Many folks (including me) use NULL values in their databases. There's actually a bit of controversy on even having them - but I don't fall on the side of never using the. But you do need to exercise some care...
I recently returned from the "SQLBits" conference in York, England. I met a lot of folks that I've seen before at other conferences, but I also met a fair amount that had not been to a SQL Server conference before.
I get asked from time to time about locating "Big Data" - or large sets of data for an application.
I was flying last week and struck up a conversation with a gentleman in the seat next to me. He runs a series of Martial-Arts schools in Virginia, and as we talked he asked me “What’s Microsoft got coming out that’s cool?” He was referring to all of the announcements and products from companies like Apple and the new Droid phone. I told him that we did release the Win7 phone to manufacturing and a new Halo game was coming, but then I asked him a question –
Most of you know that I write a technical article each week for the InformIT website - you can see a list of all my articles here. I’ve been writing for that site for – well, a really long time. I have articles all the way back to SQL Server version 7! The question was that we saw a huge uptick for an older SQL Server article there. A question was posed as to whether we should update that article, or remove it since it was on SQL Server 2000. My response? No!
I’m traveling to the United Kingdom (York, England, to be specific) in September, joining Brent Ozar, Brad McGehee, Kevin Kline, Simon Sabin – and a host of other top-notch speakers. They will be covering deep technical topics ranging from server health checks to SANs and Virtualization. So what will I be talking about? SQL Server 101.
Every time I attend a conference like this, I’m amazed at the depth of technical information you can learn about. And for those of us who make a living at SQL Server, they are a great bargain – you get a “knowledge accelerator” that helps you do your job.
I've been reading a fascinating article about the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC facility. It's a scientific research facility that houses a particle collider, which generates an incredible amount of data. Their original plan was to stream the data to tape, then sending the data to "islands" closer to the users, offloading the network as quickly as possible. But they found that the network could handle the streaming better than they thought - so they now stream the data directly to the users, saturating the network. It's a new way of thinking about moving the data around.
I’ve been reading some excerpts from Gartner, Inc. and information from others on the changes they are seeing in the workplace. It’s holding true where I work and in the workplaces of the other data professionals I work with. One of those new trends is called “Swarming” – where informal teams get together to work on a particular project, and in some cases a single task, as a group. They then move on to another task, and so on, like a swarm of bees. These are less formal than the “Tiger Teams” I used to be part of that were also temporary, but had a more formal banding and dis-banding. The Gartner article states that this is more often the norm in companies than not.
I talk a lot about “giving back”. It’s a personal issue with me – I grew up quite poor, and from time to time someone would take notice that my mom and I didn’t have enough to eat, and they would help us out. I’ve never forgotten those folks.
Many times I'm asked "does Microsoft ever ask the users what they want in SQL Server"? Yes, we do. A lot, actually. And you can be a part of that conversation.
I had a discussion with a friend in Microsoft IT this morning, and as we were evaluating some query plans we ran into more clustered index woes.
I’ve written a series on creating an “Application Profile” for your organization, which allows you to create a strategic plan on everything from Business Continuity to Disaster Recovery, but many of us just don’t have the time to do that much work.