Sunday, January 21, 2018

TSQL Tuesday #59

This month's T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by RealSQLGuy - Tracy McKibben (blog | twitter) and he is calling out for all Heroes!

What a fabulous topic! I really had think about it though. I think I have 1 personal hero and 2 professional heroes. I should give a disclaimer here - I have a hard time picking a favorite anything, so this just follows suit I guess. :)

First, my professional heroes (not listed in any specific order):

  • Stuart - I used to work with Stuart at my previous employer. I didnt think of him in this regard at the time, but looking back I do. He was the DBA, and I was more of a programmer/database developer. Every time I had a question, he would explain why and I would walk away feeling smarter, not dumber. I have worked with people who made you feel like an idiot when you asked a question, and I never had that from Stuart. In fact, he would explain in depth if I asked. For instance, he taught me tricks on query optimization, rather than just doing it and giving it back to me with no explanation. I remember a specific moment at my current job: it was the first time I changed a 45-min cursor within our ETL process to a 5-10 min set based query. I was ecstatic! I dont think I would have thought of it in that way without working with Stuart before. In all honesty, when I think of a DBA, he is what I think about. I work with the BI side of things now, so it is different than my work then, but I wouldnt have the confidence I do now without that experience.
  • Chris - I used to work with Chris at my previous employer, too. He is the type of person that is very smart, down-to-earth and nice. He also speaks code fluently as another language (or he at least seems to). :) He is my hero because if it werent for him, I would probably not have realized that I am not a programmer. Sure - I can do it. But, watching him be able to understand and code so quickly and easily, I realized that is not my natural-born skill. For me, I have to look up syntax and really dig into a project because it didnt come as easily for me. The hero part comes from him being such a great guy about it. He also took the time to help you without making you feel stupid in any way. How many people do you know that are so good at what they do, but dont have the ego behind that? I am the type that feels heavily responsible for what I am doing, which sometimes means I keep grinding at a project or multiple until I feel like it is perfect - and it never is. When I realized I am not a programmer, it made me think of what I can do that easily - and that is what led me to working with data much more.

I have saved the best for last - my personal hero:

  • My Mother - She is kind and sweet and everyone loves her! She is what I want to be (when I grow up - haha). I have had some very challenging years and I dont know how I would have gotten through them without her. I am a positive person, but she helps me think in that way when I really dont want to. Maybe I have someone at work who doesnt like me and it shows - I take things personally and next thing you know I am not thinking happy thoughts, much more hurt. She helps me get back in the right mind-set and not to worry about it. She tells me - I need to let it slide like water slides off a duck's back. I will admit, I hate hearing her say that - but she is right and I know it. :) I also like knowing she relies on me as much as I do her - so its not all 1-sided. :) I am lucky enough to be able to say my mother is my best friend and is definitely a super-hero!
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TSQL Tuesdays # 57

Jeffrey Verheul (blog | twitter) is hosting TSQL Tuesday. He thought of a great topic: SQL Family and community.

I first heard about the SQL community by way of the SQL Saturday in Baton Rouge (Aug 2012). I hadn't heard of anything like that before. I didnt have a twitter account and I hadnt been in a true DBA role, so when I wanted to learn more, I just thought of books. Once I went to the SQL Sat BR, it was like a whole new world opened up for me. I loved how the leaders interacted with each other, joking and kidding around - and honestly - I wanted that! I was a little too much in AWE of everything that day to approach anyone, but left with some awesome tips I had learned and couldnt wait for more.

I learned about their user group and even though I was an hour away, I wanted to attend. Life got in the way, so I didnt attend many in that next year. However, when 2013 rolled around, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and submitted to be a speaker. I had some previous experience with public speaking, so I was only nervous about the technical content portion. They chose me and after I presented, I realized I was completely addicted! I was thrilled to meet people who I had learned from the previous year. It was an amazing experience all around.

I have since spoken at the user group in Baton Rouge, this year's SQL Saturday in Baton Rouge (cant get enough of them), at 2 virtual chapters, and the SQL Saturday in Dallas (Nov 2013). Each time I have had the priviledge of meeting more and more people; each time I get a little awe-struck, and each time I feel relaxed and at ease when actually talking with them.

I have since started a user group here in Lafayette, LA (although I still travel to BR for meetings too). One of the main reasons I started the group was to have people closer to home that I could connect with in the same way I do with others throughout the community. It is amazing to know that even though I have a lot I need to learn, I havent met anyone who judges me negatively for that. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I dont know of any other IT community who responds to others in such an overall friendly way and I feel priviledged that I get to be a part of it.

P.S. - I mistakenly put someone else's name as the host for this month - and it turned into yet another example of how great this community is. I hadnt talked with him before, but I guarantee you when I meet him I will remember this and based on his messages, we will both chuckle in a nice way. :)

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Tech Fest - Houston - 2014 (I'm Presenting)

I will be presenting on Sept 13, 2014 at Houston TechFest! This is an amazing opportunity and I am very excited.  You can check out all the sessions being given by clicking here.

I will be presenting on: Data Warehouse Indexes and ABCs of SSIS

Make sure to follow them on twitter for updates: @HoustonTechFest or #htechfest

Sept will be here before you know it - See you there!

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Data Warehouse Indexes

A datawarehouse environment is used differently than a transactional environment, so architecture and indexing strategies should also be different. In this presentation, we review what the ultimate goal of an index really is, what the point of a data warehouse is, and how they relate to each other. You will also learn common practices for indexing the different types of warehouse tables, specifically dimension tables, fact tables, and staging tables. We will review cases when it is useful to have summary level fact tables, in addition to detail level fact tables. Then, lastly, we will look at the benefits, and gotchas, of using columnstore indexes.

You can get to the presentation slide-deck by clicking here.  There are helpful notes on most of the slides.

The script referenced in the slide deck can be downloaded by clicking here.

Also, there have been a number of requests to be able to get the cute frog pics, so here they are!

This session is also available via a recording, which can be found by clicking here.  It was presented to the Data Architecture Virtual PASS chapter (although it has been updated since then, the majority of the presentation is the same).

Presented at:

  • August 2, 2014 - SQL Saturday Baton Rouge (Abstract)
  • May 6, 2014 - Data Architecture Virtual Chapter ** recording available (YouTube Recording)
  • March 12, 2014 - Baton Rouge SQL Server User Group
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SQL Saturday - Baton Rouge # 324 - 2014 (I'm Presenting)

I will be presenting on Datawarehouse Indexes on August 2, 2014, along with some other wonderful speakers!  Check out the schedule here:

Here is the session I am going to be presenting on: Data Warehouse Indexes

I have my schedule printed out and am really looking forward to meeting several people.  What sessions are you going to see?  See you there!

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ETL - Index Maintenance - specific table

First off, this script is still a work in progress.  It is something that I created while working with data warehouse indexes, and added to it when I was getting ready for my presentation.  It helps me specifically in the ETL process - I do NOT use this for overall index maintenance.

What is nice about this script is that I am able to either disable or rebuild by using the same stored procedure.  That way, when I want to update the process, I only have 1 place to change it and all SSIS packages that use it will be affected.

The process I am using it in is as follows:

  1. Disable Clustered Index (this also disables all non clustered indexes and saves me from having to specifically do them manually)
  2. Rebuild the Clustered Index
  3. Data Manipulation (insert, edit, delete, etc)
  4. Rebuild all of the NonClustered Indexes

I am working on a full indexing strategy for the entire ETL process, but for now, I have specific needs and this takes care of all the problem children (tables) allowing the ETL process to continue largely unaffected, but these specific uses run much faster than without it.

By accessing or using this code, you agree to be bound by the following: license

Click here for the SCRIPT

If you have feedback, or are interested in contributing, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Export all msdb SSIS packages to files

This is going to be a post with more pictures than text, but it is something that is useful.  :)  I did not set this package up, it was done before I started working here.  But, it has been asked about, so I am blogging about it.

When I release changes to the production, I always want a rollback plan (I would assume most people do).  In order to do that for SSIS, I use a package to export all of the SSIS packages to files. Then, save those in a zip folder.  That way, I can get to them quickly as needed.  Here is the package info for those who can also use it. I will say that this only looks at 1 of the folders within the msdb structure - the main BI ETL folder (which has sub-folders and the SSIS packages in those sub-folders). The way this package works, I would have to have it in each of the SSIS solutions I use. I want to re-do this to make it more generic and re-useable for multiple solutions.

Read more: Export all msdb SSIS packages to files

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