Monday, February 19, 2018

Webinar: SQL Server on Linux tools: SQL Server Integration Services

Microsoft is hosting a SQL Server on Linux tools: SQL Server Integration Services webinar/town hall on March 1st, 2018 10:00-11:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-5)

In this session, They will demonstrate how easy it is to install, run and monitor SSIS on Linux. They will also explain how you can use ODBC to connect common data sources on Linux. Specifically, they will cover:

  • Current system architecture
  • Supported/unsupported features
  • A live demo of SSIS installation on Linux
  • A live demo of how to use ODBC to connect data sources like MySQL and Oracle
  • Future roadmap of SSIS on Linux and other platforms

If you are interested in SSIS running on Linux, make sure to register for this webinar

The link to register is here:

Reinventing the wheel

It has been a while since I wrote some of my best practices posts. I decided to revisit these posts again to see if anything has changed, I also wanted to see if I could add some additional info.

In this post  we are going to look at something called reinventing the wheel. Just in case your are not familiar with this metaphor or maybe you are not a native English speaker, I will use wikipedia's description of what reinventing the wheel means.
To reinvent the wheel is to duplicate a basic method that has already previously been created or optimized by others.
The inspiration for this idiomatic metaphor lies in the fact that the wheel is the archetype of human ingenuity, both by virtue of the added power and flexibility it affords its users, and also in the ancient origins which allow it to underlie much, if not all, of modern technology. As it has already been invented, and is not considered to have any operational flaws, an attempt to reinvent it would be pointless and add no value to the object, and would be a waste of time, diverting the investigator's resources from possibly more worthy goals which his or her skills could advance more substantially.

So now that you have read the paragraph above, how many times did you write some code only to find out that it already exists in the language as part of some library or function?. How many times have you written code that you could have easily grabbed from GitHub, CodePlex and other repositories for your own use?

Why write your own solution when you can use something that is robust and tested?

To start let's take a look at the GitHub repositories mentioned in this post: Five great SQL Server GitHub repos that every SQL Server person should check out
You will find code that does index maintenance, helps you with performance issues, setup and more. Check out that post for more details

Find out who the community leaders are for a particular skill set that you are interested in, start following these people, follow them on twitter, subscribe to their blogs and podcasts. Go to their presentations, talk to them, find out what they use, find out if they have made code available for the public to use. You will find out that a good percentage of these people have made available a whole bunch of libraries, stored procedures, functions, maintenance routines and much more for you to use and it is all free.
Don't be scared to ask for help on twitter, if you don't know any of the SQL Server tweeple, use the #sqlhelp hash tag and ask for help, here is an example of what it looks like #sqlhelp
Here is an image of the replies on twitter after I asked a question with the #sqlhelp tag

Besides twitter, you can also use slack. I like slack more because you are not limited to 280 characters. Here is the link to the relevant slack channel:

Here is a screen shot of what it looks like

That looks a little better than twitter don't you think?

Some commercial firms will also have community editions of code and tools for you to use. Take advantage of this, these are great, if you like the tools then maybe you will find a need for the pro editions, these have more bells and whistles and are not limited.

Some examples of available solutions:

SQL Server activity
Want to know what is going on right now? Try Adam Machanic's procedure Who Is Active

Execution Plans
Check out SentryOne's  Plan Explorer. This plan explorer does much more than the one that comes with SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Search and other tools
Red Gate has a bunch of free tool, you can get those here I started to use Red Gate's tools back in 2003, SQL Compare is the one I used the most. SQL Search is free and if you need to find anything in your DB it is invaluable.
Idera free tools
Idera has a bunch of free tools available for download, you can find those all here:

Get involved

If you have created some cool code and you know there is nothing similar, why now give back to the community? Put it out there, solicit feedback and in the end the code will be better because more eyes will have looked at it. Accept contributions as well. All of these things will make the community as a whole grow, if the community grows then the platform will grow as well. When the platform grows, this means there will be more demand for someone with your skill set. You are responsible that your community doesn't turn into a ghost town.