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  • It’s OK to take a Shortcut Sometimes

    I was working this weekend with a fairly simple Excel spreadsheet, and I had to decompose one cell in it out to three columns in a SQL Server table. There are tools within SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) that should be able to do that, but I just couldn’t find my way around them properly. I’m not as familiar with SSIS as I would like to be ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 8, 2010
  • Code that Writes Code - A Good Idea or Not?

    I’m a big fan of code that writes code – most of the time. For instance, whenever you use the “templates” feature in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or the Maintenance Wizard, you’re using code that writes other code. There’s even a trick of writing Transact-SQL (T-SQL) code that in turn creates other code. But there is a class of code ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on February 16, 2010
  • Tools and Processes for “Fitting it all in”

    Most data professionals I’ve met work in two modes: we plan for our day, and we react to the situations around us. I’m staring at my list of things that I need to do today right now, which is my planned work. Of course, I have no idea how much of that will really get done – it’s optimistic to be sure. On the other hand I have several systems I ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on January 18, 2010
  • The Database Design Process

    I need your help. I know how I create databases, and I’ve watched a lot of other data professionals follow their own processes for that, but I want to know how YOU do it.   I’ve written about the process I follow for a complete database design on InformIT (use the ''Next'' button at the bottom of these to see them all). Beyond starting ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on January 14, 2010
  • Know Your Product Specifications

    As the Data Professional in your organization, the rest of the org looks to you to ensure that the system can handle what the business requires. To do that, you need to know two things: what the business requires, and what SQL Server can do. But of course there’s a bit more to it than that. Knowing the business side of the requirements – well, I ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on January 13, 2010
  • It’s Data Tier Application and Data Application Component

    OK – In SQL Server 2008 R2 we did “re-use” an acronym or two (DAC and DTA), but it’s important to remember there are actually two parts to this new feature. One is the Data Application Component (DAC) and the other is the Data Tier Application (DTA). The DAC is the file created for a DTA. In SQL Server 2008R2 and Visual Studio you’ll find there ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 23, 2009
  • Aren’t DBA’s Just System Admins for Databases?

    Last week I ran into an argument I’ve had since I left the mainframe space decades ago. A developer told me “DBA’s don’t design databases.” The inference was that DBA’s (i.e., Database Administrators) only worry about hardware, security, OS, database backups, things like that. He seemed amazed that a DBA would ever do “data” work. It may be the ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on November 30, 2009
  • Code that Writes Code

    I have scripts that re-create my databases for testing and development purposes. But sometimes I want to take the data from a set of tables and move it as well – I could use SSIS, or a SELECT INTO statement, but what if I want to “re-set” the data to a point in time? In other words, load it with some “base data”? I thought this might be a good ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on November 25, 2009
  • Changing the Primary Key After You Have Data

    Yesterday I blogged about changing a Primary Key (PK) during the design phase, and before you have data in the database. Even then, it’s not trivial to change the data type or column(s) that make(s) up the PK. When you have data in that Primary Key and/or you have Foreign Keys (FK) that point to a PK field, this becomes a much more involved ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on November 24, 2009
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