SQL Server Pro's Best Products of 2013
Written by Ian Stirk   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

As 2013 draws to a close the SQL Server Pro Community has selected Best Products of 2013 - and you don't have to be a subscriber to discover what they are.

SQL Server Pro is an online subscription-based monthly magazine. In this review  the items in bold correspond to the name of the article in his month's issue.

This month’s cover story features the Best Products of 2013, where the SQL Server community at large 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. Additionally, it’s always interesting to see what products other people are finding useful. The categories are:

  • Backup & Recovery
  • Business Intelligence & Reporting
  • Database Development Tool
  • Database Management Suite
  • Database Monitoring & Performance
  • Security/Auditing/Compliance
  • Storage Hardware
  • Free Tool
  • Vendor Support

You don't need a subscription to access the results which can be accessed via 2013 SQL Server Pro Community Choice Awards.




Michael Otey’s editorial provides Reflections from IT/Dev Connection 2013. The first trend he identified was the higher than expected adoption of Windows Server 2012, which he puts down to improvements in Hyper-V and the increasing use of PowerShell. Additionally, the latter appears to be the prime learning focus of attendees for the coming year. By contrast, adoption of the cloud seems to be lagging, being used mainly for testing and investigation. Also noticed was the concern about future careers and jobs. Again, it’s interesting to discover what others are thinking about technology.

In Introducing Microsoft Power Query, Tyler Chessman provides a worked example of a new self-service business intelligence tool that helps users find, gather and prepare data for analysis. The tool is available as an add-in for both Microsoft Excel 2013 and Excel 2010, and has powerful data transformation capabilities that go beyond Excel’s functions. I suggest you use this article to start exploring Power Query’s capabilities, before your end-users do!

The corruption series continues with Storage Problem Alerts. In the example covered, corruption problems are reported upon using a combination of Database Mail and Agent Operators, linked together by registering an alert (via msdb.dbo.sp_add_alert). The result is any corruption related errors cause a given operator to be alerted to the problem. The article is easy to follow with good use of screenshots. Although it relates specifically to reporting corruption problems, it is equally applicable to other types of problem.

The Intervals and Counts series continues with another task involving time intervals, specifically computing counts of active intervals at the beginnings of fixed intervals in an input period. Two solutions are given, one relating to SQL joins and the other relating to window functions, with the latter being much more efficient. If you have an interval related problem in the future be sure to check out all the articles in this series, you’ll find Itzik Ben-Gan has done much of the work for you already! All the parts of this series are freely available and If you start with the latest, Part 4, links to previous ones are provided.

In Setting Up SQL Server Agent Michael Otey walks you through the steps in using SQL Server’s built-in scheduling tool. The steps involved are:

  • Start the SQL Server Agent Service
  • Add a SQL Server Agent Job
  • Create the required Job Steps
  • Add an Optional Schedule
  • Add Optional Alerts
  • Monitor Your Job’s Progress
  • Check the SQL Server Agent Error Log

All the steps are straightforward. However, it would have been better to have included screenshots together with a worked example, rather than just a textual description of the steps.

Overall, this month’s magazine felt particularly light, having only 50 pages. One of the reasons given by the publishers for moving to a digital-only format was that more articles could be published. I wonder why there are so few pages…


More Information

SQL Server Pro December 2013

Related Articles

Inside SQL Server Pro Magazine November 2013

Data Mining Explored In SQL Server Pro Magazine (October issue)

Looking Forward to SQL Server 2014 (September issue)

SQL Server Pro's Tips For Performance Tuning and T-SQL (August issue)

PowerShell The SQL Server Way (July issue)

T-SQL Join Types In SQL Server Pro's June Issue


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 December 2013 )