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  • Superhero powers for managing the enterprise

    This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Jen McCown of @midnightdba fame. She wants us to write about strategies for managing the enterprise, and as a database consultant, I find myself giving advice on this kind of thing to customers remarkably often. No, I’m not going to do stories about LobsterPot customers. We don’t do that. What happens ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on September 7, 2015
  • Can you still use DBCC PAGE to access data in dropped tables if TDE is turned on?

    Yes. #ShortestPostEver @rob_farley    Oh, ok... I’ll explain some more. Transparent Data Encryption encrypts data at rest. That’s the stuff that’s on disk – the encryption happens when the data is written to disk, and the decryption happens as the data is loaded into RAM from the disk. The engine handles this so that it’s invisible ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on August 11, 2015
  • Always Encrypted with SQL 2016

    Transparent Data Encryption has been around for some time now, making sure that data in SQL Server as stored on disk is encrypted. When it was announced, this was incredibly exciting. You see, by default, SQL Server data is not encrypted. If you open up the pages within a data file, you can read the data that’s in there. Numbers are stored as ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on August 10, 2015
  • Check the settings when installing SQL Server

    Next, next, next, next, next... you know the drill. Except that when installing SQL, it’s simply not good enough. The defaults might not work for you, and that makes this post qualify for this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, hosted by Andy Yun (@sqlbek). Most things are fine, but there is one page which you really shouldn’t ignore. And it’s not even ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on July 13, 2015
  • Monitoring skew in PDW

    When you have data stored across several servers, skew becomes very significant. In SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), part of the Analytics Platform System (APS), data is stored in one of two ways – distributed or replicated. Replicated data is copied in full across every compute node (those servers which actually store user data), while ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on May 11, 2015
  • SHOWPLAN permission denied even if the database isn’t actually used

    To view a query plan, you need SHOWPLAN permission on the database level at least. You have this if you have CONTROL DATABASE, or CONTROL SERVER, or if you have ALTER TRACE at the instance level. I know this last one because it’s mentioned in Books Online on the ‘Database Permissions’ page, not because it’s particularly intuitive. As a ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on April 14, 2015
  • Tuning Parallel Data Warehouse Queries

    Performance tuning in regular SQL Server can be addressed in a number of ways. This can involve looking at what’s going on with the disk configuration, the memory configuration, the wait stats, the parallelism settings, indexing, and so much more. But if you have a Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) environment, then there are a lot of things that are ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on March 9, 2015
  • SQL Injection – the golden rule

    The problem with SQL Injection is that most people don’t realise the fundamental concept which makes SQL Injection vulnerability not only easy to spot, but also easy to prevent. And it’s the thing that SQL Injection has in common with countless other hacking mechanisms that have been around since the early days of computing. The simple truth is ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on February 9, 2015
  • SSIS Lookup transformation in T-SQL

    There is no equivalent to the SSIS Lookup transformation in T-SQL – but there is a workaround if you’re careful. The big issue that you face is about the number of rows that you connect to in the Lookup. SQL Books Online (BOL) says: If there is no matching entry in the reference dataset, no join occurs. By default, the Lookup transformation ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on July 8, 2014
  • SQL 2014 does data the way developers want

    A post I’ve been meaning to write for a while, good that it fits with this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, hosted by Joey D’Antoni (@jdanton) Ever since I got into databases, I’ve been a fan. I studied Pure Maths at university (as well as Computer Science), and am very comfortable with Set Theory, which undergirds relational database concepts. But I’ve ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on June 9, 2014
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