Compañeros! The good organizers SQLSaturday in Pittsburgh allowed me to take a slot on the schedule and opened up the podcast for a little Q&A session and I was super happy with the results. We had several SQL Server pros come and our conversation was around one central issue--testing in your development environment. We came at from a setup perspective, but also from a how to compare apples and oranges when your hardware is different. Because we had a developer ask the question, I opted to call this episode “Dear Developer”. Hear from Microsoft MVPs and SQL Server consultants such as Allen White, Kevin Feasel, Jonathan Stewart, Tim McAliley and others give their thoughts on this subject. At the very least you will have a few more ideas on where to start looking for potential options to your testing after listening to this episode.
The show notes for todays episode is found at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/10/15/deardeveloper/
After talking with Patrick Thomas in episode 64, I was introduced to Microsoft's newest learning curriculum, the Microsoft academy, and their first offering in data science. In this episode, I talk with one of the lead course writers Graeme Malcolm about the new program. Microsoft consulted data scientists along with several companies to identify the core skills they need to be successful. A curriculum was developed to teach these functional and technical skills, combining highly rated online courses with hands-on labs, concluding in a final capstone project. This episode talks about the new program and what is next for Microsoft learning.
The show notes for today's episode is found at
This week on the SQL Trail, Steve and I chat with Jason Horner about building a good data architecture. When talking about a data warehouse architecture, or even just a data architecture, people often think about building the data warehouse and specifying the server hardware, building the ETL, things like that--they tend to lose sight of the larger picture of data architecture. Jason gives us his “four pillars of data warehouse architecture” and how each of them impacts what you are able to do from a reporting prospective.
We are super excited to have Jason on the show with us this week. You can catch the show notes at http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/10/03/data-architecture/ and we'll see you on the SQL trail.
Have you ever thought that Microsoft certifications were a waste of time? Depending on where you are on the experience scale, certifications still play a large role in hiring and career development. In Episode 64 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast I talk to Patrick Thomas the program manager for the MCT and MCP programs and the role they play at Microsoft and in what way they continue to provide value, including what’s in store for data science learners and what he thinks of the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn.
The show notes are available at
Availability groups provide both high availability features and disaster recovery options, but they also have several areas you must be aware so you don't introduce more risk into your environment. The major advantage is availability groups allow for you to fail over more than one database at a time. In Episode 59 we talked about general data availability options and in this episode we focus on the new features of Availability Groups in 2016 and how data availability options have changed with our guest John Sterrett. John shares his experience getting a large database to a highly available situation along with some other ways to use availability groups.
Show notes for today's episode are available at
Have you heard the buzz around the Cortana Intelligence Suite? It seems like it is all the rage these days and Microsoft is coming out with lots of new features in this space. In Episode 62, Steve and I interview Melissa Coates, AKA “SQLChick”. We chat about the history of Cortana, about the tools it encompasses, and why you might implement parts of the suite in your organization.
Show notes for today's episode are found at http://sqldatapartners.com/cortana If you are using Cortana, we would love to hear about it on the show notes for today's episode.
Do you dread the idea of going to the project post-mortem? Is it because you have to spend tons of time prepping your defenses for the onslaught? This week we chat with Russ Thomas and get his take on what makes a good debrief and where he got some of his ideas. These concepts are intended to make the whole team better so if you like what you hear, pass this along to other in your group and perhaps your debriefs can help everyone.
The show notes for today's episodes are at
When Microsoft introduced the Azure Data Lake, they included a new language, U-SQL, for Big Data processing as part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite. U-SQL plays a role in the streaming analytics space–primarily in the Azure environment. We break down some of the basics of U-SQL, then we’ll discuss the use cases that might make it an effective addition to your database toolbox--especially if you know C#.
The show notes for today's episode can be found at http:\\sqldatapartners.com\usql Have fun on the SQL trail, compañeros!
Have you ever wondered what the best option is for making your data available in your environment? Listener Chris Hendon asked us to talk about differences between Availability groups, mirroring, log shipping, and replication. Today on the SQL Trail Steve and I chat with Andy Mallon and Mariano Kovo about these topics. We cover each topic in detail and explain the positives and negatives of each one. Join us, for another great episode.
The show notes for today's episode are available at
With all the changes in technology, how do you stay up to date with your technical learning? This is a question we have been asking our guests the last several episodes and in this episode we, the hosts, attempt to answer this question and Carlos and Steve give some thoughts on how we stay up to date. We discuss four ways to keep up. If all else fails, you can follow this old adage. "It's know WHAT you know, it's not WHO you know--it's WHAT you know about WHO you know."
The show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/learning.
Compañeros, in Episode 57 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast we take a page from the SQL Server Radio podcast where they list the 50 worst feature and discuss SQLFamily question 2 about what SQL Server features we think could improve. We talk about the redundancy of default maintenance plans, the pain of autogrowth and autoshrink, why NO LOCK hints shouldn't be used, what's so bad about Activity Monitor, and more. It should be noted here, that we LOVE SQL Server, we just being a bit picky with some of the tools. :)
What feature do you want to change? Do you disagree with our list? Let us know on the show notes page or using the hastag #SQLPodcast
The show notes for today's episode are at http://sqldatapartners.com/worstfeatures
I found myself in Columbus Ohio at the SQLSaturday event and thought I'd do a live panel discussion about our Favorite SQL Server 2016 Features--what we are most excited about. We also discuss the "Microsoft paradigm shift" and how the hybrid model is likely to stick around for a long time. Oh, and Scott Klein from Channel 9 shows up and gives us his two cents. You just never know what is going to come out of the wood work.
SQL Server reporting services hasn't changed in what seems like 10 years. The rest of the reporting environment at Microsoft has seen some MEGA changes and it seems like we could use a few updates to the environment. Our guest this episode is Jessica Moss, a data architect and Microsoft MVP. She gets us up to speed on what we can expect in the new version and how this ties into the other changes Microsoft is making.
The show notes for today's show can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/jessica and we'll see you on the SQL trail.
What is the leadership of your company thinking about the future of data and the role you will play? To help give some insight into that question we have and executive pane on episode 54. Andrew Rose is the CEO of compare.com and Jim McCullen is the VP of IT for Century Distribution. We ask them about what they're looking for in IT staff, how they go about hiring, what they think of social media, and moving to the cloud. They give their thoughts on what makes a great member of the team and so I hope you will give today's episode a listen.
You can check out more about them and get the show notes for today's episodes at http://sqldatapartners.com/executive.
In Episode 53 Steve Stedman and I chat with THE Argenis Fernandez, storage guru and PASS Director-at-Large about what else? Storage. Steve and I learn something new from Argenis every time we talk to him and this time is no exception. We are talking LUNs, IOPs, and why he thinks we all need to approach storage a lot differently.
Check out the show notes at http://sqldatapartners.com/argenis
Since Microsoft purchases the R language they have been baking it into their products and SQL Server is on the list. SQL Server 2016 now has support for R and I know I have had people approach me about this and I thought it might be interesting to get Ginger Grant on the show and talk about the implications and what we poor database administrators need to do to get ready or at least be armed with questions when approached about the subject.
Are you using R? What is your experience like? Let us know on our show notes for today's episode at http://sqldatapartners.com/r
I am always amazed at how people can use technology to solve different problems and in today's episode, my friend Jana shares with us a problem he solved with PowerShell. The setup of this is different from previous episodes and I am interested to know if you like this format. While we do talk about some uses of PowerShell, the interesting part is how Jana learned PowerShell, got comfortable with it, and then used it to solve a difficult problem.
Steve and I also share some thoughts about when, if ever, you should shrink a database and the impact it can have on your system.
Show notes for today's episode can be found at http://sqldatapartners.com/jana
As database administrators, we want to get as much performance as we can out of our SQL Servers. Microsoft has provided a few knobs for us to tweak in the Operating System, the local security policy, and in the engine itself and in episode 50 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we review some of these SQL Server settings and how you might take advantage of some and avoid others. Join me as I chat with Justin Randall about some of these settings and get introduced to my new co-host Steve Stedman!
Show notes for today are available at http://sqldatapartners.com/justin
When you code and you need to use a temporary object what do you use in SQL Server--temp tables or a table variable? There is plenty of conventional wisdom out there and my guest Wayne Sheffield and I talk about the differences between these two objects. Whether it around performance or coding standards, it seems everyone has an opinion about these objects.
Check out the show notes for today's episode atand I will see you on the SQL Trail compañeros!
Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of new technologies and processes to manage data. Episode 48 asks the question--Is the Data Warehouse dead? I chat with MVP Tim Mitchell about the subject and how things are changing . . . and how they are staying the same.
The expansion of data sets and increased expectations of businesses for analysis and modeling of data has led developers to create a number of database products to meet those needs. As data professionals, it is incumbent upon us to understand how these tools work and put them to their best use--before somebody else puts them to sub-optimal use. I am joined by Kevin Feasel who walks us through some of the technologies available and sorts out under what circumstances we want to consider using each one.
Have you ever looked at some tsql code and thought--How does even run? I know I have and it can be daunting to take a piece of code and review it for performance or to make a change to it. I enlist the help of Jen McCown from the MidnightDBA team to discuss approaches to unraveling code. We tackle the issues of nested views, documentation, formatting, Hungarian Notation, and visualizing how all the code pieces fit together.
At the end of the day, we just want our code to be understandable and usable for the next person who has to review it, because that next person just might be you. :)
Get the show notes for today's episode at
Episode 44 takes us into a new service in the Microsoft cloud--Azure SQL Data Warehouse. While still in preview, the Azure SQL Data Warehouse looks to help level the playing field for organizations that want to analyze their data without the expense of creating a data warehouse. Sound a bit counter intuitive? Check out this episode to find what the service is all about and what the future of data processing might look like.
Why is ETL so hard? All we want to do is move data from system A to system B. Perhaps that is the problem, says my guest Rafael Salas, and more time should be given to thinking about the architecture of the system. With our thoughts turned to SSIS, we discuss this idea in today's episode.
The show notes for today's episode can be found at