Scripting schema AND data with SSMS in SQL 2008

It's very commonly known that you can use the Script Wizard in Management Studio to script out tables or even an entire database. It's NOT commonly known that in SQL Server 2008, the wizard was upgraded and you can now script out the data too. The feature isn't enabled by default, which is why not […]

Weekly survey: how often do you run consistency checks?

In this week's survey I'd like to know how often you run consistency checks on your *most critical* production database, regardless of *how* you run them (we did that survery already – see Importance of how you run consistency checks). I'll report on the results around July 4th. I'd only like you to answer for […]

Importance of data file size management

In last week's survey I asked how you manage the size of your database *data* files – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/24/09. The 'other' values are as follows: 5 x 'manual file growths and a custom mom alter to when the datafiles are 98% full. autogrow set to […]

Dragonflies and other creatures

This afternoon we headed down to Lake Storey in Galesburg, IL to chill out and get some sun. While the kid's were splashing about in the lake and Kimberly was soaking up rays, I went on an hour long nature ramble along the lakeside. I saw lots of cool stuff – herons, turtles, frogs, dragonflies, […]

Why you should not shrink your data files

(Check out our Pluralsight online training course: SQL Server: Understanding and Using DBCC Commands.) One of my biggest hot-buttons is around shrinking data files. Although I used to own the shrink code while I was at Microsoft, I didn’t write it (so don’t blame me! :-) and it was never deemed a big enough customer […]

Finding out who dropped a table using the transaction log

I came across a question on ServerFault this afternoon that inflamed my desire to be ultra-geeky (it was really already inflamed after teaching backup and restore internals all afternoon). Basically the question boiled down to how to find out who dropped a table if there’s no other way except the transaction log (e.g. no tracing […]

Misconceptions about running DMVs on databases with lower compatibility levels

It's lunchtime for my class – time for a blog post! This is an interesting one that crops up every so often (just an hour ago on SQL Server Central) and is not known very widely at all. There's a misconception that you cannot run DMVs in databases that have compatibility levels of 80 or […]

Paul on .NET Rocks! again

A couple of weeks ago while Kimberly was in Mountain View at the same client I'm at, our good friend Richard Campbell sent me email saying 'Bored? How about doing a .NET Rocks!?'. I haven't been on the show since the infamous 'coming out' episode in 2007 where we hijacked Kimberly and mercilessly taunted her […]

Weekly survey: how do you manage your data file sizes?

In this week's survey I'd like to know how you manage the sizes of your database *data* files (remember we've already done log file size management). I'll report on the results around 6/21/09. I say this every week in the PS, but I'm moving it up here because I don't like having to delete comments […]

Becoming an involuntary DBA – you’re not alone

In last week's survey I asked you what you think is the hardest thing when becoming an involuntary DBA – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/15/09. The 'other' responses were: 3 x 'Learning to tell good advice from bad advice' 1 x 'Learning to know *that* you don't know' […]

Issues around DBCC CHECKDB and the use of hidden database snapshots

There are a couple of issues that I’ve heard of in the last few weeks (one while onsite at a customer) and I think they might bite some people so I’d like to share them with you. DBCC CHECKDB in 2005 onwards uses a hidden database snapshot to create the transactionally-consistent point-in-time view of the database that […]

Bird watching on the Gulf Coast of Texas

On Friday we had a planned spare day in Houston after spending the week onsite with a client. It was the 3-year anniversary of our meeting for the first time at TechEd US 2006 so we decided to go on a road trip! We headed down to the Gulf Coast and along the Bolivar Pensinsula, […]

New interview of me

We're onsite with a great client down here in (very hot) Houston and Kimberly's lecturing right now so I'm digging around finding some info on problems they're seeing. Saw that Tom (aka. SQLRockstar) had posted the email interview we recently did and wanted to get it out there. If nothing else, checkout the photo link in […]

Weekly Survey: what’s the hardest part of becoming an involuntary DBA?

This week's survey is all about being a DBA or involuntary DBA – what do you think is the hardest thing when becoming an involuntary DBA? I'll report on the results sometime over the weekend of 6/13/09. As always, a big Thanks! for contributing to the blog by responding. Please shoot me an email (Contact […]

Important considerations when performance tuning

In last week's survey I asked what you think is the most important thing when it comes to performance tuning, if you *had* to choose one – see here for the survey. Here are the results as of 6/7/09. Now of course you're all calling 'foul' because I didn't put an 'it depends' option on […]

TechNet Magazine: Feature article on backups and backup strategy

The July 2009 edition of TechNet Magazine is available on the web and include a feature article I wrote explaining backups. It's the first in a 3-part series, with parts 2 and 3 being on recovering from disasters using backups and recovering from disasters without backups. The backup article covers: Full backups Differential backups Log […]

Desert Island Disks

There's another DBA 'chain-blog' going around, this time started by Tim Ford, and I was tagged by Tom LaRock. The idea is that you're stuck on a desert island for six months with WiFi and you have to spend it doing something related to work. What would you spend the six months doing? If I […]

Free SQL Server tools

Just found this excellent blog post (continually updated) that lists a ton of free SQL Server tools for all sorts of purposes. Check it out at

TGIF Insane driving skills clip

Wow. This is a driving stunts video by Ken Block – it's just jaw-dropping what this guy can do flying around a dockyard in a car. Click the image to get to the video. Skip 1 minute in to get past the intro and then it's awe-time for 5 minutes (then they show you pictures […]

Backup monitoring and reporting

Chad Miller over on SQLServerCentral has put together a really great collection of scripts that allow you to easily monitor and report on what backups are happening on your system. These should be especially useful for involuntary DBAs, rather than having to dig into the backup history tables themselves. I'll be including a link to […]

I like it when people send me electronics

Part of being a Microsoft Regional Director is getting early access to information and private releases to play with. They also hand out free stuff occasionally. Yesterday Kimberly and I reach received a Windows 7 Sensor development board kit (and as Kimberly doesn’t tinker with electronics, I effectively got two!) – these are the same […]