New SQLskills Pluralsight courses

We’ve just released a new course on Pluralsight, and there were a couple of other courses released earlier this year that you may have missed.

The new course is Joe Sack’s SQL Server: Common Query Tuning Problems and Solutions – Part 1. It’s almost three hours long and the abstract is:

There are a wide variety of common performance problems that you will encounter when query tuning. Part 1 of this two-part course begins by showing how to validate query execution assumptions around statistics and cardinality in order to ensure you’re troubleshooting the true root cause of a query performance issue. You’ll then learn about common areas where bad assumptions can occur that negatively impact overall query performance, and about common problems and solutions related to being imprecise when querying a database. The course is very demo-centric, with lots of practical tips and tricks you’ll be able to apply in your environment. This course is perfect for developers, DBAs, and anyone responsible for query performance tuning on SQL Server, from SQL Server 2005 onward.

The other recent courses are:

  • Glenn’s SQL Server 2014 DMV Diagnostic Queries: Part 1 (1hour)
    • It is very common for SQL Server instances to be configured incorrectly in one or more ways, and this often has a detrimental effect on workload performance. This course will describe and demonstrate more than 20 DMV queries you can use to easily examine SQL Server instance configuration information and identify problems. This course is perfect for anyone who is responsible for a SQL Server instance, with most topics also applicable to SQL Server 2012 and earlier versions.
  • Glenn’s Scaling SQL Server 2012 – Part 1 (4 hours)
    • When considering how to improve the scalability of a SQL Server workload, many people jump to the conclusion that scaling up or scaling out are the only answers. This course will show you that there are a huge number of things you can do to improve performance and scalability before you should even think of scale-up or scale-out. The bulk of the course describes architecture and design issues in both the application and the database that can affect scalability, along with demonstrations of some of the issues and detailed scripts to help you find the issues in the first place. The course ends with a section on common indexing problems that can drastically limit a workload’s scalability, along with how to identify and fix them. Save your company a bunch of money by postponing the scaling decision through fixing your existing scalability bottlenecks, not ignoring them! This course is perfect for anyone who is responsible for improving the performance and scalability of a SQL Server workload, with most topics applicable to SQL Server 2005 onward.
  • Erin’s Supporting SQL Server ISV Applications (2 hours)
    • This course follows on from the Developing and Deploying SQL Server ISV Applications course and describes how to effectively support your application and provide the best experience for your customers and your company, whether you work for a large or small ISV and are creating a complex or simple application. The course discusses how to give customers recommendations, how to best support customer implementation of your application, and how to maintain the application database. It then explains how to deal with customer performance issues and overly-persistent customers, plus the importance of capturing usage information from customers and how to make use of it. The course wraps up with a discussion of how to build good relationships and a community with your customers, and how to create meaningful and useful documentation. This course is perfect for anyone involved in supporting applications that use SQL Server for data storage. The information in the course applies to all versions from SQL Server 2005 onward.

Check them out!

We’ve got a lot more courses in production and planned for the remainder of 2014 around DMVs, stored procedure performance, Service Broker, Change Data Capture, fragmentation, and more. Watch this space (and the Insider Newsletter) for details.


SQL Server 2005 survey from the SQL Server Team

SQL Server 2005 will end Extended Support on 4/12/2016 (see the Support Lifecyle page for details) and the SQL Server Team in Microsoft is conducting a survey with customers to gain some insight that will help with development of the next version of SQL Server. I volunteered to host a public version of the survey on my blog, take responses from you, and forward them on to the relevant SQL Server Team members.

If you’d like to participate, please cut-and-paste the survey below and email me with your answers. I’ll pass them on, stripping out your contact details if you specify that.

I’ve made the survey into plain text to ease c&p issues. Please don’t put your answers in a comment, just send them in email. I’ll delete your email once I’ve processed it.

[Edit 9/18/14: Please don’t send any more answers – the SQL Server team has enough results. Thanks!]


Do you want to be anonymous?

Questions from the SQL Server Team:
1) Is your company still using SQL 2005 for applications in production?
   a) If so, how important are the apps (mission-critical, LOB, etc.)
   b) If so, which SKU (Express, Standard, Enterprise)?

2) In the following list of features, are you or your company still relying on them?
   a) SQL Mail
   b) CREATE/ALTER TABLE or CREATE INDEX syntax without parentheses around table options
   c) sp_configure options 'user instances enabled' and 'user instance timeout'
   d) SQL Server Database Management Objects (SQL-DMO)
   e) sp_dboption
   g) UPDATE table1, table2, ... SET syntax
   h) Database compatibility level 80

3) Are there any features in SQL Server 2005 that has been announced deprecated that you still rely on?
   a) The deprecated features list is:

4) If you're looking to upgrade from SQL Server 2005:
   a) To which SQL Server version are you looking at upgrading to?
   b) What are the biggest upgrade blockers you see?

Many thanks for any information you can provide!