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Day: April 11, 2023

The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)

Robert Cain continues a series on book archival:

This is part of my ongoing series on my ArcaneBooks project. The goal is to provide a module to retrieve book data via provided web APIs. In the SEE ALSO section later in this post I’ll provide links to previous posts which cover the background of the project, as well as how to use the OpenLibrary APIs to get data based on the ISBN.

In this post I will provide an overview of using the Library of Congress API to get data based on the LCCN, short for Library of Congress Control Number.

This has been an interesting series to watch, as it’s a practical application of non-work use of a series of practical development skills.

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Putting tempdb on an Azure VM Temp Disk

Daniel Hutmacher uses a temp disk for a temp database:

Almost all Azure virtual machine sizes come with a temporary disk. The temporary disk is a locally attached SSD drive that comes with a couple of desirable features if you’re installing a SQL Server on your VM:

  • Because it is locally attached, it has lower latency than regular disks.
  • IO and storage are not billed like regular storage.

As the name implies, the temporary disk is not persistent, meaning that it will be wiped if you shut down your VM or if the VM moves to another VM host (as part of maintenance or troubleshooting). For that reason, we never want to put anything on the temporary disk that we need to keep.

I’d say this was a lot more popular several years ago, back when spinning disk was the default for Azure storage. There can still be benefits from doing this, though if you’re using Premium storage with high IOPS, the biggest remaining benefit is around latency.

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Data-Level Security in Power BI

Reza Rad explains different ways to secure data in Power BI:

Power BI supports the security of the data at the dataset level. This security means everyone can see the data they are authorized to see. There are different levels of that in Power BI, including Row-Level Security, Column-Level Security, and Object-Level Security. All these help Power BI Developers create one dataset but give users different views of the data from the same report. In this article, I’ll explain each of those methods and give some guidance on how to use them.

This serves as the opener to a series of articles on Power BI data security.

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T-SQL and Fun Puzzles

Rob Farley puzzles it out:

Back in my uni days I remember a Prolog assignment to solve “each letter represents a number” puzzles, and my solution being slow. Years later I tried it again and it worked out just fine, but by then the due date was in the past and they weren’t prepared to change my grade.

While these kinds of things can be fun (more so when there aren’t uni grades dependent on the solution), there are also times that it can be fun to rewrite some code in a way that is more intuitive, or that feels clever in a profoundly simple way.

Rob shares links to a few examples along those lines.

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Fixing the Parallelism Documentation

Erik Darling shreds the docs:

The section with the weirdest errors and omissions is right up at the top. I’m going to post a screenshot of it, because I don’t want the text to appear here in a searchable format.

That might lead people not reading thoroughly to think that I condone any of it, when I don’t.

Erik pulls no punches on this post. Hopefully the end result is that this part of the documentation improves.

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Changes to the IaaS Agent for SQL Server on Azure VMs

Aditya Badramraju has an announcement:

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines is powered by the SQL IaaS Agent extension which provides many features that make managing your SQL Server easy. This blog will discuss new features and changes we’ve recently released in this extension. 

Click through for those changes. I was prepared, upon seeing the “Retiring Modes” section, to have a cynical response about forcing everyone into what was effectively Full mode, but that proto-take ended up being way off base and the truth is much nicer.

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