Nov 17

My links of the week – November 17, 2013


Here are the links for the last week. It is a rather extensive list, resulting from the difficulties in choosing from so many interesting articles.

  • SQL Server:
    • Paul Randal’s Are I/O latencies killing your performance? addresses latency in tempdb and log files access, starting with the results of a survey that collected such data from around 1100 servers. The post suggests values for what can be considered good or bad I/O latency and includes recommendations and additional links that can help determine the causes and correct the problems, when I/O latency is not good.
    • Jez Schultz Borland’s What You Can (and Can’t) Do With Filtered Indexes addresses filtered indexes and how they can help improve performance, when a query includes a WHERE clause that will return just a fraction of the total number of records in the table. The article shows examples of what you can and can’t do in the WHERE clause for a filtered index to be used and includes links to further resources on filtered indexes.
    • Jen McCown’s Compare tables to find missing rows presents several solutions, using T-SQL, to compare two tables, to determine which records are missing from one of them. 
    • Tim Wiseman’s SQL Server Operations from Set Theory present’s SQL Server’s UNION, EXCEPT and INTERSECT operators explains their use, resorting to set theory and suggests situations where their use can be of help.
    • Rick Dobson’s Masking Personal Identifiable SQL Server Data presents a way to mask confidential data, while allowing data professionals access to such data. At a time where data privacy seems to be a forgotten concept, this article presents an interesting technique to protect personal and confidential data from regular database users.
    • Francesco Cogno’s Backup to Azure using TSQL (and CLR) presents a way to perform a backup to Azure Blob Storage using T-SQL and the Microsoft SQL Server To Windows Azure helper library.
    • Troy Hunt’s Using high-spec Azure SQL Server for short term intensive data processing shows how a SQL Server VM was used by the author to process 153 million records of passwords obtained from the infamous Adobe data breach. While not covering the details of how SQL Server was used to process the records, it is an excellent example of how the cloud (Azure, in this case), can be used to access very powerful hardware resources, for just the time these resources are needed, at a very low cost.
    • Microsoft’s SQL Server Team’s How Does SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) Deliver the Performance that it Does? presents a whitepaper that describes how the PWD works and the performance gains it can offer in typical data warehouse scenarios.
    • The SQL Server 2014 links page, here, saw a few additions, this week.
  • Big Data:
    • Matthew Mombrea’s Essential reading for choosing a NoSQL database provides an interesting set of resources to get started with NoSQL databases and to obtain information on how to chose the best suited database for the project at hand.
    • Michael Hausenblas’s Applying the Big Data Lambda Architecture presents the Lambda Architecture, a generic architecture addressing common big data requirements, designed by Nathan Marz. The article presents, in some detail, a way to use the architecture to design an example social network. It also provides links to additional resources on the architecture and possible components to some of its layers. A most interesting read.
    • Brian Rinaldi’s Current Trends in NoSQL – Q&A with Peter Bell addresses several aspects of NoSQL databases, including adoption trends, NewSQL products and immutable data stores.
    • Igor Pagliai’s How to create a SQL Server Linked Server to HDInsight HIVE using Microsoft Hive ODBC Driver shows, through a very detailed example, how to create a SQL Server linked server to HIVE, using the recently released Windows Azure HDInsight Service and how to issue queries to the HIVE tables using SSMS. A very good read.
  • Web Design and Development:
    • Wilson Page’s An Introduction To DOM Events presents an excellent introduction to DOM events, covering multiple aspects of the subject, from event listening to a detailed presentation of the Event object,custom event creation, using delegate event listeners, ending with a listing of useful events. An excellent introduction to the subject.
    • Bryson Meunier’s SEO For Responsive Websites presents an audit of a responsive website, covering multiple aspects that a responsive website should cover, in order to make it SEO friendly.
    • Paula Borowska’s The Next Big Thing: Responsive Icons presents responsive icons, explaining what they are and how they can be created and implemented.
    • Dan Tao’s Bootstrap without all the debt describes some of the issues that may result from the use of the framework (tight coupling, non semantic markup) and suggests a way to avoid them. A good read.
    • The Visual Studio 2013 Resources page also saw the addition of several new articles on Visual Studio 2013
  • Professional Development:
    • Grant Fritchey’s Cargo Cult Data Professionals is a very interesting article addressing “cargo cultists”, a term coined by Eric Lippert, which could be loosely described as people who have no clear idea on why things work the way they do and just keep doing their work using ready made ideas without actually caring to know whether they are right or not and who feel no need to learn and improve their knowledge and skills. It’s a very good read.
    • Nicholas Carr’s Is software de-skilling programmers? is a rather short, but nonetheless interesting article, on how modern IDE’s can lead to the de-skilling of software developers, while establishing parallels with similar de-skilling past trends, due to the introduction of mechanization. A thought provoking article.

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

Nov 10

My links of the week – November 10, 2013


Here are my personal choice of links for the week ending today.

  • SQL Server:
    • Courtenay Bernier’s Virtualizing SQL Server on Hyper-V and on Windows Azure VMs addresses Hyper V / Windows Server 2012 capabilities that need to be considered, when contemplating SQL Server virtualization. The article also addresses Azure as another possibility for SQL Server virtualization and covers some of the resulting limitations and advantages. Includes multiple links for additional relevant information. It’s an interesting resource to keep bookmarked.
    • Bruno Terkaly’s and Ricardo’s VillaLobo’s Migrating Database Workloads to the Cloud discusses several scenarios  for SQL Server migration to Azure including Windows Azure SQL Server databases or the use of an Azure VM.
    • Mary Hutson’s Top Support Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server provides a considerable number of links to Microsoft’s support solutions on the most frequent issues experienced with SQL Server.
    • Microsoft’s SQL Server Team’s IO Resource Governance in SQL Server 2014 addresses changes introduced to SQL Server’s Resource Governor in SQL Server 2014 and shows how the changes can be used to control resource usage in a SQL Server instance. This article was also added to my list of SQL Server 2014 links.
    • Jez Schultz Borland’s Document Your SQL Server Databases with Extended Properties shows how extended properties can be used to document multiple database objects, with examples of T-SQL to create, update and delete such properties. The comments to the article also provide useful information on other ways to use extended properties for the same or other purposes, especially if you use SSDT.
    • Simon Liew’s Different Ways to Restore a SQL Server Database provides examples of the multiple alternatives to restore a database using the full recovery model to a specific point in time, from the full, differential and transaction log backups available.
    • Thomas LaRock’s SQL Server Plan Cache: The Junk Drawer for Your Queries explains what the SQL Server plan cache is and presents a few queries that can be used to determine plans that are similar, used only once or plans that may need tuning. Such plans can provide performance improvement opportunities and can thus be part of the tools used by a DBA to keep a server optimized for the best possible performance.
    • Mark S. Rasmussen’s SQL Server Corruption Recovery – When All Else Fails presents some corruption recovery techniques, based on his own OrcaMDF, a C# MDF parser, available on GitHub. These techniques have the possibility to minimize data loss, if no other recovery strategies work or are unavailable.
  • Web Design and Development:
    • Julien Knebel’s An In-Depth Introduction To Ember.js is an excellent introduction to one of the most popular Javacript framework for front-end development, Ember.js. The goal of the article is to provide an easier start for developers beginning with Ember and it is very good at that.
    • Lauren Orsini’s What You Need To Know About Node.js gives a few  the reasons for Node.js’s increased popularity and provides a link to a good introductory tutorial.
    • Andy Leverenz’s The beginner’s guide to Sass provides an easy to read guide to Sass, explaining it’s advantages, providing examples of different possible syntaxes supported and presenting Sass’s features, like variables, operations and functions, nesting and mixins.
    • Dudley Storey’s Better Pop-Up Windows With JavaScript and CSS3, Part 1 is the first article in a series that addresses the design of popup windows combining the best of Javascript and CSS3. 
    • CJ Gammon’s Killer Responsive Layouts With CSS Regions presents Regions, a new part of the CSS specification that has been seeing increased support by more browsers. Regions features and advantages are explained and demoed, especially from a responsive design perspective. Links and suggestions for further reading are included, as well.
    • The Visual Studio 2013 Resources post, includes several updates to the Visual Studio 2013 links and videos.
  • Software Development:
    • Ivar Jacobson et al.’s Agile and SEMAT – Perfect Partners addresses how combining SEMAT (Software Engineering Method and Theory) with Agile, can help developers and teams improve their own software development practices. A very interesting article, from the creator of Use Cases.
    • Zain Naboulsi’s The Case For Agile Over Waterfall addresses the question of whether Agile still holds advantages over the classic waterfall approach to software development. The doubt was raised on the author from interactions with customers. The article presents links and data that back the idea that Agile is, of course, still advantageous, even if it seems there are many holdouts out there.
    • Josh Symonds’s What Makes a Good Programmer Good? addresses some of the qualities exhibited by good programmers and I cannot but agree with him.

That’s it for this week.Thanks for reading,