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Category: Bugs

When PolyBase Startup Fails in SQL Server 2019

Niels Berglund hits an annoying error after installing PolyBase on SQL Server 2019:

At MS Ignite in Orlando November 4 – 8, 2019, Microsoft announced the general availability of SQL Server 2019. At the same time, the SQL Server 2019 Developers Edition appeared as an MSDN download, and of course, I downloaded it and installed it on my dev box.

After the installation, I noticed that PolyBase did not start up correctly, and I saw dump files all over the place. After some investigation, I figured out what the issue was, and this blog post describes the fix.

This only affects Developer and Express editions, not Standard or Enterprise.

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rBokeh Tips for Missing Arguments

Matthias Nistler walks through troubleshooting rBokeh missing argument errors:

This approach is my go-to solution to change a rBokeh plot for which there is an argument missing in rBokeh that is available in python.
– Create the plot.
– Inspect the structure (str(plot)) of the rBokeh object.
– Search for the python’s argument name.
– Overwrite the value with the desired option as derived from python’s bokeh.

Given how nice the bokeh package looks, I really want rBokeh to work well. Hopefully this experience improves over time.

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Data Retrieval Bug Fixed for Columnstore Indexes

Dmitri Korotkevich takes us through an important bugfix in SQL Server:

The typical columnstore table is usually large and contains hundreds of millions or even billions of rows. Think about large fact tables in the data warehouses or huge transactional tables in OLTP systems. Those tables are usually partitioned. Besides usual reasons (Availability, Maintainability, etc), partitioning helps with the data load – it is easier to perform ETL in the staging table and import data through partition switch.

And here comes the problem. If you run OLTP query against partitioned clustered columnstore table and end up with the execution plan that uses index intersection of nonclustered B-Tree indexes, you may get incorrect results.

Getting the correct results in a query is pretty important (he says, with understatement), so this is an important bugfix; keep those SQL Server instances patched accordingly.

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Problems with Pivoting

Itzik Ben-Gan wraps up an outstanding series:

When people want to pivot data using T-SQL, they either use a standard solution with a grouped query and CASE expressions, or the proprietary PIVOT table operator. The main benefit of the PIVOT operator is that it tends to result in shorter code. However, this operator has a few shortcomings, among them an inherent design trap that can result in bugs in your code. Here I’ll describe the trap, the potential bug, and a best practice that prevents the bug. I’ll also describe a suggestion to enhance the PIVOT operator’s syntax in a way that helps avoid the bug.

If you use the PIVOT operator, you definitely want to read this article.

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Unexpected Results with ANY Aggregate

Paul White points out a couple odd scenarios with the ANY aggregate in SQL Server:

The execution plan erroneously computes separate ANY aggregates for the c2 and c3 columns, ignoring nulls. Each aggregate independently returns the first non-null value it encounters, giving a result where the values for c2 and c3 come from different source rows. This is not what the original SQL query specification requested.

The same wrong result can be produced with or without the clustered index by adding an OPTION (HASH GROUP) hint to produce a plan with an Eager Hash Aggregate instead of a Stream Aggregate.

Click through for the scenarios. Paul has also reported the second scenario as a bug.

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T-SQL Bugs with Joins

Itzik Ben-Gan takes us through four bugs or oddities around joins:

The order counts are now correct, but the total freight values are not. Can you spot the new bug?

The new bug is more elusive because it manifests itself only when the same customer has at least one case where multiple orders happen to have the exact same freight values. In such a case, you are now taking the freight into account only once per customer, and not once per order as you should.

Click through to avoid accidentally introducing bugs in your T-SQL code.

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Kubernetes + AGs + SQL Server 2019 CTP 3

Allan Hirt has a fix for an annoying bug in the latest CTP of SQL Server 2019:

I haven’t written much about them yet (key emphasis there …) but AGs now being supported for containers in SQL Server 2019 is a big deal. Recently, SQL Server 2019 CTP 3.0 was released, but there’s a slight problem: if you try to deploy an AG with Kubernetes, you may see the following errors when trying to deploy the pods with the YAML that contains their definition. The services (i.e. instances of SQL Server) get created, but the pods do not.

Read on for the root cause and the solution.

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SQL Server and Recent Security Patches

Allan Hirt takes us through recent security updates and how they pertain to SQL Server:

After Spectre and Meltdown a few months back (which I cover in this blog post from January 4), another round of processor issues has hit the chipmaker. This one is for MDS (also known as a ZombieLoad) This one comprises the following security issues: CVE-2019-11091, CVE-2018-12126, CVE-2018-12127, and CVE-2018-12130. Whew! Fun fact: CVE stands for “Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures”.

As of now, this is only known to be an Intel, not AMD, issue. That is an important distinction here. The official Intel page on this issue can be found at this link. This issue does not exist in select 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors as well as the 2nd generation Xeon Scalable processor family. (read: the latest stuff) 

Be sure to read through all of this. Most of the notes are for non-SQL Server items which have an impact rather than bugs in SQL Server itself, but that doesn’t make patching any less important.

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String or Binary Data and Associated Bug

Brent Ozar looks at the “String or binary data would be truncated” improvement:

Don’t leave this trace flag enabled.
There’s at least one bug with it as of today on SQL Server 2017 CU13: table variables will throw errors saying their contents are being truncated even when no data is going into them. Andrew Pruski reports:

Special shout out to three of my co-workers on finding that issue. I had nothing to do with it but will take credit nonetheless.

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Microsoft Data Platform Bug Reporting Links

Brent Ozar has put together a compendium of where you should go if you want to file bug reports or feature requests for different products in the Microsoft data platform space:

Azure Data Studio – open an issue in the Github repo. While you open an issue, Github helps by searching the existing issues as you’re typing, so you’ll find out if there’s already a similar existing issue.

Click through for all of the links. I personally just yell skyward in the hopes that they hear me and fix my problems. It doesn’t work very often so I don’t recommend it as a strategy.

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