Posted by: sqlswimmer | November 23, 2018

Where to Store Index DDL

Recently I was asked my opinion, via Twitter, on where to store the index DDL for a single database that had multiple clients with varied usage patterns.  You can see the whole thread here.

It’s a great question and there were some interesting suggestions made.  My approach to this scenario is kind of a hybrid of all the suggestions and comments.

I’ve had to deal with this kind of thing in the past and what I found worked best is to create a single file for each client that contains the client specific DDL.  I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it wasn’t mine, it belonged to a co-worker.  At first I resisted and thought it was a bad idea.  I mean really, mixing DDL for more than one object in a single script just seemed wrong and goes against every fiber of my OCD organizational self.  But in the end, this is what worked best in our environment.

Our initial thought was to include our index DDL with the table, but use variables to name the index objects that were specific to the client.  This way the index names would never collide, but then that kind of defeated the whole purpose of different indexing strategies for different clients.  Thankfully we scrapped that idea before we implemented it.

We tried creating separate files for each table that had client specific DDL in each file.  That became a nightmare when it came time to deploy and maintain.  We had to build logic in our pre & post deployment scripts to handle that.

Then we tried separating the index DDL files out by client, so we ended up with a bazillion index DDL files for each table.  Okay, may not a bazillion, but it was a lot and it was even more of a nightmare to maintain.

We settled on the approach I mentioned earlier, one DDL file per client that held all the DDL that was specific to the client, not specific to any object.  We found it was much easier to maintain and deploy.  We defaulted each of our client specific DDL files to be NOT included in the build.  When it came time to do a build/deploy for a specific client, we would set the option to include the client specific file in the build.  We were not using continuous integration, so this may not work if that is what your shop is doing.  Or it may work with just a few tweaks to your process.  It did work for our situation and it worked well.

I don’t think there is a single correct answer to this question.  Like almost everything else in our tech world, the answer is going to be, “it depends”.  Figure out what works in your environment and then go with it.  It might take a few trial and error runs to get it right, but you’ll figure out what works best over time with a little persistence.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Posted by: sqlswimmer | November 12, 2018

Speaking At SQL Saturday DC

I am so excited to announce that I was selected to speak at SQL Saturday DC on December 8, 2018.

I will be presenting two sessions, What is Power BI? and Data Types Do Matter.  My Data Types Do Matter session is the same session that I presented at PASS Summit 2018, so if you couldn’t make it to PASS Summit this year, now’s your chance to see it.

If you’re in the Washington DC area on December 8, 2018, register for SQL Saturday DC and stop by and say, “Hello”.  I’d love to see you.

Posted by: sqlswimmer | October 15, 2018

Speaking at SQL Saturday Oregon

I am so excited and honored that I have been selected to speak at SQL Saturday Oregon on November 3, 2018.

I will be presenting my Data Types Do Matter session at 10:15 am.  I am so excited to be presenting to a kind of “home town” crowd.  I lived in the Willamette Valley for a while when I was a kid and even graduated from High School out there. 

If you’re in the Portland area on November 3, 2018, stop by and say hello, I’d love to see you!

Posted by: sqlswimmer | September 27, 2018

Things To Know About SQL Saturday Charlotte #806

Did you know that SQL Saturday Charlotte is just a few weeks away on October 20, 2018?  This will be the seventh year for SQL Saturday Charlotte.  Here are a few things we think you should know.

What’s New

Venue

After being at the same venue for the last six years, we decided to switch to a new venue this year.  We will be at the Central Piedmont Community College – Harris Campus, located at 3210 CPCC Harris Campus Dr, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28208.  This is on the opposite side of town from our previous venue and very close to the airport.

Pre-Cons

We have not one, not two, but THREE pre-cons to choose from this year!  Whether you are in the DBA or BI realm, there’s something for you!  Check them out, but register soon as seats are limited.

Devin Knight & Mitchell Pearson

Kevin Kline

Kevin Feasal

Technology Workshops for Kids

We are offering two workshops for kids.  A morning session for kids aged 7-10 and an afternoon session for kids aged 11-13.

Morning Session – Kids aged 7-10

Afternoon Session – Kids aged 11-13

Organizing Crew

We have had some excellent volunteers in the past.  So excellent in fact, that we decided to add them to our organizing team.  Please welcome Brad Llewelyn (B | T) who is acting as our PM.  He’s doing a great job, considering it’s akin to herding cats.

Recommended/Discounted Hotel

We have worked hard so you can save some green by finding hotel that is close to the venue and the airport.  Use this link to get a discounted rate of $119 per night.

What’s The Same

Organizing Crew

For the last seven years, our core organizing crew has been made up of the (mostly) same great #SQLFamily members.  Because of this we are able to provide a  great experience for attendees, speakers and sponsors.

Our Commitment

We work hard to select the sessions that will provide the best range and depth of learning for our attendees at the same time helping first time speakers get their start.

We hope to see you this year at SQL Saturday Charlotte on October 20, 2018.  If you haven’t registered yet, do so soon, our new venue is smaller and we will have a registration cap this year.

Posted by: sqlswimmer | September 6, 2018

Moving On To New Adventures

I am pleased to announce that as of September 10, 2018, I will be part of the SQL Data Partners team!

I started my career at a consulting company in Denver, CO right out of college and loved the challenges that it brought.  After a long hiatus from consulting, I’m headed back to my professional roots and couldn’t be happier.

I will be working with Carlos Chacon (In | T), Managing Partner & Bill Lund (In | T) and I can’t wait to get started.  If you aren’t familiar with Carlos, you should be.  He has a great Podcast and runs an excellent conference called SQL Trail.

Here’s to new adventures.

Posted by: sqlswimmer | July 17, 2018

Power BI World Tour Is Coming to Charlotte

If you haven’t heard, Power BI is doing a world tour, eight cities in four months and Charlotte, NC is one of those stops.  The Power BI World Tour is coming to Charlotte on August 27, 2018, and I will be speaking at this event!

I will be presenting my What is Power BI? session on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.  The Power BI World Tour is hosted by the local Power BI User Group (PUG) which means you will be getting premium Power BI content by local industry experts.  There’s still time to register, but hurry as seats are limited.

Hope to see you soon in Charlotte!

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Posted by: sqlswimmer | July 17, 2018

New Logo Revealed

I’ve been pondering the creation of a logo for quite some time and I finally decided to go ahead with it.

Now, I can barely draw stick people (and have them even resemble people), so I knew I was going to have to hire someone to do this for me.  I knew it would have to be someone who would understand my “data world” and be a great artist with a proven track record.  Luckily for me I have a very good friend and a brilliant artist that fit the bill.  He took my idea and created exactly what I wanted (and I didn’t have to draw anything!).  Huge thank you to Michael Swart (B | T) for all his time and energy in creating my new logo.

Let me know what you think.  I think it’s brilliant!

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Now to redesign my website so I can incorporate my brand new logo.

It’s been a bit slow in the US this week due to the American 4th of July holiday, but it’s been especially so for me since I work for a manufacturing company.  Our plants typically shut down for the entire week allowing us to do any major infrastructure work that requires more down time that is typically available in our weekly maintenance windows.

This year we didn’t really have a lot on the schedule, so I’m using my “free” time to play catch up on all my technical reading.  There are so many things on my “to read” list but one I’ve been really excited to read was Dr Greg Low’s (B | T) SQL Server Management Studio Tips & Tricks ebook.  I must say I wasn’t disappointed.  I’ve been working with SQL Server for 20 years now and didn’t really think I could learn that much, but Greg has some great nuggets that will help save valuable time when I’m elbows deep in T-SQL code.

If you haven’t read his ebook (which is completely free!) I highly recommend it.  Especially if you spend any amount of time in SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio).

Posted by: sqlswimmer | June 28, 2018

I’m Speaking At SQL Saturday Baton Rouge!

I am excited to announce that I have been selected to speak at SQL Saturday Baton Rouge (#749) on August 11, 2018. I will be presenting two sessions, Data Types Do Matter and What is Power BI?

One of the reasons that I’m so excited to speak in Baton Rouge, is because I met William Assaf (B | T) a couple of years ago when he came to speak for us at SQL Saturday Charlotte. He’s super nice and while chatting I discovered that he was the event organizer for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge. It was before I started speaking and I was just picking his brain a bit on organizing a SQL Saturday. He had some really great ideas that I thought sounded interesting. This is the tenth year for SQL Saturday Baton Rouge. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.

The second reason I’m so excited about speaking in Baton Rouge is the food! I’ve only ever driven through Louisiana, never had the opportunity to stop and enjoy it. This time I will have plenty of opportunities to do just that, but most importantly eat. My list of foods to try include étouffée, boudin and jambalaya to name just a few. Then I’ll top it off with some beignets. I may need to swim a few extra laps before I go (and after I return)!

Posted by: sqlswimmer | June 20, 2018

New Session: Profiling Your Data

Data Quality is a huge issue, especially now with more and more data being created daily.  According to Micro Focus back in 2016, we were creating 44 ExaBytes of data per day and are expected to produce 463 ExaBytes of data per day by 2025.  That’s a LOT of data.

With all this data, it’s important now more than ever to profile your data BEFORE your warehouse or ETL projects start.  No one wants to be several months into a project only to realize the design has to be reworked due to data quality issues.  So I’ve created a session called Profiling Your Data that talks about Data Profiling, what it is, why you should do it and how you can do it with the tools already included in the SQL Server BI stack.

If you’re interested in having me present this for your group or event, just let me know, I’d be happy to.

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