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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.

Nov 7, 2018

Year Two of our beautiful idea--gather together with a group of podcast listeners in a conference type format and find ways for us to connect and help each other grow.  I am influenced by what I see in other events; however, I want to add my own flavor to what is currently offered.  I want SQL Trail to be different--learning should be attendee-driven rather than event planned.  The focus should be on the networking--the hallway track.  Everyone should make a new friend.  In this episode of the podcast, we have our SQL Trail retrospective and give some thoughts on what next year might entail.

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, Angela Henry, Monica Rathbun, Megan Longoria and Melissa Coates.  They were awesome and the event was much simpler because of them and their commitment.  They are truly my compañeros on the SQL Trail.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/11/07/episode-153-sql-trail-2018-retrospective. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 1, 2018

Those trained in SSAS may cringe a bit, but a curious thought entered my mind.  Many organizations start using data warehouse structure with fact and dimension tables, but never make it to the 'cube' state--actually using analysis services.  Admittedly, I don't use SSAS and the occasional reprocessing of a cube or dimension is about my only experience.  When Trey Johnson, our guest for this episode, wanted to chat about SSAS, I thought this would be interesting to get his perspective on using SSAS, the future of the service, and how PowerBI just might make it much more accessible.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/11/1/episode-152-do-you-use-analysis-services. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 24, 2018

Platform as a service has finally arrived to Microsoft's Azure offering.  With the release of Azure SQL Database Managed Instances--quite the mouthful--there is now an option to explore database services without missing all the functionality we didn't have with Azure SQL Database.  We are joined by Javier Villegas to discuss his experiences with Managed Instances and why we think this will be one service more organizations will want to start adopting.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/10/24/episode-151-azure-sql-database-managed-instance. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 19, 2018

Today we, the SQL Data Partners team, celebrate our 150th podcast episode! We introduce ourselves, talk about what we're doing, our goals for the coming year and answer the SQL Family questions. Come get to know us!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/10/18/episode-150-sql-data-partners-team. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 11, 2018

Do you ever feel like you have too many databases to manage?  Managing lot of databases can get tricky and in this episode we explore some of the techniques you can use when you need to manage lots of databases.  Tracy Boggiano joins us to discuss some of her techniques, as she has managed over 300 instances.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/10/11/episode-149-managing-lots-of-databases. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 3, 2018

SSRS is great -- it comes with SQL Server, provides quite a bit of functionality, but sometimes doesn't always perform well. In this episode we welcome back Bert Wagner as he chats with us about some of the ways he has improved his under-performing reports. Our conversation focuses on SSRS itself -- we are going to assume you can tune the queries in SSMS from previous episodes or the interwebs. What do you think of our list? Did we miss one? Let us know!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/09/27/episode-148-high-performance-ssrs. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 19, 2018

Security is always important to data folks and when a new feature like Always Encrypted comes along, it gets your attention. In this episode, we discuss this feature introduced in SQL Server 2016. We are joined by our guest Sam Nasr and he shares an overview and we find it may not cover all the scenarios you might think when you hear the name. Our discussion leads to scenarios in both on-premises and cloud solutions. Joined by Kevin Feasel and Eugene Meidinger, this episode will allow you to be a bit more prepared when you hear someone say all your problems will be solved with Always Encrypted.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/09/19/episode-147-always-encrypted. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 12, 2018

So what is SQL Trail all about?  In this episode we invite our MVPs to discuss some of the topics they are ready to share on SQL Trail.  We know there are lots of options for training and networking -- this is our iteration on what the experience should be.  If after you listen to the episode and want to sign up, you can use our sponsor code "MaconIT" to save $250 of the cost!  We hope to see you on the SQL Trail!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/09/12/episode-146-sql-trail-speakers. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 5, 2018

In this episode we finish up our conversation with Jason and Cathrine and talk about how they keep up with all the changes in data conversions.  The advent of Azure services is great, but can be tricky to navigate.  We also get to hear Jason's answers to the SQL Family questions.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/09/05/episode-145-is-ssis-still-relevant. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Aug 29, 2018

Moving data with SSIS is a forgone conclusion for most of us -- it is part of SQL Server, it has a interface we are somewhat familiar with, and connects to lots of common data sources like csv, excel, and of course SQL Server. Are our needs changing as our environments become more hybrid -- as we introduce cloud services? Are you still building packages the same way you were 10 years ago? Just as our data sources have grown, the capabilities needed to move data around have increased. This episode, with Jason Horner and Cathrine Wilhelmsen, challenges some of the thoughts around data movement and gives some things to think about as new tools are available to move data around.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/08/29/episode-144-is-ssis-still-relevant. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Aug 9, 2018

We frequently talk about how many DBAs are concerned our job may be phased out in the future. This episode discusses one common career path in going from DBA to Data Warehouse Architect and we talk with Thomas LeBlanc about his transition: his decisions, his path and his advice.  Many companies can’t afford to staff separate individuals as developers, DBAs, analysists and architects, so there are generally opportunities for most of us to learn these technologies. Whether or not you can fully transition into a completely different job, never stop learning and broadening your knowledge base and abilities.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/08/08/episode-143-transitioning-from-dba-to-data-warehouse-architect. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jul 26, 2018

Are you giving yourself a HEAP of trouble by using tables with no clustered indexes?  But it is faster you say . . . because you don't have to worry about the sorting when inserting.  Our guest Rick Lowe suggests everything is fast until you decide to SELECT, UPDATE, or DELETE.  We talk about why you may or may not want to use HEAP tables.  I know I was surprised to get his take on the use of HEAP tables and I think you will be, too. Do you agree with our assessment?  Let us know in the comments on the show notes page.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/07/25/episode-142-do-you-have-a-heap-of-hurting. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jul 4, 2018

In this episode, we chat with David Maxwell about wait stats, what they are and why we should care about them. There are so many different directions we can go and if you have a specific use case you’d like us to consider, let us know and we can include it in a future episode.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/07/04/episode-141-wait-wait-what. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jun 20, 2018

They're just numbers, right?  A date's a date.  It's just string data, who cares?  I admit I have posed those questions before and only much later did I understand how complicated it can get. Angela Henry, our guest for today, has heard these same phrases many times before and she chats with us to enlighten us on the issue and ways we can get around it.  Perhaps you have heard about terms like SARGable and implicit conversions. This episode seeks to tie these terms to one of the very first decisions you have to make about your data -- the data types.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2018/06/20/episode-140-why-data-types-matter. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

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.

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