WMF 5 RTM

Windows Management Framework 5.0 is available, says Max Trinidad:

Finally! The Windows Management Framework version 5.0 RTM is available for download for all down level Operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Servers 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Servers 2012 R2.

There are several interesting features here.  My favorite one is “Just Enough Administration (JEA)”; after all, who wants too much or too little administration?

Availability Groups Over Mirroring

Kendra Little explains why Always-On Availability Groups are better than database mirroring:

SQL Server Availability Groups are growing up. SQL Server 2016 adds more features and improvements, and these include options to run SQL Server in different domains, or without a domain.

That brings Availability Groups closer to feature parity with Database Mirroring in SQL Server 2016.

The recent improvements caused me to think about the ways Availability Groups are better than Database Mirroring that aren’t listed as “big features”. (By “big features” I mean having more than one replica, having multiple databases fail over in a group, having multiple failover partners in SQL Server 2016, readable secondaries, having a basic load balancing concept in SQL Server 2016.) I think there’s a few.

Thinking about this for a small business with just enough technical expertise to get by but no dedicated DBA, mirroring seemed like a better choice because there were fewer moving parts.  With 2016 and AG bugfixes, that might change the calculus.

Using Extended Events For Login Tracking

Steve Jones shows us how to track logins with Extended Events:

I can select any number of fields for capture. You can see I’ve picked the client_hostname. I would also add the NT_Username and Username from the list. You could add more, but in this case, I’m more concerned with seeing who’s logged in.

I could add filters, but I choose not to. I click on Data Storage to determine where to store this data.

If you’re not already familiar with Extended Events, that grace period is slowly slipping away.  Profiler’s going away sometime, and it’ll be a rude shock for a lot of DBAs.  Don’t be one of those…

Datazen Is Gone; Long Live Datazen

Jan Mulkens noticed that Datazen is now fully integrated into SQL Server Reporting Services 2016 as of CTP 3.2:

Do you see what Microsoft did?
Perfect integration of Datazen into Reporting Services!
We even notice the differentiation being made between KPI’s, mobile reports and paginated reports.

Sounds like a good reason to grab 3.2.

Scrubbing Data

Tom Norman has a series going on scrubbing data before moving it to lower environments.

Part 1:

Have you ever heard, “but it works on my machine”? Is this because of data perfection in Development and QA or having specific failure conditions? Can you think of all the data scenarios that accompany Production data? What about performance? Why did the application fail? What happens if I add this index?

Here are the reasons I believe you should get a scrubbed version of your production database into your Development, QA and UAT environments.

Part 2:

All of us have Production database servers and hopefully you also have additional database servers for Development, QA and UAT. Some IT shops will also have a Continuous Integration server and maybe other servers. If you only have Production servers this needs to be addressed and is outside the scope of this post. In the locations where I have worked, we also have a Scrub server. The question is, when a script executes, do you know what environment the query is executing in? Most scripts will not care what environment the script executes in but other scripts could cause damage in a Production environment. For example, if the script is removing email addresses so you don’t spam your clients with automated email messages, you would not want the script to execute in a Production environment.

So how do you make your database server environmentally aware?

 

The concept of a dedicated scrub server is interesting; it’s not something I’ve thought about before.  I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.

SSRS 2014 Display Bug In IE

Kevin Eckart alerts us to a display bug in SQL Server Reporting Services 2014:

In SSRS 2014 there is a bug in rendering pages in Internet Explorer where the Save, Refresh, and Print buttons will all show on different lines in IE.

Keep those instances patched, folks.

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