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Category: Tools

Search on Windows with Everything

Tom Zika reviews a product:

Not everything in the general sense, but a tool called Everything by voidtools (Download link). Usually, I have to make this distinction when googling.

No matter how great is my folder structure or naming conventions, there comes a time when I have trouble locating something.
Maybe the software has a default download location which I forgot (*cough* Teams *cough*), or I want to find an install folder, or I can’t locate a picture I’ve recently saved.

Read on to learn a bit more about the free tool. After Tom’s recommendation, I gave it a try and yeah, it’s fast.

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dbops Powershell Module

Kevin Chant looks at a useful Powershell module:

Before covering the dbops PowerShell module I want to quickly cover DbUp.

DbUp is a .NET library that you can use to do migration-based deployments. It is open-source and is licensed under the MIT license, which you can read about in the DbUp license file.

According to the official list of supported databases, it allows you to do migration-based deployments to various databases. Such as SQL Server and MySQL. As you will discover later in this post it also works with a newer Azure service as well.

DbUp has been on my to-learn list for a little while, though I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet.

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Tracking Implicit Transactions with sp_whoisactive

Erik Darling is on the hunt:

But anyway, you should avoid implicit transactions as much as possible. They most often show up in the Microsoft JDBC driver queries that only people who hate you use.

When I first started to realize how bad they are, I wrote a bunch of checks into the Blitz scripts (I’ll cover those next week) that check for them.

I also opened an issue to add the check to sp_WhoIsActive, because it’s rather popular, I hear.

Click through to see how you can track them now. Also, Erik has been showcasing community procedures like sp_WhoIsActive, sp_PressureDetector, sp_QuickieStore, and sp_HumanEvents all month and he’s doing great work there.

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Andy Yun cleans up some nested views:

Yeah, that thing was small. But the processing was a horrific case study in T-SQL worst practices. And the architect that created it LOVED nested views (and scalar functions… and MERGE… on Standard edition).

I spent a good amount of effort trying to unravel those as part of my efforts to improve performance, and as a result, decided to create my own community tool to help with unraveling them – sp_helpExpandView.

I also occasionally deal with a group loving nested views and now I’m going to need to use Andy’s stored procedure because tracking that on my own gets really painful.

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Backup Jobs and Dropped Databases

Chad Callihan reasons through a use case:

I’m a big fan of Ola Hallengren’s SQL Server maintenance scripts and would recommend that anyone working with SQL Server check them out. They have served me well over the years. As it relates to today’s blog post, maybe too well…

I recently ran into a strange situation with the DatabaseBackup stored procedure that had me scratching my head: a backup job completing successfully for a database that didn’t exist.

Confused? So was I. Let’s take a look at how it happened.

Click through for the scenario.

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A Wake for Distributed Replay

Grant Fritchey thinks about what could have been:

Honestly, sincerely, no kidding, I love Distributed Replay. Yes, I get it. Proof positive I’m an idiot. As we needed proof. To be a little fair to me, I love what Distributed Replay could have been, with a little more love. However, fact is, it’s on the deprecation list for 2022. Which means, what minimal amount of love, if any, that Microsoft was giving to it, it’s all gone, forever. Unlike the Little Engine That Could, turns out that Distributed Replay was the Little Engine That Almost Could, But Didn’t. Really Didn’t. Let’s discuss it a bit.

I liked the concept a lot but the tooling was so finicky and there were just so many built-in assumptions that tended to fall apart in real life. Grant actually got it to work outside of toy environments, which was one step further than I could ever get.

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Databricks Extension for VSCode at 1.0

Gerhard Brueckl shares the good news:

As you probably know from my previous posts, my colleagues at and I are constantly working to improve our VSCode extension for Databricks. Almost every month we silently release a new version to the VSCode gallery so you get the latest features. However, as this is a special release, I am also writing a dedicated blog post for it

There’s a lot of cool stuff in here, so check it out.

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PSWorkItems: Powershell TODOs

Jeffrey Hicks has a new module:

I spend my working days living in a PowerShell console. Over the years, I’ve developed many PowerShell modules to help me manage the chaos that is my work life. One area that always demands attention is managing my tasks and To-Dos. For several years I have been using the MyTasks module. This module stored tasks and supporting information in a set of XML files. The code in the module treated the XML files as databases. I was trying to avoid a dependency on a SQL Server Express installation with the idea that would be overkill.

ln the meantime, I finally got around to finishing and publishing the MySQLite PowerShell module. This module has a set of PowerShell functions designed to simplify working with SQLite database files. This type of database has a much smaller footprint than SQL Server Express and would streamline my task management.

Click through to see how it works.

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The Basics of Network Tracing

Will Aftring shows how to put together a network trace:

I know it can be tempting to spin up WireShark and jump right into looking at traces, but asking questions is just as important, if not more important than the traces themselves. 

I usually like to group these questions into two groups: technical and general. 

Note: I will be using the terms client and server to refer to the sender and receiver. The client is always the sender, the server is always the receiver. 

Read on to get an idea of why we might create a network trace, what we intend to learn from it, and then how to do it.

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Tools for a Jump Box

Tracy Boggiano looks in the tool bag:

Having recently taken a new job and introducing a number of new tools to my new coworker I thought I’d share how I setup my jump box to and keep it updated so others can benefit, and I can find it later (I did put this in our internal Confluence pages, but I do have a box in Azure for presentations). In alphabetical order because that’s the only way to make sense of things.  I’d be curious if anybody has anything they use that I should add, so please leave comments.

Read on to see the list, including all of the Azure Data Studio and Visual Studio Code extensions Tracy likes to use.

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