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Category: Tools

Visual Studio Code, Markdown, and Snippets

Robert Cain takes us through Markdown and snippets in Visual Studio Code:

Seriously though, I do find this documentation language very useful, and easy to use. With just a few commands I can produce a nicely formatted document that can be displayed in my code editor, as well as on platforms like GitHub. I’ve even begun authoring these blog posts in Markdown.

A big reason for me is the ability to integrate it into my projects. VSCode, as well as the full blow Visual Studio, support Markdown (with of course the proper extensions installed). When I create a new PowerShell project in VSCode, I can store the projects documentation in Markdown format right alongside the PowerShell code.

By the way, two VS Code extensions I can highly recommend for their Markdown support are Markdown All in One and markdownlint.

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SSMS Tools Pack 5.7

Mladen Prajdic announces SSMS Tools Pack 5.7.0.0:

Run script on multiple targets
Improved: Show databases that are not in normal state and are not accessible.
SQL History
Improved: Enable showing confirmation dialog when restoring the last session.
Search Results in Grid Mode
Improved: Added warning that searching through large result sets will block SSMS.

These are the improvements; click through for the list of what’s new.

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QDS Cache Cleanup in QDS Toolbox

Jared Poche continues a series on the QDS Toolbox:

When configuring Query Store, we have a few options for deciding how it retains data but little control over how it cleans up that data. We can set the max size of our query store, the max number of plans to keep per query, and how long to keep query statistics.

The QDS Cache Cleanup component of the QDS Toolbox gives us a number of other options for what data to remove:

Read on for that list and a good example of where it was useful.

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Azure Monitor Logs in Azure Data Studio

Julie Koesmarno has a new extension for us:

The Azure Monitor Logs extension in Azure Data Studio is now available in preview. The extension is supported in Azure Data Studio August 2021 release, v1.32.0.

Administrators can enable platform logging and metrics to one of their Azure services such as Azure SQL and set the destination to Log Analytics workspace. By installing native Azure Monitor Logs extension in Azure Data Studio, users can connect, browse, and query against Log Analytics workspace. Data professionals who are using Azure SQL, Azure PostgreSQL, or Azure Data Explorer in Azure Data Studio can access the data in the Log Analytics workspace for diagnosis or auditing in that same development environment. This native Azure Monitor Logs extension allows Azure service customers to also author notebooks with Log Analytics kernel, all equipped with Intellisense.

Click through for examples of how to use this.

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Fixing Remote Desktop Resolution to Match Screen Size

Kenneth Fisher fixes a problem:

One of the things I hate most about using remote desktop is when the resolution for the remote server is way off what the size of my window is. You end up with the scroll bars on the side and bottom of the screen and spend half your time moving the screen around so that you can find what you need. Open Notepad, scroll to the top of the screen so you can save it, then scroll to the bottom of the screen so you can switch to the Excel spreadsheet that’s hidden by the Notepad window, etc.

It turns out there is an easy setting that forces the resolution to match the window size. Even if you end up with really weird window sizes.

My fix historically was to use mRemoteNg, which did this for you.

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SQLCMD and the Question Mark

Solomon Rutzky stops SQLCMD in its tracks:

This is the story of one such time that I stumbled upon something interesting, and all because I made a mistake. I was doing testing for the previous post (mentioned above) and somehow entered an extra character, or forgot the closing quote on a string literal, or something. Either way, I submitted some T-SQL in the sqlcmd utility that should have produced a parsing error. But instead, it cancelled the entire query batch, and without returning any errors.

Read on to learn more and maybe have a little fun with co-workers.

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Large-Scale Database Schema Comaprison

Raul Gonzalez creates a process to compare database schemas across a large number of servers:

There are tools that can compare two databases in great detail, but the caveat I found, it is that they can only compare two databases, so while they’ll be fine to compare DEV<=>PROD or QA<=>PROD, they’re not a good fit to compare and find the differences in, literally, thousands of databases

There it’s where I was, so after some time trying to postpone the inevitable, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get the job done.

Click through for Raul’s explanation and process. At one point, I’d written something which used Red Gate’s Schema Compare DLL to do something similar. The big problem you run into is when there is no single, canonically correct database and you’re trying to generate one from the tangled mess of objects.

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Search and Destroy with RegEx: Visual Studio Code Edition

Andy Levy unleashes the power of regular expressions in Visual Studio Code:

Kind of a diversion into a Visual Studio Code/Azure Data Studio tip here (this works in both, as well as SQL Server Management Studio). I’m not a regular expression guru – far from it. I use them occasionally, but usually find myself fumbling around for a bit trying to figure out just the right expression to do what I need.

I’ve known for a while that VSCode/ADS had regular expression matching built into its find/replace feature, but did you know you can also replace with it? It can help remove the tedium of doing a large amount of text processing.

It’s quite a bit different from the regular expression parser in SQL Server Management Studio, but the support of capture groups in VS Code is quite helpful, as Andy demonstrates.

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Query Waits in the QDS Toolbox

Jared Poche continues a series on QDS Toolbox:

Carrying on from my previous post on the QDS Toolbox, let’s review the Query Waits component.

This component provides details about the wait types associated with a given object, query, or plan. This doesn’t pull data from the reports generated by the Server Top Queries component; this gets the data directly from the Query Store in the database you specify. So you can use this to review the waits on a given procedure, even if you haven’t generated any reports with Server Top Queries .

That being said, reports from Server Top Queries could identify problem queries and give you the PlanID, QueryID, or ObjectName you need to run the procedure. A query that spends a lot of time waiting would tend to have a higher duration and lower active metrics like CPU usage or logical reads. So those are the queries I would want to run the Query Waits report against.

Read on to see how to call this procedure and what you might expect.

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Power BI Cleaner Gen2

Imke Feldmann has an update to the Power BI Cleaner:

In this post I’m sharing a new version of my Power BI Cleaner tool. Besides from some bug fixes it can now automatically identify and analyze reports that are connected to an Analysis Services Model in tabular mode.

Just a warning that the live connections to Analysis Service or shared Power BI dataset might be slow, as Power Query will retrieve the data from all datasets that are available for your from the service. I might include a feature to pre-select datasets in a future release if there is interest. So please add comments if you want to see this feature.

Read on to see how to set everything up, as well as the things you can do with it.

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