Recent Blogs

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

    Tags: C#, SQLCLR, Postcode, Visual Studio, Tableau

    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 … more

  • Using indexed views on ANY core SQL server edition

    Tags: Indexes, Views, Execution Plans

    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 … more

  • Thank You SQLBits!

    Tags: 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, … more

  • Time for a change in career

    Tags: Career, Consulting

    A few months back I made the decision to leave the relative comfort and security of my permanent role and head into the world of contracting & consulting. Whilst a big decision and change for me, it is something that I’ve long wanted to do at some point during my career when the time was right. Don’t get me wrong; I could quite easily spend another 10 years where I am now as they are a great company to work for and the software they develop makes a difference to people. I’ve been given a lot … more

  • Deferred-drop tipping point

    Tags: Transaction Log, Internals

    I was intrigued by the deferred-drop feature that has been inside SQL since SQL Server 2000 SP3 after watching one of Paul Randal’s Pluralsight courses which was “Logging, Recovery and the Transaction Log”. The deferred drop feature is what allows for the seemingly instant truncation or drop of any table regardless of how big the table is. I wanted to find out a little more about it so after a quick Google, the number one result was this blog post from Paul which goes into the … more

  • Most important feature of SQL 2014

    Tags: SQL 2012, SQL 2014, Standard Edition, Memory

    There are a whole raft of cool new features in 2014 including things like In-Memory OLTP, increased Azure integration/options and a new cardinality estimation design to name a few. But for me, one of the most important features in 2014 is the increase in memory that standard edition can use has been increased from 64GB to 128GB.

    I currently work for an ISV and the software solutions developed there have been utilising SQL server ever since 2000 was released. As time went on, every time a new … more

  • 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