Giving Thanks

Categories: News, SSC
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Published on: November 22, 2010

I came across a blog post today from Jason Strate (Blog | Twitter) about giving thanks.  This topic has come about due to the holiday in the United States that happens to be Thanksgiving and is this Thursday (11/25).  In that post, Jason asks that we talk about things for which we are thankful or even just talk about Thanksgiving from the meal or family perspective.  In other words – a somewhat open ended topic.

Thus, without further adieu, here is a list of things for which I am thankful – in top 10 fashion.

10.  Microsoft CRM:  Without CRM, I would not be able to learn daily about bad design and worst practices.  I have seen evidence that this is not the case with just CRM and that it is also true of Sharepoint.  Someday I will finish that blog post I have been meaning to do.  That post will shed some light on the lessons CRM has taught me.

9.  SQLServerCentral:  I think this one goes without saying.  SSC is a great hangout spot for SQL Server geeks of all ability levels.  I have learned a lot from regularly visiting SSC.  SSC has also provided me with other invaluable opportunities (such as friendships).  Thanks goes out to SSC, the threadizens, and all participants there.

8.  SQL Community:  This might be able to be broken up into multiple items such as the Local Groups, SQL Saturday Groups, PASS, twitter, online help in various places, etc,etc,etc.  There are a lot of pretty cool people out there helping others.  It is worthwhile to get involved with the community.

7.  SQL Server:  It should be painfully obvious that a SQL Professional would be thankful for the platform in which s/he works.  Without SQL Server, I guess I might be a NoSQL admin or maybe a MySQL admin or maybe even an Oracle admin.  But the fact remains that I work with SQL Server.  It gives me learning opportunities and I enjoy it.

6.  The ability to Learn:  This goes hand in hand with item 7 in the list.  Learning helps keep one sharp.  Learning can be fun and exciting as well.  With technology we are afforded the opportunity to learn something new on a very frequent basis.

5.  Employment:  No matter the grumblings one may be able to toss around about a job, it is good to have one.  It is good to be employed no matter the state of the economy.

4.  Good Friends:  Sure there can be bad friends out there.  It is nice to be able to shoot the breeze about unimportant topics with other people.  Friends can be a nice support system.

3.  Family:  A step above friends should be family.  For me, this is not immediate family, but extended family.  The people you should be able to rely on in really tough times with more personal problems than you may want to discuss with a friend.  These are the people that you sometimes long to see, can visit and then return to your own abode.

2.  My children:  My children bring me great joy every day.  I am thankful for the opportunity to have five children in my home and to provide for them.  I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given to try and teach them while watching the grow.

1.  My wife:  She is the person that helps me keep going when times are tough.  She has more faith and confidence in me than I do.  She is the glue for our family.  I have been married to her for 15 years and it just gets better with age.

Sure, number 10 may have been a bit sarcastic, but the remaining nine are serious.  We all have things that make us thankful or at least make us think about being thankful.  What do you have that you would like to share?  Sometimes it is just the opportunity to sit and play a game on the Wii with the children, sometimes it might be eating a drumstick while watching some pigskin.  Join the party and let us know what you think.

Defensive Db Programming Chapter 09

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Published on: November 22, 2010

It is down to the final two chapters of the book by Alex Kuznetsova.  Check out the previous chapter here.  The review of this book is certainly taking longer to produce than I had planned.  However, I think you find that the book is still worth it and that this little series is also worth it.  I hope that the spread of this series is at least getting to a few more people here and there and that more people may get a copy of “Defensive Database Programming”.

This chapter is about concurrent queries and Isolation Levels.  I think these seem to be a hot button of late – at least I have been hearing more and more talk about them than in the near past.  Alex starts the chapter with a stark realization.  He states:

Even the simplest SELECT, against one table, may retrieve incorrect results when the base table is being modified at the same time. (p. 297)

Think about that statement for a bit.  I imagine it won’t take you long to realize that it is true.  I am certain that you have come up with several examples that underscore that statement.

Alex then progresses through Isolation levels giving a demonstration of what will happen under the described circumstances.  This chapter is not intended to explain the differences between the Isolation levels, but merely to demonstrate what could happen – as has been the theme throughout the book to this juncture.  These examples that Alex uses first describe a theoretical problem and then he reproduces the theoretical problem with real world scenarios.

Alex also outlines in this chapter some considerations for choosing the correct Isolation level for your business needs.  Pros and Cons are weighed and usefulness of the Isolation level is discussed.  Alex also offers up the notion of using a query hint to issue a table lock when querying the database.  Due to the reciprocal effects Alex also states that it is almost never really an option.

Alex goes the extra mile in this chapter by discussing how we can minimize deadlocks.

In the end Alex makes a recommendation as to which Isolation level he would use.  Check it out and see for yourself.

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