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Day: January 10, 2023

Parallel Loading in Spark Notebooks

Dustin Vannoy answers some questions:

I received many questions on my tutorial Ingest tables in parallel with an Apache Spark notebook using multithreading. In this video and post I address some of the questions that I couldn’t just answer in the YouTube comments. Watch the video for more complete answers but here are quick responses with links to examples where appropriate.

Click through for the video and some text versions. Dustin includes examples for Synapse and Databricks.

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Creating a DNS Alias for a Dedicated SQL Pool

Resham Popli creates an alias:

This blog will walk through the details on how to enable custom DNS (Domain Name System) entries on an Azure Synapse dedicated pool inside an Azure Synapse workspace in case of disaster recovery.

The DNS alias provides a translation layer that can redirect your client programs to different servers. This layer spares you the difficulties of having to find and edit all the clients and their connection strings (in disaster recovery implementation). This is not supported out-of-box, so we need to take extra steps to enable this feature. There are some limitations, so please read these steps carefully.

Read on to learn how and what those limitations are.

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Timeouts Importing a Bacpac File

Jose Manuel Jurado Diaz hits one of the three most annoying parts of dealing with bacpac files:

Today, I worked on a service request that our customer got the following error message: Execution Timeout Expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding importing a bacpac file, in this situation, was at the moment that SQLPackage was enabling (rebuilding) an index, for example, Enabling index ‘IX_MyIndex’…

The other two are, of course, getting one to export without any errors and getting one to export without timing out.

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Securing the Root Keys when using TDE

Matthew McGiffen puts the keys behind lock and key:

In this quick post we’re going to look at an additional step you should take to secure your TDE databases. This is a step you won’t find in any other documentation on setting up TDE in SQL Server that I’ve seen, so it probably bears a little explaining.

Matthew has solid advice, though if someone does get the Local Admin credentials (e.g., through a spearphishing attack), that person could still eventually gain access to the underlying data. I get that at some point, things will break, so it’s mostly a matter of being aware what can cause that break and minimizing the likelihood of it occurring.

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When Shrinking Makes Sense

Eitan Blumin reminds us that database shrinking isn’t always bad:

Shrinking databases and database files in SQL Server is a widely known “worst practice”.

Usually, it’s because it’s assumed that the database files are expected to auto-grow again after the shrink.
So, in truth, it’s not the shrink itself that’s the problem… It’s the auto-growth!

But… What if you DON’T expect the database file to auto-grow back to what it was before?
For example, what if you truncated/deleted/migrated/archived huge chunks of data from your database, which you don’t expect to be returned later? Or what if you performed a massive data compression or migrated to clustered columnstore indexes, which reduced your data size significantly?

Read on for more thoughts along these lines, problems you might run into, and scripts to help you along the way.

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Against the Grain: Heaps, Clustered Indexes, and Fragmentation

Rob Farley cautions against rash decisions on three topics:

We’ve already mentioned how clustered indexes can help avoid some of the problems with heaps, but I’m rarely in favour of the standard clustered index key choice – that of an ever-increasing identity column. The arguments people make for this are typically around avoiding page-splits, and the smallness of the data type. But I see tables where the clustered index is on a unique ID column and nothing ever refers to it.

Read on for a dose of caution on three popular beliefs.

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Multi-Language Support for Power BI

Marc Lelijveld supports several languages:

In case you’re working in an international company, you might have to deal with multiple languages and cultures at the same time. As not in all countries and businesses, it is common that everyone speaks and communicates in English all day, it can be relevant to support other languages for your Power BI solution. But what do you do? Should you start duplicating your entire solution and translate all elements to a different language? Or develop your entire solution in the corporate native language, like Dutch or German?

In this post I will elaborate on using translations in Power BI, to automatically translate your Power BI model meta data to different cultures. Besides the meta data, I will also elaborate on aspects like visual titles and translating the data itself. Happy translating!

Click through for one way to solve this problem.

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Creating an Instance Alias in SQL Server 2022

Marco Russo asks, what’s in a name?

If you create server aliases for SQL Server connections, you should be aware of the changes introduced in SQL Server 2022. At SQLBI we use aliases to identify the server’s name in the connection of our samples (Power BI files and Analysis Services model), so this short article should help those who face similar requirements.

Read on to learn what that change is and how you can work around it.

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