SQL Server Articles


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Natural vs. Surrogate Keys in SQL Server : Getting the Proper Perspective

I once walked into a bar, and saw two construction workers pounding each other to a pulp.  The argument was over what was the better tool—a  hammer or screwdriver.  I feel a similar sensation when I see SQL developers arguing over whether to use natural or surrogate keys.    Few other arguments in database design can […]

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 Transactional Replication – The Distribution Queue

Note : The scripts for this article can be downloaded here. Monitoring the distribution queue is an important link in the chain of transactions delivery over a replicated topology. A chain that includes the log reader agent scanning the published database’s transaction log for commands to be moved to the distribution database from which a […]

TroubleShooting SQL Server Memory Consumption

Recently on one of our staging servers had a memory consumption issue and even 32 GB of RAM was looking insufficient and application performance was being impaired. Initially I thought the cause would be poorly designed queries, but after a thorough investigation this turned out not to be the case. I noticed that whenever the […]

SQL Server T-SQL Tuning -TVF and Scalar Functions

In the first of this series we looked at TSQL tuning for temp tables, table variables and the Union command , we now turn our attention to User Defined Functions – either Table-Valued Functions or Scalar Functions. A UDF is very convenient for centralising business logic as we can specify a set of business logic […]

Primer on Selecting Data Using Entity Framework

This question about selecting data using Entity Framework on StackOverflow got me thinking that a lot of LINQ to Entities code samples show very little consistency in how data is selected. Find(), Single(), SingleOrDefault(), First(), and FirstOrDefault() are often used interchangeably. The first issue to address is using Where() in the data selection statement. Where() […]

Capture SQL Server Deadlocks using Extended Events

Deadlocks in SQL Server usually occur when users try to place exclusive locks on each other’s objects. For example, a database user Bob first acquires an exclusive lock on Sales table and then attempts to place an exclusive lock on Orders table. Another database user Joe already has an exclusive lock on Orders table, and […]

Performance Tuning Re-indexing and Update Statistics – A Case Study

Recently we started experiencing a very strange issue in our production reporting environment where the Re-indexing and Update Statistics operation suddenly began taking more than 2 days to complete and was thus causing blockage in the database which in turn caused impairment in application performance. Reporting Server Configuration Details: SQL Server Version: SQL Server 2005 […]

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 […]

Monitor SQL Server Replication Jobs

The Replication infrastructure in SQL Server is implemented using SQL Server Agent to execute the various components involved in the form of a job (e.g. LogReader agent job, Distribution agent job, Merge agent job) SQL Server jobs execute a binary executable file which is basically C++ code. You can download all the scripts for this […]

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