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Tag: T-SQL Tuesday

Keyboard shortcuts for moving text lines and windows (T-SQL Tuesday #123)

Keyboard shortcuts for moving text lines and windows (T-SQL Tuesday #123)

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Jess Pomfret (@jpomfret). She wants to hear about life hacks to make your life easier! In this post, I share two of my most-used keyboard shortcuts. One for moving text lines up and down without copying and pasting, and one for moving windows around without dragging and dropping. I use these all the time :)

Moving text lines up and down

Previously, I was moving text lines up and down in a couple of different ways. Have you ever marked all the text on a line, copied it, then pasted it again? Yeah, I did that all the time. And then I discovered there’s an easier way! Yay :)

There are a couple of different flavors to this keyboard shortcut.

In Office applications like PowerPoint and OneNote, you use Shift+Alt+Up and Shift+Alt+Down:

Recording of my two monitors. The left monitor shows the keystrokes.

In other applications like SQL Server Management Studio, Azure Data Studio, and Visual Studio Code, you simply use Alt+Up and Alt+Down.

Moving windows around or between screens

Similarly, I was previously dragging windows around multiple monitors using my mouse. Then I discovered you can use Win+Arrows to move windows around. And then I discovered that you can use Win+Shift+Arrows to immediately move windows to the same position on other monitors. Are you showing a full-screen application while presenting? Just win-shift-arrow it to the extended screen and you look like a total pro. Whaaat! :D

Recording of my two monitors. The left monitor shows the keystrokes.

Keyboard all the things!

There you go. Two of my favorite, useful, and timesaving keyboard shortcuts! I use these so much that I don’t think about them anymore – until someone goes “whoa whoa whoa wait what magic did you just do!?” :D

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts?

Technical Accomplishments and Happy Memories (T-SQL Tuesday #112)

Technical Accomplishments and Happy Memories (T-SQL Tuesday #112)

The March 2019 edition of T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Shane O’Neill (@SOZDBA). This month, Shane wants us to share our cookies. Wait… what? Yes! Cookies :) In this analogy, cookies are accomplishments or memories you can look back on when things get tough. Something that will give you an energy kick to keep you going when you think you’re completely done.

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this since the topic was announced. My cookie jar definitely consists of two types of cookies: technical and non-technical. There are more of the latter, which I believe is a good thing :)

In this post, I’ll highlight some of the technical accomplishments I’m proud of, and share some of my happy memories that always make me smile. (I mean pictures. I will share lots and lots of pictures.)

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Why I’m a Business Intelligence Consultant (T-SQL Tuesday #111)

T-SQL Tuesday #111: Why I'm a Business Intelligence Consultant

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Andy Leonard (@AndyLeonard). Andy wants to know what is our “why”, or why we do what we do. Before I can answer the why, I will briefly explain the what :) I work as a Business Intelligence consultant, focusing on Data Warehousing, Data Integration, and Data Visualization.

The short answer to “why?” is because the work is both challenging and rewarding. As a Business Intelligence consultant, I get to use all my skills from programming to design. I get to satisfy my instinctive need to group, organize, and sort things when working with data. Then I get to make things shiny and pretty. Finally, I get to work with other people, learn about their industries, and help them do their jobs better.

The long answer is… longer :) I absolutely love my job now, but I ended up in the world of data completely accidentally. I’ve gone from Web Development to Graphic Design to Interactive Design to Java Programming to SharePoint Development to Data Warehouse Architecture to Community Evangelizing… And now I’m here :) (Phew!) So why am I a Business Intelligence consultant?

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Generating SQL using Biml (T-SQL Tuesday #110)

T-SQL Tuesday #110: Generating SQL using Biml

The first T-SQL Tuesday of 2019 is hosted by Garry Bargsley (@gbargsley), and the topic is “Automate All the Things“. Garry wants to know what this phrase means to each of us. What do we want to automate? What is our go-to technology for automation? To me, this was super easy. Surprise, surprise! It’s Biml, of course :) Since this post is part of T-SQL Tuesday, I wanted to go back to the basics and write about how you can generate SQL using Biml. But first, a little bit of background for those who are not that familiar with Biml.

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Online Tools for Data Professionals (T-SQL Tuesday #101)

T-SQL Tuesday #101: Online Tools for Data Professionals

T-SQL Tuesday #101 is hosted by Jens Vestergaard (@vestergaardj), and the topic is The Essential SQL Server Tools in my stack. There are several tools that I use every single day, such as Notepad++, Redgate SQL Prompt, and BimlExpress. In fact, there are so many amazing tools out there for data professionals that I created an entire session focusing on Tools and Tips For Data Warehouse Developers! Since I have already covered my favorite tools in other blog posts, I want to take a slightly different approach this time and share some of my favorite online tools.

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Collecting Geeky Norwegian Humor (T-SQL Tuesday #99)

T-SQL Tuesday #99: Collecting Absurd Norwegian Humor

T-SQL Tuesday #99 is hosted by Aaron Bertrand (@AaronBertrand) and the topic is Dealer’s Choice. What does that mean? Aaron wanted us to choose between two topics: write about something we are passionate about outside the SQL Server community, or write about T-SQL bad habits and best practices. I’m too afraid to argue with Aaron, so I chose the first option ;)

But what did I want to write about? Truth be told, I’m pretty boring. I don’t have any real hobbies outside of tech, just a few interests. I first considered writing about hiking. I need to disconnect completely once in a while, and my favorite way of doing that is to get sweaty while walking for hours up a mountain or waterfall. My Instagram (@cathrinesqueee) is my highlight reel, full of pictures and happy memories from my trips.

Some of my favorite hiking memories are: descending into Thrihnukagigur Volcano, eating lunch on top of the Rocky Mountains, relaxing at the Alluvial Fan, exploring the Garden of the Gods, climbing Seven Falls, overlooking the Norwegian fjords, driving across the never-ending Jotunheimen mountains, watching the fog roll in over Trollstigen, hiking Dinosaur Ridge, crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, taking a break on Mount Falcon, visiting the Loveland Pass, and gazing at presidents at Mount Rushmore.

Mads Eriksen M

However, instead of embedding all the pictures that are already on Instagram, I decided to write about something completely different. Something obscure. Something fun and geeky from way before I got involved in the SQL Server community. Something from my good old teenage fangirling days…

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Batch update properties in SSIS packages (T-SQL Tuesday #68)

T-SQL TuesdayT-SQL Tuesday #68 is hosted by Andy Yun (@SQLBek). Many SQL Server defaults are not ideal, and most of us have a list of defaults we always change. Andy wants us to Just Say No to Defaults and blog about what, why or how we change defaults.

If you are an SSIS developer like me, there is a big chance that the ProtectionLevel in SSIS Packages is on top of your list of defaults to change. The default ProtectionLevel is EncryptSensitiveWithUserKey (ugh), but most of the time it is not the best option. Raise your hand if you have ever asked your favorite search engine for advice on issues like “SSIS package fails in SQL Server Agent job” or if you have ever heard someone exclaim “but it works on my machine!?” :)

There are many great blog posts about the different ProtectionLevels, why you probably want to change to DontSaveSensitive as your default, and how to use configurations and parameters instead of encrypted SSIS packages. I will not go into details about any of that in this post, but I will use ProtectionLevel as an example default property you want to change in many SSIS packages at the same time.

How do you batch update properties in existing SSIS packages? You probably don’t want to open up every single package and change them manually?

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Roundup of T-SQL Tuesday #66: Monitoring

T-SQL TuesdayT-SQL Tuesday #66 was hosted by me on May 12th. The topic of the month was Monitoring. We all monitor something while working with SQL Server, and this month’s blog posts covers all kinds of topics by DBAs, developers and BI professionals.

T-SQL Tuesday #66 blog posts:
• Aaron Bertrand (@AaronBertrand) shows how you can use trace flags to babysit slow backups or restores.

• Andy Yun (@SQLBek) reminds us that monitoring in development is important too! Deal with problems before they reach your production environment.

• Angela Henry (@SQLSwimmer) tells how she became a better DBA by creating her own monitoring solution, and how having a monitoring solution in your toolbox can save you from having to look for a new job!

• Ben Miller (@DBAduck) shares his PowerShell script for monitoring tables to watch trends of growth and activity in a database.

• Boris Hristov (@brshristov) encourages IT managers and decision makers to ensure that teams also show how to monitor solutions, and not just implement the latest cutting-edge technologies and expect it to work immediately.

• Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew) shows an example of a Real Time Monitoring solution developed in her company.

• Chris Sommer (@cjsommer) points out some of the most important things a DBA must monitor, and also links to his recent post about Monitoring SQL Server Agent Jobs by using PowerShell.

• Daniel Mellor ‏(@sqlsanctum) shows you step-by-step how to use the Utility Explorer to create a dashboard for monitoring and baselining SQL Server CPU and storage resources.

• Ed Leighton-Dick ‏(@eleightondick) explains how to use tables in the msdb database to monitor your backups.

• Jason Brimhall (@sqlrnnr) discusses different monitoring approaches and methodologies.

• Jason Hall (@SQLSaurus) reminds us to monitor the monitoring systems, they are also important parts of your environment.

• Jeffrey Verheul (@DevJef) writes about different solutions you can use to monitor your environments.

• Kenneth Fisher (@sqlstudent144) writes about a three tiered approach to monitoring when your company is unable to invest in monitoring solution licenses for hundreds of instances.

• Lori Edwards (@loriedwards) reminds us that effective monitoring is more than just a high number of alerts.

• Malathi Mahadevan (@sqlmal) uses a combination of third-party tools, out-of-the-box tools and custom tools to monitor environments.

• Michael Bourgon ‏(@Mbourgon) shares a PowerShell script for capturing multiple servers’ Event Logs to a database.

• Mickey Stuewe (@SQLMickey) created a custom solution to monitor all reports and shares the scripts used.

• Nicky van Vroenhoven (@NickyvV) joins the T-SQL Tuesday blog party for the first time and shares what is important for him to monitor as a SQL / BI developer.

• Richard Douglas (‏@SQLRich) writes about the sneaky Error 825 that disguises itself as just an informational message and why this should be explicitly monitored.

• Rob Farley (@rob_farley) shows how to monitor skew in PDW and how it should be tracked over time when your data changes.

• Robert L Davis (@SQLSoldier) explains how to make sense of errors in the Replication Monitor.

• Robert Pearl (@PearlKnows) writes about how important it is to monitor your systems for a healthy SQL environment.

• Robert Verell ‏(@SQLCowbell) shares how to use WMI and WQL with the native alert system to monitor security.

• Steve Jones (@way0utwest) takes a more philosophical approach to monitoring and talks about why it is important to capture and monitor specific information that is critical to you.

• Steve Thompson (@Steve_TSQL) shows how to identify potential bottlenecks by using Performance Monitor.

• Tim Peters (@tpet1433) uses the Legend of Zelda Triforce to illustrate how solutions can be both easy, helpful and cheap.

• Volker Bachmann (@VolkerBachmann) shares his step-by-step approach to implementing base monitoring.

• And finally Björn Peters (@SQL_aus_HH) joined T-SQL Tuesday with a German post: Self-Repairing-Monitoring Solution oder was einem noch so versprochen wird.

Key takeaways
Monitoring is a very wide, but also very important topic for all of us. Be proactive and monitor your databases, servers and environments (even test and development), and make it a goal to discover issues before your end users alert you. Invest in vendor solutions, use the tools available in SQL Server or write your own custom solutions, just make sure you monitor what is critical in your company. Capture data to see trends over time and use PowerShell to automate tasks. Also don’t forget to monitor the monitoring solutions!

Want to participate or read more?
Monitor the #tsql2sday hastag on Twitter the first week each month for the invitations. Steve Jones (@way0utwest) keeps an updated list of all previous T-SQL Tuesday Topics. If you ever need inspiration to write a blog post, just pick a topic and write away.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in T-SQL Tuesday #66! :)

Custom Real Time Monitoring Solution (T-SQL Tuesday #66)

T-SQL TuesdayT-SQL Tuesday #66 is hosted by me (yay, fun!) and is all about monitoring. We all monitor something while working with SQL Server, and there are so many topics to choose from. As a Data Warehouse developer I use Adam Machanic’s sp_WhoIsActive all the time, I look at the Integration Services Dashboard in SSMS to monitor SSIS package executions and I check the Job Activity Monitor for a quick overview of what’s currently running on our servers.

However, I decided to write about a custom Real Time Monitoring solution we use in my company (Storebrand) that my coworkers in Lithuania created. I couldn’t resist this opportunity to show one of our cool solutions that I get to use and to brag about how talented my coworkers are :)

Storebrand Real Time Monitoring
There are many great monitoring solutions available out there. In my department we actually use several solutions from vendors to monitor our SQL Servers and Business Intelligence environments, but we also had some very specific monitoring requirements. None of the vendor solutions available at the time were able to provide all the functionality we needed, so we built a custom real time monitoring solution:

  • Easily create and edit personal projects, or collaborate on shared projects
  • Web-based interface to access projects from any computer in the network
  • Pick and choose specific files, databases, cubes, jobs and even job steps to monitor in each project
  • Create status and quality checks, and subscribe to get alerts via e-mail or SMS if the checks fail

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Invitation to T-SQL Tuesday #66: Monitoring

T-SQL TuesdayWelcome to T-SQL Tuesday #66! My name is Cathrine Wilhelmsen (@cathrinew) and I’m very happy to be your host for the T-SQL Tuesday coming up on May 12th.

Much Monitoring in the Month of May
The topic of the month is monitoring. We all monitor something while working with SQL Server: Maybe you’re a DBA who monitors database performance, an SSIS developer who monitors job and package execution, an application developer who monitors queries or a BI analyst who monitors report usage? Do you use T-SQL or PowerShell scripts? Have you created your own monitoring reports or applications? Have you invested in a complete monitoring solution from a vendor? What is monitored manually and what is automated with alerts? If a brand new SQL Server professional in your role asks you for advice, what do you say is the number one most important thing to monitor? Have you ever stayed awake for a week solving a problem that could have been avoided with proper monitoring? Did you implement a monitoring solution that saved your company?

Be creative! There are so many topics to choose from, and you can of course write about anything you want as long as it is related to SQL Server and monitoring. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to SQL Server or have decades of experience, whether your blog post is short or long, an introduction or a deep dive, if you include scripts or screen shots… Just join the party and have fun while you share your knowledge. (And if you joined the #SQLNewBlogger challenge in April, this is a great way to keep blogging!)

What is this T-SQL Tuesday thing?
T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party started by Adam Machanic (@AdamMachanic) back in 2009. The concept is simple: The host of the month picks a SQL-related topic and writes an invitation on the first Tuesday of the month. All bloggers are welcome to join in, they have one week to write a blog post about the chosen topic and publish their post on the second Tuesday of the month. The host then writes a summary of all the participating blog posts.

How do I participate?

  1. Write a blog post about Monitoring
  2. Include the T-SQL Tuesday logo and link it back to this invitation blog post
  3. Publish your blog post on Tuesday, May 12th between 00:00 and 23:59 GMT
  4. Leave a reply below with the URL to your blog post (if you don’t see a pingback to it)
  5. Tweet about your blog post using the #tsql2sday hashtag (and if you really want to make sure I see your post you can also add my Twitter handle @cathrinew)

That’s it! I can’t wait to read your blog posts and learn something new :) Ready… set… blog!