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Day: August 30, 2021

Github Autopilot and Insecure Code Suggestions

Mayank Sharma reviews an article:

Academic researchers discover that nearly 40% of the code suggestions by GitHub’s Copilot tool are erroneous, from a security point of view.

Developed by GitHub in collaboration with OpenAI, and currently in private beta testing, Copilot leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to make relevant coding suggestions to programmers as they write code.

To help quantify the value-add of the system, the academic researchers created 89 different scenarios for Copilot to suggest code for, which produced over 1600 programs. Reviewing them, the researchers discovered that almost 40% were vulnerable in one way or another. 

Click through to learn more, as well as a link to the article itself. I would be interested in reading GitHub’s thoughts on this.

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Using Index Column Order and Dynamic SQL to Fix Non-SARGable Queries

Erik Darling wraps up season 1 of Saving Sarge with a cliffhanger. First up, how setting up indexes to lead with SARGable columns makes sense:

Quite a bit, I find myself working with people who are able to change indexes, but unable to change queries.

Even making small, sane changes would nix their support, should they ask for it. I do sometimes have to laugh at the situation: if support were that great, they wouldn’t need me, and if we made the change, they probably wouldn’t need support.

Oh well, though. Keep me employed, ISVs.

Then, Erik takes a look at using dynamic SQL to solve one class of non-SARGable predicates:

The non-SARGABLE pattern that dynamic SQL helps you deal with is the the catch all query pattern, which can look like:

– col = @parameter or @parameter is null
– col = isnull(@parameter, col)
– col = coalesce(@parameter, col)

Or any similar variation of null/not null checking of a parameter (or variable) in the where/join clause at runtime.

Dynamic SQL allows you to build up the specific where clause that you need for the non-NULL set of search filters.

Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode of Saving Sarge. Same SARG-time, same SARG-channel.

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E-Mailing a DBA upon Object Creation in System Databases

Thomas Williams has another script for us:

Next on the list to commission a SQL Server, is to create a trigger in the master system database to send an e-mail to the DBA when objects are created in the database.

In general I’d expect this never to happen – but if it did, I’d want to follow up. It’s possible to go even further and prevent creating objects in the master system database completely.

My experience is that about 5% of the time, people intentionally put objects into the master database, and 95% of the time, I…err, they…forgot to switch databases before running the script.

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Paul Randal explains the APPEND_ONLY_STORAGE_INSERT_POINT latch and describes when and why this might be a problem:

Continuing my series of articles on latches, this time I’m going to discuss the APPEND_ONLY_STORAGE_INSERT_POINT latch and show how it can be a major bottleneck for heavy update workloads where either form of snapshot isolation is being used.

I strongly recommend you read the initial post in the series before this one, so you have all the general background knowledge about latches.

As always, read the whole thing.

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Debugging Memory Access Violation Errors

Sean Gallardy explains access violations:

Access Violations (AV) are another common error that will cause SQL Server to take a memory dump. These can occur for a variety of reasons, and unlike the last one (Non-Yielding Scheduler) it’s quite the task, especially given public symbols don’t have structure data and offsets.

Read on to see what they are, what a dump file may include, and why they can be so difficult to debug.

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Connecting to REST APIs via OAuth2 in Power BI

Chris Webb has an answer, but you may not like it:

There are a lot of articles and blog posts out there on how to handle OAuth2 authentication when connecting to REST APIs from Power Query in Power BI. However there is also a lot of confusion and contradictory information too so in this post I want to give you the definitive, Microsoft-endorsed answer to this question, which is:

If want to connect from Power BI to a REST API that uses OAuth2 authentication then you need to build a custom connector.

Read on for documentation showing how to implement and the big risk you’re taking if you don’t use a custom connector.

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