SQL Server Pro Magazine January 2013
Written by Ian Stirk   
Monday, 14 January 2013

Here's a detailed look at the January 2012 issue of SQL Server Pro magazine (January 2013), the online subscription-based monthly magazine that has news and articles from across the SQL Server world.

The magazine is part of a wider SQL Server website found at www.sqlmag.com. The items in bold below correspond to the name of the article in the current issue.




This month’s cover story provides a clear step-by-step walkthrough of how to Consolidate Data on Executed SSRS Reports for Easy Querying. Rodney Landrum provides a solution that allows many questions to be answered, including:

  • Which reports are run most often?
  • Which reports have not been run?
  • Are there duplicate reports running?
  • Is the distribution of reports across the servers evenly balanced?

In addition to providing some very useful code, Rodney clearly wants you to succeed in implementing his solution, even providing his email in case you have any problems or suggestions for improvements.

A concise overview of SQL Server 2012 Best Practices Analyzer is given by Kevin Kline. This is a great tool for reviewing the configuration of your server instances against various best practices recommendations. The tool provides recommendations for both the database engine itself and its associated features (e.g. SSIS, SSRS etc). Owing to the tool’s usefulness and the clarity of the article, this is my favorite article in this month’s issue.

The editorial discusses SQL Server 2012 Licensing Help, giving an insight into how licensing is impacted by the SQL Server edition, and high-availability options.

Itzik Ben-Gan provides 3 distinct SQL Server 2012 Solutions for Median Calculation. The solutions use either the PERCENTILE_CONT function, the ROW_NUMBER function, or the OFFSET-FETCH option. In each case the SQL code and execution plan are discussed in terms of performance. I always expect to learn something new each time I see Ben’s articles, and usually I do.

Michael Otey has a 5 minute video Introduction to SQL Server Data Tools, that’s well worth watching. Since this is a digital-only magazine, I would expect to see an increasing number of such video links in the future.

This month’s SQL Server Questions Answered relate to Physically Ordering of Records in an Index, Missing SOS_SCHEDULER_YEILD Waits, and Is my Master Database really corrupt? As always, the answers are both revealing and detailed.

For application developers, there is an in-depth and well referenced feature entitled Improve Performance with Entity Framework 5. Entity Framework is Microsoft’s Object-relational Mapper (ORM), a tool to link the object world of the .net developer to the relational database model. The article details the recent changes that accompany the latest release of Entity Framework, which is included with Visual Studio 2012. Such changes include:

  • Improved performance
  • Enum support
  • Table-valued functions
  • Spatial data types

I sometimes wonder if these ‘peripheral’ articles should be included in a SQL Server magazine, I guess on balance it is helpful to both .net developers and database professionals to have a wider appreciation of technology usage.

The Industry Bytes section provides a timely reminder that in addition to having monitoring in place, this monitoring should actually be tested regularly. I wonder how many organizations take backups that are never tested, only to find there is a flaw in the process when a real problem occurs. There’s also a nice reminder of the use of RAISERROR with its WITH LOG option to (additionally) capture errors in the Windows event log.

The New Products section briefly highlight’s Composite Software’s Composite 6.2 product, DH2i’s DxConsole 2012 R2 product, and CA Technologies new version of CA Erwin Data Modeling Solution. 

The last article concerns Using SQL Server 2012 Contained Databases. These provide greater portability, where the user logins are in the database itself rather than the SQL Server instance. Some of the limitations of contained databases are highlighted, and syntax for creating or altering a database to be a contained database is provided.

More Information


Related Articles
Inside SQL Server Pro December 2012  


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Last Updated ( Monday, 14 January 2013 )