Auto-Name SSDT Constraints

Ed Elliott has created a tool to auto-name constraints in SQL Server Data Tools:

I have released a tool that will do just that, if you grab the SSDT-Dev Pack at least version 1.1 from this adds a new menu to the tools menu in visual studio to name constraints. What I like to do is to go to “tools->options–>keyboard” and map an unused short-cut to the command “Tools.NameConstraints”, I used “ctrl+k + ctrl+n” so I can open a table in SSDT and just do ctrl+k and then ctrl+n and it automatically re-writes any tables in the active document that have unnamed primary keys with an appropriate name.

Grab the code or release binary at his Github repo.

There Is No Stats3

Jack Li on the CSS team answers an interesting question regarding “incomplete” statistics.  The key point:

First of all, there is no stats3.  SQL Server never stuffs in flight stats to stats blob for use during online index rebuild.  Even you are under dirty read, you won’t get non-existing stats3.

Good information.

Days Of The Week

Tony Rogerson shows us how to get the fourth Saturday of the month, among other things:

You may want to find for example the date of the 4th Saturday in each month for a given year. This function came out of answering the question here:

I’ve created it as a Table Valued Function so you can bind it into any query you wish.

Tony created a Table-Valued Function, which is handy but leads me to the classic User-Defined Function reminder:  they tend to cause performance problems. One alternative is a dedicated date table with attributes like day of week and nth day of month.

Finding Objects Using T-SQL

Derik Hammer shares a couple of snippets he uses to find objects and SQL Agent jobs.

Here’s one of my favorites, which searches for code within stored procedures, functions, and views:

OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(sm.object_id) AS SchemaName,
OBJECT_NAME(sm.object_id) AS ObjectName,
CONCAT(OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(sm.object_id), '.', OBJECT_NAME(sm.object_id)) AS FullName,
CONCAT(OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(sm.object_id), '.', OBJECT_NAME(sm.object_id), ',') AS CommaSeparatedName,
FROM sys.sql_modules sm
sm.definition LIKE '%DEFINITION%'
--AND OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(sm.object_id) = 'Something'
--AND OBJECT_NAME(sm.object_id) = 'Something'

Speed Up SQLPS Load Time

Shawn Melton shows us how to make SQLPS load a bit faster, and which comes with the obligatory warning:

WARNING: You are modifying the files at your own risk. You have been warned.

If you are not familiar with the files involved with a module, you can read more on that here. The file I found most interesting is the “SqlPsPostScript.PS1” file, located in the SQLPS module folder for the given version of SQL Server:

Check it out.  Those two seconds you save add up over time.

SQL Agent Reporting

Mike Fal shows us how to use Powershell and T-SQL to get SQL Agent job status:

This is effective, but I struggle a little with the SQL query. It’s good, but suffers from the structure of the jobs tables in MSDB. We have to account for that and it makes the SQL query a little convoluted. It would be helpful if we could reference a simple data set like the Job Activity Monitor in SSMS.

Of course, this is a leading question on my part. There is a way to do this and it is by leveraging the SQL Server Management Objects (SMO). This .Net library is the API interface for working with SQL Server and is what SSMS is built on. Because it is a .Net library, we can also access it through Powershell.

SMO’s a powerful thing.

When CHECKDB Fails

Andy Galbraith has a tale of woe and a cautionary message:

Paul’s blog post “Issues around DBCC CHECKDB and the use of hidden database snapshots” discusses the need to have certain permissions to be able to create the snapshot CHECKDB uses.  I checked the DATA directory and the SQL Server default path and found that the service account did have Full Control to those locations.

What happened next ultimately resolved my issue, and it reflects something I constantly tell people when they ask me how I research things relatively quickly (most of the time anyway :)) – whenever you read a blog post or article about a subject, MAKE SURE TO READ THE FOLLOW-UP COMMENTS!  Sometimes they are nothing beyond “Great Article!” but quite often there are questions and answers between readers and the author that add important extra information to the topic, or just “Don’t Forget This!” style comments that add more detail.


Building An Azure VM Of SQL Server 2016 CTP3

Kevin Feasel



Dan English shows us an easy way to build a SQL Server 2016 CTP 3 instance:

If you have an Azure account (possibly through your MSDN subscription) here is the easiest way to get up and running with SQL Server 2016.

First go to the Azure Portal –

Search and find the SQL Server 2016 CTP3 in the Data and Analytics Marketplace in Azure.

My preference is to grab the ISO and build a local VM, or install it on a server in my environment.  But if your server infrastructure lives on Azure or you’ve got those MSDN credits to burn, this is a good alternative.

Checking Statistics Validity

Bob Dorr has scripts to tell if your statistics are accurate:

The dilemma we all run into is what level of SAMPLED statistics is appropriate?   The answer is you have to test but that is not always feasible and in the case of Microsoft CSS we generally don’t have histogram, historical states to revisit.

Microsoft CSS is engaged to help track down the source of a poorly performing query.   It is common step to locate possible cardinality mismatches and study them closer.   Studying the statistics dates, row modification counter(s), atypical parameters usage and the like are among the fundamental troubleshooting steps.

Good post and great scripts, even if he Microsoftly nouns the verb “ask.”

One SSMS Setup

Kenneth Fisher describes his SSMS setup:

Every time I install a new version of SSMS I make a handful of changes to the default setup. For my own notes, and in case anyone is interested in some of the things you can do with SSMS I thought I’d post a list of those changes.

I also use a darker theme, very similar to Fisher’s; mine is designed to look like vim blue.  Of course, personal SSMS settings are personal.


October 2018
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