Gathering Info On Tables

Raul Gonzales has a script which provides useful information for tables and columns:

Useful information it provides at table level:

  • tableType, to identify HEAP tables
  • row_count, to identify tables with plenty of rows or now rows at all
  • TotalSpaceMB, to identify big tables in size
  • LastUserAccess, to identify tables that are not used
  • TotalUserAccess, to identify tables that are heavily used
  • TableTriggers, to identify tables that have triggers

Useful information it provides at column level:

  • DataType-Size, to identify supersized, incorrect or deprecated data types

  • Identity, to identify identity columns

  • Mandatory-DefaultValue, to identify NULL/NOT NULL columns or with default constraints

  • PrimaryKey, to identify primary key columns

  • Collation, to identify columns that might have different collation from the database

  • ForeignKey-ReferencedColumn, to identify foreign keys and the table.column they reference

Click through for the script.

The Best Of The Underground Toolbox

Adrian Buckman shares some of his favorite creations:

sp_AGreconfigure

This is a great goto proc for an alternative to the Always on availability group GUI for changing Failover mode, Synchronous mode or even Readable options.

When you manage multiple servers with multiple Availability groups this stored procedure can save you alot of time, sometimes I find the GUI can take a long time to open but equally it can take some time to execute the command.

sp_AGreconfigure can speed this process up for you, we tend to use this as our goto for switching synchronous settings when patching/rebooting replicas but also I tend to use it in @Checkonly = 1 mode for giving the Availability group settings a once over.

Click through for this and several other useful tools.

sp_ctrl3 — Getting Information On Database Objects

Daniel Hutmacher shows off his sp_ctrl3 solution:

My absolute number one favorite homebrew tool is without a doubt sp_ctrl3. I started building it a long time ago to replace the built-in sp_help procedure in SQL Server, which is accessible using the Alt+F1 shortcut in Management Studio.

sp_help shows you object information on database objects, such as column definitions, parameters, indexes, etc, but it’s old (I remember it in SQL Server 2000, but it’s probably way older than that) and it hasn’t really aged that well since then. What’s more, sp_help won’t show you the more technical details and features from newer versions (like filters and included columns on indexes) , so you can’t really just copy and paste information from it very reliably or effortlessly.

Like the name implies, cp_ctrl3 aims to address some of those issues, and years later, I find myself adding features to it whenever there’s something I miss.

Check it out as a worthy replacement to sp_help.

Essential SQL Server Tools

Jens Vestergaard shares the most recent T-SQL Tuesday round-up:

Tuesday 3rd of this Month I invited people in the SQL Server community to share which tools are essential to their daily work. I was really overwhelmed by the number of stories that the topic triggered. 22 in total took the time to write down and share which tools they use for their work chores.
Going through 22 posts and aggregating them has been taking more time than I had hoped for, since my trusted laptop broke down – blinking codes are well and alive I tell you!

Click through for the 22 submissions as well as Jens’s set of links to the tools people mentioned.

Retrieving Server And Database Permissions

Kenneth Fisher wants you to know about your SQL Server’s permission setup:

Our host for T-SQL Tuesday this month is Jens Vestergaard (b/t) and he has asked about our favorite SSMS tool. My initial thought was to talk about using solutions in SSMSbut I’d already written about that. My next thought was to write about sp_DBPermissions and sp_SrvPermissionswhich of course I’ve written about several times. No big surprise, I wrote them after all.

So what tool am I going to write about? Well, sp_DBPermissions and sp_SrvPermissions of course. I mean I did write them after all, and Jens did say we could brag about something we wrote :).

Read on for more information about these useful tools.

dbatools: The Swiss Army Knife For DBAs

Jess Pomfret uses this T-SQL Tuesday to cover some of her favorite cmdlets in dbatools:

Test-DbaSqlBuild

When I found this command I couldn’t have been more excited. My day-to-day job requires the care and watering of over 100 SQL Server instances of varying versions.  Using this command you can get the current build of all your instances and then compare that to the most recent available.  There are also parameters for how far you want to be from the latest version. Setting the -latest switch means just that, your server will only be seen as compliant if it’s on the latest release, passing in -1CU means that it can be no more than 1 cumulative update behind.

Read on for a few additional useful cmdlets.  Out of a large number of useful cmdlets.

Online Tools For Data Professionals

Cathrine Wilhelmsen lists five interesting online tools:

When I need to quickly create smaller sets of test data or dummy data, I use Mockaroo. It is highly configurable with over 140 built-in field types for locations, personal information, product information, technical information and much more. Every field type can be customized, and you can also use your own regular expression to generate data. The data can then be exported to CSV, JSON, SQL, and Excel formats. The interface is simple to use and understand, and you can save your schemas and data sets for later reuse.

I’m fond of Coblis and was aware of the last two, but the first two were new to me.

Tools For Various SQL Server Stacks

Warren Estes breaks out some tooling recommendations by stacks—that is, common use cases:

The Admin stack is probably the most important stack here. You still using maintenance tasks via SSMS? stop doing that. Rebuilding indexes every night? Maybe rethink that.

How you keep track of, monitor and do basics DBA tasks?

CMS server 
Ok so this can involve SSMS, but a feature not a lot of people may not use. We use it to keep track of all of our instances and push things..oh baby baaaby!  It also allows me to combine PoSh to do work against instances, gather data (historical, dmv…etc) and do a boat load of admin stuff without pointing and clicking. Heck I don’t even have to open SSMS to use my CMS server at all.

SentryOne SQLSentry
SQLSentry can automatically defrag indexes for you and update stats. You could use this instead of the below choices for this aspect if desired. Although not free, it’s an option we have in our environment and I love me some options.

Ola hallengren/Minionware
Both amazing options for backup, reindexing and checkdb. Although most places i’ve worked use Ola’s scripts by default. HOWEVER…. Minion has some pretty nice options that are FAR more configurable than Ola’s. We have mitigated some large DB issues by rolling our own code on top of Ola’s scripts. We could avoid this by simply using Minionware!

I’m a huge fan of the Minionware suite.  And several other things Warren mentions.

Essential Not-Quite-SQL-Server Tools

Chrissy LeMaire has some great tools “adjacent to” SQL Server:

SnagIt

Documentation is an important part of every DBA’s job and Snagit Screen Capture is my screenshot tool of choice. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Snagit is awesome for both pics and videos – wayyy better than the built-in (but still useful) Snipping tool.

Click through for several other tooling recommendations.

Essential SQL Server Tools

Tracy Boggiano has a top 5 list of tools she uses on a day-to-day basis:

This T-SQL Tuesday is brought to us by Jens Vestergaard (b |  t), and we are asked to share our favorite SQL Server tools. Hint Profiler will not be on the list. But where do you start there are so many tools out there. In alphabetical order here are my top 5 tools because I can’t pick which one is better than other.

Click through to see Tracy’s top 5 list.

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