SQL Server Articles


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Controlling Growth of a Distribution Database

I was recently asked to set up Transactional Replication comprising of 29 publishers as well as same number of subscribers. One interesting challenge was that the size of the distribution database suddenly increased from few MB’s to around 62 GB and as a result the disk on which the production database was hosted quickly filled […]

Improving 2D Range Query Performance in SQL Server

When using the BETWEEN operator on multiple columns, you are likely using a 2D range query.  Such queries perform very poorly in SQL Server.   This article will tell you how you can often use additional information to rewrite such queries for much better performance.  We’ll conclude by rewriting an actual BETWEEN query in a manner […]

Physical Join Operators in SQL Server – Hash Operator

In second part of this series on physical join operators we looked at the Merge Operator. In the final part of the series we turn our attention to the Hash operator. For this article series I am using an analogy of two sets of standard playing cards. One set with a blue back and another […]

Physical Join Operators in SQL Server – Nested Loops

SQL Server implements three different physical operators to perform joins. In this article series we will examine  how each  operators works, its advantages and challenges. We will try to understand the logic behind the optimizer’s decisions on which operator to use for various joins using (semi) real life examples and how to avoid common pitfalls. […]

Creating A Financial Year Dimension Using SSAS

A common requirement of financial reports is to have a financial year dimension for analysing the fiscal year data. This is complicated by the fact that financial years differs from country to country. Creating A Fiscal Year Using SSAS Dimension Wizard The financial year can be implemented easily using the SSAS dimension wizard. Let us […]

Copy Only Backups for Adhoc Backups

Introduction In most organizations backup plans are implemented using full differential and transactional log backups. The normal scenario would be take a full backup on Sunday (off peak hours), differential backup daily at mid-night and transactional log backups on hourly basis. What if there is a requirement to refresh on the test/development environment with production […]

12 Essential Steps After Installing SQL Server

Rolling out SQL Servers is a key task for DBAs.  While for some DBAs this can be a frequent exercise, others will have to face it one time or other throughout their career in an organisation. Successfully planning an installation requires a fair bit of knowledge about SQL Server and a basic understanding of the […]

Monitoring Table Size Growth in SQL Server

General In this article I introduce a simple process that saves tables size information at points in time which latter allows for tracking down table growth over time. The process is useful in monitoring data growth over time and lets you see what tables are growing rapidly in what databases and can also help in […]

Refresh the Staging Server with Production Data – A Real World Scenario.

Recently I had to restore the Production Reporting Database Server onto our Staging environment for testing. This database was around 280 GB in size with around 120 GB of data in the Primary Data File (.mdf), 130 GB of data in the Secondary Data File (.ndf) and around 30 GB of Transactional Log File (.ldf). […]

Implementing Transactions in SQL Server – Part II

In Implementing Transactions Part I I briefly described the role of Transactions in SQL Server and outlined a very basic implementation. In this second part, I will explain how a DBA can best implement Transactions in scripts that are to be deployed on production databases. One of the regular tasks of a DBA is to […]
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