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Category: Wacky Ideas

Fun With Database Names

Jason Brimhall takes us through database names you shouldn’t use:

Let’s figure we have a requirement to create a database with sensitive data. Due to the sensitivity of the data, it is classified confidential (for your eyes only, don’t talk about it and plug your ears if somebody starts talking about it). This is so sensitive that an apt name for the database could be anything like 🙈 or 🙉 or 🙊. Being smart, you know there are two more databases coming down the line so you only want to pick one of those for the name and not all three (though all three could make sense for a single database name).

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should…

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Things to Stop Doing

Tom LaRock has a list of life-altering recommendations:

RESPONDING IMMEDIATELY

Stop doing that. Trust me on this, your response to that email/text/slack can wait. Don’t believe me? Try an experiment. For one month do not reply immediately to your emails. At the end of the month add up the number of emails you received, and the number of emails that required an immediate response. I’m willing to bet that the number is quite low, much lower than you realize. And once you realize just how few require an immediate reply, you’ll never look at email in the same way again.

It’s a fun list, and I definitely agree in most circumstances on at least 3/4 of them.

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Why Disabling the Clustered Index is a Bad Idea

Kenneth Fisher has an experiment in mind:

You are probably already aware that you can disable an index. This can be handy when you have a large load and the load + re-enabling the indexes (you have to completely rebuild them) is faster than leaving the indexes in place. I’ve had pretty limited occasions where this has helped but it can be a handy trick at times. That said, this is only true for non-clustered indexes. What happens when you disable the clustered index?

Nothing good, that’s what.

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Fun with CHAR(0)

Kenneth Fisher learns a bit about the 0 byte:

Ok, now things are getting interesting. An ASCII value of 0? I’ve never heard of that. I honestly didn’t know it was possible. As it happens, yes, it’s a real value and in SSMS it does a few strange things.

In the comments Denis Gobo is right: the 0 byte is the null terminator, which should appear at the end of a variable-length string to indicate that there’s nothing more to read there.

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Auto-Deleting SQL Agent Jobs

Dave Bland takes us through SQL Agent job auto-deletion:

Have you ever looked at something in SQL Server and wonder why it is there?  That is what I think when I see this option in the SQL Server Agent job properties.  I can not come up with any good reason of why you would want a job to delete itself upon completion.  I even did a Google search and really didn’t find a good reason.  However, if you know of a great reason of why you would want to enable this, I would love to hear about it.

I’ve used it in the past for scheduling ephemeral work, particularly when I didn’t have the ability to control operations otherwise. For example, I need to perform a time-consuming one-time update on data, but I don’t want to tie it to a script on my machine because I wanted to go home that night. Creating a job which auto-deletes upon success lets me schedule it for when I want it to run, kick off the script, and not leave a mess behind in the SQL Agent jobs list. It’s a case where I don’t really care about history and checking the box gives me a quick indicator of success: if the job’s gone in the morning, my work here is done; if not, I need to begin troubleshooting.

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Fun with [ as a Function in R

John Mount definitely quotes Dr. Ian Malcolm correctly in this one:

How about defining a new [-based function call notation? The ideas is: we could write sin[5] in place of sin(5), thus unifying the notations for function call and array access. Some languages do in fact have unified function call and array access (though often using “(” for both). Examples languages include Fortran and Matlab.

Let’s add R to the list of such languages.

I love the flexibility in the language, almost as much as I would enjoy taking away production rights from the person who ships this in my code base…

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3D Effects in Power BI

David Eldersveld shows how you can use orthographic projection in Power BI:

The projection from three coordinates to a 2D plane is achieved by adding the following two measures. Be sure to adjust the column references and what-if parameter names at the top to correspond to your own data.

Here’s my “Ortho x” measure. The initial six bold values are what you’d need to adjust to your own data and parameter names.

David lays out a face, which is pretty neat.

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Drawing SSIS Packages as SVGs

Bartosz Ratajczyk continues a series on taking SSIS packages and generating SVGs from their control flows:

To make things harder, the layout of the sequences and tasks is not some nested XML structure. All of the elements have the same parent – <GraphLayout>, meaning all of them are at the same tree level. Also – there is no attribute showing where a particular object belongs. Almost. In the example with the sequences, I see two regularities:
– the outer container is placed later in the XML, than the inner container
– the @Id attributes show the nesting of the objects

I’m not sure how often I’d use this in practice, but if you want to understand some of the internals of SSIS, this is an interesting series to follow.

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Chaos Engineering and KubeInvaders

Andrew Pruski wants to play a game:

KubeInvaders allows you to play Space Invaders in order to kill pods in Kubernetes and watch new pods be created (this actually might be my favourite github repo of all time).

I demo SQL Server running in Kubernetes a lot so really wanted to get this working in my Azure Kubernetes Service cluster. Here’s how you get this up and running.

I got to see Andrew show it off at SQL Saturday Cork and it was as fun as you’d expect.

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The SSMS Magic 8 Ball

Bert Wagner has fun with SSMS:

As a kid, I found Magic 8 Balls alluring. There is something appealing about a who-knows-how-many-sides die emerging from the depths of a mysterious inky blue fluid to help answers life’s most difficult questions.

I never ended up buying a magic eight ball of my own though, so today I’m going to build and animate one in SQL Server Management Studio.

Now you can finally answer those important life questions without leaving Management Studio.

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