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  • Data Movement and the Decision Matrix

    Maybe it’s my military background, or maybe I’ve always had this predilection, but I like to use two devices when I need to make a complex decision: A checklist and a decision matrix. I like to use a checklist because it ensures that I remember the big bits of what I need to do, and brings up questions or areas that I didn’t think about when ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on April 27, 2010
  • ROI and the DBA

    I love them three-letter acronyms! An “ROI” is a Return On Investment – it’s a basic financial calculation that places investments in a standard number so that they can be compared. If the number is positive, then it has a “good” return on investment, and if it’s negative, you probably shouldn’t make the investment. The basic form of the ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on March 4, 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
  • Plan and Prepare or Just Do It? How about Both!

    I'm kind of a type ''A'' person. OK, I'm a VERY type ''A'' person. I even cook by setting things up ahead of time. I'm definitely more in the ''Plan and Prepare'' camp than the ''Just Do It'' camp. But I do realize that there are times when you just can't stop and prepare. Sure, it would be great to know that server is going to melt down just ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on January 7, 2010
  • Wizards are evil – wait, no they aren’t!

    SQL Server contains many “Wizards. Wizards are simply programs that collect information based on user choices. The Wizard’s screens explain each step and the choices on that screen. Based on those answers collected from the user, the Wizard performs some task. What could possibly be wrong with helping a user this way? Well, plenty. Wizards hide ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 14, 2009
  • Knowledge is how you break the rules

    Last night I had to do something on a production system that you're not supposed to do. It's not important what I did or where I did it, but I will explain why I did it. A friend was in a situation where it was either ''break the rules'' or lose the system. So I did what I had to do, with lots of caveats and explanations on why ...
    Posted to Buck Woody (Weblog) by BuckWoody on December 8, 2009
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