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SQL Server management, tutorials, scripts, coding, programming and tips for database administrators


Azure SQL Database - Implementing Azure AD Authentication 10/06/2016

Marcin Policht focuses on the specifics of using Azure Active Directory to authenticate to Azure SQL Database.

Reading and Searching a Large Error Log File 10/03/2016

SQL Server’s undocumented extended stored procedure, called “xp_readerrorlog”, can read both the SQL Server ERRORLOG and the SQL Agent log files. Read on to learn more.

Reading Backup History Information for a Database 10/03/2016

There are times when you might want to read backup/restore history information to identify a backup’s start and finish date/time, the location where the backup was written, the size of the database backup, etc. Greg Larsen shows you how to do this in SQL Server.

Real-time Operational Analytics in SQL Server 2016 - Part 2 09/19/2016

Arshad Ali discusses the different design considerations for leveraging the Real-time Operational Analytics feature of SQL Server 2016, covering the different scenarios where it fits or does not fit, and how to get started with it for disk based tables.

Azure SQL Database - Azure AD Authentication 09/06/2016

One of the challenges when considering migrating your on-premises SQL Server databases to Azure SQL Database is its lack of support for Active Directory-integrated authentication. With the advent of Azure SQL Database V12, the authentication capabilities have been expanded, allowing for more flexibility that leverages Azure Active Directory. In this article, we will provide an overview of this functionality.

Managing SQL Server Backup and Restore History Information 09/01/2016

SQL Server provides a couple of different ways to delete backup and restore history.  If you want to remove backup and restore information for all databases based on a date you can use the sp_delete_backuphistory system stored procedure.  Or you can use the system stored procedure named sp_delete_database_backuphistory if you want to remove all backup and restore history for a specific database.

Masking Your Data with SQL Server 2016 09/01/2016

There are times when you want some users to see part of a column value but not the whole thing, but you want other users to see the complete column value without any masking. The new SQL Server 2016 Dynamic Data Masking feature will allow you to define these different kinds of masking rules.

Real-time Operational Analytics in SQL Server 2016 - Part 1 08/22/2016

Arshad Ali takes a look at traditional analytics architecture, the challenges it faces, and how the newly introduced Real-time Operational Analytics feature overcomes those challenges.

Introduction to SQL Server Stretch Database 08/04/2016

In many cases Azure SQL Database offers an economically and functionally viable alternative to SQL Server deployments. However, there are also scenarios where we might discover that rather than serving as a replacement, it provides synergy, working side by side with your on-premises databases. One of technologies that illustrate this paradigm is Stretch Database, introduced in SQL Server 2016. We will describe its basic characteristics and review its implementation steps in this article.

Temporal Data Part 3 – Reporting Out Current and Historical Information 08/01/2016

With the introduction of temporal table support in SQL Server 2016 Microsoft also added some additional functionality that makes it easy for you to join the current and history records of a system-versioned table. Greg Larsen shows you some of the different ways to do analysis of your system-versioned records over time.

Getting started with Query Store feature in SQL Server 2016 – Part 3 07/21/2016

Arshad Ali demonstrates how you can analyze the data collected by Query Store either with T-SQL scripting or with the graphical user interface in SSMS.

Introduction to Azure SQL Database Temporal Tables 07/07/2016

As announced on June 1, 2016, SQL Server 2016 has reached its general availability. This means that you finally have the option to implement some of its new features in the production environment. While we still have to wait for their full support in Azure SQL Database V12, it is likely that their preview stage will be concluded soon. In this article, we will focus on Temporal tables, which is one example of these new features.

Temporal Data Part 2 - Creating and Deleting System-Versioned Tables 07/05/2016

Greg Larsen expands on his topic of how to modify an existing table to take advantage of the new temporal data feature in SQL Server 2016. In this article he shows you how to create and deleted system-versioned tables and the associated history temporal table.

Getting started with Query Store feature in SQL Server 2016 – Part 2 06/20/2016

Query Store is a new feature in SQL Server 2016 which, once enabled, automatically captures a history of queries, execution plans, and runtime statistics, retaining them for your troubleshooting performance problems caused by query plan changes. This new feature greatly simplifies performance troubleshooting by helping you quickly find performance differences, even after server restart or upgrade. Read on to learn more.

Introduction to the Azure SQL Database Advisor 06/06/2016

One of the challenges associated with running your workloads in Azure SQL Database is the limited level of management oversight. While you can easily scale it vertically by changing the associated service tier and performance level, you do not have the option of running SQL Server Profiler or Index Tuning Wizard, commonly used to evaluate, troubleshoot, and optimize database performance. Fortunately, there is an alternative approach that leverages the functionality incorporated into the recently introduced Azure SQL Database Advisor component of Azure SQL Database. In this article, we will present its basic characteristics.

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