Normally we have one specific topic we focus on each episode. This episode is a little different.
What’s today’s episode about? Kind of like Seinfeld…nothing!
Listen to Learn
Kenneth Fisher’s crossword puzzle: https://sqlstudies.com/2015/08/03/sql-crossword/
01:00 Compañero Shout-Outs
05:15 Tips & Tricks
06:55 SQL Server in the News
11:16 Centricity conference in Vegas
13:32 New SQL Data Partners team members
14:30 Our new game
15:39 Crossword puzzle
18:28 Closing Thoughts
“Happy Rock” for Tips & Tricks by https://www.bensound.com
Music for SQL Server in the News by Mansardian
Carlos: Compañeros! Welcome again to the SQL Data Partners podcast. This is Episode 135. My name is Carlos L Chacon, your host and it is good to have you on the SQL Trail once again. Today we’re going to call this episode the Seinfeld Episode. Perhaps, in a moment, compañeros, you’ll be able to figure out why that is.
I do want to give a couple of Shout-Outs. One to Jess Pomfret for giving us some love on Twitter for Episode 130. She listed PowerShell among the many things that she enjoyed and wasn’t sure which one she should be talking about first. We can agree, after talking with Warren. Obviously, we were big fans of PowerShell before, but even bigger now, after that episode. Want to give a shout-out to Jose Muller and Sam Nasr for connecting on LinkedIn. In fact, Jose wants to talk about BizTalk and he reminded me he had made this request some time ago and I feel a little ashamed, compañeros, that I wasn’t able to follow through on his request. They’re not in our community, so I guess I can beat up on them a little bit, but I reached out to several of the BizTalk MVPs on the Microsoft site and none of them responded to my request for invite on the program. So, compañeros, I guess I will put this question out to you. If you know someone who would like to chat about BizTalk on this program, please let me know. I’m also putting out some feelers to Microsoft, which I didn’t do last time and maybe I should have. But we’re going to circle back around and get that episode for you, Jose. I think it is interesting. BizTalk is one of those, particularly from a SQL Server perspective, that it is very similar. Obviously, it uses SQL Server, but it does similar functionality. You might think that, “well, hey, I could just do what BizTalk does either in SSIS or in Service Broker, or some combination of the two. While I think there is some overlap there, I think it will be interesting to get in there and perhaps see from the other side what BizTalk is all about.
The SQL Trail, coming to Richmond, Virginia October 10th through the 12th. The event will be at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Registration is now open. Initially, those tickets are $699, I believe, however we are going to be making available a code. In fact, let me go ahead and I’ll make that code right now. If you put in the code SQLTRAIL, no spaces, we’ll give you $100 off with that registration code. That $100 will be available, I guess, until registration closes, but prices will increase after July 10th, I believe. From now to July 10th, you can get in for $100 off if you use the code SQLTRAIL and we’ll look forward to having you there at the conference. From a speaker’s perspective or an expert perspective, we have a couple of great folks coming. I think everyone that we invite to the conference to represent the conference as a speaker, as an expert, one of the things that’s going to set them apart is that they’re very approachable and they’re willing to chat with you about your ideas, no matter where you are on the curve. Whether you’re the very beginner or you want to dig down into the weeds. They’re going to be there, available, and they have that same passion or that same interest in sharing that knowledge with you. We’ve got Angela Henry from North Carolina. Actually, we have a couple of North Carolina folks here. So, Angela Henry, Kevin Feasel and Monica Rathbun. Those are our MVPs. We’ve got Jonathan Stewart coming out from Ohio, Doug Purnell down in North Carolina and then myself. We do have a few more that we are working on, which we’ll announce here shortly. I wasn’t able to get them here before the episode went live, but we’re looking forward to having all of those. Of course, this is the conference where you’ll be able to connect with everyone. Particularly if you’re not going out to some conference out on the west coast and you want to stay here on the east coast, maybe there’s a limitation of time or budget, it’s not that conference. It’s not the PASS Summit, so we’re not trying to compare. I’m not trying to indicate that our conference is going to be like that. Obviously, it’s much smaller. We’re going to cap registration at 40 people, so it’s a miniscule size comparatively. However, it will give you that opportunity to connect. You will be able to walk away knowing everyone that comes to the conference. You will now have connections that you’ll be able to reach out to when you have questions, or perhaps when you need a stepping stone and you’re looking for a recommendation or another place to work. Those are going to be the types of relationships that you’ll be able to have after coming to the conference.
It’s been a little while, but I want to circle back to our Tips and Tricks. This has been a little bit on life-support here, but Brent U. We didn’t connect in Richmond, but he did pass along an interesting tip. He thought that not enough people were using the Object Explorer details in SQL Server Management Studio, and I happen to be one of them. I was not aware of some of this functionality and I thought it was pretty cool. In the Object Explorer, if you hit F7, that will bring up the detailed view. I guess I’ve seen this before, but I’ve always just closed it. He’s suggested that I drill down into the database, then I can start looking at tables. It will give me, of course, schema information. I can drill down into a table, look at indexes, and then it will start to give me some information on the fill factor for those, who owns them, there’s some policy information, so if you’re using policy detail, you can get that information. Whether it’s clustered or not, whether it’s partitioned, things like that, even on the database, so it’s almost like doing an sp_helpdb and you can see that similar type of information there. It will give you all of the settings for that database. The other thing you can do is, from there, you can actually script all of those things out, if that’s what you wanted to do. Again, obviously, there’s ways you can do that through the TSQL, but you’re in there with SQL Server Management Studio, maybe you don’t have that script up or you just wanted to take a peek at one individually, the Object Explorer details view. It might be something to check out. Thanks, Bret, for that Tip and Trick.
SQL Server in the News! As this episode is released, Service Pack 2 is now available and maybe has been for a week or so. Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2016. Let me be specific, there. I was interested because of the change that’s happened, obviously Management Studio is coming out more regularly, they’re going to this whole vNext. There was kind of this culture shift of, I won’t say getting away, obviously they’re still putting out the service pack, but the cumulative updates being a bit more important, not waiting for service packs. I was curious to see what was in the service pack. Obviously, those cumulative updates are still there, but one of the things that they bring out or make mention of is backup performance support, which I thought was interesting. Maybe this was because I just happened to have a conversation with a potential customer and one of the things they’re struggling with is their backup times. We do quite a bit of work in the private practice space, so these are medical practices that aren’t hospitals. Sometimes they can be in with the hospital systems, but they are separate and apart. Again, they don’t necessarily have great IT resources or a budget for a lot of hardware and then of course, because they’re doctors their maintenance windows are pretty slim, so they have lots of things that they need to get done during that time. As their data continues to grow, one of the challenges they have is the amount of time it takes to execute those backups. I thought that was interesting, that that is still something that the SQL Server team is still working on and that they would call that out in the service pack, itself. Then the other one was Connect feedback items. If you’re not familiar with Connect, I believe it is connect.microsoft.com? There you can go and basically put in your items or feature requests for things that you think should be done. They’re now calling it Microsoft Collaborate. There you go, a bit more news, live, if you will, compañeros. So, Microsoft Collaborate and this ability to say, “hey, I think you should add this feature” or whatnot. They don’t go into a lot of detail as far as what items were there, so I guess you’d have to go back and take a peek to say, “hey what has been fixed?” but I did think that was interesting. The other news item is the MSSQL extension for VS Code, so Visual Studio Code. This was news to me, basically on two fronts, again, the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal that I am. VS Code is actually a separate tool, a slimmed-down version of Visual Studio. It doesn’t include quite all of the components that Visual Studio will, so for developers that want a lighter experience, that want to be able to write code, they can do this in VS Code, and they’ve released an update to the MSSQL extension. So, for those of us who have been using SQL Server Management Studio, we’re a bit pampered, because we’re used to Intellisense, and we’re used to being able to interact with the objects that are in the database that we’re connected to. I guess it hasn’t been this way for the VS Code folks, and this MSSQL extension will allow them to interact and have an Intellisense-like feature within the code writer. One of the things I thought about when I peeked at this, and I know there’s lots of, I’ll call it concern, within the SQL Server community, even last week’s episode on CosmosDB, where is SQL Server going to be? It’s been around a little while. You might think of it as starting to feel a little old when all of this new hotness is around. But this, to me, is one of those small examples of differentiating the, I’ll call it marketing hype, from what people are actually doing. Lots of people are still developing on SQL Server, enough so that Microsoft is putting out an extension to the developers can interact better with the database. To me, this is just a sign or a better indication of where the future is headed. They want to make those integrations easier. Yeah, so are things going to change from a SQL Server perspective? You betcha, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going away or it’s going to become obsolete anytime soon. I thought that was an interesting news item for this week.
Our episode notes for today are going to be found at sqldatapartners.com/135. This week, actually, if you’re an early listener, meaning that you listen a couple of days after the podcast goes live, I am actually currently in Las Vegas. I’ve only ever been to Las Vegas once before in my life, this year. That was in college, I went down there for a day with a buddy of mine, it was a very quick trip. This year, in 2018, this will actually be my third trip to Vegas and I’m kind of done with that trip. It was kind of cool the first time, but Vegas is not my city. Anyway, I’m down there for a conference. This is the GE Centricity Live Conference. We’ve been doing, like I mentioned, quite a bit of work in the private practice sector and I am giving a presentation on performance, the performance of SQL Server. These are for those healthcare IT workers. I know that we have a few listeners who work with medical practices, and if you are working with other EMRs even with Centricity or other EMRs, I’d really love to connect with you, see what you’re doing and potentially connect with those vendors if an introduction is warranted. If you are helping those vendors with certain items, things didn’t quite work in your practice, and you had to make changes, there are reports that you needed to develop internally, things like that. I’d be really interested in hearing from you what it is that you’ve been doing, what problems you’ve been solving when it comes to interfacing with an EMR provider.
For those of you who have been on Twitter, I don’t know how many of you have been following this, the #sqldatawins. It was kind of an interesting concept, Microsoft came out, they were going to put out a scenario and then invite the community to respond using animated GIFs as their response and they would pick a winner. I’m not sure it it’s just a drawback of Tweet Deck or what it is, but they’ll put the description out there and people respond to it, but because I’m just following the hashtag, I have to go and click on every single tweet to see what the original description was, which I found kind of annoying, so I haven’t enjoyed that as much as I thought I was going to. I’m curious if any of you have been following along and what you thought, or perhaps even contributed to that. It’d be interesting to see.
I don’t often talk about what we’re doing at SQL Data Partners, all that often. I think it’s worth mentioning in today’s episode, that our team has been growing. Not so much from the data side, if you will, or the DBA side, but we now have a customer care coordinator who is helping me with some pre-sales and reaching out to folks, making sure that they’re comfortable with the level of service that we’re providing with them. And then of course, if you’ve been a guest on the show or even if we’ve reached out to you and made an invitation, you will have interacted with Amanda Halverson. Amanda’s been helping me with the transcriptions, putting together the show notes components and she also does all the cool artwork for the episodes, now. So, you may notice that they have changed recently as we’ve kind of gone to Season 2. All of that is her doing and so we’re excited to have her, having her help us with that. Then of course, Julien, there in the background editing those podcasts, helping us clean up our act and we still appreciate him doing that.
One of the things that we are doing, that I’m actually working on with my brother-in-law, in kind of a separate and apart from SQL Data Partners is we are putting together a game. My brother-in-law, Michael, is a gamer, and he wants to design games. That’s what he wants to do, and so we came up with this idea and we are actually putting together a game. I know that Solar Winds has their board game, which you may or may not have seen. I’ve heard Kenneth Fisher is working on a game and we are doing something similar. Ours, because primarily we’ve been working in the private practice space, ours is going to be a medically themed game, but we’ve been working on that. But I would be interested, compañeros, we may bring this up in the future, what kind of themes would you like to see if we were going to design a tech game? I don’t know if that would be a card game or a board game or maybe even a role-playing game ala D&D or something like that. Munchkins, for those of you who are gamers, that’s another kind of card game. It would be interesting, for those of you who like to play games and have ever thought about doing a tech game, I’d be interested to hear from you, see what you have to say. Speaking of Kenneth Fisher, one of the things that he has done is put together a crossword puzzle. I know this has been done other places, but I thought it might be interesting to go ahead and take a crack at his crossword puzzle. Maybe we’ll do this over a couple of episodes. We won’t do the whole thing right now, but it’s interesting. We will put this up on the show notes for today’s episode, sqldatapartners.com/135. We’ll just kind of follow along, so each week we’ll do a couple and we’ll kind of see where we get. The first one, and if I’m going to work across, the first one is 5 across. This says, “Set this to leave some for the server”. Set this to leave some for the server. Okay, so when we think about leaving some for the server, I think about memory. Now the curious thing is that it is 15 letters. When I go in, because I’m thinking, okay, max server memory. Oh, max, tada! Because in SQL Server, it’s maximum, so maximum is 7, server is 6, memory is 6 and I’m like, “oh, that’s too many.” But if I do “max”, that would only be three and then server and memory would be 12 and three. That would give me my 15, okay, so here we go. So, 5 across “max server memory”, there we go. If I’m going to do 1 down. One down is “Security granted to the SQL Server service account”. Security granted to the SQL Server service account? Now based on this max server memory, our word has to end in an E. This is a four-letter word that is going to describe the security granted to the SQL Server service account. There is no security granted to the SQL Server service account. Ah, none! It’s got to be “none”! There we go! The other one that we’ll do today is going to be 2 down, which is “Take ‘em, test ‘em”. That one’s a bit straightforward, so we’re going to say “backups”. Backups for that. So, there you go, there is our game, a little bit of– got to get the brain working in this episode, today. We’ll be following through with that, and of course, thanks to Kenneth Fisher, for putting those together. He actually has a couple of them out there, and I’m not sure we’ll do both of them, but we’ll see. We’ll get through these and see if we can’t put them together.
That’s going to do it for today’s episode! Again, this is our Seinfeld Episode. I wanted to make sure that I was reaching out to you guys, but didn’t necessarily have a topic. So, what’s today’s episode about? Kind of like Seinfeld, nothing! Just talking, just keeping everybody up to date, giving some thoughts. Our music for SQL Server in the News is by Mansardian, used under Creative Commons. Of course, compañeros, we want to hear from you. You can reach out to us on social media, email, on our podcast page at sqldatapartners.com/podcast. There, you can request topics, you can even record your own voice to request or to chat with us and we will put that on the episode. You can connect with me on LinkedIn. I am @carloslchacon and I’ll see you on the SQL Trail.