Inside SQL Server Pro December 2012
Written by Ian Stirk   
Monday, 10 December 2012

The latest edition of SQL Server Pro magazine highlight’s the 2012 SQL Server Pro Editors’ Best and Community Choice Awards, and as always, contains much more…

SQL Server Pro is an online monthly magazine containing the latest news and articles from leaders in the SQL Server world. The magazine is subscription based, and part of a wider SQL Server website found at The items in bold below correspond to the name of the article in the current issue.



This month’s cover story details the 2012 SQL Server Pro Editors’ Best and Community Choice Awards, where the magazine’s editors and the community at large both choose their preferred database products. If you’re looking for a product to perform a given task, this article is a great starting point for your investigation.

Categories covered include:

  • Backup and recovery
  • Business intelligence/Reporting
  • Development
  • Management and performance
  • Security/Auditing/Compliance
  • Storage hardware
  • Free tools

Elsewhere in the issue, long time contributor Itzik Ben-Gan provides an interesting T-SQL Puzzle based on the 1980s UK TV game show blockbusters. The idea behind the game is to connect 4 or 5 items in a row. If you like to solve puzzles, you’ll love this problem and solution. Be sure to try your own solution before looking at the answer given.

When problems occur with merge replication, determining the cause can be problematic. One solution is to continually monitor performance. This article describes using SSIS to collect baseline data for merge replication, it’s a great example of how two SQL Server features can be used to compliment each other.

If you want to make sense of how the optimizer makes its decisions, you need to read the tipping point. This is my favorite article this month. While sometimes the optimizer can get things wrong, resulting in slowly performing queries, this article shows you how to look at the choices the optimizer makes, and the tipping points involved in making those decisions.

The Industry Bytes section contains an overview of the importance of statistics in query performance, with valuable links to more detailed articles. And New Products describes several cloud based products now available.

Michael Otey’s editorial outlines two lesser known SQL Server features, namely Master Data Services and Data Quality Services. The former provides a consolidated view of data from disparate sources or companies, the latter provides related data cleansing functionality.

If you’ve ever wondered about the reliability of your servers, the reader to reader article provides a walkthrough of code from Tomaz Kastrun, which captures this information using a combination of xp_cmdshell, ping, and SSIS.

It seems no SQL Server question is too difficult for Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal to answer in SQL Server questions answered. Under investigation are Backup Compression and Large Objects (LOB).

The issue finishes with a short roundup of the New database features in Visual Studio 2012.

Sometimes I wish the magazine articles were longer, or had more code examples. That said, over the course of the year, it is difficult to fault its range and depth.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 10 December 2012 )