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Day: April 17, 2024

Specifying Follow-Up Times for Longitudinal Data in simstudy

Keith Goldfield updates the simstudy package:

A researcher reached out to me a few weeks ago. They were trying to generate longitudinal data that included irregularly spaced follow-up periods. The default periods generated by the function addPeriods in the simstudy package are {0,1,2,…,n−1}{0,1,2,…,n−1}, where there are n total periods. However, when follow-up periods required more specificity, such as {0,90,180,365}{0,90,180,365} days from baseline, users had to manually add them. Originally, I had intended to incorporate this feature into the function, but unfortunately it slipped through the cracks. Thanks to the clear motivation provided by the researcher, I’ve implemented this enhancement. Users can now replace the default vector with their desired set of follow-up periods using the new argument periodVec. This addition is available in the development version of simstudy on GitHub.

Read on to see how it works. H/T R-Bloggers.

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Locking down Branches in GitHub

I have a new video:

In this video, I show you how you can prevent people from checking directly into a specific branch, as well as explaining why you might want to enable this feature and how it looks for administrators.

Admittedly, this video would work a bit better with multiple user accounts, but I think I got the general point across.

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Deploying Power Apps as Solutions or Apps

Deborah Melkin explains deployment:

One of the big challenges I had was how to move the app from different environments. Following best software development practices, we have a development environment in our Power Platform that uses a development database as well as a production environment that points to a different production database. This has been a multi-step process with hurdles along the way.

Read on for Deborah’s thoughts and some of the issues she hit along the way.

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Metadata Tables and Azure Data Factory

Martin Schoombee brings back metadata tables:

The metadata that drives the execution within a framework is probably the most critical part. Going back to our analogy of building a house, the metadata would be the foundation. It is here where you are going to make some architectural decisions outside of which the framework cannot operate.

One such decision is how configurable or flexible you’d like the framework to be. In other words, how many attributes would you like to be dynamic and/or have the option to change during execution. It seems like an easy choice, and most engineers would lean towards “everything” or “as much as possible” as an answer. In reality however, the trade-off is complexity and the more dynamic you make the framework the more complicated it becomes. And you pay for the complexity later when you need to maintain or add new functionality to it.

Read on to see how it all fits together.

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Elastic Jobs for Azure SQL DB

Josephine Bush digs into Elastic Jobs:

I know if you are a SQL Server DBA using Azure SQL DB, you’ve been sorely missing the agent. Enter Elastic Jobs to help you schedule jobs more easily against Azure SQL DB. I will cover setting up and scheduling Elastic Jobs to execute Ola index maintenance. If you’ve used Elastic Jobs in the past, there are some very nice improvements with the recent GA release, so don’t feel discouraged if you didn’t like it in the past—it’s way better now!

Read on for a deep dive into Elastic Jobs.

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Enhanced Patching for SQL Server on Azure VMs

Taryn Pratt has an update:

We are pleased to announce the GA release of enhanced patching capabilities for SQL Server on Azure VMs using Azure Update Manager. When you register your SQL Server on Azure VM with the SQL IaaS Agent extension, you unlock a number of feature benefits, including patch management at scale with Azure Update Manager.

Read on to see what this does, how you can set it up, and how you can migrate from the SQL Server IaaS agent extension’s automated patching service.

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sqlcmd and Self-Signed Certificates

Vlad Drumea is a trusting fellow:

This post covers a few ways to fix the SSL certificate error 1416F086 returned by sqlcmd on Linux when connecting to SQL Server.

If you’re looking for ways to fix the Windows equivalent of this error when using dbatools, check out this blog post.

It’s interesting how much controversy we’re seeing around tools like sqlcmd and (especially) SQL Server Management Studio defaulting to mandatory encryption. Having signed and valid certificates is a critical part of validating that this SQL Server is actually the one you think it is, and no intermediary attacker has swapped the certificate out with a phony one that allows the attacker to spy on your interactions.

I can understand people who are just messing around with SQL Server locally to experience pain on this, but the sheer number of actual companies—including companies using Central Management Servers, which implies having multiple SQL Server instances—with garbage-tier self-signed certificates is discouragingly high.

By the way, I’m aiming none of my rant at Vlad or this post. It’s just top-of-mind and this was as good a vehicle for rant delivery as I could find.

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