Category Archives: Scripting

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!


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!

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!

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!

What’s In A Datetime Anyway?

Last week we talked about my Oracle migration to SQL Server and the vendor’s use of datetime over datetime2.  Today, I thought I would discuss the differences between the two datatypes.

First of all, datetime2 is recommended by Microsoft as opposed to datetime as it provides a larger data range, a larger default fractional precision as well as the optionally defined user precision level.  Datetime2 is also ANSI and ISO 8601 compliant, whereas datetime is not.  Which would you use?


Datetime2:  2012-06-25 12:45:10.1234567

Datetime:   2012-06-25 12:45:10.123

Books online reference:  datetime and datetime2.  Enjoy!

An Amazing Utility: Adam Machanic’s Who is Active

In case you haven’t heard, Adam Machanic (Blog | Twitter) released Who is Active v11.11 last week.  If you are using this utility, then you will want to grab this version as it will be the last version to support SQL Server 2005.  If you are not using this utility, then you own it to yourself to download it and check it out.  Thinking about going into detail about the various uses of this utility, I decided it would be better to link to Adam’s blog where he did a series called a Month of Activity Monitoring where he presented thirty blog posts detailing activity monitoring and the script.  Why reinvent the wheel, especially when it rolls so smoothly?

Enjoy, and thanks Adam for a great utility!

Cleaning Up SQL Database Mail Logging Records

This morning in my production cluster I noticed MSDB had grown to almost 10gb.  After some help from my friends at #SQLHelp, I ran one of the built-in reports, which are great…thank you Microsoft, ‘Disk Usage by Top Tables’ to tell me which table(s) had grown since I last checked this system database.  I think I found a winner: sysmail_mailitems had an outrageously high amount of records.  Why aren’t these being cleaned up in a job similar to sp_delete_backuphistory or sp_purge_jobhistory?

In order to clean these items up, use the following code:


EXEC sysmail_delete_log_sp @logged_before=’2012-01-13 12:00:00′

You could script this out to run nightly or weekly and remove the last 30 days.  Enjoy!


You’ve Probably Had This Request Before…

So yesterday afternoon I received a management request to provide some statistics on our SQL Servers, probably to justify our positions for the next budget year. No problem, I thought, because I know how many total servers, how many clusters, how many physical boxes and how many are virtual. I also know which ones are production, acceptance, and development and I know how much RAM, how many processors and cores, how many drives and how big they all are. I also know how many licenses we own and which ones are Enterprise versus Standard, which ones are 2008R2 and which ones are 2005.

I also have a script (thanks to Pinal Dave) to tell me pretty much everything I need to know when I run it on each of my servers.  However, that was not the information they requested.   Wait for it, wait for it.

They wanted to know how many records or rows we maintained on how many tables.  In all of my years working with SQL Server, Progress RDBMS, MS Access, and MySQL (in order of awesomeness), I do not think I have ever had anyone ask for that level of information.  The quick stat that everyone wants to know is usually how many servers and how many terabytes.  In our environment, they also want to know how many dot net applications are we supporting on those database servers. 

Much to my dismay, my frantic google session showed many people who had a script that was essentially similar to Pinal’s script (although most were not nearly as fabulous).  So I did what every DBA should do, I sent up a distress call to the #SQLHelp Twitter tag!  Lo and behold who should come to my rescue, why SirSQL ((blog|twitter), who else would you expect?  Although, I was not a damsel in distress so maybe that was a poor analogy, but hey it made me giggle, so why not?

Here is his solution, which is really quite elegant.  I am thinking of automating it on one of my servers so that I can have this handy in case they ask for the information again.  It is inevitable that they will ask for it again when you give it to them once, unless of course I spent hours writing the script myself.  Thanks again, SirSQL!


Migrating SQL Server Database Logins with sp_help_revlogin

You’ve migrated your database to a new box, with no problems.  You created the login that goes with this database, and all is right in the world.  However, when your user goes to connect to it they get the dreaded error 18456, login failed.  But wait, I created the login, right?

Not so fast there, accidental DBA.  You are going to need the help of a nifty stored procedure called sp_help_revlogin.  This stored procedure, provided by Microsoft in the link below, will generate a T-SQL script that will copy the logins, their passwords and their corresponding SIDs (or security identification number, which is usually the culprit here).  This is also a great utility when the database has numerous users with various security levels and passwords.  Really now, who wants to write all of that down and recreate it?  Even with screenshots, it can turn into a large, fat-fingering and time consuming event.  Mind-numbing, I would say.  Why do something manually when you can do it automagically?   Just think of all those happy logins that will not be orphaned by the dark side?

How to transfer the logins and the passwords between instances of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.

Here is also a code snippet to check for orphaned logins, for your enjoyment.  Enjoy!

USE <database_name>;
sp_change_users_login @Action='Report';
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