Monthly Archives: July 2012

Duplicate Columns

Yesterday I needed to find several tables in a database that contained a certain column name. It is usually easy if you have only a few tables but this database has almost 2000 tables. I needed to use some T-SQL skills.
I consulted with the SQLHelp hash tag on twitter because it has been a while since I did this last and I knew someone there would remember how to do it quicker than I could. Robert Davis, MCM extraordinaire (blog |twitter) had the following line:

SELECT object_name(object_ID) FROM sys.columns WHERE NAME = ‘<column name>’ 

While Bill Fellows (blog|twitter) had a different approach:

SELECT TABLE_NAME FROMinformation_schema.COLUMNS ISC WHERE isc.COLUMN_NAME =‘<column name>’

Both worked very well and here they are here for you and for me when I need to remember how I did it.  Enjoy!


SQL Saturday Submission Completed

My first full-length session submission for SQL Saturday has been input.  Even if I do not get selected, I am moving forward in the right direction towards the completion of my goals for 2012.  The topic, Best Practices Are Not Just Hypothetical, explores the best practice settings available during the installation that will set your server off on the right foot from the very beginning.

Stay tuned to see if my topic is selected for SQL Saturday Orlando to be held in Lake Mary, Florida, on September 29, 2012.  Come on out and hopefully at the very least I can entertain you.  Wish me luck!  Enjoy!

Sunday Funday

Today’s installment of Sunday Funday brings you a great little Tic-Tac-Toe game with T-SQL exercise by Adam Haines found on SQL Server Central.   Enjoy!

Resume Updates

This week, I updated my resume in anticipation of the possible reduction in force.  Not only did I update it, but I removed a lot of old technologies and went with a more streamlined resume.  My previous resume was more like Curriculum Vitae format with five pages of details and now is down to a two page overview resume.

Within a day, I had four phone calls.  Moral of the story:  the format, style, and keywords can make a huge difference in helping you formulate a strategic plan for your next position.  This is essential to maximizing your opportunities.  I hope this helps so you on your journey.  Enjoy.

SQL Formatting Tip

Last night was the first meeting for the new Tampa side SQL Server User Group and the turnout was great.  I gave my first user group presentation and I was a little more nervous than the last time I gave this presentation.  At this point, I am going to attribute that to the fact that I have to see this group every month where as in Pensacola  I do not.  But I am moving closer to completing my goals for the year and that is a great thing.  To be a great speaker, obviously you have to practice as a speaker, seems simple enough.

Moving forward, I wanted to pass along a great tip last night from Pam Shaw (blog|twitter), our fearless leader.  She shared a site with us called Instant SQL Formatter that provides automatic formatting and coloring of many different flavors of coding including SQL Server and Oracle.  It is a pretty nifty utility especially with all of the available formatting options.  Check it out and thanks Pam!

New Tampa User Group Meeting Tonight, Be There!


Tonight will be the first meeting of the new Tampa Side SQL User Group Meeting. The regular Tampa Bay SQL User Group meets in Clearwater on the third Thursday of every month. However, many people on the other side of the bay have a hard time attending because of traffic and geography until now. We will be meeting from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm at the Computer Associates headquarters near I-75 and Martin Luther King Boulevard (see the address below). Please RSVP so that it gives the sponsor an idea of how much food to bring.

I am humbled to be the first speaker to present for the new group so come out and see my Seven Deadly Sins of the SQL Server DBA presentation that I gave at the Pensacola SQL Saturday last month. I look forward to seeing you there tonight!  Enjoy!

Computer Associates
10210 Highland Manor Dr, Suite 300 (Room 302)
Tampa, Florida 33610

Master Maintenance Plan, Part One

For the last two days, in between other tasks, I have been kicking around ideas to organize or reorganize scheduled jobs and maintenance plans into a grander scheme solution that sends me ONE e-mail a day.   Sounds like a minor operation, but I have 32 SQL servers including four clusters.  Currently, many of the 300 databases send me nightly e-mails to let me know whether the individual operations succeeded or failed.  There are still some maintenance plans that I have not replaced yet.  I have also implemented Ola Hallengren’s backup solution on many of the servers which greatly reduced the number of e-mails that I receive.  The plan is to install that solution on every server.  This solution has saved me hours upon hours of work, check it out if you have not already. 

Sometime ago, I wrote or found a script (no, I cannot remember) that would send me an e-mail letting me know the backup type and date/time of the last backup.  So here we are, and I am trying to take this to another level by exploring solutions to greatly reduce e-mail traffic and reduce the amount of time it takes me to assess my server’s overnight maintenance thus allowing me to spend more time being proactive.  With all that being said, I found the following article, Use PowerShell to Report SQL Server Backup Status, written on the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog.

As this plan develops, I will post new blog posts.  Enjoy or let me know how you handle it.  Let’s share ideas!

PASS Summit, Why Not?

Having my resume in several places, I receive solicitations from recruiters, LinkedIn,, etc.  One common thread to all of these communiques?  Not one of them says that they will send me to the PASS Summit.  Why not?

If they are serious about their SQL Server position and finding a professional, as evidenced by their stringent requirements then why wouldn’t they want to help ensure that the DBA has the proper training necessary to complete the requested tasks?

You’ve seen the SQL Server DBA stringent requirements before:

    • Must have a Bachelor’s degree and ten years experience in the information technology field, prefer Ph.D. or Brent Ozar.
    • Must have five years experience with SQL Server 2012 and ten years with SQL Server 2007.
    • Must have expert-level knowledge of SSIS, SSRS, SSMS, clustering, business intelligence, power-pivot, backup/recovery, mirroring, log-shipping, performance tuning, CLR, T-SQL, and a host of others that we will ask you about in the interview but neglected to list in the initial advertisement.
    • It would be beneficial if you also had an expert-level knowledge of Oracle as we have one linked server, but not essential.

Seriously, why don’t the listings say that in order to show you how serious we are about your development, we are including a yearly commitment to sending you the PASS Summit?  This is a fundamental change I would like to see happen in my lifetime.  If they can weed you out based on their requirements, then why can’t we weed them out from the beginning?  Something to ponder.  Enjoy!

Database Tracking

This morning one of our VMWare clusters went down when our SAN guys inadvertently unplugged the wrong storage array. Oops! We had to reboot some of our development and test servers including my SQL Servers. No big deal, this happens from time to time.

Good manners dictate that I notify the effected application administrators so they don’t panic seeing their connections drop. This is a pretty normal procedure. In my previous positions I had at the most five servers and I knew every database and who it belonged to.  However, in this environment, I have almost 300 databases and knowing what they go to and who to contact is handled by a spreadsheet that was created before I started.  Seems like there should be a better way to track this and to notify me when new databases are created.  How are you handling this task?

Sunday Funday

Today’s installment of Sunday Funday brings you a great little drawing with T-SQL exercise by Roji P. Thomas.   Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: