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Author: Kevin Feasel

Scheduling Tasks in SQL Server Express Edition

Steve Stedman & co don’t need your SQL Agents:

One of the feature differences between SQL Server Express Edition and the other paid versions is the ability to schedule jobs or tasks using the SQL Server Agent.

Even if you are running SQL Server Express Edition, there is a need to run scheduled jobs.

I’ve used this option and yes, it does work. But it’s definitely a few steps down from using SQL Agent jobs. Still, if that’s not available to you, this is a viable fallback option.

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Index Maintenance and Pipeline Operation Scripts

Kevin Chant has a two-fer for us:

My first personal go-to script is one that has helped me out a lot over the years. Because I have used it a lot to identify missing indexes. I know there are a few different versions available online that you can use. However, I tend to use the one that comes with Glenn Berry’s Diagnostic Queries.

It is so easy to use. I’m not sharing the snippet of code on here because I want to encourage people to download the entire diagnostic script instead. Just download the script that is relevant for your version of SQL Server and search for ‘Missing indexes’.

Read the whole thing.

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Things You Can Do with Random Values

Andy Yun shows off some random skills:

First, there are times where you need multiple random numbers. Simply using multiple iterations of RAND() in a single statement won’t cut it, as you need to vary the seed. So I keep this snippet handy for when I need a bunch of random values in a single statement:

Click through for that as well as two more uses of RANDOM(). This is my reminder that RANDOM() generates data across a uniform distribution (every value in the range is equally likely to be chosen), making it great for these sorts of experiments but can look weird by itself if you’d expect non-uniform distributions of the data. For that, you would need some distributional trickery—though frankly, between the uniform and normal distributions, you’ve probably covered about 95-99% of test dataset needs.

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15 Short Code Snippets

Chad Baldwin goes the extra mile:

I’m excited that this will be my first time participating in a T-SQL Tuesday topic!

Most of my time is spent writing T-SQL, PowerShell and working in the PowerShell terminal, so that’s how I’ll split the post up.

I had to cut it short otherwise this post would be a mile long. If you’re interested in seeing more quick tricks, SQL Prompt snippets, etc, please leave a comment and let me know and I can do a Part 2 in the future.

Click through for a baker’s dozen plus a couple spares.

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Best Practices for SQL Server on Physical Machines

Anthony Nocentino has some practices for us, the best practices:

The intent of this post is a quick reference guide based on the recommendation made on Pure Storage Support page in the Microsoft Platform Guide . The target audience for this blog post is for SQL Server DBAs introducing them to the most impactful configurations and settings for running SQL Server on physical machines on Pure Storage.

Click through for a checklist of recommendations.

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Building a D3 Visualization in R

The Jumping Rivers team show how to create a D3 visual in R:

D3.js, or just D3 as it’s more often referred to, is a JavaScript library used for creating interactive data visualisations optimised for the web. D3 stands for Data-Driven Documents. It is commonly used by those who enjoy making creative or otherwise unusual visualisations as it offers you a great deal of freedom as well as options for interactivity such as animated transitions and plot zooming.

Click through for the blog post and also check out the associated GitHub repo. D3 is an incredibly powerful framework, but is almost as complex as it is powerful.

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Repurposing Helpful Scripts

Deepthi Goguri re-shares some helpful scripts:

For the past couple of years as a DBA, I migrated several databases and used many handy scripts that helped me made my work easier. These scripts may be simple but if you have a migration project involving several SQL Servers with some hundreds of databases, test and production database migrations becomes tedious. I would like to share some of then here which you might already known them very well.

Click through for three scripts.

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Adding Debug Logic to T-SQL Procedures

Deborah Melkin does not take kindly to bugs:

I often find that I have to write complicated stored procedures where I need to check things as I go along. My go-to for using this snippet is when I write stored procedures that use dynamic SQL. You’d be surprised (or not) at how often I have had to do this over the years. There’s been functionality where the user gets to choose the columns being used, rewriting ORM data layer “catch-all” queries to improve performance, and cross database queries where the name of the database may not be the standard name (think development and QA databases living on the same SQL instance.)

Click through for an example of where the @Debug parameter pays off. My recollection was that, for really long NVARCHAR(MAX) strings, running PRINT by itself might cut off the code after ~4000 characters, but that could be a historical recollection.

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