1 I might do this two or three times in one day and then not come back to it again for weeks or even months.  This is especially true for those clients that I only visit a few times per month.  In many cases I’ll look at a query, decide I can’t...

posted @ Monday, February 07, 2011 7:48 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ SQL Server Stuff Utilities ClearTrace ]

Experimenting with other search engines

I’ve been a Google user so long I can hardly remember what I used before it.  Alta Vista maybe?  Or Yahoo.  I’ve tried Bing off and on but it never really stuck.  I probably care more about search engines than your average user because of their impact on  Lately I’ve been trying two other search engines and actually switched to one of them. I’ve played with Blekko a little in the past.  They have some interesting ways to “slice up” your results.  For example, searching on “SQL Server /blogs /date” should just search all the recently updated blogs. ...

posted @ Wednesday, February 02, 2011 8:49 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous ]

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