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Day: July 27, 2023

Role Analysis: DBA, Data Engineer, DB Reliability Engineer

Kendra Little disambiguates roles:

Much has changed: development patterns transformed from Waterfall to Agile, DevOps drives automation and shared ownership of code, and cloud services have made many more kinds of PAAS databases, data lakes, and data lakehouses available to organizations of all sizes.

These changes have introduced new and varied career paths for data folks which have different emphases on skill sets. In this post, I talk through the commonalities and differences between DBAs, Database Reliability Engineers (DBREs), and Data Engineers (DEs). Whether you’re a hiring manager or data professional, it’s worth knowing about these roles.

And a fourth one I’d include is Database Engineer, which I’ve also called a development DBA (versus a production DBA): focus on one platform, like SQL Server, and specialize in code development and tuning on that platform. I’d expect a Data Engineer to be familiar with at least one or two non-SQL programming languages—Python, Scala, Java, C#, F#, pick your poison—but that wouldn’t necessarily hold for a DBE.

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Testing Multi-User PBI Row-Level Security in Excel

Gilbert Quevauvilliers performs a test:

I have been doing a fair amount of work on Row Level Security (RLS) where the requirements were quite complex to implement.

Once I had completed the implementation of RLS there were two outstanding items I needed to test.

  1. Make sure that the users are only viewing the data they should see.
  2. Ensure that the performance of a selected user is still as fast as possible.

I would like to mention that this certainly can be done using DAX studio to get the query performance stats, I wanted to test this using Excel.

Gilbert had to do a fair amount here, but there’s a nice walkthrough indicating how to do it all.

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Backup Buffers in SQL Server

Andy Yun continues a series on backup internals:

Welcome to Part 2 of SQL Server Backup Internals. This blog series is a companion piece to my How to Accelerate Your Database Backups for In Part 1 of this blog series, I introduced the parts of a BACKUP operation.

Now let’s start focusing on performance characteristics. We can impact the performance of a BACKUP operation by making changes to or more of the following:

Click through for that list, as well as an extended analogy on buffer count and max transfer size.

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Variety in Power BI Bar Chart Designs

Kurt Buhler builds a series of charts from the Power BI bar chart visual:

These are only a few examples; there are many more. Knowing how to create these different bar chart variants is important to address these use-cases. While many of these visuals can be created custom in Deneb or from SVGs, you can also create them in the core visuals. However, it’s important to know the limitations of the core visuals in Power BI, and when this “Macguyvering” of the core visual formatting settings goes too far.

Kurt gives us a template (in pbib format) and explains various options we have around customizing visuals, not just taking what’s built in.

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Ghost Records in SQL Server

Chad Callihan sees a g-g-ghost record:

Have you ever had to deal with ghost records? While I’ve never had a problem that required intervention, I’ve read about people who have.

Let’s talk about what ghost records are and how you should treat them if they’re giving you problems in your environment.

Click through to learn more about them, including some phone numbers for Catholic priests trained in performing database exorcisms.

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