Branching Strategy

Richie Lee points out an article on the SQL Server team’s source control strategy:

I’ve always advocated a dev/main/release process, but I’ll admit this has weaknesses, not least that testing will usually only take place properly in one branch, and that bugs found in one branch may not find there way “back” or “forward”, but to go with one branch means that you are forced to keep the quality at production-code quality and make use of feature switches. Certainly it’s an ambitious way of working, and Microsoft’s ALM documentation suggests that no branches is reserved for smaller teams, but surely if the SQL team at Microsoft are able to do it then certainly it’s a branching strategy worth considering?

Read the linked article as well.  This is an interesting look from the inside of how SQL Server gets developed.

Temp Table Usage

Paul Randal discusses common temp table anti-patterns:

It’s quite common for there to be a latching bottleneck in tempdb that can be traced back to temporary table usage. If there are lots of concurrent connections running code that creates and drops temporary tables, access to the database’s allocation bitmaps in memory can become a significant bottleneck.

This is because only one thread at a time can be changing an allocation bitmap to mark pages (from the temp table) as allocated or deallocated, and so all the other threads have to wait, decreasing the workload throughput. Even though there has been a temporary table cache since SQL Server 2005, it’s not very large, and there are restrictions on when the temporary table can be cached (e.g. only when it’s less than 8MB in size).

This is great advice; read the whole post.

Using Dates And Times

Aaron Bertrand has an intro-level post on using dates and times in SQL Server:

I urge you to always use yyyymmdd (without the dashes) for a date without time – it will never fail, regardless of regional, language, or dateformat settings, and across any of the date/time data types. (And absolutely do not store it as a string data type in SQL Server – always store it as a proper date or time data type.)

This was a big one for me because I tend to use yyyy-mm-dd.

SSRS Improvements

Simon Sabin has thoughts on Reporting Services 2016:

I recently installed SQL Server 2016 on my surface to get all our SQLBits reports sorted. What I couldn’t figure out was why it was so quick. I thought it might be because it was a local install and running on an SSD based surface but that couldn’t account for the blazing difference with previous versions.

Well the answer is much better.

I am looking forward to Reporting Services 2016, even though I rarely use SSRS anymore.

Specify Schema

Kevin Feasel

2016-04-07

T-SQL

Kenneth Fisher warns that you should specify schemas in scripts:

But why? I mean the table gets created either way and since the default is dbothere is no real reason to name it.

Actually no. The default is not in fact dbo. It frequently is dbo but by no means always. The default schema is part of your USER information. Specifically theDEFAULT_SCHEMA option. Well, unless you are a sysadmin. Then it actually does always default to dbo.

Schemas are a very powerful grouping mechanism, and they’ve been around long enough that if you aren’t taking full advantage of them, you really should.

Adding Multiple Packages To A Project

Koen Verbeeck shows a quick way to add multiple existing packages to a project:

You select the package you want to import and you’re done. But the problem is, you can select only one single object? What if you want to import 20 packages to your project? Kind of annoying to repeat the same process 20 times, isn’t it?

Luckily there’s an easier way. Instead of going for the obvious Add Existing Package, right-click on the project itself. In the context-menu, choose Add, ignore Existing Package and click on Existing Item.

If you have a large number of packages to import, this will save you a few minutes of tedium (or hand-editing a project file).

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