Drop Column In SQL Server 2012/2014

Aaron Bertrand explains a bug in SQL Server 2012 and 2014 which can crop up after dropping a column:

A fix has been published for SQL Server 2012 (SP2 and SP3), and one is coming for SQL Server 2014 (RTM and SP1) – though in this most recent update, SQL Server 2014 was removed from the list of affected versions (not sure it was accurate to remove those). I will update this space once the next 2014 CUs are released, but for now you should plan to rebuild tables after dropping columns as a matter of course and, more importantly, as part of the same maintenance operation.

This is a good reason to stay up to date on CUs.

Jupyter Notebooks With R

Kevin Feasel

2016-04-04

Cloud, R

Andrie de Vries notes that Azure Machine Learning now supports Jupyter Notebooks with R:

I wrote about Jupyter Notebooks in September 2015 (Using R with Jupyter Notebooks), where I noted some of the great benefits of using notebooks:

  • Jupyter is an easy to use and convenient way of mixing code and text in the same document.

  • Unlike other reporting systems like RMarkdown and LaTex, Jupyter notebooks are interactive – you can run the code snippets directly in the document

  • This makes it easy to share and publish code samples as well as reports.

Jupyter Notebooks is a fine application, but up until now, you could only integrate it with Azure Machine Learning if you were writing Python code.  This move is a big step forward for Azure ML.

Transitioning To Extended Events

Dave Mason shares his story of moving from Profiler traces to Extended Events:

Thinking back, my initial reaction was probably something like “I don’t get it.”. XEvents just seemed like a new dog performing an old trick. Even though I concluded most of the SQL pros had already made the transition to Extended Events (XEvents), and that I’d be living in the past if I didn’t do the same, I continued to use Profiler. It’s too bad–my current employer at the time had SQL 2012 across the board. I missed a great opportunity there. Before I left that job, I stumbled upon this Paul Randal post. It helped me trouble-shoot a performance issue with a stored proc. “Ok, so there’s one thing XEvents can do that Profiler can’t do” I thought to myself. (Note: I don’t know if that’s a true sentiment or not–I never investigated further.) I also recall reading at least one of Jonathon Kehayias’ (b|t) posts about XEvents, but I don’t remember which one. Profiler would remain my go-to tool for the remainder of my time with that employer.

Read this in conjunction with Erin’s request.

Why Do You Avoid Extended Events?

Erin Stellato wants to know why you’re still using Profiler over Extended Events:

Extended Events *is* the replacement for Profiler/Trace; it’s not going away.  I really want people to be prepared for the time when Profiler and Trace are removed from the product.  And I want to provide feedback to the SQL Server product team to address limitations that people find in Extended Events.  If the feature is lacking something, we need to work together to create change.

Thanks in advance for your help, and if you haven’t tried XE, or are looking for a refresher, then please attend my webinar next Tuesday, April 5th at 12PM EDT: Kicking and Screaming: Replacing Profiler with Extended Events.  I’d love to see you there and can help get you started with XE!

Leave a comment on Erin’s post and let her know.

SQL Server 2016 RC2

The SQL Server Team notes that Release Candidate 2 is now available:

In SQL Server 2016 RC 2, enhancements include:

  • R Services setup – the setup process for R Services is much more integrated into SQL Server setup. There is no longer a need to manually download and install Microsoft R open and R Server if the SQL Server is connected to the Internet; it becomes part of the SQL Server install sequence.

  • SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) – This release of SSMS features an update to the Visual Studio 2015 shell bringing enhancements such as the quick launch toolbar and improved theming support.

  • Mobile reports – Brand Packages will now be downloaded to the mobile report publisher from a server running RC2 and available for use in report creation.  Basic mobile report content migration between servers is now supported.

These look like wrap-up tasks.  It’s good to see R being integrated a little bit better; that installation series seemed a bit hacky, whereas this sounds a lot more polished.

SQLPS Fixed

Chrissy LeMaire and Aaron Nelson have succeeded; Microsoft has fixed the three issues with SQLPS:

In my previous blog post “Can We Get These 3 SQLPS Issues Fixed before SQL Server 2016 RTMs?“, Aaron Nelson and I asked the SQL and PowerShell community to help upvote 3 SQL Connect items. The items addressed three problems with SQL Server’s PowerShell module, SQLPS.

  • It took 3-5 seconds to load
  • It changed the present working directory when loaded
  • It produced approved verb warnings when loaded

Today, Microsoft responded, letting everyone know that the issues were addressed in SQL Server Management Studio March 2016 Refresh.

Given the reputation Connect has in the community, I’m glad to see these issues get fixed.

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