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My top 3 features in SQL Server 2014

SQL Server 2014 is on its are some of my favorite features
Submitted by Brian Egler on Wed, 03/12/14 - 6:42pm.

Are you ready to unlock the power of Microsoft SQL Server 2014?  In this blog entry I will examine my 3 favorite new features that show how SQL Server 2014 provides high-performance OLTP, optimization of business analytics and migration of data to the cloud.   

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It’s SQL Boot Camp time…again!

SQL Server 2012 Certification is as challenging as ever - you may need help...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Wed, 07/17/13 - 8:19am.

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Surface Pro available Feb 9th 2013

Microsoft Surface Pro with full Windows 8 Pro comes out in February
Submitted by Brian Egler on Thu, 01/24/13 - 9:15am.

Microsoft has announced that its Surface Pro tablet will be available Feb 9th. Many enterprise customers have been waiting for this version of the Surface, which will run a full version of Windows 8 Pro with the touch-sensitive modern mode and support for Windows 7 apps. I have been testing the Surface tablet with Windows RT over the past 3 months using Remote Desktop to access my servers and have been pleasantly surprised. It's a great piece of hardware.

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Updating your Skills to SQL Server 2012

New course has all you need to know about SQL Server 2012
Submitted by Brian Egler on Fri, 10/05/12 - 8:25am.

As an instructor, I get to preview new courses to verify the materials for accuracy and also start preparing to teach the course in the future. I always participate in the CTP/Beta programs so technically getting to know the new release happens naturally over time as Microsoft releases more bits and I test them out. One by-product of going through the latest training is it prepares you well for the certification exams. You can do it too. Let's take a look.

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SQL Server 2012 Certification: Get your 2008 Certs first!

Get certified in two releases rather than one...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Thu, 09/13/12 - 10:58am.

With every release of SQL Server come the new Microsoft certification exams. In 2000 we had the MCDBA. In 2005 and 2008 we had the MCTS and the MCITP. Now in 2012 we have the MCSA and the MCSE. (Not to be confused with the old Windows 2003 MCSA and MCSE). Did someone say something about re-inventing the wheel? Well, experience is key but certfication is still worthwhile. Let's take a look...

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Windows 8 RTM available...I like it!

Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing...let's take a look...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Thu, 08/16/12 - 2:34pm.

Windows 8 is finally here. I have been testing it out over the last few months and have been pleasantly surprised. Yes, it's different and takes some getting used to. Change is difficult. But I remember the same initial grumblings with Windows 95 and Windows XP. Gosh, I am old. The fact is, Windows 8 is really the robust foundation of Windows 7 with a cool finger-touch layer on top, nicknamed Metro. Now you can relax with your cup of coffee, surf the web, browse your email and zoom with a stroke of your fingers.

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SQL Server 2012 Launch - Show me the training!

New release of Microsoft SQL Server has training ready to go...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Tue, 03/06/12 - 9:53pm.

On the eve of the launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 we are getting ready for the demand of training for the new features. I have been testing out the new VMs for the 5 new courses using Hyper-V. I must admit I am impressed. Normally, training is an after-thought with software, as vendors try to get the product out the door, but not this time. We have all the Microsoft official courses ready to go and on the GK schedule. Let's take a look...


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Top Ten Christmas Lists for SQL Server 2012

Santa or Scrooge for SQL Server 2012?
Submitted by Brian Egler on Wed, 12/21/11 - 12:32pm.

As 2011 winds down, I am looking forward to 2012. It’s another big year for Microsoft with SQL Server 2012 due to be released in the first half of next year. Looking at the
new features, the glass is either half full or half empty. With this in mind, I have produced two lists this year, one for Santa and one for Scrooge.

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Day 2 at SQL PASS Summit – SQL Server and the Private Cloud

Second day in Seattle gets into deep dive mode
Submitted by Brian Egler on Fri, 10/14/11 - 1:48am.

After yesterday’s news with SQL Server 2012, what could we expect on Day 2 at the SQL PASS Summit 2011? How about SQL Server and the Private Cloud? Or SQL Azure and the Public Cloud? More real-life details on the AlwaysOn HA/DR solution? Deeper Dive into SSAS BISM Tabular Model Support? SSIS 2012 top 10 enhancements? I only have so many brain cells left so I am ordering the DVDs…

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Day 1 at SQL PASS Summit - SQL 11.0 “Denali” is now officially SQL Server 2012

First day in Seattle starts with a big announcement
Submitted by Brian Egler on Thu, 10/13/11 - 3:14am.

Once again we find ourselves Sleepless in Seattle. Déjà vu all over again. We would be excused for feeling a little too comfortable with the Seattle Convention Center but the SQL PASS Summit is simply the best Microsoft SQL Server conference there is – it really doesn’t matter where it is. Any feeling of the “same old, same old” was quickly dispelled at the Key Note speech. Yes, the worldwide announcement of the release date of “Denali” was made here today – SQL Server 2012 will be released in the first half of 2012.

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SQL 11 Codename "Denali" Is Coming!

Are you ready for Microsoft SQL 11 Codename "Denali"?
Submitted by Brian Egler on Fri, 09/16/11 - 12:30pm.

Microsoft SQL 11, code name Denali, has many new features that will allow you to develop higher performing, more scalable next-generation applications using more than just relational data. Although this release will be a little early for many customers, the features are largely incremental in nature, which should reassure users that Microsoft is building on the established foundation of SQL Server 2008.

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Need help with Online Page-Level Restores? SQL11 SSMS is your friend!

SQL11 Denali has a new Page-Level Restore Dialog in SSMS
Submitted by Brian Egler on Tue, 08/30/11 - 12:01am.

In SQL Server 2005, Microsoft introduced the Online Restore where parts of a database could be restored while other parts of the same database could remain available. In the same release, the Page-Level Restore was also introduced. The combination of the two technologies is the Online Page-Level Restore which allows one or more data pages to be restored while the database remains available. This is a great feature for 24x7 shops but takes more than a little skill and practice. SQL11 Denali makes it easy.

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Swiss Army Bootcamp for SQL Server - complete with toothpick!

New Microsoft training for SQL Server 2008 R2 hits the spot
Submitted by Brian Egler on Sun, 07/17/11 - 5:36am.

As an MCITP DBA and MCT, I teach the latest and greatest regarding Microsoft SQL Server. Global Knowledge is a Microsoft Gold Partner, so we use the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) for our courses, if available. If materials are not available, however, we develop custom materials ourselves to complement the MOC courses. The MOC SQL courses have varied in quality over the years. Thankfully, it looks like they are back on track with the latest revs.

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Denali Books Online…Online for real!

BOL will not be delivered in the Denali box...but that's a good thing...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Wed, 05/11/11 - 6:31am.

When Sybase invented Books Online to support Sybase SQL Server it was one of the first “online” help-systems available. Shipping a few CDs was always more earth-friendly than shipping hundreds of pounds of books that sat on the shelf gathering dust. At Sybase University, we did not print out student manuals; rather a CD was issued with all the materials stored electronically. This saved many trees and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over 20 years ago, it made sense. It makes sense now. Microsoft has always delivered Books Online with the SQL Server product on the install media.

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Tablets mean Business!

iPad2 will peak the tablet rush but are there convertible tablets out there that do more?
Submitted by Brian Egler on Fri, 03/11/11 - 1:19pm.

OK, so I am testing out a new Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Tablet. I wanted the ease of use of an iPad but also a powerful laptop that runs my business software too. I don’t think Microsoft SQL Server tools run on the iPad2 – yet. Maybe after Apple supports Flash, it may consider SQL Server – not. There’s always the WinAdmin iPad Edition for running Windows RDP but that’s clearly cheating – way too simple. No, I want a convertible.

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Windows 7 and Virtual Server – jump through some virtual hoops!

Submitted by Brian Egler on Mon, 03/07/11 - 12:26pm.

OK, as an instructor, I use virtualization as an educational tool. Virtual machines are perfect for training in that a student can experiment knowing that any mistakes can be quickly discarded for another try – the perfect safe environment far away from production systems. Now many production servers are becoming virtual machines providing flexibility, failover and efficient utilization. Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor claims a “live migration” feature allowing a production VM to switch to new hardware without stopping the service. That’s new in Windows Server 2008 R2.

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Star vs Snowflake Schemas – what’s your belief?

An age old argument comes down to storage vs what's new?
Submitted by Brian Egler on Fri, 02/18/11 - 10:45am.

Two common designs for a Data Warehouse are identified as a “Star Schema” and a “Snowflake Schema”. When we discuss the differences and individual preferences, usually the gloves come off and DBA’s will duke it out. It becomes a religious argument with plenty of passion and zeal. Let’s take a look at why…

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Slowly Changing Dimension - More detail...

Let's look at some code samples for a Type 2 SCD
Submitted by Brian Egler on Thu, 02/03/11 - 2:48pm.

In a previous blog entry I discussed the concept of the Slowly Changing Dimension or SCD. A good example is how to handle the analysis of Sales by Customer Region when a customer moves from one Region to another. The way to solve this situation is with a Type 2 SCD design. Let’s take a look…

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How Slow is Slow? Slowly Changing Dimensions in SSAS

SCD's are key component of a well-designed Data Warehouse
Submitted by Brian Egler on Wed, 02/02/11 - 10:22am.

An important subject that seems to be omitted in many Business Intelligence training courses is the Slowly Changing Dimension or SCD. When I teach BI classes, I make a point of covering the topic and it probably gets more students excited about BI more than any other topic. And believe me, that’s easier said than done. Excited and Business Intelligence don’t always fit in the same sentence. ..

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SQL Server 2008 R2 – Master Data Services

Use Master Data Services to store your single source of truth...
Submitted by Brian Egler on Sat, 01/15/11 - 7:47pm.

When building a Data Warehouse, we have to go through a “Data Discovery” phase where the requirements of the Business Intelligence solution are mapped to the actual operational systems so that we can extract transform and load (ETL) the data into the Data Warehouse. This is a significant effort, especially if you have multiple application groups to contend with. Not all systems use appropriate and friendly naming conventions!

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