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  • Finally, SSMS will talk to Azure SQL DW

    Don’t get me started on how I keep seeing people jump into Azure SQL DW without thinking about the parallel paradigm. SQL DW is to PDW, the way that Azure SQL DB is to SQL Server. If you were happy using SQL Server for your data warehouse, then SQL DB may be just fine. Certainly you should get your head around the MPP (Massively Parallel ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on July 12, 2016
  • Exploring custom visuals in Power BI

    One of my favourite things about Power BI is its extensibility. For ages I would hear about how good some other self-service reporting platforms were, and how things in the Microsoft space were lacking. Power View, in particular, was frustratingly limited in what you could do with it, and I felt somewhat disappointed. It was good as a data ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on May 10, 2016
  • How to make text searching go faster

    ...but first, let’s look at one oft-forgotten reason why finding a particular piece of text can be slow, if not impossible: collation. This will then provide a useful platform for making it go faster. I say ‘impossible’, but of course it’s never impossible to find something in a database (assuming it’s there). It might take longer, but you can ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on March 7, 2016
  • A Fitbit report in Power BI for T-SQL Tuesday

    Finding things to publish online for public consumption is something I’m often a bit reluctant to do. Most of my work is for customers, and there’s no way I’m going to share some of their data unless they’ve explicitly allowed it. So when Jorge Segarra (@sqlchicken) posted a challenge to publish a Power BI report on the web for T-SQL Tuesday, I ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on February 15, 2016
  • Join Effects With UPDATE

    A lot of people don’t like UPDATE with a FROM clause. I’m going to explore what’s going on, both logically and within the query plan. And I’m doing this for T-SQL Tuesday #74, hosted by Robert Davis (@sqlsoldier). I’m going to use a fresh copy of AdventureWorks2012. I’m using SQL 2012 SP3, but the things I’m looking at should apply to most ...
    Posted to Rob Farley (Weblog) by rob_farley on January 11, 2016
  • 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
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