Recent Blogs

  • Currys having apostrophe trouble

    Tags: Ramblings

    Before I start I just want to say that much of this post is mere speculation on my part and not specifically targetted at Currys. They just happen to be the catalyst and example for this post.

    A few months back I ordered a new tumble drier online from Currys to replace an aging one that my family have long outgrown and chose Currys purely because they were selling the model I wanted at the cheapest price that I could find online. No problems with the transaction (or the service that was to … more

  • Pluralsight = Essential Training

    Tags: Training, Pluralsight

    I've been aware of Pluralsight for a couple of years and as I’m always looking for very cheap or free ways to learn I made a resolution to check out Pluralsight this year to see what the crack is. That task was made a whole load easier thanks to Paul Randal passing on a free 1 month pass as part of one of his recent blog posts. So I signed up, watched a couple of courses and to say that I’m damn impressed with the site is an understatement.

    I read a lot of blogs and I’ve got … more

  • FIGlet SQLCLR ASCII Font Art

    Tags: FIGlet, SQLCLR, Fun, VS2012

    If you haven’t heard of the name before, you must have seen what it does at some point. FIGlet which was first developed in the ‘90s is a freeware large ASCII art generator which generates text from standard characters. It had quite a number of fonts contributed by others during the first few years but not many in recent years from what I can tell. Sure, it’s practical uses nowadays are somewhat limited but it is a great deal of retro fun and can still actually be … more

  • Basic RegEx in SSMS

    Tags: SSMS, RegEx

    Have you ever had that moment where you have gone "Geez.. I wish I'd learnt this stuff ages ago" after realising just how much more productive you’d have been since!! That happened to me recently after taking literally a few minutes to learn more about the find/replace regular expression option in SSMS.. It has long been on my list of things to make more use off (alongside powershell!) and although I have used regular expressions on the odd occasion in .NET over the past couple of years, I … more

  • And that is 2013

    Tags: Thoughts, Fun, Xml

    I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and although I’ve never been a prolific blogger (and never will!), I like to get at least one post out a month. However next year I’m going to try to up my game a little with a couple of ideas that I've got to try and take my blog and contribution up a notch. There are very few things that are certain for everybody in life, and one of those is change. We all must change and embrace change to stay fresh and if you don’t change … more

  • Getting the read/write ratio for a database

    Tags: DMV, Performance, Disks, DBA

    EDIT: Please also see in depth comment from Brent Ozar on my main site which extends the query provided below by adding extra columns to give the data more context and general advice when interpreting this type of data.

    Just a quick post this time. Recently I needed to find out the read/write ratio for some of our customer databases as part of a bigger project of understanding the workload and performance of the databases. The project actually through up a few surprises, where databases that I … more

  • Removing HTML formatting tag - BR - from XML using XQuery

    Tags: Xml, XQuery, Flwor, HTML

    This is a personal pet hate of mine.. Mixing HTML formatting tags directly with XML that aren’t escaped or contained within a CDATA section. Sure it is all perfectly valid XML at the end of the day, but it makes working with it a bit harder as each section of text between each <BR/> tag is treated as a separate text node and has to be factored into any schema for that XML structure.

    I’ve been working on an XML migration project recently that has a lot of this going on. Data … more

  • What to do next certification wise

    Tags: Certification

    I feel rather flat today. I passed the 3rd entry level 2012 exam a few hours ago, data warehousing to make me an MCSA, but I feel like I'm looking at a dead end. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly happy that I passed the exam which incidentally seem to have a much higher than normal number of questions on that level of exam, but I was only really chipping through these exams on my way to try to achieve the MCSM. But now that has been pulled, this pass seems largely immaterial.

    I’m … more

  • Just Wow!! features

    Tags: CDC, Service Broker

    Over the years with each release I’m often impressed by some of the features contained in SQL server but every so often, I start to use a feature that I haven’t used before and I’m blown away by just how good that particular feature is. Sometimes it is the sheer power/flexibility of the feature that impresses me or sometimes it is ease or simplicity of implementing that feature. Because of the strength of the product, we all come to expect a host of new features with … more

  • Crash when inserting to a FileTable with a parallel plan

    Tags: Connect, FileTable, Bug, Parallelism

    Whilst doing some ad-hoc work on some data on a 2012 SP1 instance I came across an issue with the SQL server raising a sev 20 error with a script that I was attempting to run. The work that I was doing was that I was exporting some binary data (basic text files) that is stored in one table to the file system via a filetable within the same database. It came as bit of a surprise when I saw this error message:

    Location:     "xact.cpp":4175Expression:     … more