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Month: February 2022

All about Boxplots

Amy Esselman explains what a boxplot is:

The “box” part of a boxplot outlines the lower and upper quartiles. Inside the box is a line that indicates the median value. There are lines that extend outside the box—known as the whiskers—to depict the range of values in a given dataset. If there are outliers, then individual dots in line with the whiskers are plotted to denote the extreme values. 

Click through for a depiction of the plot as well as several alternative depictions which can include more information at the cost of added complexity.

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Not Optimizing for Ad Hoc Workloads

Erik Darling continues a thread:

A few weeks back, my friend Randolph (B|T) and I collaborated a bit on a blog post about Optimize For Ad Hoc Workloads.

Now that I’m a Microsoft Approved Blogger™️ and you all have to take me Very Seriously™️, I’d like to make a few of the points here in my own words, though I highly suggest reading Randolph’s post because it’s much better.

Randolph writes for a living. I’m just a consultant with some free time.

Click through for Erik’s thoughts. Before reading Randolph and Erik’s posts, my figuring on it was that it didn’t hurt and could help, so “on” was a good default. These posts lay out a good reason why the former isn’t true and the latter is less likely than it seems.

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Creating an SSIS Integration Runtime in Synapse

Andy Leonard shows one way to create an Azure * SQL Server Integration Services integration runtime for Azure Synapse Analytics:

On 17 Feb 2022, I first saw the Microsoft announcement of the public preview of Azure-SSIS integration runtimes in Azure Synapse Analytics. I blogged about the announcement in a post titled Azure-SSIS Integration Runtime now available in Azure Synapse Analytics.

I am excited to share one way for you to provision an Azure-SSIS IR in Synapse Analytics, following these steps. To start provisioning a shiny new Azure Synapse Analytics Azure-SSIS integration runtime, open Synapse Studio:

Read on for the step-by-step guide.

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SQL Server Analytics Updates

The SQL Server team drops bad news on a Friday:

Today, we are announcing the retirement of PolyBase scale-out groups in Microsoft SQL Server. Scale-out group functionality will be removed from the product in SQL Server 2022. In-market SQL Server 2019, 2017, and 2016 will continue to support the functionality to the end of support for those products.

In addition to killing Big Data Clusters, they’re also killing the Java connector in PolyBase and scale-out groups. I have a blog post coming up today on the topic with my full set of thoughts. The short version is, “Mostly not bad, though losing scale-out groups sucks.”

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Sending E-Mail Alerts with XESmartTarget

Gianluca Sartori continues a series on XESmartTarget:

In the previous recipe, you learned how to combine multiple Responses together and how to control their output, using filters and Expression Columns. Armed with this knowledge, you can now tackle the most complex problems, using all the available Response types. In this post you learn how to notify when specific events occur, using the EmailResponse.

This might be a “You can, but should you?” type of target.

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Goodbye, Big Data Clusters

Mohammad Darab has a few thoughts:

I wanted to publish a quick note about something a little near and dear to me. As of today, Feb 25th, 2022, Microsoft made the official announcement that they are retiring SQL Server Big Data Clusters. You can read the full statement here.

It is a bit disappointing to see the lack of take-up here. Personally, I fought to get this set up in my environment but wasn’t able to convince management. I’m guessing there was a fair amount of that which led to a lack of take-up.

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Form Recognizer Updates

Vinod Kurpad shares some news:

Form Recognizer continues to improve product capabilities with improved models, support for additional document types and containerized solutions that run in the cloud or on premises either connected or fully disconnected for scenarios where containers need to run in an isolated environment. Recent updates to pricing include commitment tiers for customers who have a predictable volume of documents. Starting February 15th, the pricing for Invoices and General Document API will drop to $10 per 1000 pages, an 80% reduction, making it possible for customers to use invoices and the general document APIs for high volume scenarios to significantly lower cost while providing additional value.

That’s a pretty big improvement.

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Merging Extended Event Columns with XESmartTarget

Gianluca Sartori continues a series on XESmartTarget:

In the previous recipe, we wrote event data to a table in the database and each event used field and action names to map to the column names in the table. The same information (the text of the command) was stored in two separate columns, depending on the event type:

– batch_text for sql_batch_completed events

– statement for rpc_completed events

SSMS has a nice feature that allows you to create a merged column using data from several columns. Here is how you do it:

Click through for that explanation.

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