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SQL Data Partners Podcast

Hosted by Carlos L Chacon, the SQL Data Partners Podcast focuses on Microsoft data platform related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development. Carlos and guests discuss new and familiar features and ideas and how you might apply them in your environments. Visit our website for episode show notes at marathonus.com/podcast and leave a comment if you have a topic you think we should discuss. We’ll see YOU on the SQL Trail.
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Hosted by Carlos L Chacon, the SQL Data Partners Podcast focuses on Microsoft data platform related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development. Carlos and guests discuss new and familiar features and ideas and how you might apply them in your environments. Visit our website for episode show notes at marathonus.com/podcast and leave a comment if you have a topic you think we should discuss. We’ll see YOU on the SQL Trail.

May 21, 2024

Listener beware! This episode is full of danger as we tackle an interesting use case for Dynamic SQL. Dynamic SQL generally has a bad reputation in SQL Server circles, and with good reason. Dynamic SQL can open the door to many undesirable results - SQL Injection attacks being the most frightening of these. It can also be difficult to read, making maintenance problematic; however, in this episode one brave soul - Marathon's own Laura Moss - explains how she uses Dynamic SQL to help refresh a subset of production data to be used in their development environments. You know we are always suckers for an interesting use case and Laura delivers big time. While you won’t be able to plug and play her example into your environment, we hope it gets the wheels turning if you struggle to update your test environments.

Have you found a way to use Dynamic SQL as a tool for good and not evil? Did you get any good take-aways from today's podcast or have some questions? Leave us a comment and some love ❤️ on LinkedInTwitter/XFacebook, or Instagram

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 276: Dynamic SQL and Testing in Isolation. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Apr 16, 2024

What kinds of problems are organizations solving with Machine Learning? In this episode, we explore a situation where a public works department was looking for more accurate information to predict future water levels based on rainfall to maintain water tank storage for balancing pressure and to prevent overflow flooding. Marathon data solutions consultants Brian Knox and Andy Yao, built a custom machine learning model and made the results available through Power BI reporting. We talk through some of the data hurdles the project presented, the tools they used, and how their work provided results the client could rely on. We touch on Azure ML environment and future integrations that will come with Power BI and ML. 

Have you done any work in ML or predictive modeling? Did you get any good take-aways from today's podcast? Leave us some love ❤️ on LinkedInTwitter/XFacebook, or Instagram

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 275: Machine Learning and Power BI. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 22, 2024

After discussing the Capabilities Maturity Model in our last episode, it was fate when Andy Levy reached out and suggested a topic which sounds like a case study about his experience with CMM. As the only data professional in his organization at the time of his hiring, Andy went from fixing problems to slowing increasing his role in the organization and participating in the planning meetings—being in the room where decisions are made and change happens. We think this episode will be an interesting perspective for those who might be on the fence about the model, and looking for ways to increase their own visibility in an organization.

Let us know what you think! What do you think of CMM? Did you get any good take-aways from today's podcast? Leave us some love ❤️ on LinkedIn, Twitter/X, Facebook, or Instagram

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 274: A CMM Case Study. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 2, 2024

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut, repeating the same tasks, while knowing there is room for improvement? The Capability Maturity Model may be a way for you to start contributing to those improvements. In this podcast episode, Kevin Kline from SolarWinds walks us through how we might go from simply dealing with issues as they come, to being a contributor in decisions about the future of our organization.

Listen in and learn about the levels of CMM, how they relate to those of us in data professions, and how you can apply the methodologies to become a leader who drives positive change, while doing what you love.

Let us know what you think! What CMM level are you in presently? Did you get any good take-aways from today's podcast? Leave us some love ❤️ on LinkedIn, Twitter/X, Facebook, or Instagram

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 273: The Capability Maturity Model for Data Professionals. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

 

Jan 10, 2024

Do you find yourself repeating the same actions when pulling SQL Server performance metrics? 

Performance tuning a troublesome SQL Server can be a challenge. Luckily the community continues to produce wonderful folks like Erik Darling who contribute their knowledge to make your life a bit easier. In this episode of the SQL Data Partners podcast, we sit down with Erik and discuss the scripts he built to gather performance metrics. While every potential issue is not captured in these scripts, they'll help you start gathering information so you can decide on the next step to take.

Get the scripts

Have you used Erik’s scripts before? Let us know!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 272: Performance Tuning Scripts. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Dec 29, 2023

This past November, Eugene and I attended the 2023 PASS Data Community Summit (aka PASS Summit) in Seattle, while Kevin headed down to Orlando for the Microsoft Live! 360 event in Orlando. Having no remote option this year was fine for us, as it was great to reconnect with our friends and colleagues in the data community, as well as get updates live and in-person from Microsoft on all the new features rolling out. The focus of both conferences was eerily similar and in this episode we discuss our experiences along with a picture of what 2024 will look like. Azure services continue to be a focus and Fabric is included in that space; however, I was surprised at the number of Postgres sessions. In fact, PostGres got a whopping 30 minutes out the 90-minute Microsoft keynote.

AI continued to be peppered in the conversation and Kevin gives us his take on where some of this is going. As a side reference, if you are interested in learning more about large language models, check out this video by Andrej Karpathy.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 271: PASS Summit 2023 Wrap-Up. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 21, 2023

Moving up the ranks in the holy technology wars is the medallion architecture, and boy are we interested in getting your thoughts. Not since the 2008 Olympics and Michael Phelps' tenth of a second win over Milorad Cavic has there been so much controversy around bronze, silver, and gold.

This episode of the podcast has a genesis with Databricks and the methodology of getting data into a workable form for all the reporting pieces businesses love so much. We discuss our thoughts on the various layers of a medallion architecture and the implementation in Azure delta lake environments.

Have a different take? Let us know!

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 270: Medallion Architecture. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 19, 2023

In this Episode, Carlos talks about managed services and shares some of the benefits of working with an MSP, as well as potential cons. 

The term manage services refers to the practice of outsourcing business administration or management responsibilities to the third party. Why would you ever want to outsource these pieces?

Listen in to learn more and see if hiring an MSP would be a good decision for your company.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 269: Why Do I Need a Managed Service Provider? Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 28, 2023

We love hearing from our listeners!!! In this episode, a long-time listener asked about the future of AI in the data platform space. We thought this was a very interesting topic as Microsoft has been including Artificial Intelligence or AI in more and more of its marketing material. In this episode we'll dive into the definition of AI, what features are currently available, how we can leverage those technologies, and where we think this might go in the future. One of the challenges we currently face is all the buzz and excitement around AI. From a data platform vantage point, we started with analytics and training models to analyze the data. Microsoft has suddenly slapped Artificial Intelligence on some of the feature sets and confuses the issue a bit.

We are excited to have Mike Chrestensen from Duke Health as our episode guest to help us sort it all out. Mike has begun leveraging AI in his work and I think he gives some interesting thoughts on how he has used it to help his team go faster. We hope you enjoy the episode. As always, we welcome your feedback and thoughts.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 268: AI and the Future of the DBA. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 12, 2023

All your data, all your teams—in one place. What am I? If you said Microsoft Fabric, you win! When I interned with Cisco Systems in 2000, I supported a platform called Unified Messaging. At that time, we were talking about getting your email, voice mail, and faxes all in one place. My, how the times have changed.

To a certain extent, the Microsoft Fabric is an extension, or wrapper, of some of the tools we have talked about in other episodes. The central idea is the ability to store your information in a data lake, and then having multiple tools at your disposal to use that data as required by the business. Power BI is the cherry on top - providing the visualizations and access to the source data that the business users like to get their hands on.

In this episode we talk through the architecture and then discuss when organizations might want to adopt Microsoft Fabric. Would you like to hear more about this in a future episode? Let us know and we’ll look to circle back with long time friend of the podcast Jonathan Stewart.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 267: Microsoft Fabric. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Aug 29, 2023

We're kicking off Season 7 with containers!

Spinning up a VM may not be such a big deal anymore; however, most of us still have to request from another group one and wait. Even waiting on an Azure VM can be somewhat painful. Wouldn't it be nice to forget about setting up another development environment just to test something that isn't going to stick around?

Our guest today is Chuck Bryan, and he talks to us about how he is using containers to support his environments and the flexibility it provides to him in his development.

While the Linux containers used to get lots of love, there haven't been too many feature updates lately as much of the focus is on azure services. What is cool to me is there are tools out there that can help us folks running windows get up and running without having to wait on our infrastructure to upgrade to Windows server 2016--or have Azure spend.

Chuck gives us some insights on how he got started with containers. We discuss what environments might benefit from them--and which ones won't. He also gives us a couple of tips on the best places to get started.

The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 266: Working With Containers. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jun 28, 2023

Compañeros! In May, SQL Data Partners was acquired by Marathon Consulting.  There were many moving parts to get this done and we are excited to finally bring this news to the podcast.  In this episode we introduce the principles of Marathon Consulting, and we discuss the future of the podcast.  Make sure your speakers are adjusted properly when you listen to this episode.  If you have any questions or comments, please let us know via LinkedIn—we always look forward to hearing from you.

 The show notes for today's episode can be found at Episode 265: WHY and What's Next. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Apr 12, 2023

A backup is only helpful when you can restore the backup. This should not prove to be overly shocking; however, normally we get the satisfaction of taking a backup and feel like all is well. Ideally, we should be testing our backups on some cadence—and it should be more frequent than the annual disaster recovery test. In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast we talk with Chris Marshall, owner of Verified Backups, about how he has solved this problem and how it can benefit your organization. We discuss some of the requirements you’ll need to address in your own testing, and we give some parameters for who might be a good candidate for the service Chris and his team provide.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/04/12/episode-264-verified-backups. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 29, 2023

When we couldn’t confirm a guest speaker by recording time, Eugene, Kevin, Amanda, and I decided the show must go on, so we went into the ideas vault and pulled out a couple of listener questions we hadn’t answered.  In this episode, we talk about how to create your own documentation, SSMS installs, SOS_Scheduler_Yield and Eugene gives us an update on SQL Bits and the conference crud he picked up along the way.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/03/29/episode-263-sql-server-this-n-that. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 15, 2023

Learning new technology can be difficult—especially when it’s a technology in an area you are not familiar with.  In this episode, Eugene walks us through some of the challenges he has faced getting started with Azure Synapse.  We hope that this episode might be helpful to those trying to learn new features.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/03/15/episode-262-learning-azure-synapse-pt-1. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Mar 1, 2023

It would appear Microsoft has run out of words to use for new features/products, so they are just going to recycle existing words for a bit of fun at our expense.  In this episode we explore the Azure Data Lakehouse—which is not a data lake, nor a traditional data warehouse and Books Online (BOL) refers to it as Databricks Lakehouse.  Luke Moloney walks us through how combining the flexibility of data lake storage with some ACID transaction and data governance gives organizations looking to analyze their data a new option.  The hope is the cost to build, store, and analyze data will be easier and more approachable for organizations who don’t want to go with the traditional data warehouse model.  This still feels like an Enterprise feature to me but let me know if your organization would be interested in this approach.  As always, special thanks to Luke and the folks at Microsoft for making themselves available to us.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/03/01/episode-261-the-data-lakehouse. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Feb 15, 2023

We’re back with another SQL Server 2022 feature—Contained Availability Groups.  Have you ever failed over to a secondary node and then found a job or login missing?  This new Enterprise-only feature aims to solve this problem by ‘containing’ all the objects—master, msdb, AND the availability database all in one group so you can manage everything you need when you have to fail over.  Brandon Leach returns after more than 200 episodes to give us the lowdown on this new feature and walk us through where you should start planning your upgrade.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/02/15/episode-260-contained-availability-groups. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Jan 17, 2023

We kick off the new year discussing a new feature in SQL Server 2022 called Transact-SQL snapshot backups. Good luck with the Google search on this feature--we know we had fun. 😊 These are not the snapshot backups you were frustrated with in 2005. We talk a little bit about who will be interested in this feature and what scenarios it will come in handy. The hardware vendors seem particularly excited about this future as they can now introduce snapshots without needing a third-party application like Veeam to do that for them. We predict more collaboration between the database administrator and the hardware administrator with this feature. We also get a couple of use case scenarios from the community that we share in this episode. Are you looking forward to using snapshots more effectively in your environment? Please let us know your thoughts!

The show notes and video for this episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2023/01/18/episode-259-t-sql-snapshot-backups/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Dec 27, 2022

As we close out the year, we take a look back and think about all those SQL Server 2022 episodes we didn’t record this year—and then make the goal to increase this count in the new year. 😊 We discuss some of the Cardinality Estimation changes in this version and the scenarios in which this may affect other features. I ask Kevin and Eugene what technologies they will be focusing on in the year ahead and how many books Kevin is going to try and write. From all of us at SQL Data Partners, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year!

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/12/28/episode-258-leave-2022-enter-2023. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 30, 2022

Have you ever thought about working for yourself? It can be very enticing for some, and in this episode, we talk with John Sterrett about the pros and cons of running your own organization. We tackle some of the reasons you might get started and we share some of our experiences of working in our own organizations. Each person’s journey is going to be different and as hard as it will be, you need to ensure you don’t allow others success or failure to overly influence your decisions. As the work environment has shifted in the last two years, it may that be some of the previous ‘whys’ no longer apply. If you have thoughts around this, let us know!!

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/11/30/episode-257-the-business-of-working-for-yourself. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Nov 3, 2022

Seven years ago, I started the SQL Data Partners Podcast. We have now arrived at Episode 256, and we dedicate this episode to you, the community. Thanks to everyone who has joined us along the way, and we hope to continue providing content you can enjoy on the go while still connecting with your SQL Server community. While we originally thought we might focus on SQL Server 2022, we really found there are just lots of great topics to be covering in the future. We hope you enjoy this special community edition of the SQL Data Partners Podcast.

The show notes and video for this episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/11/03/episode-256-the-community-episode/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Oct 5, 2022

One of the biggest challenges with developers using object-relational mapping (ORM) tools is the bad queries or procedures they create. Sure, most tools can create CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete, Upsert) procedures, but what about the extremely advanced safe dynamic Search stored procedures? My bet is they are super inefficient and could be improved. In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we talk with Kevin Martin, the creator of sp_CRUDGen, about how his procedure can help your developers create better CRUD-type stored procedures. As always, we are super excited about sharing what our great community is working on, and we think there will be value in the work Kevin has put together. Have you used sp_CRUDGen? We’d love to get your thoughts.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/10/05/episode-255-automate-complex-crud-with-sp_crudgen/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 21, 2022

Would you be interested in a tool to help you do code review checks and provide developers guidance on best practices? In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we talk with Kevin Martin, the creator of sp_Develop, about how his procedure can help you review naming conventions, table conventions, data type conventions, SQL code conventions, data issues, and even configuration issues. Kevin was approached about writing a best practice document but ended up writing a stored procedure you and I can use to help our environment. We love sharing what community members have done and hope you enjoy this conversation with Kevin on the tool. He is looking for folks to help him build out items, so if you have a suggestion, be sure to include it in GitHub.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/09/21/episode-254-code-smell-checks-with-sp_develop/. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Sep 7, 2022

In this episode, we dive into the Power Apps offering and discuss the pros and cons of using this latest Microsoft offering. Some definitions are given and hopefully this episode can orient folks on how to position Power Apps in their organizations.

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/09/07/episode-253-go-mobile-with-power-apps. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

Aug 24, 2022

Knowing your SQL Server is patched when an issue occurs is worth the effort of keeping it patched. While I don’t suggest a zero-day install for most folks, setting up a regular cadence to check is a reasonable ask if you have to manage a system. In this episode of the SQL Data Partners Podcast, we discuss the need for patching and how you might go about it. Special shoutout to Episode 112 with the late Robert Davis on the same subject. We would also like to thank the fine folks at dbatools.io for some nifty PowerShell to help us install patches and Brent Ozar for keeping up sqlserverupdates.com. If you have some additional ideas on how to best meet your patching needs, let us know via social media!

The show notes and video for today's episode can be found at https://sqldatapartners.com/2022/08/24/episode-252-the-cumulative-update-dilemma. Have fun on the SQL Trail!

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