Spinning Up SQL Server Containers In Jenkins

Chris Adkin has a few tips for loading SQL Server in Jenkins as part of testing or deployment:

Problem 1 Image Tag

There is no image tag specified for the microsoft/mssql-server-linux image, therefore, if Microsoft push a newer version of the image to docker hub, this will be pulled down from docker hub when the build pipeline runs. This is easily fixed by tagging the image with a tag for an explicit version, e.g. microsoft/mssql-server-linux:2017-GA.

Click through for the starting code, two additional issues, and the corrected code.

Policing Database Deployments

Drew Furgiuele has a rather interesting library that he’s released to the general public:

The base return is the TSQLFragment object, which in turn has a Batches object, which in turn holds… well it can hold a lot of different things. When the text is parsed, it will determine what type of object to return based on the statement it determines it is. For example, if it’s an insert statement it will be a certain type of object with a given set of properties and methods, and if it’s, say, a create index statement you’ll get different properties, such as which table or view is getting the index along with the indexed columns and included columns. It really is interesting.

But interesting can a double-edged sword: since the statement object that gets returned can be different for each parsed piece of code, that means to set up any type of intelligence around the stuff we’re dealing with, we need to check for very specific objects.

Unfortunately, I never got past the first animated GIF, whose subtitle was wrong.  You, however, should read the whole thing.

Improving Code Quality With SonarQube

Samir Behara has a quick look at SonarQube, an open source static analysis engine:

In my project, we have also integrated SonarQube with our TFS CI/CD build and have configured the Quality Gates.

For example – If I try to inject a security threat or a known coding issue — the TFS build will fail, the check in will get rejected, the quality gate fails and SonarQube points me to the exact issue – which I can rectify and do another check-in. So it will basically stop you from checking in code with potential issues.

Currently the only way to catch such issues is during manual coding reviews. SonarQube will help in automating that process. You can write your own rules to look for known issues in the code and stop it before the code gets checked in to source control.
So overall you can ensure good quality code going to Production and less regression defects coming up at a later point of time.

Read on for an example where a SonarQube rule can find a SQL injection vulnerability and thereby fail the build.

What To Do With A Database In Source Control

Ed Elliott with Database Source Control 102:

This post is for a specific type of person if you are:

  • New to source control
  • Are getting started on your path to the continuous delivery nirvana
  • Have been able to get your database into some sort of source control system
  • Have more than one person checking in code to the database source
  • You are unsure what yo do next

Then this post is for you!

This is a nice post with some next-steps for when you have a database in source control but aren’t quite sure what to do next.

Reverting Database Changes

Alex Yates talks about database rollback in the event of a code release failure:

A thorny topic. Rolling back code is easy. Normally you can just redeploy the old binaries and you’re done. Databases are more difficult – because data. The existence of persistent data has two significant consequences:

  1. You can’t just redeploy the entire database – you need to create a script to migrate your existing database from the existing (undesirable) state back to the old (desired) state. This probably isn’t an automated process.

  2. You need to think about new data that has entered the database since the deployment. Do you want to keep it? Do you need to process it to get it into an older format? (E.g. if you need to undo a column split.)

Alex has some helpful tips for structuring database changes.  Me, I just never look back…which is actually one of the strategies Alex talks about.

Building Azure Resource Manager Templates

Ed Elliott gives a brief overview of Azure Resource Manager templates and puts together a sample template:

The ARM API deploys resources to Azure, but doesn’t deploy code onto those resources. For example you can use ARM to deploy a virtual machine with SQL Server already installed but you can’t use ARM to deploy a database from an SSDT DacPac.

To save time when designing solutions, it is important to understand that ARM API is used simply for resources and we need to use some other technology such as DSC or PowerShell to manage the deployments onto the infrastructure once it is deployed.

This is a nice overview of the topic, and because it’s Ed (who is much better about this than most), he goes into how to test before even getting into how to create.

Azure SQL Database Deployment Account Errors

Steve Jones troubleshoots an issue with Azure SQL Database:

 I’ve had most builds work really well. I tried a number of things, but kept getting a few items in the build. There were login errors or network errors, both of which bothered me since I could manually log in with SSMS from the same machine as my build agent.

I suspected a few things here, one of which was the use of named pipes for the Shadow database and TCP for Azure SQL Database.

Eventually, I decided to fall back with msbuild, ignoring VSTS, and make sure all my parameters were correct.

Read on for the rest of the story.

Automating tSQLt Tests

James Anderson shows how to integrate tSQLt tests as part of his ReadyRoll pipeline:

By default, ReadyRoll will ignore tSQLt objects, including our tests. We don’t want ReadyRoll to script out the tSQLt objects, but we do want it to script our tests. To set our filter we need to unload the project in VS and edit the project file. Add the following to the section named ReadyRoll Script Generation Section:

James’s series is really coming together at this point, so if you haven’t been reading, check out the links in his post.

Database Code Analysis

William Brewer has an interesting article on performing code analysis on database objects:

In general, code analysis is not just a help to the individual developer but can be useful to the entire team. This is because it makes the state and purpose of the code more visible, so that it allows everyone who is responsible for delivery to get a better idea of progress and can alert them much earlier to potential tasks and issues further down the line. It also makes everyone more aware of whatever coding standards are agreed, and what operational, security and compliance constraints there are.

Database Code analysis is a slightly more complicated topic than static code analysis as used in Agile application development. It is more complicated because you have the extra choice of dynamic code analysis to supplement static code analysis, but also because databases have several different types of code that have different conventions and considerations. There is DML (Data Manipulation Language), DDL (Data Definition Language), DCL (Data Control Language) and TCL (Transaction Control Language).  They each require rather different analysis.

William goes on to include a set of good resources, though I think database code analysis, like database testing, is a difficult job in an under-served area.

Ship It

James Anderson compiled the latest T-SQL Tuesday results and shipped it:

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who read or published a post for T-SQL Tuesday #90. I had a great time reading through all the posts and I learnt a lot!

I feel that the real takeaway here is that Continuous Integration and DevOps are not just about putting the right tools in place, it’s all about putting the right working practices in place.

Read on for the wrap-up.

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