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Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic, Boston-based SQL Server developer, shares his experiences with programming, monitoring, and performance tuning SQL Server. And the occasional battle with the query optimizer.

Celko on SQL CLR: "database design is a totally different skill from application development"

More fun CLR conversation, this time from SQL advocate Joe Celko.

Surprise, surprise, Celko is not a big fan of CLR integration. Yet he mentions the SQL/PSM standard as a better alternative, even though it has the same issues he mentions. But it's open-source (Java-based), so it must be better. Right?

Why is the CLR integration getting so much attention? Oracle, DB2, PostgreSQL, and other DBMSs have had these kinds of features for a long time. Where was Celko when those were being added? Why argue with Microsoft now? And how much damage has been done by the inclusion of these features in those database systems?

That said, I do agree with a lot of what Celko has to say; application developers will be able to do a lot of damage with these features, if DBAs let them. If management lets them. If they don't get appropriate training. These are all very valid points. Watch this space in the coming months for a lot of discussion on best practices for using these new tools. I think that MS marketing has taken things too far (see my post from yesterday on the related topic of "CLR replacing T-SQL"), but at the same time I do believe these tools have their place and with very careful use will prove to be extremely valuable.

I think it's time for DBAs to accept the fact that they're not going to be able to get by any longer as just database geeks. Learn about application architectures. Learn how and why applications are using your databases. And most importantly, learn enough to argue with the application developers who might otherwise bring ruin to your pristine database systems. But do not, like Celko, fear change. Instead, learn how to wisely integrate these new tools into your arsenel.

Published Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:40 PM by Adam Machanic
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About Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic is a Boston-based SQL Server developer, writer, and speaker. He focuses on large-scale data warehouse performance and development, and is author of the award-winning SQL Server monitoring stored procedure, sp_WhoIsActive. Adam has written for numerous web sites and magazines, including SQLblog, Simple Talk, Search SQL Server, SQL Server Professional, CoDe, and VSJ. He has also contributed to several books on SQL Server, including "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press, 2009) and "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development" (Apress, 2007). Adam regularly speaks at conferences and training events on a variety of SQL Server topics. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and an alumnus of the INETA North American Speakers Bureau.

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