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Category: Tools

A Wish List for SQL Server Monitoring

Chris Shaw lays out some of the problems with monitoring systems today:

A next-generation monitoring tool should not just provide the same standard old dashboard dressed up with new fancy graphs; it should empower me to be actionable. It needs to help me improve the environment and show me the impacts of those actions on the system, and thus, the business.

What the industry needs (for risk of rendering the title of this article bunk) is not another monitoring tool. I have tools that help me monitor and they do a fine job of specifically doing that.  I need a tool that will take me into the future, I need a tool that makes me better and faster at what I do.  This industry needs a smarter tool.

Click through to see what Chris has in mind, though the reason you haven’t seen some of this stuff is that it’s a couple orders of magnitude more difficult than what we do see in monitoring solutions. H/T Amanda White.

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SchemaDrift Available in Beta

Kiana Bergsma announces a new tool:

Save yourself Time and Money with Steve Stedman’s new database comparison tool. Following in its cousin’s (Database Health Monitor) footsteps, SchemaDrift is FREE! It is currently in Beta phase but it is free to download for personal or business use.

We only ask that you give us feedback. Let us know what you like and dislike. How can we make this product even better and we’ll send you emails on update releases. Comment down below or message us through our website.

Click through for a download link, as well as a FAQ in video form.

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Database Snapshot Creator in Azure Data Studio

Haroon Ashraf takes a look at an extension in Azure Data Studio:

This article talks about the steps required to add and use the DB Snapshot Creator extension in Azure Data Studio.

Additionally, the readers are going to get a conceptual understanding of database snapshots and their use in professional life scenarios. This article highlights the importance of preserving database structure for future reference.

Let us get familiar with the extension prior to its use.

Click through to learn more. The one thing I’d like to see clarified (if it’s not already and I just missed it) is that you really don’t want more than one database snapshot on a given database at any time. Having two or more database snapshots active on a database can cause fairly significant performance issues on non-trivial databases and I’d prefer to see the tool include that knowledge rather than remembering an eight-year-old article from Jonathan Kehayias. But hey, I guess that’s what I’m here for…

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A Review of Tabular Editor 3

Matt Allington reviews a paid product:

Tabular Editor is a Power BI Tabular Modelling productivity tool developed by Daniel Otykier. I blogged about Version 2 of the Tabular Editor in this article here. The 3rd edition of Tabular Editor has just been released, and it is a major upgrade from version 2. TE 3 is not free, but in my view, the productivity benefits make it a must have piece of software for anyone that is regularly writing DAX in Power BI Desktop.

Read on for the review.

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Creating a CSV File from a Table via BCP

Kenneth Fisher shows how to use the bcp command to create a file from a table:

This is a pretty handy little tool in your arsenal. I’ve talked about using bcp to transfer data from one instance to another before and this is another really great use for bcp. If you haven’t used it before bcp stands for Bulk Copy Protocol and is a command line tool for transferring data in and out of SQL Server. In this case you can use this command to generate a csv file from DBName.SchemaName.TableName:

Click through to see the command, as well as some helpful hints.

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Comparing Fluentd to Logstash

Ajit Chelat compares two popular log agents:

Log collectors, or aggregators, are critical aspects of the log management infrastructure. They help collect logs from various systems and parse and groom them for ingestion into a monitoring or observability tool for further visualization and analysis. DevOps and SRE teams are quickly adding log collectors to their toolchain. With millions of users across domains, two log collectors have risen to the forefront of log collection—Fluentd and Logstash. 

This article compares the two and sees which one is the best for your log management and analysis initiatives—Fluentd vs. Logstash. 

Click through for the round-by-round comparison and see which one comes out on top in your scenario.

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sqltop — SQL Server Process Viewer

Mark Wilkinson has a big announcement:

Hey folks! I’m proud to announce the first open source release of my sqltop tool! sqltop is an interactive command-line based tool to view active sessions on a SQL Server instance. In this post I’ll talk about why I wrote the tool, why I chose to write it in PowerShell, and walk through some of the challenges I faced during development.

I’ve had a chance to see this in action and it’s really cool. I’m glad Mark was able to get this open-sourced, so go check it out.

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Building a Kafka Test Environment with Kafdrop

Diogo Souza walks us through an interesting project:

From a daily life standpoint, it’s challenging to manage Kafka brokers, partitions, topics, producers, and consumers all via command line. An interface would be quite helpful.

There is a ton of available options for managing your Kafka brokers for web UI applications. Perhaps Confluent’s version is one of the most complete, although it is part of a paid combo for mostly enterprise means.

Amongst the myriad of open-source options, Kafdrop stands out for being simple, fast, and easy to use. It is an open-source web project that allows you to view information from Kafka brokers as existing topics, consumers, and even the content of messages sent.

This article explores creating a more flexible test environment to work alongside the .NET app built in the previous article. This way, you’ll have more powerful tools to understand what’s happening with your topics.

Read on to learn how you can install and use Kafdrop.

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Bulk Copying Lots of Rows into SQL Server

Esat Erkec shows us how to use the Bulk Copy Program (BCP) to bulk load data into SQL Server:

If the installed version is older than the last version, we can download and install the latest version from the Microsoft website. The main capability of the SQL Server BCP is not much complex because it can only run with several arguments. The syntax of the BCP is like below:

bcp {table|view|”query”} {out|queryout|in|format} {data_file|nul} {[optional_argument]…}

For example, if we want to export any data of a table to a text file, we have to specify the table name, the out option, and the data file. The following command will export the Production table into the specified text file.

bcp AdventureWorks2017.Production.Product out C:\ExportedData\Product.txt -S localhost -T –w

I don’t know if I’m the only person for which this is true, but the data file format has always been a royal pain for me to get right, to the point where I’d happily build an SSIS package to perform bulk loading over having to use BCP myself.

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