An adventure on SQL Server performance and features

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SQL Notebooks: On the right track to enhance Data Analysis on SQL Server

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Since about a couple of versions ago, Azure Data Studio introduced Jupyter Notebooks support for SQL Server (and with SQL Server 2019 “Big Data Clusters” on the horizon, it was about time) What are Notebooks? “Notebooks” are a tool that our data science/machine learning colleagues know, love and are at their disposal since some time (Python, Spark, etc…); A notebook...

How to identify the unit of measure of Extended Events durations

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Even if I use Extended Events almost every day, I always forget the unit of measure of each duration counter, since they’re basically arbitrary; Seconds, milliseconds, microseconds? Whatever, it depends on the dev that implemented that specific counter. That’s why I’ve added to Tsql.tech Github repository the following code that extracts the descriptions from XE DMVs in order to...

Quickly move data between instances for testing using only PowerShell

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Quick tip, how many times did a dev ask you to move the PROD/QA data to DEV to test a feature? Of course, not the whole DB, which would be too easy via a scripted backup/restore, but only a single table, or subset of table data? How do you deal with it usually? With the SSMS Import data Wizard? (ugh..) Exporting to flat file and reimporting? Linked Servers? External tools? Restore the whole...

Cast any string directly to XML with auto-escaping characters in SQL Server

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Recently I had to look up the definition for a bunch of SQL objects and didn’t want to manually retrieve them manually in SSMS (with Create Scripts) or Visual Studio (by searching the object name in my TFS repository). Since lazyness and automation are the basis of a well done engineering work, I wanted to create a list, where I could basically click on the object that I needed and see the...

How to Show Better Execution Plans in Azure Data Studio

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Azure Data Studio is starting to mature and some neat features are coming to the vscode-based (and now multidatabase and multiplatform) tool. We got query plans in the app since some time, but to be frank they’re not very pretty and have some issues with dark themes: Phantom Lines in plans with Dark Theme The new way Phil Scott built the Queryplan.show extension for Azure Data Studio, which...

Load data directly in SQL Server from a xlsx file, without OLEDB or Excel, using Powershell

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I don’t know you, but people from other BU are old fashioned guys that do everything by hand, and then send you an Excel file to “put this data in the database” or “find info related to this codes”. This is an hassle, especially if you don’t have the Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB provider installed in your machine (or for some reason SSMS doesn’t recognize it or...

A SQL Server Permission Report in PowerBI

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What it is and how to get it When working with SQL Instances that have lots of databases, sensitive data and equally lots of users/applications that accesses those, it can get pretty troublesome to keep track of every user, for every database, down to the single column/action.That’s why I developed this report, in orde to be able to quickly determine the security status of each object or...

Why identity values can jump by the 1000’s ? Is it normal?

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It must have happened you at least once to find identity columns with values that from one row to the next one jump by 1000’s rows, of course without having anyone deleting the rows in between, how this occurs? Identity columns don’t actually recalculate every time the next number to be inserted, SQL Server caches a number of values in order to obtain faster inserts and polls from...

Row Level Security Performance Implications

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A conversation had me wondering about performance implications in SQL Server RLS feature, specifically on how to mitigate the performance impact;TL; DR; ? Since security functions are actually Inline Table Valued Functions (ITVF), if you write them in a decent way the queries will run in the most efficent way possibile, avoiding RBAR processing. Let’s set the case scene; I’m starting...

A quick function to remove (or keep only) string patterns from SQL Server Strings

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Working with strings in SQL Server isn’t as easy or powerful as using any programming language, but, I’m sure that more than once you had to to some data manipulation directly in the database, this may help you out, and it doesn’t use Loops, CLR or XML The idea is to exploit set logic, as opposed to the classic program logic of when you’re usually playing with strings in...

An adventure on SQL Server performance and features

Emanuele Meazzo

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