Oct 27

My links of the week – October 27, 2013



Here are my favorite links from  the last week, on SQL Server, database design and web design . There are a few great articles on Hekaton, its advantages, compromises and even a guide on how to convert stored procedures to take advantage of its huge performance improvement.

  • Merrill Aldrich’s Why Hekaton In-Memory OLTP Truly is Revolutionary provides an excellent analysis of the most relevant features of the in memory OLTP engine component in SQL Server 2014 and explains why he considers them truly revolutionary – “the most significant change in database tech I have seen”.
  • Tony Davis’s What the Hekaton? addresses the compromises required to achieve the huge performance improvement brought by Hekaton, especially those related to referential and data integrity and suggests a possible strategy to use Hekaton without compromising data integrity.
  • To conclude the list of articles related to Hekaton, Daniel Farina’s Migrate to Natively Compiled SQL Server Stored Procedures for Hekaton addresses the issue of migrating stored procedures that reference memory-optimized tables to native compiled ones. The articles gives a full explanation of why this migration should be done, what can be and cannot be done with a natively compiled stored procedure and multiple other things to know about this type of stored procedures. It is an excellent read.
  • Michael Zilberstein’s sys.dm_exec_query_profiles – FAQ provides some answers to questions about the sys.dm_exec_query_profiles DMV in SQL Server 2014, that generated quite a bit of excitement about its potential to provide information about queries as they are executed. The implementation of the DMV both in CTP1 and CTP2 seems to have failed expectations, but there is hope for CTP3.
  • Jason Strate’s Webcast Follow Up: Choosing Your Clustered Index provides a set of resources on choosing clustered indexes, including a recording of the original webcast, a link to the presentation materials and code and the post webcast Q&A. Very interesting material.
  • Solomon Rutzky’s Disk is Cheap! O RLY?, although originally written in 2010, is very much relevant still. The article analyzes the actual cost that may be incurred by choosing the wrong data types, both financially and in terms of performance. The author provides a detailed rationale for being frugal with data types and provides a few simple but valuable recommendations for table design. Really.
  • Mansi Narula’s A Middle Approach to Schema Design in OLTP Applications addresses the need felt by eBay to find a way to respond to a huge growth in the transactional demands on eBay’s databases. The solution chosen was a schema redesign, involving denormalization, that resulted in meaningful performance improvements. The author analyzes the vantages and disadvantages of denormalization and proposes a middle approach, considering the lessons learned during this process. An interesting read.
  • Moving to the area of web development and design, Matthew Carver’s Master responsive design with Modernizr explains how the Javascript library Modernizr can be used to help building a web site that provides the best possible response for whatever browser the visitor may be using, with very little effort.
  • Thierry Koblentz’s Challenging CSS Best Practices is a very interesting and controversial article, where some of the standard practices in web design, based on the “Separation of Concerns” principle are shown to have problems. The author provides alternative solutions to address the perceived problems. The discussion that ensues in the comments to the article is also very interesting.
  • Shawn Jansepar’s Automate Your Responsive Images With Mobify.js discusses possible solutions to the problem of providing images optimized to the device being used to access a website. The element as possible solution is shown to create a different set of problems, and that leads to the API in the Javascript library Mobify.js. The advantages resulting from the combination of Mobify.js and the element are also discussed. A very interesting read.
  • Nick Pettit’s Bootstrap 3: Why all the hype? describes some of Bootstrap 3 most impressive features, in the author’s opinion. These include the new flat design, the new grid system with different levels of “responsiveness”, the Carousel slider, the responsive models and the possibility to disable the responsive features, if anyone would ever want that. A good read.
  • Just before concluding this week’s selection of links, Phil Factor’s A Knight’s Tale addresses some of the lessons to be learned from Knight’s Capital loss of almost half a billion dollars,as a result of a succession of IT bad practices, culminating with a deployment gone wrong.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading.

Oct 20

My links of the week – October 20, 2013

This week saw the release of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013. It was also the week of PASS Summit 2013, but surprisingly this is possibly the week where more SQL Server related posts are included.

  • If you are interested in Visual Studio 2013, I have compiled a list of the links I found most interesting in Visual Studio 2013 Resources.
  • Robert Sheldon’s SQL Server SQLCMD Basics provides a detailed description of the features available witthe SQLCMD utility. A very good read.
  • Aaron Bertrand’s Use Caution with SQL Server’s MERGE Statement addresses some of the bugs that have affected the MERGE statement since it was made available with SQL Server, some of which seem to be present even in the preview releases of SQL Server 2014. It’s a comprehensive analysis and a must read for anyone considering the use of MERGE statements.
  • John Sterrett’s SQL Server Performance Root Cause Analysis in 10 Minutes is the introduction to a series of posts that address analysis of performance problems in SQL Server. The article includes links to several articles that include scripts covering multiple aspects of performance analysis.
  • Moving to responsive design, Syed Fazle Rahman’s Building Responsive Websites Using Twitter BootStrap provides a detailed guide to developing responsive websites using the popular Twitter Bootstrap. It also includes a link to a previous article from the same author, that addresses the use of Twitter Bootstrap for complex designs.
  • Jake Rocheleau’s Popular Web Design Trends for Responsive Navigation analyzes several techniques found in great responsive websites. It’s a very interesting read on several of the ways that can be used to design navigation elements in responsive websites.
  • Carlos Cessa’s Mobile First With Bootstrap 3 provides an analysis of the changes in the recently officially released version 3 of Twitter Bootstrap.
  • Jessica Enders’s Flat UI and Forms addresses some of the issues that affect forms as a result of the move to flat user interfaces and proposes some solutions to improve affordance, better distinction between form elements and a more clear hierarchy between form elements.

That’s all for this week.Thanks for reading.