Vacation Reading List

I just got back from a vacation.  Sun, fun, friends and frolic.  Some much-needed R&R. One of the most luxurious things I can do is to sit and read.  I’ve been saving documents and ebooks in my “Stuff to Read” folder for months and I would finally have uninterrupted time to read, especially on the […]

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Death of a Hard Drive: The End of an Era

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Presentations from Dev Up 2016

I had the honor of being selected to present two sessions at Dev Up (formerly St. Louis Days Of .NET). The first was about deploying a SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group in Azure.  The slide deck can be found here: Deploying SQL Server in Azure – Configuring High Availability Cluster The second session was about Azure […]

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Loading Data into Azure Storage Tables using PowerShell

Summary I had a customer looking to pump a large amount of data (millions of rows) into Azure Storage Tables.  Here’s how we did it. Prerequisites If you’d like to follow along, you are going to need: Visual Studio PowerShell Azure PowerShell Azure Storage Tables Azure Storage Tables are defined this way:  Table Storage stores […]

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Automatically shutting down VMs in Azure

THIS ARTICLE IS NOW OUT OF DATE.  Azure VMs have the built-in ability to shut themselves down on a schedule, available through the Azure portal. Refer to: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-auto-shutdown-for-vms-using-azure-resource-manager/   Well it’s been a short time since I made the transition from DW/BI to Cloud.  I’ve learned a couple of interesting things. I was trying to find/write a […]

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ASUS Transformer Book T100

When I heard about the ASUS Transformer Book T100, I instantly knew I had to have it. (http://www.asus.com/News/2bLO0JtVTahzIwt2) Why? It’s a large tablet that transforms into a small notebook. It’s a Windows 8.1 machine with touch. It gets 11 hours of use on a single charge. When docked, it folds into a single unit. It […]

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How do you calculate someone’s age in years, months and days?

In the Microsoft SQL Server Group on LinkedIn (http://lnkd.in/qYvG5R), a question was asked: How do you calculate someone’s age in years, months and days. I gave it a shot and… well… failed. Here’s my updated code. It will take care of cases where the birth date is Feb 29th or any birthdate on the 29th-31st […]

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How to create a Gantt-like Chart in SQL Server Reporting Services

Intro and Background I was recently asked for some help with a Dynamics CRM Online engagement.  The customer wanted a Gantt-like chart that showed the span of active opportunities. Dynamics CRM Online really isn’t important to my post, except in one major detail. Dynamics CRM Online doesn’t allow access to the underlying data.  There is […]

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Memorial Day – 2013

To all that have served and all that have sacrificed,  thank you. This was sent to me and is being reprinted with permission.  It’s somewhere between an essay and poetry.  Written by Sahar Rohani, a 13 year old in eighth grade. Imagine. You’re in a staring contest with death, and in the painful grasp of […]

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Ever needed to write a text file from within SQL Server?

Well, there are a three of ways of doing this:  Extended Stored Procedures, OLE Automation and SQLCLR. While it is out of the scope of this post, Extended Stored Procedures and OLE Automation are things that have been retained in the SQL Server product in order to maintain a measure of backwards compatibility.  Microsoft often […]

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