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Day: June 5, 2020

Building a Stream Processing App with ksql

The Hadoop in Real World team walks us through event streaming with ksql:

ksqlDB is an event streaming database that enables creating powerful stream processing applications on top of Apache Kafka by using the familiar SQL syntax, which is referred to as KSQL. This is a powerful concept that abstracts away much of the complexity of stream processing from the user. Business users or analysts with SQL background can query the complex data structures passing through kafka and get real-time insights. In this article, we are going to see how to set up ksqlDB and also look at important concepts in ksql and its usage.

Event streaming has become a lot easier over the past couple of years, as Kafka, Spark, and Flink have all matured.

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Bulk Loading SQL Server from .NET

Adrian Hills walks us through the SqlBulkCopy class:

Ever been in a situation where rumblings of “process X is too slow” suddenly build into a super-high priority ball of urgency when that next step up in data volume hits? Yeah, that can be fun. No, really, it can be fun because we have strategies to sort this stuff out, right?

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about one particular piece of functionality—SqlBulkCopy—that can help you with bulk data loading. If I had to single out my favorite .NET class, SqlBulkCopy would be at the top of the list. My goal is to introduce you to this class so that maybe it can become a part of your tool belt, too.

Click through to see how it works. If you’re familiar with SSIS, you’re already familiar with the concept if not the specifics.

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Unit Testing Azure Data Factory Pipelines

Richard Swinbank walks us through what it takes to run a unit test against an Azure Data Factory pipeline:

In part three of this series I looked at functional tests for ADF pipelines: verifying, in isolation, that pipelines are “doing things right”. In this post I’ll be testing isolated pipelines to check that they’re “doing the right things” – this is one description of a unit test. In a general-purpose programming language, unit tests might be used to verify that an individual line of code is executed, or that it has a particular effect. In Azure Data Factory, the smallest unit of development – a “line of code” – is a pipeline activity. I will be writing tests to verify that specific activities are executed (or not) and to inspect their results.

There’s a fair bit involved in this sort of test.

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Power Query Performance Differences in When You Remove Columns

Chris Webb continues a series on optimizing Power Query merge performance:

In my last post I demonstrated how the size of a table affects the performance of Power Query merge operations on non-foldable data sources in Power BI. Specifically, I showed that removing columns from the tables involved in a merge before the merge took place improved performance. But does it matter when you remove the columns? Is it enough to only select the columns you need when you expand the nested table returned by a merge, for example, or just to remove columns after the merge step? So, today’s question is:

Does it make a difference to Power Query merge performance if you remove unwanted columns from your source tables in the step before the merge or in the step afterwards?

Read on for the result, as well as a pleasant surprise around Power BI’s capabilities.

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Backing Up SQL Server Instance Configuration

Claudio Silva has started a series on backing up your SQL Server instance configuration. Part 1 walks us through the basic process:

If you have never used this command, you can test for a single instance by running the following:

Export-DbaInstance -SqlInstance "devInstance" -Path "D:\temp"

This will create all scripts in the D:\temp folder. A folder named “devInstance-{date}” will be created.
In this folder, you will find 1 file per ‘object type’. The file names are in the form of “#-.sql” where the # is a number that represents the iterator on the order that the internal calls of the underlying functions happen.

Be sure to read the sections around passwords!

Part 2 introduces parallelism into the mix:

There are a couple of options, like the native PowerShell cmdlets Start-Job/Stop-Job a.k.a background jobs, Runspaces jobs and Thread jobs but I will just mention two of them. One is a nice addition to the most recent version of PowerShell (v7) and the other using a PowerShell module.

In case you don’t know, with PowerShell v7 it’s possible to use a new option -Parallel with ForEach-Object. Check PowerShell’s team blog post PowerShell ForEach-Object Parallel Feature.

However, because I don’t have (yet :-)) PS7, I will keep leveraging on PoshRSJob module, which uses runspaces, created by Boe Prox (T | B).

There’s a lot of meat in that second part, so check it out.

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