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Category: Tools

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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Power BI Exporter

Soheil Bakhshi announces a new community tool:

Apart from my website statistics showing many people want to export data from Power BI Desktop, some of my customers asked the same question. They wanted to export the curated data from their data model within Power BI Desktop to CSV format and make the curated data available for their other platforms. While all the methods mentioned in my previous blog posts are working, some users still find them complex. So I thought, we can make it better. We can make a straightforward tool that exports the data with only two clicks. So we started building the Power BI Exporter as a micro-project. We added some more ideas to the original idea of only exporting the data. We thought it is good to export the data along with the table names, column names and relationships. Having that information handy, we can quickly build the same data model as the one we exported its data but using the CSV files as the data sources. The other idea was to pack everything in a ZIP file on the fly, so we have a single ZIP file, including the tables, columns, and relationships. As a result, the first version of the Power BI Exporter is born. In this post I explain how it works.

Read on to see how to use it. Download is free, though you do have to provide them with an e-mail address.

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Load Testing using SqlQueryStress

Chad Callihan walks us through the SqlQueryStress program:

Do you have a new SQL server that you need to load test against? What about a new stored procedure that needs tested with various parameters? Maybe you’re just trying to punish your CPU? Whatever the reason, my favorite tool for these scenarios is Adam Machanic’s SqlQueryStress. Before we run through some examples, check out SqlQueryStress on GitHub or get SqlQueryStress from the Microsoft Store.

It’s a pretty simple program which I’ve used for well over a decade. Chad does a good job of walking us through the tool.

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Contrasting Redis and Memcached

Shane Ducksbury has a showdown:

Caching is an important step in increasing the performance of many applications. It can be difficult to determine which caching solution is the best for your use case. Two likely contenders that will often make an appearance in your search for the answer are Redis vs Memcached.

In the green corner is Memcached (est. 2003), the classic, high performance caching solution. In the red corner is Redis, a slightly newer (est. 2009) but very mature and feature-rich caching in-memory database. Below, we’ll take a look at the differences between the two to help you make the decision which to choose.

I’ve personally had better experiences with Redis; my experience is that both work well from low to high load, and both have a tendency fall over at really high load.

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Creating a Database Publish Profile in Visual Studio

Elizabeth Noble shows us how to create a database publish profile using Visual Studio:

One of our fears was always how to prevent losing data and critical data code. Here were publish profiles to our rescue. We also found that some of our database code had specific values depending on the environment or contained references to other databases. Once again, publish could solve these problems!

While I’d love to say that you could use ADS to manage your database projects, that just isn’t true right now. However, we have a way to help you get a publish profile created. If you don’t want to use Visual Studio yourself, you might want to ask your Developer friends real nice and see if they’d be willing to help you out.

Click through for a video and a sample of what a publish profile looks like.

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Azure Charts

This is an interesting site I just learned about this morning:

Project mission: Communicating Azure’s current state, structure and updates in a compact digestible way.

Concept: Cloud Charts Manifesto

Data sources: Public updates, RSS channels and web pages are used as primary data sources.


While developed by a Microsoft employee, Azure Charts is not a Microsoft service or product. This is a personal project, there are no implicit or explicit obligations related to it. If you want to receive updates about Azure Charts, feel free to follow or connect on LinkedIn.

It’s out of the norm for me to talk about a whole site like this, but I think it’s a really useful way of showing off these services in a non-confusing manner. It also gives some en passant insight on the relative interest in specific services based on industry.

If you do think this is interesting, please fill out a small form to make sure it stays public.

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Tips and Tricks for VS Code and Azure Data Studio

Steve Jones shares some advice:

I really like Visual Studio Code. The more I use it, the more I get comfortable in it, and the more I appreciate the design and flow of using the editor. I didn’t feel that way early on, preferring the comfort of Visual Studio, but now I most often use VS Code.

The other day I saw an article from one of the PMs for the product, with a number of tips and tricks. I like some of these, and have already found a few to be handy in my work. 

Click through for more info. Switching to a new IDE can be challenging, but searching out tips and tricks like this can smooth out the transition period bumpiness and potentially unlock efficiencies you wouldn’t even have known about.

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Monitoring SSAS with Quest Spotlight

Slava Murygin has two questions and two answers:

This post is just answering two simple questions:

1. Can Quest Software’s Spotlight successfully monitor SQL Server Analysis Server?

2. If it can, what SSAS parameters, databases’ and cubes’ details it monitors and provides information about?

First, it’s good to see Slava back in the saddle again. Second, click through for those answers. Slava also promises to check out some other SSAS monitoring tools, so stay tuned.

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5 Useful Tools for DBAs

David Fowler recommends five helpful tools and products:

Backups are easily the most critical part of any DBA’s job so having a reliable way of managing them is essential. There are various tools and scripts out there but easily top of the tree for me is Minion Backup from Minionware.

Controlled by a number of configuration tables, it makes sceduling backups and configuring them down to a really granular level dead easy. If you’re like me and you’ve got a large number of databases on a server that each need to run on different days, go to different locations and need to run with different settings, Minion is about the only tool that I’ve found that lets me control things how I want without needing 101 different agent jobs. All your backups are controlled from a single agent job and that’s what I really love about it.

I’ve always liked Sean & Jen’s products, and would also recommend their indexing and CHECKDB solutions. David’s other suggestions are great as well.

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