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Day: November 3, 2020

Understanding How GPS Works

Holger von Jouanne-Diedrich walks us through the basics of global positioning:

Last week, I showed you a method of how to find the fastest path from A to B: Finding the Shortest Path with Dijkstra’s Algorithm. To make use of that, we need a method to determine our position at any point in time.

For that matter, many devices use the so-called Global Positioning System (GPS). If you want to understand how it works and do some simple calculations in R, read on!

Do read the whole thing; the explanation is laid out really well.

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Adding Libraries in Databricks

Arun Sirpal has some third-party libraries to add:

It is a really common requirement to add specific libraries to databricks. Libraries can be written in Python, Java, Scala, and R. You can upload Java, Scala, and Python libraries and point to external packages in PyPI, Maven, and CRAN repositories.

Libraries can be added in 3 scopes. Workspace, Notebook-scoped and cluster. I want to show you have easy it is to add (and search) for a library that you can add to the cluster, so that all notebooks attached to the cluster can leverage the library.

I’m hoping that loading libraries in Azure Synapse Analytics will, at some point, be this convenient.

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Connecting to Postgres with PolyBase

I clear one blog post off my backlog:

Now that we have some data, let’s go back to SQL Server. I assume you’ve already installed and configured PolyBase—if not, check out my presentation on PolyBase. Note that this requires SQL Server 2019 or later, as that’s the first version which supports PolyBase to ODBC. Here’s a script which assumes a database named Scratch and a master key <<SomeSecureKey>>.

Click through for step-by-step instructions to get started, though I will freely admit that I don’t have the Postgres knowledge to give you a full listing of sharp edges.

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Backing Up the Service Master Key

William Assaf takes us through backing up important keys in SQL Server:

You should consider complimentary backup solutions that backup/snapshot the entire server (or VM) for SQL Server, but sometimes these technologies are limited or have too much of an impact on the server. A whole VM snapshot for example that is reliant on VSS could incur an unacceptable long IO stun duration when it occurs. 

Regardless, in all cases, SQL Server backups of each database should be taken regularly. This is a conversation for another blog post but a typical pattern is weekly full backups, nightly differential backups, and in the case of databases not in SIMPLE recovery model, 15 minute transaction log backups.

Read the whole thing.

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SSMS 18.7.1 Released

Glenn Berry takes us through the latest edition of SQL Server Management Studio:

One big change with SSMS 18.7 is described by Microsoft this way:

Beginning with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 18.7, Azure Data Studio is automatically installed alongside SSMS. Users of SQL Server Management Studio are now able to benefit from the innovations and features in Azure Data Studio. Azure Data Studio is a cross-platform and open-source desktop tool for your environments, whether in the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid.

So far, this has been a pretty controversial change. Erik Darling created a User Voice suggestion on October 20th that has already gotten over 234 votes, and many comments.

I’m not going to weigh in too much here, though I would prefer this to be an optional installation. Do watch out for an annoyance, though, if you have Azure Data Studio installed as a User instead of System.

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Stored Procedure Return Values and Entity Framework Core

Erik Ejlskov Jensen shows us how to retrieve the return value from a stored procedure using Entity Framework Core:

SQL Server stored procedures can return data in three different ways: Via result sets, OUTPUT parameters and RETURN values – see the docs here.

I have previously blogged about getting result sets with FromSqlRaw here and here.

I have blogged about using OUTPUT parameters with FromSqlRaw here.

In this post, let’s have a look at using RETURN values.

Click through for the process.

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