Keys to the Demon Prison

Categories: Book Reviews, News
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Published on: September 15, 2010

I recently finished reading Fablehaven, Book 5:Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I found myself constantly looking forward to reading the book and couldn’t put the book down once I started reading.

This is the final installment in the Fablehaven series and it made me want to go back and reread the other four books.  There were adequate plot twists and turns – some predictable and some not.  I do wish the turns would have gone this way or that throughout the story.  I think that is natural for somebody engaged in a book like that – you want certain storylines to turn out differently or to be developed a little  bit more.

I would recommend this series to others.  This series is an adolescent type series and is great fantasy.  I found it worth the read and well edited.

TSQL Tuesday Indexes and Blobs

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Published on: September 14, 2010

Woohoo – chugga chugga chugga chugga – woo woo.  The train is pulling into town once again for another installment in the TSQLTuesday Blog party.  Michael Swart is hosting and has asked us to post something ado about indexes.

What to do What to do

I thought long and hard about the topic this month.  I really wanted to discuss something that would be of use.  I also wanted to talk about something that may not have been covered by somebody else.  The topic of indexes and combination of blog entries this month should be comprehensive and covering in many aspects of Indexes.  We all know that there are Clustered Indexes and Non-clustered indexes, and then the other subtypes of indexes that I am sure have been covered by others in this party.

Then it hit me.  One day while helping in the forums I ran across a post requesting information about how to find what columns were LOB columns in the database.  I knew I had some past blog posts about various aspects of LOBs, but I had never broken it down to find the columns in the LOB.  Even better was that I wanted to know what columns were in what index that were also a BLOB.  Oooohh, spine tingling idea – I could cover Blob Index Columns.

Restore from Backup

Not really, but every once in a while we have to dig back in the backups to recover data from the past.  I had to pull up an article from the past in order to get to the script that would benefit me in this venture.

Before I go to lengths to post that script, let’s start with the script that was provided as a response to that initial question.  This is a straight-forward script that provides the answer to the question posed.

[codesyntax lang=”tsql”]

[/codesyntax]

And here is the script that I thought could prove useful for this situation:

[codesyntax lang=”tsql”]

[/codesyntax]

That script can be found in my post here.

With that script in hand I figured a few short customizations could prove useful to help find the additional column info.  Now, I must admit, this is still a work in progress for which I want to tune it and tidy up the script substantially – where possible.  My point for now is the concept of using it to retrieve the indexed columns that are blobs and to see that extra detail about it.

I am going to make a few modifications that include adding a CTE, as well as adding the following snippet to both sides of the union, as well as a few additional columns.

[codesyntax lang=”tsql”]

[/codesyntax]

This is what I came up with:

[codesyntax lang=”tsql”]

[/codesyntax]

This script will not return as many rows as the first script shared.  That should be an indicator that not all LOB columns are in an index.  Here we are looking for those that may be causing an extra performance impact due to the inclusion in an index.  It is always good to know what is going on in a database.  Something like this is very helpful for the newly hired DBA when trying to get to understand the databases which need to be supported.  This is also helpful when the need is to document a database.  This script may also spit out multiple rows for the same column in the same index.  This is due to that column being split into two different allocation unit types.  I feel this is good to know as well.

Here we can see just a small sample of the output from this script.

This little snippet is from a CRM database, and you can see that the clustered index in this image has three columns in it that are BLOBS and they are all three being stored as an LOB_Data allocation unit.

Conclusion

Even though this was a quick and dirty entry on the topic, there is much to be gained from the little insight this script can provide.  I would recommend that people find out what indexes are holding that LOB data.  It’s better to know than to not know.

And I go by Indexes – not indices.  Indices for me represent more of a financial term than a logical lookup term.

September TSQL Tuesday

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Published on: September 8, 2010

It is hard to believe that time is flying like it is.  Already it has been a month since I hosted TSQL Tuesday.  This month the party is being hosted by the Database Whisperer, Michael Swart (Blog).  We have been given the challenge to write about indexes err indices err indexes – well, you get the point.

Don’t forget to follow the hashtag (#TSQL2sday) on twitter.

I hope this helps somebody remember that the blog party is less than a week away at this point.

September S3OLV

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Published on: September 8, 2010

Here is another short reminder about this months UG meeting in Las Vegas.

We will be meeting Thursday at the same DBA Place, Same DBA Time.

You can find more details here.  That is my blog post from last week on the topic.  We will be listening to Stacia Misner talk to us on Power Pivot.

The meeting will be broadcast over livemeeting.  Hope you will be able to attend either virtually or in person.

Managing Contacts

Categories: News, Professional
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Published on: September 6, 2010

This is one of those posts that has little to do with SQL Server and more to do with helping to make life in technology just a bit easier.

I recently changed phones and needed to find a way to transfer my contacts from the Blackberry platform to another platform.  After some research I found a really easy way to do it.  Google has an app called Google Sync.  This can be downloaded and installed on your cell-phone.  Once installed you can then synchronize your contacts and calender from the smart-phone to your gmail account.  This is useful for other reasons as well.

I had not stored all of my contacts on the sim card nor on an additional media card but in the phone memory instead.  Once I had everything sync’d to GMAIL, life became much simpler.  I was able to much more quickly group and organize the contacts as well as edit them.  A word of caution though – do not delete a contact that is duplicated.  The contact may get linked behind the scenes and deleting one of the linked contacts will delete the other if a duplicate is detected.  Instead use the merge option in GMAIL.  Now, I can make changes through GMAIL to a contact and it can be synched to the phone rather rapidly.  NO more need for an additional software on every computer to keep those address books in sync.

September S3OLV Meeting

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Published on: September 3, 2010

Another month has crept up upon us.  It is time once again for the Las Vegas User Group /PASS Chapter to meet.  This month we will have Stacia Misner (Blog | Twitter) present to us: “PowerPivot – Why Should You Care?”

The meeting place is the usual location at the Learning Center

Learning Center of Las Vegas
777 N Rainbow, Ste 250.


We are also making this group meeting available via Livemeeting once again.
All guests can attend at:
https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/join?id=C7N873&role=attend

Meeting ID is C7N873 (just in case you need it).

We hope to see you virtually or in person.

Also, S3OLV is now on twitter.  Follow @S3OLV

SQLSaturday SLC 2010

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Published on: September 1, 2010

Well, I have taken another plunge.  I finally got around to submitting a session for SQL Saturday Salt Lake City 2010 (Web | #sqlsat54 ).  I had been planning on doing this since it was announced through the grapevine.  The delay for submitting the first session really came down to a bit of confidence in writing an abstract on the topic.  Writing abstracts is new territory for me.  I plan on improving in this domain, thus will need to submit a few more abstracts to various different events.  That said – SQL Sat SLC will be the first but not the last.  If you check out the website for SQL Saturday 54, you will see that my topic is one of those that brings agony to many DBA’s – Documentation.  As I said in the abstract, I hope to share some scripts to help simplify some of the documentation tasks.

I am looking forward to this event and hope to see some of you there.  Here’s to hoping my presentation will be selected.  In the meantime, I will be working on another abstract for a second topic to present at SQLSat54.

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