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,

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.