Azure Data Studio June Release

Alan Yu announces the June release of Azure Data Studio:

As our team presented in SQL Server sessions across the country, users in person and on GitHub told us that they couldn’t start using Azure Data Studio in their daily work streams until X feature was implemented. One of the most requested of these features is Central Management Servers support, and we are excited to announce the preview release of the CMS extension.

CMS is quite useful. There are also a couple dozen bugfixes and improvements to SQL notebooks.

Azure Data Studio May Release

Alan Yu announces the May release of Azure Data Studio:

Since its release two months ago, the community continues to love SQL Notebooks. This month, we had a laser-eyed focus on quality of life bug fixes instead of new features. These improvements include:

– Markdown rendering improvements, including better support for notes and tables
– Usability improvements to the toolbar
– Markdown links for trusted notebooks no longer requires Command/Ctrl + click and can be clicked directly
– Improvements in cleaning up Jupyter processes after closing notebooks and reducing errors when starting multiple notebooks concurrently
– Improvements to SQL Notebook connections to ensure errors don’t occur when running two notebooks against the same database
– Improvements to notebook auto-scrolling to the currently executing cell when clicking the run cells button from the toolbar
– General stability and performance improvements

And based on some of the GitHub comments, I’m going to really like the June release if those changes all make it in.

Thoughts on SQL Notebooks

Emanuele Meazzo takes a look at the current state of SQL Notebooks in Azure Data Studio:

I’ve personally used SQL Notebook in my day-to-day work for Data Analysis, as the possibility to tweak the code and run it in the notebook greatly enhances the presentation of the data as oppose to a commented SQL Script ,as you cannot see all the query results in the same page too as opposed to a notebook; Moreover, a notebook (with or without results) can be exported in a read-only format like html or pdf to share the info with third parties, i.e. you can automate an analysis process that include code to be shared, cool stuff.

I think there are still a few (dozen) things to iron out before it’s a great experience, but they’re on the right path with it. If you haven’t checked out Azure Data Studio and its SQL Notebooks, give it a try sometime.

Choosing Between Management Studio and Azure Data Studio

Brent Ozar gives us the lay of the tooling land:

Every time there’s a new release of SQL Server or SQL Server Management Studio, you can grab the latest version of SSMS and keep right on keepin’ on. Your job still functions the same way using the same tool, and the tool keeps getting better.

And it’s free. You don’t have to ask the boss for upgrade money. You can just download it, install it, and take advantage of things like the cool new execution plan est-vs-actual numbers (which also cause presenters all over to curse, knowing that they have to redo a bunch of screenshots.)

I spend a lot of time jumping back & forth between SQL Server and Postgres, and lemme just tell you, the tooling options on the other side of the fence are a hot mess.

Yeah, Management Studio is the best of the bunch. I’m using Azure Data Studio more at home but still need a couple of plugins to use it often at work. And those two beat pretty much every other tool I’ve ever worked with.

Azure Data Studio April Release

Alan Yu announces the April release of Azure Data Studio:

The key highlights to cover this month include:
– March release recap
– Azure Explorer improvements
– Visual Studio code merge process
– Insiders build process
– Viewlet revamp
– Notebook improvements
– Announcing SandDance extension
– Bug fixes

There’s a lot going on with the product, so grab the latest version and give it a try.

Using Windows Authentication on Non-Windows Devices

Drew Furgiuele shows us how to connect to SQL Server using Windows Authentication if you’re not coming from a Windows device:

SQL Server supports different kinds of authentication mechanisms and protocols: the older NTLM protocol, and Kerberos. A lot of people cringe when you mention Kerberos because, well, Kerberos is hard. It’s arcane, it’s complex, and it’s hard to even describe unless you use it on the regular.

Simply put, it’s a ticketing and key system: you, a user, requests a ticket from a store, usually by authenticating to it via a username and password. If you succeed, you get a ticket that get stored within your local machine. Then, when you want to access a resource (like a SQL Server), the client re-ups with the store you got your initial ticket from (to make sure it’s still valid), and you get a “key” to access the resource. That key is then forwarded onto the resource, allowing you to access the thing you were trying to connect to. It’s way, way more complex than this, with lots of complicated terms and moving parts, so I’m doing a lot of hand-waving, but that’s the core of the system. If that kind of stuff excites you, go Google it, and I promise you’ll get more than you ever bargained for.

Kerberos is a scary beast to me, mostly because I don’t spend enough time working directly with it.

Using Extended Events with Azure Data Studio

Erin Stellato shows how we can use the Extended Events Profiler (oh, how I dislike that name) with Azure Data Studio:

To clarify, the extension in ADS is like XEvent Profiler in Management Studio (which also is built using Extended Events).  The name “SQL Server Profiler” is confusing, as this is not the same tool (UI) that’s been available since SQL Server 7.0.

To install the extension, click on it, and then select Install.  Once it’s installed you can select Reload and it will move into the top half of the window under Enabled.  Notice that when you select the extension, information about how to use it also appears.

Erin has a lot of useful information here, so check it out.

Reading From a Secondary with Azure Data Studio

Mohammad Darab shows how you can access a readable secondary using Azure Data Studio:

Recently, I had to use Azure Data Studio to access a application intent read only secondary replica. I had to use Azure Data Studio because I was using a Mac. I usually use SSMS on my Windows machines. If you want to connect with the “applicationintent=readonly” property via SQL Server Management Studio, you do so by typing it out in the “Additional Connection Parameters” as shown in the screenshot below:

Since I am fairly new to Azure Data Studio I was fumbling my way around to find the equivalent setting. And I finally found it…

Read on to see how you can set this in Azure Data Studio.

Building a DMV Diagnostic Queries Notebook

Gianluca Sartori shows how you can use dbatools and Powershell to build a Jupyter notebook in Azure Data Studio for Glenn Berry’s DMV scripts:

For presentations, it is fairly obvious what the use case is: you can prepare notebooks to show in your presentations, with code and results combined in a convenient way. It helps when you have to establish a workflow in your demos that the attendees can repeat at home when they download the demos for your presentation.

For troubleshooting scenarios, the interesting feature is the ability to include results inside a Notebook file, so that you can create an empty Notebook, send it to your client and make them run the queries and send it back to you with the results populated. For this particular usage scenario, the first thing that came to my mind is running the diagnostic queries by Glenn Berry in a Notebook.

Obviously, I don’t want to create such a Notebook manually by adding all the code cells one by one. Fortunately, PowerShell is my friend and can do the heavy lifting for me.

This type of scenario is one of the best ones I see for database administrators: consistent, documented troubleshooting guides. Oh, and you can save results off if you need to review them later. This has the potential to be a killer feature for Azure Data Studio.

Postgres Support in Azure Data Studio

Constantine Kokkinos is excited about a big addition to Azure Data Studio:

I know I have been writing a lot about ADS recently, but this is even bigger than the Notebook announcement.

A Postgres plugin has been announced in the insider release of ADS, and it just works!

If the term Postgres is unfamiliar – PostgreSQL is one of the preeminent open source database solutions and is showing wide adoption due to its quality and of course, price.

Read on for additional notes.

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