Migrating Always Encrypted Data

Nitish Upreti shows us how to migrate data encrypted using Always Encrypted:

Our customers use the SQL platform to store volumes of high-valued data assets for their organization. With Always Encrypted, we want to deliver additional security while ensuring complete integrity of stored user data. To achieve this, in a regular workflow SQL Server/Azure SQL Database disallows an application to insert data directly into an encrypted column. If the application has not enabled Always Encrypted in the connection string, an insert statement targeting an encrypted column will fail. To insert a value into a column protected with Always Encrypted, the application must connect to the database with Always Encrypted enabled in the connection string and pass a plaintext value of the datatype configured for the target column. Subsequently, the SQL client driver encrypts the value and sends the ciphertext to the database. This ensures plaintext data is encrypted and stored appropriately.

Read the whole thing.

Restoring An Azure SQL Database

Grant Fritchey shows us how to restore a database hosted in Azure SQL Database:

The first, and most important thing to notice here is that it’s supplying me with a new name. I can change that to anything I want as long as it’s not the name of a database already in existence on my Azure SQL Database Server. You read that correctly, you can restore a database to Azure SQL Database, but there is no WITH REPLACE option. The restore creates a new database. This is important. In a recovery scenario, you need to be sure that you’re prepared to deal with this fact. How could you replace the existing database? Immediately run a pair of ALTER DATABASE commands to change the name of the existing database to something else and then change the name of your newly created database to the old name. That’s your choice.

There are a couple of gotchas, so if you are administering Azure SQL Database instances, be aware of these.

ODBC Driver 13 In Preview

The Microsoft ODBC Driver 13 is now available (in preview form):

The preview ODBC drivers for Linux now supports Ubuntu, RedHat and SUSE. This is Microsoft’s first ODBC Driver for SQL Server release supporting Ubuntu. You can now enjoy enterprise level support while connecting to SQL Server from Ubuntu. It also updates the drivers to unixODBC driver manager 2.3.1 support.

Full interoperability with distributions of Linux is something I’ve waited a long, long time for.  This is one tiny step closer.

Filtered Indexes Are Tricky

Kevin Eckart investigates filtered indexes not being used:

This warning is telling me that Parameterization is to blame for the filtered index not being used. From here, I see 3 options.

  1. Remove the parameters and use literals. (not practical)

  2. Use Dynamic SQL

  3. Use OPTION(RECOMPILE) at the bottom of the query.

This is the classic issue with filtered indexes:  you expect them to be used, but when you check the plan, they aren’t.

Installing TFS

Sifiso Ndlovu shares some tips regarding installing Team Foundation Server:

Although, you can get away with using convenience names (i.e. a dot, (local), or locahost) as SQL Server identifier name during the configuration of a SharePoint server farm as shown in Figures 2 & 3, such a practice is not allowed during configuration of TFS (as shown in Figure 1).

Check this out before installing your own TFS server.  Or use Visual Studio Online or GitHub or BitBucket or …

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