• Recertification, too easy?

    3 years I was awarded the MCSE: Data Platform certification and as per the recertification rules, I needed to recertify this year to keep it active. So shortly after Christmas I set about looking into what exams I needed to take and brushing up on all those new features in 2014 that I’ve yet to try out in anger.

    It came as a bit of a nice surprise to find out that I was actually able to recertify by taking and passing a prescribed set of courses within the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). …

  • UK Contractors - As you were, for now at least

    I think there were are few sighs of relief around the country yesterday after the chancellor finished giving his autumn financial statement to parliament. For the past few weeks there has been plenty of reports of doom and gloom from the various media channels suggesting that the end was nigh for contractors and freelancers due to new legislation to be imposed by the government. However after sitting through the hour or so long speech, I was largely left wondering just how unfounded most of the …

  • Indexed views on any core SQL server edition–The video

    A few months back I created a blog post showing that you can indeed create and use indexed views on any core SQL server edition. It has proved to be one of my most read blog posts. Since then Webucator, provider of SQL Server training, got in contact asking if they could convert the post into a video. I’ve seen some of their other work previously which was pretty good so had no hesitations giving them the thumbs up.

    So here is their finished result to complement the original blog post

    & …

  • SQL Server Contracting – The first 14 months (or so)

    Crikey, where did that time go! I have been so busy adjusting to my new work life style I have completely neglected my blog.. Well now that I seem to be adjusted to the world of contracting (or rather adjusted to working more than a mile away from where I live!), I will spend more time again giving my blog some TLC. in fact is was an email from Webucator that gave me the poke again to get back to doing something that I enjoyed a couple of times a month – blogging!

    So what have I learnt …

  • XQuery – Accessing the Attributes Axis

    Working with a sequence of attributes in XQuery is fairly straight forward with the “attribute” axis even if you don’t know or need to know the attribute names. By using this axis you can access all of the attributes within the given context node. The specific scenario I had was to find a particular duplicated node within the xml that had no attributes and delete it thus keeping the other node that I knew had attributes.

    In this particular case i used the count() function as …

  • Updated blog Site

    This post is mainly to test the syndication still works correctly from my heavily updated web/blog site so apologies for the non-SQL nature of it.

    Finally after promising myself to do so since late 2013, I've actually got around to updating my blog site to the latest version of Orchard. I was running quite an old version and had to work through a number of issues to get it all working with the latest version hence keep putting it off! After a couple of days of mainly deleting incompatible …

  • Drop and Recreate all Synonyms

    Had a quick job the other day restoring a pair of databases under different names which is all straight forward enough, but each database in the pair uses quite a few synonyms to access objects in the other database. So with the pair of databases restored under new names, a quick script was needed to drop and recreate all the synonyms so that they point to the correct database name. This is easily achieved with a cursor and a little bit of dynamic SQL.

    DECLARE @ObjectName sysname, @Definition …

  • Convert UK Postcode to Latitude/Longitude/Northing/Easting using SQL CLR

    Just a quick post this time. I had a requirement to convert a small number of UK based postcodes to their latitude/longitude locations so I could use that data within some Tableau dashboards that I’m working on. I had a look around to see what I could find and quickly found both sites that exposed an API to do lookups and also sites publishing the full data as a download as well. As this was largely a one off, I didn’t want to go through the process of downloading the data and …

  • Using indexed views on ANY core SQL server edition

    I was having a discussion the other day and was quite surprised to hear that there still appears to be a slight misconception regarding being able to use indexed views on web or standard editions of SQL server. As it stands the documentation clearly states that you can create and use indexed views on web, standard, BI and enterprise editions of SQL server (I’m ignoring developer + evaluation as they are the same as enterprise). You can create a view, materialise that view in the form of a …

  • Thank You SQLBits!

    Just a very quick post to say thank you to all the organisers, speakers, helpers, sponsors, venue staff, caterers, party entertainers, long suffering partners and anyone else involved with the event as it was a top, top few days.

    This was my 3rd SQLBits after Liverpool + Nottingham and in just this short time, it is plain to see how much it has grown and how popular it has become. The quality of each and every facet seems to be getting better at each event. There was ample of space to network, …

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