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SQL Data Partners Podcast

In this podcast, I discuss a variety of SQL Server related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development and I talk with some of the biggest names in the industry. I want to introduce new and familiar topics and talk about them in a way you may have not considered. We are all on different stages as data professionals. I hope you will join me and Steve on the SQL trail compañeros--you won't regret it.
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SQL Data Partners Podcast
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Companeros, welcome to the SQL Data Partners Podcast, a podcast dedicated to SQL Server related topics which is designed to help you become familiar with what’s out there, how you might use features or ideas and how you might apply them in your environments.

Jun 13, 2018

"The move to the cloud is inevitable."  Listening to Microsoft marketing and all the MVPs out there, it can certainly seem like we are getting further and further behind each day we aren't use cloud services.  Sure, lift and shift of VM resources are straightforward at this point and they are happening with more frequency; however, this doesn't mean everyone is leveraging cloud services.  How do you go about trying to prepare for the future when the company you work for isn't quite ready to make the leap?  In this episode, we talk with Jim Donahoe about making the transition from our traditional SQL Server environments to using Azure SQL Database.  We discuss some of the basics and some of the challenges you will face as you make the migration.

It can be a bit overwhelming to think about all the other services available in Azure.  Lift and shift gets us to the 'cloud', but if we want to start doing the cool stuff, we will have to make our data available to start interfacing with these services.  We know that cloud providers are pushing more hybrid models as not every system is ready for the cloud.  New development initiatives make better candidates for the cloud services and this episode covers the first steps to help you on path to cloud services.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/06/13/episode-139-getting-started-with-sql-server-in-azure. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jun 6, 2018

I invited our fearless panelists Kevin Feasel and Eugene Meidinger to join me for a podcast discussion.  We couldn't agree on a topic so we'll just call this episode Meeting of the Minds.  You're welcome.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/06/06/episode-138-meeting-of-the-minds. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

May 31, 2018

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by Any Other Name would smell as sweet.  We could say the same for analytics -- there are plenty of similar or related words we use to describe the role or process of working with data.  In this episode, we talk with Nicki Tinson about her journey into analytics, how others, like you, might break into the fields, and what has remained the same even when the names change.  I am joined by Kevin Feasel and Eugene Meidinger, so you know we keep the conversation lively.

Be sure to check out Nicki's Facebook page if you are interested in making the transition into analytics.  Tell her Carlos sent you.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/05/30/episode-137-you-want-to-work-with-analytics. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

May 23, 2018

Everybody does things a little differently and this is one of the things I LOVE about the podcast--chatting with others about how they get work done.  In this episode I chat with Tom Norman about how he uses Visual Studio for source control, deployments, and keeping his sanity.  We explore the setup process and how we have a reverse 80/20 rule when it comes to importing databases with Visual Studio.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/05/23/episode-136-devops-with-visual-studio. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

May 16, 2018

Normally we have one specific topic we focus on each episode.  This episode is a little different.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/05/16/episode-135-seinfeld-episode/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

May 9, 2018

It is not very often the internal codename is used when a product is launched; however, when you think about a database designed with global distribution in mind, CosmosDB makes sense.  I was a bit shocked to hear Microsoft was releasing another database technology in 2017; however, the team leading the charge was very impressive and it looked like it was solving problems other database engines could not.  In this episode, we talk with Sidney Andrews about the Cosmos platform, what we can expect from the product and how it differs from SQL Server.  I think you will find the conversation very interesting.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/05/09/episode-134-cosmosdb. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

May 3, 2018

While the ability to shrink data files is available in SSMS, the conventional wisdom is don't do it.  I was extremely curious when I read an email from our guest suggesting the opposite.  In this episode we explain the 'real world' and discuss why you might consider shrinking files and the how it will affect you.  Nigel has a great sense of humor and I know you will enjoy today's episode.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/05/02/episode-133-shrinking-files/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Apr 19, 2018

Bang! Pow! Crash!  Besides just awesome fighting techniques, are there things we can learn from superheroes?  My guest, Will Fehringer, gave that very question some thought and came up with some very interesting ideas I thought were worth passing along.  Wonder Woman and the Amazonians give us something to thing about preparing for our ultimate goal.  Drax, from the Guardians of the Galaxy, gives a great example of the Fool's Choice in conversation.  Every good superhero has a value system.  What is your value system and how do you enforce it?

One of the biggest challenges to technologies is the Superhero Syndrome.  Sure, it feels safe to save the day, but the danger is we might get to the question Mr. Incredible posed "Can you keep this place in order without me?  Didn't I just save you people?"  The ability to be the superhero all the time is not sustainable, so we won't be able to work alone all the time.  The ability to work in teams and trust the process is becoming a bigger and bigger part of what is determining a great IT resource from everyone else.

This episode explores some of these topics and gives some thoughts about how we can apply the lessons super heroes have to battle on a regular basis.  What are your thoughts?  What can you learn from a superhero?

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/04/19/episode-132-what-can-technologists-learn-from-superheroes. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Apr 11, 2018

Big Data.  Do you have big data?  What does that even mean?  In this episode I explore some of the concepts of how organizations can manage their data and what questions you might need to ask before you implement the latest and greatest tool.  I am joined by James Serra, Microsoft Cloud Architect, to get his thoughts on implementing cloud solutions, where they can contribute, and why you might not be able to go all cloud.  I am interested to see if more traditional DBAs move toward architecture roles and help their organizations manage the various types of data.  What types of issues are giving you troubles as you adopt a more diverse data ecosystem?

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/04/11/episode-131-big-data-solutions-in-the-cloud. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Apr 4, 2018

Heroes in a half shell, PowerShell!  Well, maybe that wasn't the original line, but you know from this program and other places on the internet, PowerShell is all the rage.  In this episode, we wanted to chat about other ways people are using PowerShell and we are happy to have Warren Estes talk with us about some of his experiences.  Warren shares some ways he has used PowerShell to push the easy button and how it lead to a contribution on the Microsoft SSRS toolkit.  We are joined this week by special guest panelist Eugene Meidinger.

If you know the source of the original line, let me know on social media!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/04/04/episode-130-use-case-for-powershell. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 28, 2018

Books online state: “There is nothing a graph database can achieve, which cannot be achieved using a relational database.” Why then are we putting graph technology in SQL Server?  To help me answer this question, I invite my friend AZ to chat about the Graph feature in SQL Server 2017 and introduce how graph differs from a relational model.  If you have every tried to implement complicated hierarchies in SQL Server, you know what a pain this can be. I, for one, am hopeful this new feature will allow us to tackle the various relationships even though it may be lacking certain features compared with other graph databases.

Are you using graph technology in SQL Server or even another platform?  I would be very interested to getting your thoughts on what you like and what you still find painful.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/03/28/episode-129-graph-databases. Have fun on the SQL Trail.

Mar 21, 2018

To Devops or not to Devops, that is the question.  We've talked before about how the developers have all the cool new tools, but this is slowly changing.  For those in development or dare I say agile (gasp!) environments there is more need for automation, but getting there can be a real challenge.  In this episode, we chat with John Morehouse about how he actually put into practice automated deployments for the database, some of his challenges, and how long it took to get there.

Are you trying to implement continuous delivery for the database?  Let me know.  I am very interested to hear your experiences.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/03/21/episode-128-database-doing-devops. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 15, 2018

There has been a remarkable shift introduced in the new features of SQL Server--programming languages have been embedded into the database.  This has led to a few "What are you thinking" questions from myself and others.  It also opens new opportunities for those working with SQL Server and in this episode, I chat with Andy Roberts and Chris Hyde and discuss the new features of R and Python--why they are included, how data teams are changing, and what this means for the rest of us.  As someone who does not and has not ever considered themselves a programmer, I don’t try to tackle any of the technical challenges of the language.  We stay safe on the side of ideas, process, with a sprinkle of installation and setup.

One of the most compelling ideas from this conversation is the democratizing of data.  Sure, this is not a new concept; however, now with a programming language in the database it will force a thinking realignment for those that traditionally called themselves gatekeepers.  Where CLR couldn’t quite do the trick, I think the introduction of these languages is going to require increased collaboration with teams and force administrators to up their game as they tackle challenges of data distribution and data consumption.

I am interested to see what lies ahead and how consumers will use these new features.  We already have some insights into R and while I won’t call it a smashing success—it is certainly useful to those who know how to take advantage of it and those numbers appear to be growing.  With Python, I think we are increasing the breadth of those who can take advantage of analytics in the database, which I think only bodes well for those who enjoy working with SQL Server.

What about you?  Is your team trying to implement R or Python?  What new skills have you had to learn because of these changes?  Hit me up on social media.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/03/15/episode-127-developing-in-the-database. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 8, 2018

Have you attended a SQLSaturday? They are great events and in this episode we chat with a few organizers about what goes into putting on an event and what they think the future of these events looks like.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/03/08/episode-126-sqlsaturday-edition. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 28, 2018

Have you ever found it difficult to explain how something works to a co-worker?  What about reading documentation?  We have all been there before and in this episode we chat with Ray Kim about his thoughts on how we can be better at communicating technically.

What is interesting is the number of tools that are now available to help us with communicating ideas; however, we all still struggle with communication.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/02/21/episode-125-you-must-be-an-engineer. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 21, 2018

Perhaps you have heard about a runbook--the documented instructions you should follow in the event of a disaster or some situation where an outage occurs.  Instructions are great for IT folks as they give a reference to follow--and they don't freak out even if we might. They don't, however, include instructions for everyone--what about the folks that aren't tapping away on the keyboard?  In this episode, we chat with Greg Moore about his experience in emergency situations outside of IT and how we might apply these principles in our environment.

Whether you are directly in the line of fire or support those that do, we think you will find this conversation interesting.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/02/13/episode-124-beyond-the-runbook-dr-organization. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 14, 2018

Listener Eduardo Cervantes wanted to get our take on what developers should do when they get admin access to a database.  We take on this challenge and I give 5 points you might consider if you are a developer with admin access to the SQL Server.  As Uncle Ben in Spiderman quotes, "With great power comes great responsibility."  We hope you use yours wisely.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/02/14/episode-123-top-5-things-to-know-when-getting-admin-access. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Dec 21, 2017

Does not play well with others. Is this description appropriate for some of the queries in your database?  In this episode, we explore the role behind isolation levels--why they are important, what they help prevent, and why so many people try to get around the rules they try to enforce.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/12/20/episode-122-isolation-levels. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Dec 14, 2017

I have heard it said "People don't quit jobs--they quit managers".  At a recent event, I decided to ask people what they thought the qualities of a good manager are.  Perhaps you aren't thinking of getting into management; however, at some point in your career you will have the opportunity to lead.  We share your thoughts and comment on the challenges of having the qualities of a good manager.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/12/14/episode-121-what-makes-a-good-manager. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Dec 7, 2017

Shouldn't they have fixed that instead of putting out all these new features?  That might be what you are thought when you saw the title for today's episode.  SQL Injection is still a big deal in today's databases and we are pleased to have Bert Wagner on the program to talk with us about how it can affect you and the applications you protect.

One of the most difficult aspects to deal with SQL Injection is to decide who is responsible for dealing with it?  Bert does a great job giving us some insights on what he has seen work and we invite you to give us your comments about how you have gone about trying to evade a SQL Injection attack.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/12/06/episode-120-sql-injection. Have fun on the SQL trail!

Nov 30, 2017

At first glance you might think our podcast topic is from way out in left field; however, as you think about it there are a number of reasons we should be talking about GitHub.  Even if you don't need a public source control repository for creating code, GitHub is becoming the preferred place for creators to publish their content and the ability to interact with other is extremely value.  In this episode we give some of our thoughts around getting started with GitHub and how it might differ from some of the other options out there.

Don't forget to leave your 'Tips and Tricks' on the podcast page.  If we get enough submissions, we will start that new segment in January.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/11/29/episode-119-should-i-get-involved-with-github. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 24, 2017

After having attended PASS Summit and seeing all the new features coming it out, it can be very easy to overlook the basics--they are boring.  These features have been around forever.  This may be true, but they still play an important role and ignoring them won't help get you those fancy new features any time soon.

In this episode, our topic is index maintenance, with an emphasis on what has changed or what might change.  Is the query store feature going to impact the way we maintain our indexes?  We invite one our favorite guests, Sean McCown back to talk with us and give some of his thoughts.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/11/24/index-maintenance. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 15, 2017

Have you ever had a week without a Wednesday?  Me neither, so for this episode, we recap our experience at PASS Summit and talk about all the amazing compañeros we met and give some thoughts around our very first meetup.  It was so much fun to meet everyone and both Steve and I gave sessions, which was a great experience--and a first for me.

One, we both realized after the fact is, we are not good at social media or taking pictures!  We apologize we don't have a bit more to share on that front, but hey--we do have faces for radio.

The show notes from today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/11/15/episode-117-pass-summit-retrospective/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 8, 2017

If you have ever worked with Microsoft support, you probably came across the PssDiag tool they use to collect information about your environment.  My experience with the tool is it always seemed, well--a bit clunky.  Now, it does collect lots of information and seemed to be a bit overwhelming when I was first a DBA.  Fast forward a few years and PssDiag was not a tool I use anymore and was not sure if anyone outside of Microsoft was using it.  I run into Jared Poche in Raleigh and he mentions he really likes the tool and mentions some of the improvements they have made over the years.  Well, you can guess where this is heading.

We talk with Jared about his experience with the tool and cover some of the basics about how you might go about using this tool in your environment.  There are two pieces to this tool, the first is the utility that collects the data and the second is the reporting piece SQL Nexus.

Are you using PssDiag?  Let us know if the comments below.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at  http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/11/07/episode-116-are-people-still-using-pssdiag. Have fun on the SQL trail!

Nov 1, 2017

It was a beautiful idea.  Gather together with a group of our podcast listeners in a conference type format and find ways for us to connect and help each grow.  I had seen it down in other events; however, I wanted to add my own flavor.  I wanted this to be different.  While the event turned out great and we got good marks from the attendees, we didn't have the response we were hoping for.  In this episode of the podcast, we have our companero conference retrospective.

We try to give our honest feedback about what we did well, what could have been improved, and what the attendees reported.  I can't say enough about the help I got from our speakers--Jonathan Stewart, Kevin Feasel, Randolph West, Tracy Boggiano, and Doug Purnell.  They were awesome and the event was much simpler because of them and their commitment.  They are truly my companeros on the SQL trail.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at  http://sqldatapartners.com/2017/10/31/episode-115-the-companero-conference-retrospective. Have fun on the SQL trail!

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