I’ve submitted to GroupBy, free online training for Data Professionals. Sessions will be held in European hours on May 12 and for the Americas on May 13. Vote for sessions between April 13-17.

The Art of Abstraction: SQL PASS Submissions

SQLPASS Needs YOU I have been plotting sessions that I’d like to present at SQL PASS for a little while now, and the June 5 deadline is approaching. Since I’m on vacation this week, I took some time to write up my abstracts. Man, oh man, that was more work than I thought! Condensing ideas into 1000 characters or less and still saying all you want to say isn’t as easy as it seems. Want to submit YOUR session to SQL PASS? There’s still time! Start here. The abstracts I submitted are below. The first is directly inspired by my experience at PASS last year, and the fun I’ve  had working with the Data Collector in the last few months. I really love the management features that came out with SQL 2008, so I’m hoping we have some good sessions with tips and best practices for concrete applications of those…
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What’s that Filling up Your System Drive? Why I Still Love SpaceMonger 1.4.0

As for all posts on this blog, this post provides no guarantees for the tools described: use at your own risk, and make sure to test all functionality. This came to mind recently just because I wondered– is there any other free tool that does this better? Times Change, but Some Things Stay the Same Just about anyone who’s ever carried a pager has had to deal with a drive filling up for mysterious reasons. When this happens, you get to figure out what’s using all that space. Sometimes it’s a large file, sometimes it’s a lot of little files. Often on SQL Servers, this issue is really bothersome when it occurs on your system drive where you really don’t want to be waving and clicking your mouse around too much in the folder structure in a hurry. (Oops! Where’d that file just go?) That’s where SpaceMonger 1.4.0 Comes In Developed as freeware for…
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Little Things That Count: Copying Names in Management Studio

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This post is about a really little detail that isn’t a big deal. But to me it actually is a little bit of a big deal. Or would that be a little deal that just really adds up over time?  Either way, this is the most fun, trivial-but-helpful-and-fun-in-a-weird-way thing I’ve learned about SQL Server Management Studio in a long time. Maybe a lot of people know this already? So here’s the revelation (a very small drumroll, please)… In management studio, you just have to highlight an object name and use ctrl-c to copy the object name. You don’t have to use F2 to edit the object name like you do in Windows Explorer (or double click). Here’s the add on to the revelation (an even smaller drumroll, please)… This also works with multi-select in the object explorer details window. More information about the Object Explorer Details pane are here on…
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SQL 2008 Agent Jobs – Tokens work in PowerShell!

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The Joy of Tokens and PoSH I have been working away building out servers in our new prod test environment, and automating as much as possible along the way with PowerShell. I  have to say that it’s been really fun and PoSH has brought back that loving feeling that I always had for Perl.  If a programming language can be friendly, PowerShell manages it. One thing I had the chance to test out yesterday was using SQL Agent tokens in PowerShell type SQL Agent steps. I am very happy to find that the tokens work just like I was  hoping they would. In other words, this works: $instanceName = "$(ESCAPE_SQUOTE(SRVR))" $srv=New-Object 'Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server' $instanceName The SRVR token will return the connection name of the sql server with the instance name. This works on standalone and named instances, and for clustered instances you get netname\instancename.  So this is perfect for creating a sql server object and…
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Automating SQL Local Security Policy Rights: PoSH and NTRights

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The Basics on Local Security Policy Rights and SQL Server… There are a couple of local security policy rights that are not granted by default in SQL Server setup that I’ve been setting manually for a few years now: Lock Pages In Memory Allows large page allocation Prevents the SQL Server process from being paged out Perform Volume Maintenance Tasks Instant initialization on data files It’s a fairly click-heavy process to add the permissions for these through the Local Security Policy GUI. I prefer that these permissions be granted to the local security group for sql server that’s created in Windows, and that really requires a lot of clicks, unless you can remember and enter a group name like this without any typos: SQLServerMSSQLUser$servername$MSSQLSERVER  or SQLServerMSSQLUser$servername$INSTANCENAME By the way, what is up with using the $ in the group names?  If someone can tell me, I would love to know.…
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Are you Slipstreaming? The Very Best Way to Install SQL Server!

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Filed under: Awesome things I learned at SQLPASS! Somehow, I didn’t know about slipstreaming installations of SQL Server until last week. I heard about them at SQLPASS in Allan Hirt’s session on installing SQL Server 2008 on Windows 2008 clusters. What’s Slipstreaming? Slipstreaming is creating a single installation directory and process for installing SQL Server along with any Service Packs (SP) and/or Cumulative Update (CU). You can use unattended installation files with a slipstream installation, just like normal. So in other words, you get a single, smooth, optimized install, completely configurable to run from the command line! I love imaging, but I like this even better because it’s easy for me to keep different configuration files for standalone vs clustered installs, and the installation works on different hardware profiles. Every time I want to move to a new SP and/or CU, I can quickly and easily create a slipstream drop…
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