Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Database Lifecycle Management

This survey report released discusses the expertise required for managing data complexity. The findings identify the need for database expertise to manage this challenging environment.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Systems Thinking can help Database Management

A different way to think about managing database systems is using systems thinking. A fun animation about systems thinking and evaluation.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

DBaaS - Transforming Database Management

There have been various reports about Database as a Service.

The 451 Research October 2015 report on the state of Database as a Service 

The Report

IBM State of DBaaS 2016 report - Database-as-a-Service

The Report

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The State of DevOps

Puppet labs have been reporting on the current state of DevOps over the last 4 years.  They promote the need to get on board with DevOps or be left behind. The 2015 report can be found here.

Modern IT: DevOps to ITIL, Creating a Complete Lifecycle for Service Management free training.

The training looks at merging the DevOps movement of DevOps into existing ITIL service management practices. DevOps practices and techniques can be used with established ITIL service management framework, to get the best of both worlds from development and operating environments.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Wait is Over: SQL Server 2016 General Availability and Tools

SQL Server 2016 is generally available today. The release blog provides more details. The full featured Developer Edition is free. This can be downloaded
The generally available release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is annouced today. It provides a means for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server. SSMS combines a broad group of graphical tools with a number of rich script editor. It features improved compatibility with previous versions of SQL Server, a stand-alone web installer, and toast notifications within SSMS when new releases become available.

The SQL Server 2016 RTM build is 13.0.1601.5. SSMS 2016 has a build number of 13.0.15000.23.

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Visual Studio 2015 is now generally available.

SSDT can be  downloaded for free to build SQL Server relational databases, Azure SQL databases, Integration Services packages, Analysis Services data models, and Reporting Services reports.

The SQL Server 2016 free e-book can be downloaded. It  covers

  • Mission-Critical Performance: Chapters cover faster queries, better security, higher availability, and the improved database engine.
  • Deeper Insights Across Data: Chapters cover the broader data access, increased analytics, and better reporting in SQL Server 2016.
  • Hyperscale Cloud: Chapters cover the improvements in Azure SQL Database and how to expand your options with SQL Data Warehouse.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New Sample Database: Wide World Importers

Microsoft have replaced the the Adventure Works Sample Databases. There was Pubs, then Adventures Works and now Wide World Importers. Wide World Importers is a sample database that both illustrates database design, and how SQL Server and Azure SQL Database features can be leveraged in an application.

The sample database represents a typical database. The Wide World Importers database can be used for  transaction processing (OLTP - Online Transaction Processing) and operational analytics (HTAP - Hybrid Transaction and Analytics Processing). There are sample queries, processes for ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) that migrates data from the transactional database WideWorldImporters to the data warehouse WideWorldImportersDW and descriptions that show how to leverage SQL Server features for analytics processing.

Applies to: SQL Server 2016 (or higher), Azure SQL Database
Features including: Core database features, PolyBase, nonclustered columnstore index, Row-Level Security
Workload types: OLTP, OLAP, IoT, Analytics, Operational Analytics
Programming Language: T-SQL, C#

Sunday, 8 May 2016


SQLBits XV was held between 4 -6 May 2016 at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool. It was the official UK launch event of SQL Server 2016 which will RTM 1st June. There were lots of amazing sessions held for the first time in domes.

The keynote was delivered by Joseph Sirosh, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Data Group. His keynote entitled the unreasonable effectiveness of data. A paper was written by Alon Halevy, Peter Norvig, and Fernando Pereira of the same titleJoseph Sirosh mentioned the future effectiveness of data and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the 1st astronomy datascope. A take away was that there are many new data services and R should be the language to learn. 

There were many sessions covering the new features of SQL Server 2016 on both the BI and administration side. A highlight for me was the training day on data science by Buck Woody and using the Cortana Intelligence suite. 

The Cortana Analytics Suite big data and advances analytics process

The Azure IaaS and PaaS Services are embedded into these services.

U-SQL is another new language that allows you to query unstructured data. Michale Rys delivered a very informative session on Azure Data Lake and U-SQL. The traditional data warehousing approach is

  The new Data Lake approach

 The slides are http://www.slideshare.net/MichaelRys

 There are many new features in SQL Server 2016 and many new data features in Azure.