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Month: March 2023

Working with Managed Private Endpoints in Synapse

Sergio Fonseca continues a series on Synapse connectivity:

When you create your Azure Synapse workspace, you can choose to associate it to an Azure Virtual Network. The Virtual Network associated with your workspace is managed by Azure Synapse. This Virtual Network is called a Managed Workspace Virtual Network or Synapse Managed VNET

I am 100% in favor of using managed vNETs with Synapse and about 40% in favor of using Data Exfiltration Protection—it’s a lot lower because of the impact it has on your developers, though if you need it, developers will just have to deal with the added pain.

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Deciding on When to Automate

Jeffrey Hicks shares some hard-earned wisdom:

I’ve been scripting and automating things since the days of DOS 3.3, beginning with batch files. It always felt like magic. I could cast a charm simply by typing a few characters on a keyboard. Naturally, my magic skills went from batch files to VBScript to PowerShell. Throughout it all, I’ve also had an internal decision tree regarding automation. Over the years, I’ve seen IT pros new to scripting and automation needlessly struggle. Often it is due to a deficiency in their decision tree. Today, I thought I’d help you nurture yours.

There’s a lot of good advice here about where the automation inflection point is, choosing the right tool, and performing research first before trying to jump into a project.

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Approximate Percentiles in Azure SQL DB and MI

Balmukund Lakhani announces a feature has gone generally available:

Today, we are announcing General Availability (GA) of native implementation of APPROX_PERCENTILE in Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance. We announced preview of these functions in October 2022. Since then, many customers have adopted these for the applications where response time of percentile calculation was more important than the accuracy of the result.

I have and will continue to extol the virtues of these two functions wherever I go. They’re considerably better than the originals once you start getting into the hundreds of thousands or millions of rows. They’re also available in SQL Server 2022.

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Copy-Only Backup and Next Automatic Backup

Jose Manuel Jurado Diaz diagnoses an error:

Today, we worked on a service request that our customer got the following error message: BACKUP WITH COPY_ONLY cannot be performed until after the next automatic BACKUP LOG operation [SQLSTATE 42000] (Error 41937) BACKUP DATABASE is terminating abnormally. [SQLSTATE 42000] (Error 3013), running a manual backup.

Click through to learn when you might see this error and what you can do about it.

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Disabling Classic Pipelines in Azure DevOps

Kevin Chant shares some thoughts:

In this post I want to share my thoughts about disabling classic pipelines in Azure DevOps. Which I know there are mixed feelings about.

In addition, I want to raise awareness that this is now possible. Due to the fact that towards the end of January Microsoft announced that you can now disable creation of classic pipelines in Azure DevOps.

In other words, you can now disable the use of the GUI-based Classic Editor and the Releases features in Azure Pipelines.

I agree with Kevin here: it’s generally time to bite the bullet on infrastructure as code if you haven’t already. We talk about it in the data platform context a lot (database schemas in source control, repeatable deployment processes, maintaining config files and applying them) and it matters just as much elsewhere.

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Generating Nested Time Series Models

Steven Sanderson can’t stop at just one time series:

There are many approaches to modeling time series data in R. One of the types of data that we might come across is a nested time series. This means the data is grouped simply by one or more keys. There are many methods in which to accomplish this task. This will be a quick post, but if you want a longer more detailed and quite frankly well written out one, then this is a really good article

The quick post doesn’t include a lot of commentary but does show the code you’d use for the operation.

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Brief Code File Analysis with Python

Matt Eland reviews the code:

Last year I devised some ways of analyzing the history and structure of code in a visual way, but I didn’t document much of that to share with the community. This article explores the process I used to build a CSV file containing the path, extension, project, and line of code count in all source files in a project.

Click through for the Python code and an explanation of what it’s doing.

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The Most Common SQL Server Engine Errors Generating Support Tickets

Joseph Pilov collects a list:

About 6 months ago we decided to look at what SQL Server engine error messages are most commonly generating support cases to Microsoft. The end goal was to update the documentation for those error messages to allow our customers to find answers for themselves before they have to call Microsoft for technical assistance.

The task, as we suspected from previous experience, was not easy because we had to mine cases for error numbers and a relatively small number of support cases get reported with error messages when they are opened. Please report full error messages when you open support cases with Microsoft – it would help us get you answers faster. Still, we were able to find the trends even from the small percentages because were looking for the top 20 or so most common errors, based on case count, and we needed relative information – which error is reported more than another.

Click through for the list. A benefit from going through this exercise is that Microsoft has provided more information on each of those error IDs, hopefully making it easier for people to diagnose and resolve problems without needing to reach out to support.

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Peeking into Azure SQL DB via Extended Events

Grant Fritchey observes the observers:

Last week I posted the results from using Extended Events to snoop on what happens inside an AWS RDS database. This week, I’m taking a look at what happens on Azure SQL Database. I’m using the same toolset again, if for no other reason that I’m consistent in my approach. So it’s basically just rpc_completed & sql_batch_completed on the database in question. Let’s check out the results.

Here’s the prior post, in case you missed it like I did.

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Options to Export Power BI to Tables

Gilbert Quevauvilliers counts the ways:

I was recently helping out a customer and they contacted me asking why was the export option not in the format that they expected.

I had a look and now because there are so many options to export data, each one exports the data differently.

My goal for this blog post is to show you what each export type looks like, so when a user is exporting data, they can export in the format they expect.

It turns out that there are several such ways and Gilbert describes each.

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