Cyber Monday special on 2019 live, online classes 6-pack – save $199 per class!

It’s Cyber Monday today, and now that you’ve finished picking up great deals for your personal life, how about a great deal for your professional life? From now through 12pm PST on Thursday, November 28th 2018, the first 25 people to register using a credit card can pick up our 6-course combo (covering all six […]

SQLskills is now a Microsoft Gold Data Platform Partner

We’ve been doing a huge amount of work this year with Microsoft field offices and customers on upgrades and Azure (especially around Azure Managed Instance) and it’s apparent that certain customers can be reluctant to engage with you unless you can answer ‘Yes!’ to ‘Are you a Gold Partner?’ We already had all the qualifications so we decided […]

Do you get our bi-weekly newsletter?

You may not know this, but for the last six years I’ve been producing a bi-weekly newsletter for everyone signed up for our mailing list (which we only use for the newsletter). It’s a bit of a labor of love, and a way for me to post opinions and other information that doesn’t really fit […]

SQLskills holiday gift to you: all 2015 Insider videos

As we all wind down for the 2016 holiday season, we want to give the SQL Server community a holiday gift to say ‘thank you’ for all your support during 2016, and what better gift than more free content?! As many of you know, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter to more than 13,500 subscribers that […]

SQLskills holiday gift to you: all 2014 Insider videos

As we all wind down for the 2015 holiday season, we want to give the SQL Server community a holiday gift to say ‘thank you’ for all your support during 2015, and what better gift than more free content?! As many of you know, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter to more than 13,000 subscribers that […]

Christmas Eve RunAs Radio show 400

Last week we joined our wonderful friend (he MC’d our wedding in 2007) Richard Campbell for RunAs Radio show #400, where we jet-laggedly discuss all kinds of stuff, even occasionally getting technical! You can download it here. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! PS We also did the 200th show back in 2011 – see here.

SQLskills hires all-round SQL expert Tim Radney

It’s hiring time again, as our consulting volume has reached the point where we need more help on our close-knit, expert team! Specifically, we’ve asked well-known SQL expert and MVP Tim Radney to join us and we’re extremely pleased that he accepted our offer. He’ll bring our team up to seven people when he starts with […]

SQLskills holiday gift to you: all 2013 Insider videos

As we all wind down for the 2014 holiday season, we want to give the SQL Server community a holiday gift to say ‘thank you’ for all your support during 2014, and what better gift than more free content?! As many of you know, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter to more than 11,500 subscribers that […]

Paul’s awesome ribs recipe

On Friday I made my signature pork ribs for our good friend Bob Ward (along with Kimberly’s truffled cauliflower mash and caramelized broccoli) and I promised to blog the ribs recipe. I’ve been making ribs like this for about ten years – they’re dry and you have to tear the meat off the ribs with your […]

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 […]

SQLskills community mentoring – round 6

We’ve had a mentoring program here at SQLskills for a few years (the brainchild of Jonathan), where each of us can pick someone who’s attended one of our Immersion Events in the past and offer to be their mentor for six months. It’s time to kick off the fifth mentoring session. You can read about […]

SQLskills holiday gift to you: all 2012 Insider videos

As we all wind down for the 2013 holiday season, we want to give the SQL Server community a holiday gift to say ‘thank you’ for all your support during 2013, and what better gift than more free content?! As many of you know, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter to more than 10,000 subscribers that […]

SQLskills community mentoring – round 5

We’ve had a mentoring program here at SQLskills for a couple of years (the brainchild of Jonathan), where each of us can pick someone who’s attended one of our Immersion Events in the past and offer to be their mentor for six months. It’s time to kick off the fourth mentoring session. You can read […]

Death of the MCM program

Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the sudden announcement by Microsoft of the cancelling of the MCM/MCSM (Microsoft Certified Master) program, I kicked off a survey asking how the decision affects you. I hoped it would be one more data point that would help persuade Microsoft Learning (MSL) that the MCM program should continue. […]

Survey: SQL Server MCM cancellation – does it affect you?

I’m sure most of you have heard the news now that Microsoft has effectively cancelled the MCM/MCSM/MCA program abruptly, with a cold email sent at 10pm last Friday night. There’s a lot of anger in the community about the way it was done – with only one month’s notice for people to attempt the exams […]

More than half of all SQL Server instances are out-of-date and unsupported!

Back in May I started a survey to collect build numbers to see how up-to-date people keep their SQL Server instances and I’ve been putting off writing this post as I wanted to do justice to the data. I received results for 3085 SQL Server instances from several hundred respondents – thank you! I broke […]

Files and filegroups survey results

Last month I kicked off a survey asking you to run some code to send me data on the size, number of files, and number of filegroups in your databases. I got back more than 17000 results, and I’m presenting a couple of ways of interpreting the data here. Interestingly, I only had a handful […]

More SQLskills community mentoring

As an update to our current round of SQLskills community mentoring (round 4 – see post here), Joe and Erin are now mentoring people they’ve met at Immersion Events here in Chicago. Joe will be mentoring Riley Logan, who attended IE2 in Chicago last week and IE1 in Bellevue last summer.  In his own words: […]

More businesses than you think are on the cutting edge

As a counterpart to my recent survey on what the oldest version of SQL Server you have in production (see the results here), I kicked off a survey last week asking what the newest version of SQL Server is that you have in production. Here are the results: I’m not surprised by these results, and […]

SQLskills community mentoring – round 4

We’ve had a mentoring program here at SQLskills for a couple of years (the brainchild of Jonathan), where each of us can pick someone who’s attended one of our Immersion Events in the past and offer to be their mentor for six months. It’s time to kick off the fourth mentoring session. You can read […]

More businesses than you think are still using SQL Server 2000

Last week I kicked off a survey asking what is the oldest version of SQL Server you have in production. Here are the results: I’m actually quite surprised. While I expected to see a sizable percentage of businesses still with SQL Server 2000 in production, I didn’t expect it to be almost half of all respondents […]

Our new website and April special offer

Our New Website Late last year we finally decided to make time to revamp our blogs and website, and move onto WordPress. I  really wish we’d done it a lot sooner as WordPress is such a joy to work with compared to hand-coded ASP.NET, but client work always seemed to get in the way. Now we’ve […]

SQLskills holiday gift to you: all 2011 Insider videos on YouTube

As we approach the 2012 holiday season, we want to give the SQL Server community a holiday gift to say ‘thank you’ for all your support during 2012, and what better gift than more free content?! As many of you know, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter than contains an editorial on a SQL Server topic, […]

SQLskills community mentoring – round 3

As you may know, we have a mentoring program here at SQLskills (the brainchild of Jonathan), where each of us can pick someone who's attended one of our Immersion Events in the past and offer to be their mentor for six months. It's time to kick off the third mentoring session. You can read about […]

Back to business as summer heats up

You may have noticed that my blog’s been pretty quiet in June and empty in July. May and June were frenetic travel and work months for me, with two two-week teaching trips to the UK and producing two training courses for Pluralsight. Then at the end of June, Kimberly and I took the kids to […]

SQLskills hires all-round SQL expert Erin Stellato

We've only just hired Glenn Berry in May, yet demand dictates that we hire another SQL guru to join our close-knit, expert team. Specifically, we’ve asked well-known SQL expert and MVP Erin Stellato to join us and we're extremely pleased that she accepted our offer. She'll become employee #7 when she starts with us on […]

SQLskills community mentoring – round 2

Back in November last year I blogged about Jonathan's idea to mentor someone who's attended one of our classes and how Jonathan, Joe, and I each picked someone to mentor for six months. Our mentees (Steven Ormrod, Luke Jian, and Brad Hoff, respectively) have all said how much they've benefited from the arrangement and we've […]

SQLskills hires hardware guru and deep technical expert Glenn Berry

This is becoming a habit – we're expanding yet again! It's been a quick 6 months since Joe Sack came on board and we've been having a blast together. Business is steadily increasing so we need to grow again and hire the next member of our close-knit, expert team. Specifically, we've asked well-known industry expert […]

The art of asking email questions, or not…

I love getting questions in email about SQL Server. I tell every class that they can send me questions and they'll get a response – sometimes just a URL to read, sometimes I engage for hours if it's a really interesting bug, for instance. It's a great way to help the community, it fosters good will […]

You guys still use SQL Server 2000? Really?

Yes, really. So what? Several times in the last week I've heard of people denigrating anyone who is still running SQL Server 2000 (paraphrasing): How can they possibly still be running on a version that old? Why on Earth haven't they upgraded? *Everyone's* on something more recent. 2000 is old and sucky, so you guys […]

How valuable are certifications?

(This essay appeared in our latest SQLskills Insider newsletter over the weekend and generated such a lot of discussion that I thought I’d share it with all of you who just read my blog. I’ve added a few points at the end too.) There’s constant debate in the SQL Server community about whether the current certifications are […]


Don't expect any activity here for at least a couple of weeks as we're leaving today for a long-overdue dive trip (on the Belize Aggressor) – our first diving for almost 18 months. I'll post lots of photos in December… In the meantime, please go run the index survey code from my last post – the […]

SQLskills community mentoring

Jonathan Kehayias is such a nice guy. After our recent perf tuning Immersion Event in Chicago last month he had an idea for each of us to pick someone who's attended a SQLskills class and offer general mentoring (career, technical, professional development – whatever) to them for a few hours a month for six months. […]

SQLskills hires deep technical expert Joseph Sack

Days like this don’t come around very often for us here at – we’re expanding again! It’s been seven months since Jonathan Kehayias came on board and we’ve had a huge amount of fun together. Now business has expanded to the point where we need to grow again so it’s time to hire the […]

Do yourself a favor… Trust No One

Cue spooky music… I used to love the X-Files, where one of the catch-phrases was Trust No One. Their other major catch-phrase was The Truth Is Out There. Yes, it is – but you're likely going to come up against all kinds of obstacles to finding it, just like Agent Mulder did. Now, searching for […]

OT survey results: browsers and email clients

A couple of weeks back I kicked off an off-topic survey about which internet browsers and email clients people use. Here are the results:   The "Other" results are: 2 x "Chrome, FF4, IE789" 2 x "Firefox 5" 1 x "Avant" 1 x "Dragon and IE9 for flash content" 1 x "Home Firefox 5.0.1 and […]

OT Survey: internet browsers and mail readers

This survey is off-topic and was suggested by Justin Dearing (blog|twitter) and I'm curious about the results too so I agreed to run it. We're interested to see what internet browsers are most commonly used my members of the database community, along with which email clients. People are often fanatic about one browser/client or another […]

Survey results on rebooting – is it good or bad?

About a month ago I kicked off a survey around regularly rebooting SQL Server (see here). There is much debate about rebooting SQL Server (or Windows Server hosting SQL Server), regularly or even at all so I've been looking forward to the results. My view is that there are circumstances where rebooting, even regularly, is […]

The Golden Rule – maybe just optional now?

We’ve been off-line the last couple of weeks while we’ve been traveling around Europe and now I’ve got a bunch of blog posts to catch up on (plus a whole lot of photos of cool things to show you). But first, a rant that’s been brewing for a while… something that really, really, really irritates me. And I’m sure […]

The most important consulting skill is… effective communication

I think many people imagine that technical acumen and razor-sharp problem solving skills are the most important skills to be a successful consultant. I would strongly disagree. While these two skills are *absolutely* essential for success, I think they are less important than the ability to effectively communicate with your clients. Effective communication is a […]

Patent surprise

I was searching around in the US Patent Office database this evening to find my patent for consistency checking of a backup without restoring the backup, for a Twitter conversation I was having, when I discovered that another one I filed before leaving Microsoft was granted in late 2009. The new one was part of […]

Job security, loyalty, and employee retention: you need to take control

  (Used with permission from It's an interesting marketplace for DBAs right now. Depending on who you speak to, and what your view into the DBA world is, a few data points are evident: There's a view that all the good people already have jobs There's a view that it's pretty hard right now […]

Surveys: what’s your company doing for you, and vice versa?

After a discussion on Twitter this morning, my good friend Steve Jones (blog|twitter) said it would be great to have a survey polling people on how their companies are retaining them this year, and vice-versa – so here it is! The survey is completely anonymous, so don't be afraid to answer. Also, if you'd like to […]

Are you smart?

I came across an excellent blog post on twitter today: 10 ways you know you’re with smart people. Go read it. If the top-10 describes you then you should be proud IMHO.

Better together – the importance of great inter-team relationships

Back at the end of January I kicked off a survey about the relationship between your DBA and dev teams. See here for the survey. Here are the results:   The 22 Other values are: 5 x The devs are great – it's the apps and the process that suck. 4 x It depends on […]

SQLskills hires deep technical expert Jonathan Kehayias

Today is a very exciting day for us here at as we take the first step at growing as a company instead of solely partnering with other consultants with their own companies. While we value our partnerships and plan to continue many, we also value the benefits brought by having a small and dedicated […]

RunAs Radio show #200… not our most technical show…

Last Friday our great friends Richard Campbell (who MC'd our wedding) and Greg Hughes invited us to record their 200th RunAs Radio podcast with them – a signal honor for which we thank them deeply! We've both been on RunAs Radio (and .Net Rocks!) before but this show was meant to be a fun tour around […]

Community, community, community, community…

Back when I was at Microsoft, I witnessed Steve Balmer doing his mad "Developers, developers, developers, developers!" mantra a few times. (Checkout this video of him doing it here.) Here at, our mantra is "Community, community, community, community!". You guys out there recognized that and voted us the #2 SQL company that's "doing it right" […]

Survey: inter-team relationships

I'm going to do two surveys this week. In this one I want to know what the relationship is like between the DBA team and the dev team wherever you work (or whatever comes closest team-wise). Remember the survey is completely anonymous. If you want to, feel free to add an anonymous or otherwise comment […]

Do you run a SQL Server User Group?

(Edit 7/11/13: We’ve given out all our current user group swag – thanks) Anywhere in the world? If you do and you’d like a SQLskills swag-pack (cups, pens, laptop stickers), drop me an email ( and let me know your average attendance and your address and we’ll get some stuff in the post for you. […]

What’s in a job title?

Just before Christmas last year I created a survey to ask you what your job title is and additionally, if you wanted, what you actually did in your job. See here for the original post. Here are the results of the survey:   I think that clearly shows the type of people reading my blog […]

So you want to blog about SQL Server?

I've noticed a few new SQL blogs spring up over the last month or so and someone asked me on Facebook this morning about linking etiquette so I thought I'd lay out a few quick thoughts I have on the subject – some "dos", mostly "don'ts" – as general advice for successfully blogging in the […]

Our Christmas Gift To You: Paul and Kimberly Singing!

We'd like to thank you all for reading all our stuff all year, for coming to our classes and conference sessions, and for being our friends. So to say thank you (and to torture you!) I wrote some SQL – Christmas carols and persuaded Kimberly to join me in the fun. And so we present […]

Survey: what’s in a job title?

There's been a lot of discussion on the MVP distribution list about various certifications and what SQL Server roles they cater to. Furthermore, there's a lot of disagreement on what the multitude of job titles mean. In this survey I'd like to find out what you think your primary job role is, and if you're up […]

T-SQL Tuesday #012 : Summary of why DBA skills are necessary

Last Tuesday I hosted T-SQL Tuesday #012 (see here for the call for participation) and posed the question "why are DBA skills necessary?" This month broke the participation record with 46 people contributing posts – fabulous! Lots of people contributed for the first time too. And what I think is also really cool is that 45 […]

Invitation to participate in T-SQL Tuesday #12 – Why are DBA skills necessary?

In November we're doing T-SQL Tuesday a week early (Tuesday November 2nd) so that it doesn't clash with PASS and I'll be your host! What is T-SQL Tuesday? If you haven't seen it yet, T-SQL Tuesday is the brain-child of fellow-MVP Adam Machanic (blog|twitter). It happens once a month on the 2nd Tuesday (different this month) and […]

Programmatic detection of configuration options

A quickie… this morning I've been writing a bunch of T-SQL code (yes, occasionally I'm allowed to do that :-) and I needed to programmatically check whether backup compression is enabled on a SQL Server 2008 instance. I futzed about for a few minutes with sp_configure and I was starting to think of a temp table […]

T-SQL Tuesday #008: Top ten mistakes to make when attending a class

Every month there's a flurry of blog posts around the same topic – it's called T-SQL Tuesday and is a neat concept. This month it's being driven by Robert Davis (blog|twitter), who I had the pleasure of teaching in the March rotation of the Microsoft Certified Master – SQL class (he passed first time) and […]

Brent Ozar joining

Since the start of the year we've been inundated with consulting and auditing requests, which is a good sign for the recovery from the economic effect on the IT industry over the last few years. Unfortunately Kimberly and I just don't scale, so while we've worked with many people this year on their SQL Server problems, […]

What 5 things should SQL Server get rid of?

This evening I was reading an article in The Washington Post called Twelve Things The World Should Toss Out and it inspired me to start a new blog chain about the top-5 things in SQL Server we all wish would just be removed from the product once and for all. Here are mine in order of evil-ness: […]

Important things for DBAs to consider

(Look in the Misconceptions blog category for the rest of the month’s posts and check out the 60-page PDF with all the myths and misconceptions blog posts collected together when you join our Insider list, plus my online Myths and Misconceptions training course on Pluralsight.) Over the last month or so I’ve found myself handing […]

So you want to write a Storage Engine…

Earlier today there was a thread on Twitter asking about what degrees and academic background people have who work on SQL Server. I volunteered to put together a reading list for those wanting to know more of the theory behind a relational database management system, rather than just how to use one. Here I present […]

SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book available to order

Over the last 18 months a group of SQL Server MVPs, led by Paul Nielsen and including Kimberly and I as editors, have been working on a book, responding to a challenge from Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer for MVPs to give something to the wider community than just our technical one. Now the book is available to purchase, […]

SQL Server 2008 R2 bumps the database version

(Be sure to join our community to get our monthly newsletter with exclusive content, advance notice of classes with discount codes, and other SQL Server goodies!)   SQL Server 2008 R2 has been out for a while now (see and many people are trying it out. One word of caution: any database attached to a […]

Goals, obsessions, and aspirations: becoming an MVP

Several times this week I've been asked about how to become an MVP. A few people have posted on this, but here's my take.  I think basically what it comes down to is that if you aspire to become something you're not already, you usually need to make changes in your life. Sometimes significant changes. But […]

Comments are moderated now

Thanks to the attention of some scurrilous parasites, all comments will now be moderated. And to said parasites, please be aware that there's no point spamming my blog with comments linking to your websites as no-one will ever see them now. And I've contacted your hosting companies with your IP addresses, and a copy of […]

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 […]

Blog post 350 on this blog – vive la communite!

Quick blog post to celebrate a bit of a milestone and round out the month of May – no blogging tomorrow. Earlier today I was making a backup of all the content on my blog because I want to make sure I have a secure copy of it if multiple failures happen with site hoster […]

Importance of choosing the right architecture and SQL Server Edition

Last week's survey was another two-fold one – when you buy new servers, what architecture to you predominantly buy, and why?; when you buy new servers, which Edition of SQL Server do you predominantly buy, and why? Here are the results as of 5/17/2009.   For the first survey, the 'other' values were basically that […]

Cool way to visualize word distribution in text – wordle

Go to and enter a URL. Here's what it thinks of my current blog homepage: Cool!

How Twitter and social networking changed my life…

A sad, tear-jerky story about how a socially-inept, stay-at-home shut-in, SQL expert gets a new lease of life and finds he really does have friends out in the big world after all. LOL. Not. I'm definitely not socially-inept – managed to persuade Kimberly to marry me, right? Well, that was really down to the classic pick-up […]

Why did the Windows 7 RC download failure happen?

5/11/09: Little bit of a rewrite today as it seems some people are taking what I'm saying the wrong way. Over on Ed Bott's blog, last week he showed some inside info about the notorious "SQL Server problem" that caused the Windows 7 RC downloads to be so slow. The reason given was that SQL […]

Why isn’t there automatic in SQL Server?

I was in a discussion earlier today, and it's one I've had lots of times in the past – both inside and outside Microsoft and the SQL team: why doesn't SQL Server do automatic <defrag, index creation, refactoring, de/normalization, backups, CHECKDBs, etc>? Some of these were considered while I was still on the team, and […]

How to find me on Twitter

People are saying they can't find me – that's a Twitter issue with indexing. Here's the direct link: and Kimberly's at

Ok, I caved – I’m on Twitter

After being mercilessly pressurized by many people (and I blame Jason Massie the most), I've joined Twitter and I'll be commenting lots on it. Why did I finally cave? Well, I've been seeing lots of little things in forums and newsgroups that don't merit a full blog post but are worth letting people know about. […]

Are we too obsessed with rankings?

This feels like a bit of a strange post for me to make, but I want to make it anyway, and don't take it the wrong way… I've recently started following SQLBatman's blog and I was astounded that he had to post a follow-up to his list of SQL blogger rankings (disclaimer: including ours – […]

Kimberly and Paul awarded MVP status again

Not an April Fool (although SQL Server Central has a great one) – Kimberly and I were both re-awarded MVP status for another year – cool! Don't expect any blog posts this week from either of us – we're on vacation with the kids down on St. Pete beach in Florida. Back to work next […]

Quickie on programming equality tests

Just noticed this come up on my Facebook news feed – how to code assignment statements when programming (not in T-SQL): if (foo == 4) then … if (4 == foo) then … #1 is the most natural way to write the conditional expression, but has a *massive* potential for introducing bugs that are very, […]

New Microsoft Regional Director – Paul Randal

I'm very pleased, and deeply honored, to announce that I've been made a Microsoft Regional Director. This is one of a very small group of people (about 120 worldwide) who Microsoft sees as influencers of, and liaisons between, the Microsoft community at large. Apart from me, the other SQL MVPs who are also RDs are […]

Things you know now

There's a long-running discussion with people tagging each other to post advice for people new to SQL Server, about what they know now and wished they'd known ealier in their lives/careers – lot's of SQL MVPs and other luminaries have been doing it and I've been tagged now by my good friend Ward Pond – […]

What’s a valid question for a DBA interview?

There's been an interesting discussion on SQLServerCentral about whether this question is valid for a DBA interview: what's the name of the executable that runs SQL Server? My view is that it's a perfectly valid question, based on the cliched premise that the more you know, the further you go. I've conducted hundreds of interviews […]

Is SQL Server ‘just plumbing’?

One of the opinions that was expressed yesterday by our developer friends (a bunch of Regional Directors – and look, Kimberly's the featured RD today on is that SQL Server is just plumbing. Consider the developers (or app architects) as plumbers. They see SQL Server as a few pieces of copper pipe joining a […]

Mandatory SQL breathalyzer test

Today we've spent a lot of the day in discussions with some folks about developers vs. DBAs, and how it's often the case that the two don't work together. Developers need to know the effect of their design choices on the database, and DBAs need to educate the developers. There should be a close working […]

Common questions from newsgroups and forums

If you're new to the blog then you may not have seen my Search Engine Q&A series (or seen it and not realized what it is). It started out that I was watching the incoming search engine queries that hit the blog and worked out what common questions people were searching for, but then I […]

Website/blog problems

As you may have been seeing over the last few weeks, there are intermittent errors in some parts of mine and Kimberly's blogs. Our hosting site and our blog guy have figured out that there's an ASP version mismatch which is causing the problems – and they're going to fix it this week. So – […]

Public Speaking: A Primer

It’s become something of a tradition for me to do a Valentine’s Day blog post (the 2008 one about SQL Server blogs is at Wow – so many blogs!) as we don’t do anything special otherwise – I don’t need a “Hallmark Holiday” to tell Kimberly I love her :-). Ahem – well this year I’m […]

Admin: Blog engine has been updated

Thanks for your patience while our blog engine back-end was updated. You should find that the response time is much better now. You'll notice that all the blog post URLs have changed – we have a conversion layer in place so all prior blog posts will be seamlessly accessible through their new and old URLs. […]

Admin: Our blogs are moving to a new engine 10/8 – 10/10

Just a quick post to say that all our blogs and the website is moving to a new software backend this coming Wednesday through Friday. All the URLs and links will remain the same after the move, but there may be some short periods during that time that the blogs won't be available. No […]

Search Engine Q&A #18: What’s the current uptime of SQL Server?

Here's a quickie just before we head off to SQL Connections in Orlando. On one of the internal MS forums was the question – how can I tell through T-SQL the last time SQL Server restarted (i.e. the current 'uptime')? The answer relies on the fact that all the background tasks that start when SQL […]

Paul Randal awarded SQL Server MVP for 2008

  (And this isn’t an April Fool…) I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve been made a SQL Server MVP for 2008. For the eight years or so before leaving the SQL team last August, I was involved a lot with the SQL Server MVPs. It’s going to be *really* interesting being on the ‘other […] Announces Time-Setback Technology for DBAs

(Redmond, WA: For immediate release worldwide) Today, in a surprise development that has stunned industry analysts, announced a new technology for DBAs that will help in the never-ending battle against human-error and unforeseen disasters. The patent-pending Time-Setback technology allows DBAs of SQL Server to literally rewind time and avoid disasters before they happen. Renowned […]

RSS feed refresh – please back off a bit (Brazil and Korea)

Fixed now – thanks so much! Folks – a couple of people have setup their systems to refresh *all* our category feeds every five minutes – this is putting an undue load on our server (and screws up our server stats). I know I post a lot but not *that* often. I’ve WHOIS’d the IP […]


A few short notes this morning regarding the blogs and other stuff. We had a big outage over the weekend, which rather embarrassingly manifested itself as ‘out-of-disk-space’ errors for anyone trying to get to any of our blogs. As you all know we preach about pro-active monitoring of data and log file space, so this […]

Wow – so many blogs!

Last year I posted on my old blog about the active SQL Server team blogs. I just happened to post on February 14th and so in every class Kimberly teaches, she makes fun of how romantic I was to post that on Valentine's Day. So what better thing to post this year than an update […]

Updated aggregated feeds

After many reminders (thanks Adam Machanic!) I’ve added Conor and Simon to the two aggregated feeds over all the blogs. There are two feeds: SQL Server 2008 Category Posts Provides previous 30 day’s posts All posts Provides previous 20 day’s posts The amount of content is really growing as Simon and Conor […]

Search Engine Q&A #13: Difference between database version and database compatibility level

This has been causing some problems on the various groups and forums over the last few days so I thought I’d repost this from my old Storage Engine blog. The questions have been around attaching 2005 databases to 2000 servers – even databases that are in 80 compat mode – and it doesn’t work. Why? […]

The frustration of sweeping generalizations – follow on from Search Engine Q&A #12

A bit more traffic on the thread (see previous post here) prompted me to give my thoughts on the many sweeping generalizations that plague the computer industry and make it difficult sometimes to give advice in forums and blogs. I’d like to repost here (with a few tweaks for clarity). Some examples of questions that […]

Search Engine Q&A #11: How to design a global-ready database?

This kind of follows on from my previous post about making sure you have character column lengths that can handle data from different countries (e.g. city names that may be longer in one country than another). A question on the forums today asked what info there is available to help in designing a global-ready database. It […]

See? We *can* all get along…

Despite the fact that I was in the Storage Engine, and there’s always been humorous rivalry between the Storage Engine team and the Relational Engine (a.k.a. the Query Processor) team, I did actually get along with some of the QP guys :-) One of my good friends, Conor Cunningham, has been wanting to get back […]

Just how long should you make character fields? What’s the longest word?

Ok – this post is a little strange and fun. I was thinking about word length and how it relates to designing software/schemas to support multiple-languages. How far do you have to go in your research to figure out the maximum string length to support? So I started digging about and found some interesting things […]

Admin: Comments are fixed now

Thanks for your patience and to all those who emailed to let me know. All the blogs have been updated to the latest dasBlog version and everything’s working again. I’d appreciate you taking the time to go back and re-enter any comments you tried to over the last few days. Thanks!

New additions to the SQLskills team

It gives me great pleasure to announce two new additions to the SQLskills team – Stacia Misner and Simon Sabin. Stacia’s a BI expert who will be working alongside Liz Vitt, and Simon’s a developer expert who will be working alongside Bob Beauchemin. Bringing Stacia and Simon on-board really strengthens the capabilities of the SQLskills […]

SQL injection attacks can happen anywhere…

It’s not like me to post on security – that’s one of Kimberly’s areas – but this is an interesting example of a real-life injection attack :-)

New aggregate feeds for SQLskills blogs

Lots of people have been asking for us to create some aggregate feeds of the various blogs on the SQLskills site – well, now I’ve done it. The three new feeds are: SQLskills BI Team Blog or SQLskills SQL Server 2008 Category Aggregate Feed or SQLskills All Blogs Aggregate Feed There’s no […]

It’s official!

Well, now I’m no longer a ‘Softie’. It feels a little strange after having been on the SQL team for 8.5 years but I’m really jazzed about all the stuff we’ll be doing over the next year and more here at SQLskills. We’re taking a small vacation before diving in – first thing I’ll be doing […]