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Blog Series – An Introduction to SQL Server

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

I have been working as a SQL Server DBA for about six years and my interests tend toward internals. However, I’ve been co-president of the Chicago SQL Server User Group since July of last year and in that time I’ve met a number of people who have been interested in working as a DBA but don’t know where to get started. This has inspired a series of posts covering an introduction to SQL Server. Topics covered will include:

  • An overview of relational databases and SQL Server
  • Downloading and installing SQL Server
  • Creating a database
  • Creating a table
  • Creating an index
  • Methods for loading test data
  • SQL Server security
  • Database backup and restore
  • SQL Agent jobs

I am planning on posting these topics once a week over the next few months. If you have questions about a post or are interested in seeing other topics covered, let me know in the comments.

Categories: CSSUG, SQL Server, T-SQL Tags: , ,

The SkreebyDBA Spring 2013 Midwest Tour Finishes Up

April 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday was SQL Saturday Chicago, and it wrapped up a week where I presented four times in seven days. Things started out with my presentation at SQL Saturday Madison last Saturday. You can read my post about that here.

The April meeting of the Chicago SQL Server User Group was Thursday and I presented on Tools to Make Make Multi-object Administration Easier. About 30 people turned out and I think it went pretty well. Each time I present, I get more comfortable using ZoomIt and my presentation remote. Thanks to everyone who came out for the meeting, especially to those who provided feedback.

The speaker dinner was Friday night at La Hacienda in Addison. The food was good and the company was better. I met Mark Vaillancourt (b|t) and Hope Foley (b|t) for the first time and was able to catch up with other members of SQLFamily.

I don’t know if it was pre-presenting jitters, but I had trouble sleeping and spent a few early-morning hours tweaking my demos and learning how to use a VMWare snapshot. This is the first presentation I’ve used a VM and I’ve realized my Windows admin skills are lacking. I plan on getting much practice in the coming months.

Things were well under way when I made to DeVry at about 8:15 a.m. After talking to volunteers Bill Lescher (t) and Bob Pusateri (b|t), I grabbed some grub and made my way up to the speaker’s room, joining Aaron Lowe (b|t), Ted Krueger (b|t), David Klee (b|t) and Erin Stellato (b|t). It was my first time in a speaker room and it was great being there with such a distinguished group.

I made my way down to my room as Ed Leighton-Dick was finishing up his presentation on Service Broker and was able to set up. I presented to a group of seven, I am hoping because I was presenting at the same time as Erin Stellato and David Klee. There were some good questions and I am glad to have another presentation under my belt. You can find the slides and scripts from my presentation here.

After lunch, I joined Ted Krueger and Ross LoForte to provide a group of DeVry students an introduction to SQL Server. Ted gave an overview of SQL Server, Ross got into more detail about the various SQL Server components and I finished up with how a database works. I am happy to have had a chance to give back to DeVry, as they’ve generously donated space for SQL Saturday the last three years.

I closed out the day with Erin Stellato’s presentation on Demystifying Database Statistics. I was my second internals presentation of the week, and it reminded me what I love about SQL Server most and has inspired to dedicate more time to studying.

Many thanks to Wendy Pastrick (b|t), Bill Lescher, Ted Krueger, Bob Pusateri and everyone else who made SQL Saturday Chicago such a great event.

SkreebyDBA Midwest Tour – 2013

April 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Saturday, April 6th is the first stop on the SkreebyDBA Midwest Tour 2013. I will be presenting on Interrogating the Transaction Log at SQL Saturday Madison. If you are in the area and would like to register, you can do so here. If you’ve never been to a SQL Saturday, it is a great opportunity to get a free day of training and meet others in the SQL community.

The second stop on the tour will be the April meeting of the Chicago SQL Server User Group, Thursday April 11th. I will be presenting on Tools to Make Multi-object Administration Easier. If you are interested, register here before 4pm on April 9th.

The final stop on the tour is SQL Saturday Chicago, Saturday, April 13th. I’ll be doing the Multi-object Administration presentation again. This will be my third SQL Saturday Chicago, and it is also the third at DeVry University in Addison. DeVry has donated the space each year, and I’ll be helping present an introduction to SQL Server to a group of DeVry students with Ted Krueger (b|t) and Bill Lescher (t). You can find more information about SQL Saturday Chicago and register here.

As I said, this will be my third SQL Saturday Chicago. At my first, I saw Jes Borland (b|t) present on Making Your Voice Heard!. Now two years later, I’ll be presenting at my second SQL Saturday. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the SQL Community and encourage you to get involved as well.

Life Gets in the Way, Part 2 and Big News

February 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Life has gotten in the way of me posting here again, but it isn’t all bad.  I’ve been really busy at the new gig learning the environment and writing some interesting code.  I have a growing list of blog posts but need to find the time to get them written.

SQL Saturday Madison is coming up on April 6th and I just found out that my presentation, Interrogating the Transaction Log, has been accepted.  I am extremely excited and thank Ted Krueger (b|t) and the rest of the SQL Saturday Madison folks for the opportunity.

I started this blog a little less than a year ago and looking back, I am amazed at what I’ve accomplished. Presenting in public for the first, second and third time. Taking over the Chicago SQL Server User Group with Aaron Lowe (b|t). Starting a new job. And now my first SQL Saturday. It’s been a great time and here’s to it continuing.

Chicago SQL Server User Group October Meeting

October 15, 2012 1 comment

Last Thursday was the October meeting of the Chicago SQL Server User Group. This was the fourth meeting that Aaron Lowe (b|t) and I have run and things have gone remarkably smoothly. Many thanks to Bill Lescher (t), Ross LoForte and all of the folks at the Microsoft MTC for providing us a solid foundation and great facilities to work with.

The sponsor for this month’s meeting was SWC Technology Partners. Erica Lee and Lowry Kozlowski spoke about the company and the positions they have open. Thanks to Erica, Lowry and SWC for their time and for the pizza.

That brought us to the presentation portion of the evening. I was on deck to give my first presentation in front of a user group, entitled Interrogating the Transaction Log. While I hadn’t practiced as much as I would have liked, I’d run through the various sections enough to be confidently nervous. I feel like I did a decent job, but would have definitely benefited from some additional practice. The only glitch I ran into was that my laptop refused to go into duplicate presentation mode, which meant I had to keep looking over my shoulder during the demos. Despite that, the feedback I received was positive and a number of people told me they had learned something new, which was why I wanted to present in the first place.

Thanks to everyone who attended the meeting and provided feedback. Further thanks to Jes Borland (b|t), Paul Randal (b|t), Kimberly Tripp (b|t), Brent Ozar (b|t), Aaron Lowe and all of the others who have provided encouragement, inspiration and advice.

September Chicago SQL Server User Group Meeting

August 22, 2012 1 comment

Chicago SQL Server User Group Logo
The September meeting of the Chicago SQL Server User Group will be Thursday, September 13th at the Microsoft Technology Center. If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP from the CSSUG Home Page. You can register for the group as well and receive information about upcoming meetings and group news.

A new section has been added to the home page for member blogs, and new posts to those blogs will be tweeted under the #chisql hash tag. If you are registered for the group and are interested in having your blog added, send your blog address here or post it in the comments here.

Finally, we are looking for presenters for future meetings. If you would like to present, post in the comments or send an e-mail to me here.

Categories: CSSUG, PASS, SQL Server Tags: ,

The August Chicago SQL Server User Group Meeting

August 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Last night was the August meeting of the Chicago SQL Server User Group. It was the second meeting Aaron Lowe and I have run. Ira Whiteside of Melissa Data was kind enough to sponsor the meeting and was scheduled to present. Unfortunately, Ira ran into car problems on the way down and could not make it. In Ira’s absence, Aaron and I decided that we would each do a presentation. Aaron presented on Writing Professional Database Code, which was excellent. Statement terminators and version control for database code are two of Aaron’s suggestions I will bring back to my team.

I started off the meeting with a short presentation introducing Adam Machanic’s sp_whoisactive. If you do any troubleshooting of SQL Server issues, sp_whoisactive is a tool you should be using. It consolidates data from sp_who2, sys.dm_exec_requests and a number of other DMOs to give you a quick and complete picture of how each process is performing on your system. You can pull the execution plan for each process and have the option to generate deltas for a number of metrics over a period of time. The best part about the procedure is that it is free for download. The fact that Adam Machanic provides the code for free is a testament to the strength of the SQL Server community.

If you live in the Chicago area and are not registered for the user group, you can do so here. You will receive e-mail notification for upcoming meetings. We are looking for group members to present at upcoming meetings. If you are interested, you can e-mail me here. I hope to see you at an upcoming meeting.

Categories: CSSUG, DMO, sp_whoisactive Tags: ,