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Showing posts from September, 2016

SQL Friday: Weekly Round up 30th September

This week has been a relatively relaxed week for me. I had a one-day onsite event in Cardiff on Wednesday for one of Learning Tree's clients. I have been there on several occasions over the summer and each one of these events has been great fun with some good discussions.

Next week is SQL Relay and David Postlethwaite is delivering his SQL Server 2016 new features  along with his azure talk. If you are going, go and say hello.He's at all the events bar Nottingham.

SQL ServerDynamically Generate SQL Server BCP Format Files by Jeffery Rao
Proxy Settings & Backup to URL (Azure Blob Storage) - Jack Li
Why I'm running for the PASS Board - Allen White
Masking Your Data with SQL Server 2016 - Greg Larsen R ProgrammingConnecting to Twitter with R and Studio - by Gethyn Ellis
The Financial Times uses R for Quantitive Journalism AzureNew P2 Instance Type for Amazon EC2 – Up to 16 GPUs -  By Jeff Barr Contacting/Professional developmentWhy a generalised CV does not get you hired

Want to Win a Free @LearningTree Course? #LtreRox - @tangentc is the first ever twitter winner!!!

As regular readers of this blog will know I teach some data courses for Learning Tree. Recently Learning Tree has introduced a new Twitter competition. Attendees current, past and present who tweet about their experiences on their respective Learning Tree courses. What they have learned, key take-away points or if you haven't been on a course yet what you want to learn on a future course. Mark you tweet with the #LtreRox hashtag and also tag @LearningTree in your post and you will be entered into a draw to win a free @learningtree course.

This week's winner, the first ever winner of this competition is @tangentc. Carolina's winning tweet is here:

The reason behind my excitement, Carolina was an attendee on the course I delivered in London a week back. The course was 534 Developing SQL Queries for SQL Server and Carolina attended via Anyware...She was an online student.

It'll be interesting to see what course Carolina picks as her free course. Ironically i was speaking …

Connecting to Twitter with R and RStudio

Social Media and Analytics is always an interesting combination. Twitter has an API that you can so you can connect to  using R and RStudio (and a whole bunch of other languages too) to analyse twitter data.

In this post we will simply look at how we go about connecting to twitter with R and Studio

Assuming you R and R Studio downloaded and installed
You need a Developer Account Well actually, first up you'll need a twitter account. I'll assume that you have one. If you don't head over to twitter and signup. 
With your twitter account setup the first things first you need to do is create an application in twitter get  access to the Twitter API. This is a simple process. To do this you need to visit signing with your twitter account if you haven't done so already . When you have signed in, click on the create APP button.  
You will see a form called Create an Application. You will need to provide some application details: Name - give your app a n…

SQL Relay 2016

It less than week to SQL Relay - a week long SQL conference that is visiting Birmingham, Cardiff, Reading, Nottingham and Leeds. 

See if you can persuade your boss to let you out to receive some top notch training from industry experts and speakers.
David will be there speaking on SQL 2016 new features and SQL Azure database
Check out the schedule at
Update: David's session Schedule
Monday 3rd October Birmingham – SQL Server 2016 New Features 9:30

Tuesday 4th October Cardiff – Putting Your head in the Cloud - Working with SQL Azure 12:00

Wednesday 5th October Reading – SQL Server 2016 New Features 9:30

Thursday 6th October Nottingham – David has a Rest Day

Friday 7th October Leeds – SQL Server 2016 New Features 14:30

TGI SQL Friday: Weekly Roundup 23rd September

Its been another Learning Tree week for me this week and a very interesting one at that. I'm on the Learning Tree IAT...IAT stands for Instructor Advisory Team, the team consists of Learning Tree instructors and Learning Tree senior management  and its purpose is to come up with ideas and suggestions to improve how Learning Tree does things and how it does business. A number of great ideas have come out of this so far and the meeting on Monday was also a very productive meeting with further ideas shared, watch this space to see as these ideas get implemented.

I have also been teaching an onsite for a client in Warwick, a rather pleasant part of the world. I was teaching the 534 Developing SQL Queries for SQL Server

This is one of my favourite courses and the class this week has been great, lots of great questions and a really great students.

What I've been reading this week. Well we've had a few posts this week show casing David postlethwaite's work including

SQL Serve…

Have you Upgraded From SQL Server 2005?

My first Learning Tree SQL Server Newsletter that was sent out back in August was titled SQL Server 2016: Keeping up with Technology.  In that post I talked about the reasons why some people/organisations may have been or are reluctant to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of SQL Server, which at this time is SQL Server 2016. In that post I touched on the fact I have clients who still have old versions of SQL Server such as  SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 instances running in production, even though both versions are now well and truly out of support with Microsoft.

SQL Server 2005 went out of support with Microsoft in April this year (2016). I encourage all my clients, and also, I would encourage anyone reading this blog who have SQL Server 2005 instances to upgrade. I'm sure most have done so already but there will be some SQL Server 2005 instances out there in the wild. If you need any help or assistance with the migration/upgrade process check out the Consulting p…

How to Setup Kerberos Correctly

David was in Copenhagen this weekend delivering his Kerberos talk Taming the Beast: Kerberos for the SQL DBA to SQL Saturday Denmark. I have had a quick chat with him via email since he got back and he said he had a great time. The event was very well attended with 280+ attendees and his talk was well attended.

I think David is planning submitting a few sessions to SQL Saturday events in Europe in the next few months so look out for him there and we'll keep you posted as to his whereabouts when schedules get finalised later in the year.

David has pre-recorded his Kerberos talk. You can watch on you tube and I have also embedded it in this post if you want to see what his kerberos talk  covers...

If we can help you with a SQL Sever problem visit our SQL Server Consulting page or contact us

Building Oracle 12c on Linux 7 on Hyper-V

David has written a white paper, or short ebook titled building oracle 12C on Linux 7 VM residing on Hyper-V. The white paper is in draft and has been tested but David would welcome further feedback.

As with everything on this site...The owner of will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Basically don't do this for production, it might not work for you...although the process works for us we would appreciate any feedback in the comments section.

You can download the pdf here.

TGI SQL Friday - 16th September 2016 Weekly roundup

I have had an interesting week teaching Learning Tree course 534 Developing SQL Queries for SQL Server. I had an interesting group from a variety of technical background all wanting to improve their skills in writing queries. Today's the last day, we have had some great questions as the week has gone on and no doubt we'll get some further questions today. The answers to some of these question will likely make for a blog post or two down the road.

Anyway, here's what I have been reading this week.

SQL ServerTop 5 Books for Database Developers
Cool new tools from called Paste the Plan
What Every Accidental DBA needs to know: Restores - By Tim Ford
Azure SQL Databases: Configuring Active Geo Replication - By Murilo Miranda
SQL Server Career: Gaining Experience - By Gethyn Ellis

The Clustered Index is Vital to your Database Design - by Grant Fritchey

Cloud Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL – New Minor Versions, Logical Replication, DMS, and More Program ManagementKeys to Deli…

Great Value IT Training - Awesome ITIL offers

This week's Great Value IT Offers are in. If you want to your ITIL learning on this autumn we have some great deals for you :

Sign up for great value IT training offers delivered to your inbox
995ITIL® Intermediate: Operational Support and Analysis   3rd October 16
252 Strategic Planning and Implementation                 5th October 16
973 Programming C# Extended Features                 11th October 16
997 ITIL® Intermediate: Planning, Protection and Optimisation 10th October 16
925SQL Programming Language Introduction                 26th October 16
280 Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers        16th November 16

Sign up for great value IT training offers delivered to your inbox
If you are interested in attending any of the courses listed send me an email and we'll get you signed up

Top 5 Books for Database Developers

My Top 5 series of books has proved very popular. The first post  titled Top 5 books for Enterprise Architecture was the blogs most popular post in August. My post last week about my  Top 5 SQL Server Books for the DBA has also been well received. This week's post is the Top 5 Books for the Database Developer, again these are the books on my physical and virtual bookshelf.

TSQL Querying - By Itzik Ben-Gan Et al
TSQL Fundamentals - By Itzik Ben-Gan
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 High Performance T-SQL Using Window Functions - By Itzik Ben-Gan
SQL Server 2012 TSQL Recipes - By Jason Brimhall and Wayne Sheffield
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Internals - Karen Delaney and Bob Beauchemin

You might see an pattern developing with the author of some of these books Itzik's books are very good you can't help but learn a lot from them. The other two are really useful too

Update 13th September 2016 Thanks to Steve Hindmarsh for his comments. Steve recommends the following books. I have read the Ant…

Never miss a Great Value IT Training Deal Again

As regular readers of the blog will be aware, over the summer of 2016 here at we have teamed up with LearningTree to offer some great value IT Training courses at some amazing prices.
The Great Value IT Training offer has gone down really well with some clients and customers. The one thing that has struck me since we started the offer is that sometimes people can and have missed out on a deal on a particular course because they haven’t seen or missed a post. So I have decided to set up and email newsletter, whereby I can deliver the offers to you weekly in the form of email. Then if you want to book onto the course you can simply reply to the email and we can get your course booked for you
The courses offered up on the deal change on a week by week basis. So the email will be sent weekly. If you would like to receive email you the new offers as I receive them, please sign up using the form below. There are other sign in forms on the Great Value IT Training page the Newsl…

TGI SQL Friday - Weekly Roundup 9th September 2016

Welcome to the TGI SQL Friday for the 9th September 2016. Here you will find the links of the posts and articles that  I have been reading this week.

On the work front I have been busy, teaching a two day SSIS  customised course onsite with a client on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday I delivered a one-day class for another client in Cardiff. Check out the Great Value IT Training page for this week's latest offers.
SQL ServerRenaming Physical Database File Names for a SQL Server Database - By Manvendra Singh 
How It Works: How is SQL Server Error 833, 15 Sec I/O Detected - Microsoft Blog
SQL Server Diagnostic Information Queries for September 2016 - By Glenn Berry

Released: Public Preview for System Center Management Packs for SQL Server and Dashboards - By SQL Server Engineering Team

JSON is Generally available in Azure SQL Database - By  Jovan Popovic

Disable SQL Server Triggers with PowerShell - By Tim Smith

New Drop If Exists Syntax in SQL Server 2016 - by John Miner

AzureJSON is Ge…

Great Value IT Training 8th September

As some of you know, here at we have partnered with Learning Tree to offer you a range of courses running at the London Education Centre over the next month or two at a great price. The courses on offer this week can be seen below. If you would like to book yourself a place on one of these great courses please email

1906Python Best Practices and Design Patterns   27th September 16
396  UNIX and Linux Tools and Utilities 4th October 16
1531 SharePoint 2013 Technologies Introduction 4th October 16
1197 Achieving ITIL® Foundation Certification 10th October 16
284  Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving 19th October 16
1198 Achieving ITIL® Practitioner Certification 3rd November 16
3634 PRINCE2 Agile® Achieving Practitioner Certification 30th November 16
346  Project Leadership: Building High-Performance Teams 6th December 16
397  C++ Best Practices and Design Patterns 6th December 16
3631 MSP®: Achieving Practitioner Certification 12th December 16


Are you going to SQL Saturday Denmark? #SQLSaturdayDenmark

Are you going to SQL Saturday Denmark, which is running on Saturday 17th September? If you are David Postlethwaite or @postledm  if you follow him on twitter and a frequent contributor to this blog is delivering his talk on kerberos. David's talk is called

"Taming the Beast – How a SQL DBA can keep Kerberos under control" David's abstract for this talk goes something like this

"The word Kerberos can strike fear into a SQL DBA as well as many Windows Server Administrators.  What should be a straight forward and simple process can lead to all sorts of issues and trying to resolve them can turn into a nightmare. This talk looks at the principle of Kerberos, how it applies to SQL Server and what we need to do ensure it works."
If you want to learn more about kerberos and David's session visit the SQL Saturday Denmark website.

I have heard this talk a few times and its really good. If you want to go and learn about kerberos and the doubt-hop issue then call …

Top 5 SQL Server Books for the DBA

The Top 5 series has proved rather popular. My Top 5 books for Enterprise Architecture was the most popular post in the last month. With this in mind I have a little series of my top 5 books on various technologies  that I will share in the coming weeks.

These are the Top 5 books for a SQL Server DBA. All these are on my virtual bookshelf and provide a wealth of knowledge and advice.

Microsoft SQL Server Unleashed - by Ray Rankins, Paul Bertucci, Chris Gallelli, Alex T. Silverstein

Troubleshooting SQL Server - A Guide for the Accidental DBA - By Jonathan Kehayias, Ted Krueger

Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Administration - By Adam Jorgensen et al.

Getting Started with SQL Server 2014 Administration - By  Gethyn Ellis, ( Me - shameless plug :-)

SQL Server Deep Dives - By Various. This is not a normal SQL Server book and although quite old these days still has a wealth of information. Volume 1 was first published back in 2009. There was a SQL Server Deep Dives Volume 2 in 2011. Each…

TGI SQL Friday - Weekly Roundup 2nd September 2016

Weekly Summary Last week I was holiday in Cyprus. The weather was plus 30 degrees celsius all week. The pool was awesome the beach was great, the beer was cold.

Monday was a return to reality, and Tuesday was a  return to work.Although its been a short week, its been pretty busy.  I've been customising Learning Tree SSIS course 134 and 4555 to deliver onsite for a client next week. I have also delivered a one day course 4559 Powerful SQL Server Queries for a client in Cardiff.

I have made some time to catch up with some reading, this weeks links are below

Weekly Links SQL ServerMore General and Less SQL - Thomas La Rock
Top 5 Free Tools for the Database Administrator - by Gethyn Ellis
Azure SQL Database v SQL Data Warehouse - by James Serra
Predicates in Sub-queries - by Joe Celko
SQL Server for Linux - by Robert Sheldon
Masking your Data with SQL Server 2016 - by Greg Larsen
Enterprise Architecture IT4IT™ and TOGAF® – How Do They Fit Together? - by Michael Fulton
How British Gas Trans…