Back to basics: a New browser with a familiar feel.

Over 15 years have passed, and here it goes again: a new browsing experience hits me! It is fun how something that is now so trivial can still surprise you. I am browsing all day, be it to perform work, search things, writing about work (I’m looking at you, e-mail) or even here. Welcome Vivaldi !!!

The deal is that I am a power-user, doing multiple things all day, and running heavy software (like databases, virtualization or server management stuff) at the same time that I need to have a bunch of browser tabs open to see what needs to be done (or send evidences of what I just did).

For my profile, I discovered that 4 CPU threads and a SSD system drive is a hard requirement, as my productivity is heavily impaired in any system missing both. And recently I also discovered that 12GB of RAM is a must. Unfortunately my current working machine has only 8GB of RAM, which will lead to frequent out-of-memory warnings and the eventual freeze of any app or the OS itself.

As the multiple browsing tabs are usually eating most of the RAM, I gave a try to diverse recent browsers to replace Chrome and its infinite hunger for memory – IE, Opera, Firefox and Neon. All had something missing or actually used more memory.

Even my beloved Opera had it’s quirks today, even considering I remember it’s version 5.10 as being revolutionary back in 2001 – yeah, I was one of those very few users who first saw tabbed browsing, and was in love with mouse gestures. You can check the first link on this post to confirm the release date and features of each Opera version to check for yourself. It’s a shame Opera could not keep up to it’s name recently, as they cut a lot of hardcore functionality in favor of simplicity. But just today I discovered Vivaldi browser, and it’s creator was part of that amazing team back in the 90’s!

Anyway, just a few minutes after finding this out, Vivaldi is up and running and I’m writing this post on it. It’s using about 190mb of RAM with 6 tabs open, while I left Chrome open for the same amount of time with just 2 tabs and it climbed from 250mb to 260mb consumed while being in the background (this is for the highest-consuming tab, of course you have to consider all but it’s a great starting point).

And Vivaldi is doing this while feeling faster, reviving my mouse gestures (try it, it’s amazing) and still bringing something new to the table: page tiling. See it for yourself:

This was a really great surprise, let’s find out what other treats this team has in store for us. Seriously, try it now!

Cya!

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Some SQL Server performance goodies

Hi folks. It’s been a long time, but Databases Never Die (this could be a movie name, don’t you think?). Below are a few performance articles to think about performance.

First one is SQL on Windows vs. SQL on Linux. Some interesting numbers here: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/vnext/152671/?utm_source=SSC&utm_medium=pubemail

Then some tips about compression, this is really worth checking: https://sqlperformance.com/2017/01/sql-performance/compression-effect-on-performance

And finally some index goodness. Indexes are Always a good thing to learn more about: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/confessions-of-a-microsoft-addict/2017/02/08/dba-101-what-you-may-be-missing-with-missing-indexes/?utm_source=SSC&utm_medium=pubemail

cya!

 

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SQL Server 2016 Management Studio Download

It’s that time of the year. No, I’m not talking about christmas, I’m talking about new product cycles from Microsoft. For SQL Server it usually happens on even years, it’s 2016 so this year we have a new SQL Version. And if you need to manage any new server, you need the most current SQL Server Management Studio too.

This post is about SSMS, not the features of SQL 2016 (wich are awesome, but will be posted separately). This is the first time we get a dedicated product portal for SSMS, take a look at: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt238290.aspx . This version is really great, and the portal is updated with new versions frequently. It’s the first time I feel comfortable using a newer version to manage all my servers (running several old versions of SQL Server).

Anyway I always give a direct link to the english version (the only one you should ever consider, if you work with IT), so here it goes: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=832812&clcid=0x409

Also, this is the first time that SQL Server Data Tools (version 2015) are able to create SSIS packages with backwards compatibility (down to 2012 version), so you should download and use this version too: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt204009.aspx . Again, here is the direct link to the english version: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=832313&clcid=0x409

Tip: to create SSIS packages for older versions of Integration Services: create a new project, go to Project, open Properties, select Configuration Properties, then General. Change the TargetServerVersion property for this particular Project, and you’re ready! You can do this for each Project, and develop with no mess for various versions of the SSIS engine.

Cya!

 

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To the cloud: Amazon AWS free access

Ok, so let’s be fair to everyone: AWS also has a “free level” for you to create a few VMs and learn how to manage things there. I highly reccomend that you get to learn both AWS and Azure.

https://aws.amazon.com/free/

Happy clouding!

cya!

 

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Get a taste on the cloud: MS Azure Free Trial

Continuing with the inevitable move to the sky, and trying to self-quote myself here (well, self-post actually), I’m back to tell you that you can have one month of free experimentation with all Azure platform for free. You can set-up servers, databases and everything.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/

It’s worth a try. Cya!

Source: Tips for Exam 70-462: make your labs using Azure trial

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SQL Server: ranking your data

This is the kind of query that kills some servers – ranking.

It’s a bit hard to make programmers understand how important the performance of their code can have a big impact on server speed – they all seems to think that throwing more hardware will solve all world’s problems… unfortunately it does not work that way.

So, after the app is completed and tested and validated by the manager (with a small data-set, of course), it goes live. After a few thousand records are inserted, things start to slow down, and it is exactly the report that the manager will look everyday. If this is familiar to you, take a look at the hints and techniques in this article: Nasty Fast PERCENT_RANK from SQL Server Central folks.

It’s not just the ranking itself, but all types of queries and data manipulation shown there that may help you. And the ideas work in all database engines, of course changing the language to the one you like.

and happy coding!

cya

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Some fancy BI stuff: SSIS training, Data Tools add-ins and BIML academy

A few days ago I posted a link to one BIML introduction webcast. Now I now it will be a series of webcasts this week, it’s a great oportunity to learn more about it! Stay tuned and subscribe to the remaining days of the BIML ACADEMY. Recordings on previous days will be available too.

While we are on BI topic, you can get yourself started on the Stairway to Integration Services articles teaching how to use SSIS. These series of articles are a great idea from the guys at SQL Server Central. SSIS (Integration Services) is a great tool to Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) data and can be used on various kind of projects and reports.

A final note on the topic is that this tool allows you to expand its capability. BIDS Helper is a great set of add-ins that really expand the SQL Data Tools and makes your life easier. Codeplex.com has some really nice projects shared and is worth a look.

Bonus content: as we are talking about additional stuff for SQL 2012, you might want to take a look at Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 SP1 Feature Pack (no links for SP2 and SP3, sue MS). Also the SQL Data Tools itself should be installable over this direct download for 2012 (no need to get a full SQL Server ISO). For newer versions check this page (match it to your Visual Studio version just for safety). You can try to apply SQL Server® 2012 Service Pack 3 (SP3) to it, but I’m not sure if it will work. Of course, install your SQL Server Management Studio of choice first (I recomend that you stick to the version your servers currently run at work. At home use the newer to learn it. Previous versions are available here or at the SQL2012 SP3 page). You might have a bit of trouble with 32bit vs 64 bit SSIS issues, but it should be easy to overcome.

PS: sorry for so much links in just one post. Microsoft really makes a confusion with their development tools, but it seems they are trying to consolidate that.

PS2: you might experience some compatibility warnings after installing the Data Tools for VS2012. Please update this KB2781514: (source). Also please install in this order: SSMS, Data Tools, full VS suite (if you are a developer).

cya!

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How to install DSA.MSC on Windows 7 and Server 2008 / 2012

For Windows 7 you will need to download a package from Microsoft: Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1  . Follow the great instructions in this link: http://tweaks.com/windows/40075/install-group-policy-and-ad-tools-on-windows-7/

For Windows Server 2008 and 2012, it’s just a matter of adding the feature via the “Add Roles and Features Wizard”. Also some detailed instructions are here: http://www.peppercrew.nl/index.php/2012/07/good-old-dsa-msc-on-windows-server-2012/

Cya!

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SSIS / Data Tools compatibility between 2014 and 2012

Well, to be simple: there is no backwards compatibility when you create a package in SQL Server 2014 Data Tools (formerly SSIS/BIDS). 2014 files only run on 2014 servers. 2012 on 2012, and that’s it.

Microsoft acknowledge this issue but as SQL 2016 is the current version, there is no hope for 2014 users. So you have to stick to 2012 tools if your servers are living in that version. I have lived on 2008 long enough, so that’s not gonna be a problem, but for anyone trying to show new things to the boss in order to make the company bite the bill for a new version, this is bad news.

There are a couple of work-arounds, of course: Vanie Castro found some stuff inside the XML files, and Verena expanded upon it.

By the way, MS should make it easier for us to sell their products, but they don’t. Maybe someday.

cya!

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BIML first steps

BIML stands for Business Intelligence Markup Language. It adds some things on top of SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services, now called SQL Data Tools, or BI Development Studio, or even DTS – Microsoft should really make up their mind and stop changing this product name).

Its used to automate and simplify some tasks in the BI world, with a strong focus to save time creating and maintaning SSIS packages used in the ETL steps of any BI project. You know, SSIS is not strictly for use with SQL Server, it can read any data source and write to any other DB engine too. So even if your project is not related to SQL directly, you can benefit of it.

I follow the folks from http://www.sqlservercentral.com/ and received the news of a free webinar to learn BIML. It’s available at the Biml Academy. It’s free and a great oportunity to learn it. The date will be May-09, at 01:00pm EDT.

You can read an introduction to BIML here. Go on. Subscribe now. Knowledge is never too much.

Link to webinar: http://andyleonardconsulting.enterthemeeting.com/m/JCNAMVF8

cya!

 

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