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Showing posts from 2017

Kerberos Explained - Taming the Beast: Kerberos for the SQL Server DBA

David has a talk that he delivers at SQL Saturdays, all about Kerberos authentication.  What it is, how it works and the impact it can have on databases administrators if things sometime go awry with what is needed for it function correctly.

The talk  is called  “Taming the Beast: Kerberos for the SQL Server DBA” if you have ever encountered the Kerberos double hop issue –David’s talk provides a great explanation about the cause – missing or duplicate service principal names (SPNs).  David’s talks explains how Kerberos works and what you need to do to fix any SPN issues.

David introduces a great tool to help the SQL Server DBA work with SPNs. The tool is called Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server. This is really useful tool for helping you identify if you have the correct SPNs created. David explains how to use it in his talk.

David records a lot of his SQL Saturday presentations and he has recorded this one too. You can watch it here. When he first the YouTube vid…

New in SQL Server 2017: Graph Databases

David has recorded and published a video of his presentation on SQL Server Graph Database. In his video which you can watch below, David provides an excellent introduction into SQL Server 2017 Graph Databases. In his presentation he looks at Tennis results at tournaments for  his favourite player "The Fed"  Rodger Federer.

David  shows how to set up graph database and work with them in SQL Server 2017.

Graph Database is not new. Other vendors have had graph database capabilities for some time so Microsoft are quite late to the market. In David presentation it appears that Microsoft have done a reasonable job of implementing some of the graph database features but he does point some of the limitations of the Microsoft product too and suggests that it is not ready for production yet but Microsoft seem serious about this feature.

Please watch the video and feel free to leave a comment or feedback - David is delivering a version of this talk on Graph databases in SQL Saturday Ka…

SQL Server Express v SQL Server Developer Edition

SQL Server Express v  SQL Server Developer Edition
Over the weekend I received the following in an email from Ali Ahmad who asked me some questions about learning SQL Server. We exchanged a couple of emails so I have boiled this down to the most salient points.

Question:
Goal: I want to learn SQL Server inside out… for career progression as DBA/BI/data mining. I'm a data analyst and want to learn inside out about data warehousing.
•I understand relational database concepts...
•I have SQL Server 2014 express installed…
•I need to download the adventure works sample in order to play with it.
•So much knowledge on Microsoft website it's easy to get lost… where do I begin?

SQL Server Express v SQL Server Developer
This is interesting. If you want to learn SQL Server inside out including the Business Intelligence suite of applications I would suggest downloading the developer edition of SQL Server which since 2016 has been made available free of charge. Prior to that there was a f…

Video Tutorial: Creating a SQL Server Databases

In this Video tutorial we will look at creating a SQL Server database using both Management Studio and TSQL. We’ll also discuss some of the database options you can set when creating a database. We will look at creating database objects such as tables, indexes and stored procedures in a later video this tutorial focuses on the database itself.



If you have a SQL Server problem that we can help with please check out or SQL Server Consulting Page and do feel free to contact us

SQL Server Management Studio: Video Tutorial

SQL Server Management Studio is the all in one tool for developers and DBAs alike to work with SQL Server. In this short tutorial we look at how you can download install and connect to a SQL Server instance and have a quick look at object explorer and some of the server and database objects you can view and work in Management Studio



If you have a SQL Server problem that we can help with please check out or SQL Server Consulting Page and do feel free to contact us

Installing SQL Server: Video Tutorial

In this video I talk you through installing SQL Server 2017 RC1 on Windows Server 2016 virtual machine. It’s a nice simple process.

If you need help with SQL Server check out our SQL Server Consulting page

Building Always On Availability Groups - Part 1

Introduction By David Postlethwaite
Ensuring that your databases can survive a major outage such as a server failure and can continue to work is an important task of being a DBA.
Database Mirroring was introduced in SQL 2005 and was quite straight forward to setup.
Mirroring only allowed for one secondary server and there was no way of grouping databases to failover together.

In SQL Server 2012 mirroring was replaced with Always On Availability Groups (AOAG). It can have multiple secondary servers and databases could be grouped to failover together along with other feature making it much more resilient and reliable.

SQL Server 2014 increased support for up to eight secondary replicas that are still available for read-only workloads even when the primary has gone down. It also gave support for In-Memory OLTP databases.

SQL 2016 made improvements by allowing failover not just on server failure but optionally also at the database level. So if the server is still running but a database h…

Dynamic Data Masking

By David Postlethwaite

Introduction
Dynamic data masking is a really useful new tool in SQL Server 2016. Keeping data safe is one of the most important tasks that a company has; this goes further than just making sure that users can only see their own data and hackers can’t get access. One case that will be familiar to many is where a copy of production data is required by developers for testing or for production support issues. In this case it is often important that the data is obfuscated so that real personal data is protected. With large data sets running an obfuscation script can take a long time and hold up support or testing. What would be really useful is a way of masking the data without having to run these long obfuscation scripts. Introducing Dynamic Data Masking.
Microsoft has introduced a solution to this in SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL database called Dynamic Data Masking. With DDM, whenever a SELECT statement is run a mask is placed over the data that is returned so th…

Always Encrypted

By David Postlethwaite

Always Encrypted is new features in SQL Server 2016 and it is also available in Azure SQL Database. Here you can encrypt columns in a table with a master key and a certificate so that they will appear as encrypted strings to those who don’t have the required certificate installed on their pc.
Once the certificate is installed on the computer then the unencrypted data can then be seen as normal.

The data passes from database to your application as the encrypted value, only the application with the correct certificate can unencrypt the data so it is secure across the wire. This will go some way to resolving the concern of people worried about putting their sensitive data on a shared server in the cloud such as Microsoft Azure and accessing the data across the Internet.

At the time of writing Always Encrypted is only supported with ADO.NET 4.6, JDBC 6.0 and ODBC 13.1 but expect other driver to become available.

The calling application (including SSMS) must also hav…