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Category: Powershell

dbatools: the Book

Chrissy LeMaire has an exciting announcement:

After nearly 10 months of work, early access to Learn dbatools in a Month of Lunches is now available from our favorite publisher, Manning Publications!

For years, people have asked if any dbatools books are available and the answer now can finally be yes, mostly. Learn dbatools in a Month of Lunches, written by me and Rob Sewell (the DBA with the beard), is now available for purchase, even as we’re still writing it. And as of today, you can even use the code bldbatools50 to get a whopping 50% off.

They’re in active book development, so buy a copy now and watch as the book evolves.

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Migrating to SQL Managed Instances with dbatools

Jovan Popovic shows how we can perform an offline migration from on-prem/IaaS SQL Server to a SQL Managed Instance using dbatools:

Typically, the offline migration process looks like:

– You need to create an Azure Blob Storage account that will be used to temporary hold the database backups that will be moved from SQL Server to Managed Instance.
– You need to back up the databases to Azure Blob Storage and restore them from Azure Blob Storage to Managed Instance.
– You need to migrate server-level objects such as logins, agent jobs from the source to destination instance.

In this article, I will use Azure PowerShell to create and manage necessary Azure resources, and DBATools PowerShell library to initiate migration.

Read on for the process, including the Powershell scripts and dbatools calls needed.

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Breaking Out Powershell Functions with Powershell

Shane O’Neill shows us how we can use Powershell to break Powershell functions out into their own files:

The stupid thing that I was doing was that I was manually, visually scanning the script, copying out the function definitions, and pasting them into their own function files.

This was long, this was tedious, and this was not a efficient use of my time.

Especially since the scripts were not laid out as logically as I would have liked.

Click through to see how Shane solved this.

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Migrating Old Databases to New Versions

Chrissy LeMaire walks us through migrating an old, old application database to SQL Server 2017:

There was even a linked server in the mix, but our biggest concerns revolved around the changing collation and the Agent jobs, which were known to be brittle.

The destination test server was an existing shared server, which mirrored the scenario that would play out in production. And while the databases only needed to exist on the new server for a limited period of time, these migrated databases were going to be the most important databases on the entire instance. This meant that the SQL Server configs were going to have to cater to this app’s needs. One exception was the collation, as the accent sensitivity was determined not to be a big deal and the vendor agreed.

Read on to see how Chrissy did it. The answer, naturally, is with dbatools.

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Secure Strings in Powershell

Greg Moore shows how to build out secure strings in Powershell:

One of the more common problems I’ve faced with a particular client is setting up data extractions from outside sources such as SFTP servers. Since this client deals with PII data, it’s essential that this is done in as a secure manner as possible. For example, all connections need to be encrypted using protocols such as SFTP instead of FTP.

Securely connecting is particularly easy to accomplish if one uses a 3rd party module such as Posh-SSH. However, you are still stuck with the problem of logging into the remote SFTP server securely.

Keeping credentials secured is something which Powershell makes pretty easy. I can’t think of a reason why you’d ever need to keep credentials in plaintext here.

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Powershell Remoting in dbatools

Claudio Silva takes us through a change to several cmdlets in dbatools:

I wondered why and asked the Windows team if they could provide any insight. A colleague explained to me that I needed to change three things to make my remoting commands work on our network:

1. Use the FQDN on -ComputerName and/or -SqlInstance parameters
2. Use -UseSSL parameter on the New-PSSession command
3. Use -IncludePortInSPN parameter for the New-PsSessionOption command

Read the whole thing.

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Configuring dbatools

Claudio Silva shares some tips on configuring dbatools:

Set a new configuration value
To update a value you need to use the Set-DbatoolsConfig command. Unfortunately, you will not find documentation for this command on our docs page. This is a known issue and it happens because that command is a cmdlet so the help is in the dbatools library itself.

For this particular case, you can and should rely on the Get-Help command.

Get-Help -Name Set-DbatoolsConfig -Full

Claudio has a half-dozen or so settings and there are more available to you.

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Disabling All Triggers on a Database

Jess Pomfret is on a mission:

Sometimes it’s best not to ask why. However, if for some reason you have a number of triggers on tables within a database that you would like to temporarily disable, read on.

I came across a situation recently while automating a process to refresh test environments where this exact scenario came up.  As part of the process several scripts were run to obfuscate production data. While these ran all the UPDATE triggers were firing. Not only were the triggers adding a significant amount of time to the process, they were also updating dates and other values that we’d prefer kept their original values.

Jess has a tiny bit of Powershell code which does this work for you.

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Rounding to Intervals in Various Languages

Dave Mason doesn’t like rounding to intervals very much in T-SQL:

If I had to choose any of these options for production, I’d probably go with Query 1, just because I think it would make the most sense to any other developer that might encounter it (including future me, who probably wouldn’t remember writing the code). But I’m not really thrilled with any of the options. The one thing T-SQL has going for it though, is the relative ease for truncating the TIME off of a DATETIME by casting to DATE and back to DATETIME. I couldn’t find anything like this in DAX.

Dave also shows how to do this in DAX and Powershell.

Another alternative that Dave doesn’t mention is to invert the problem: if you have a fixed set of intervals you care about (e.g., 15-minute, 30-minute, hour, 4-hour, etc.), you can create a time table. This is like a date table but contains times of the day where you’ve precalculated the intervals. Then you join to the time table and have your results right there. If you do go this route, I’d try to keep the grain of the time table as shallow as possible, maybe using DATETIME2(0) instead of DATETIME2(7).

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Powershell Dot-Sourcing

Shane O’Neill takes us through some of the intricacies of dot-sourcing in Powershell:

The dot used to represent the location is, as I’ve said before, for the current location. Our ConvertTo-Message02 script changed it’s location as part of the script.

When we used the “dot source dot location” method, we weren’t using where our function is as a frame of reference to import the other functions. We were using what directory we are currently in.

Interesting reading.

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