A few thoughts on SQL Server 2014 and other musings of the past week

SQL Server 2014 Reaction

SQL Server 2014 CTP 2 was announced last week. This is the final public review that is going to be released before it hits the shops. Interestingly no release date nor pricing was announced at the SQL PASS keynote, which is odd as what better place would there be than the largest SQL Server Conference of the year to announce price and shipping date of the product that every single person watching uses? And we’ve read all about the exciting new features, but there’s a feature that I’m excited about that’s not grabbing the headlines:

Hit: Of all the features that I am looking forward to, it has to be the online maintenance operations. Sure, I’m intrigued about the concept of In Memory OLTP, but really there’s only one database at my place of work that will truly benefit from that feature. The reason I’m looking forward to the online maintenance operation is for the obvious reason: it finally allows the DBA to perform online maintenance of partitions without affecting the current importing, and means I’m not up at 1Am on a Saturday morning doing maintenance to avoid breaking imports. Partitions is a bit of a niche feature that people use, so I appreciate that this gets far less coverage than Hekaton, but when switching partitions, even though it occurs in seconds, causes locks that cause other attempts to switch to effectively fail.

Miss: What I’d love to see really can’t be that hard to do: in Management Studio I’d love to see a tree view at the schema level of a database, like the tree view for Analysis Services on database/cube/measuregroup/partition. It drives me crazy that I have get every single table returned to me when I expand the table list. Can it be so hard to add a level of abstraction that goes database/schema/tables? The databases I work on are split into logical schemas very well, and I appreciate that not everyone does this as there’s no obvious benefit (maybe?) to using schemas and is always a topic that generates lots of debate.

My gripe seems rather trivial when compared to this eloquent argument that SQL Server Standard Edition Sucks from eminent orator of all things SQL Brent Ozar.

SSASAV 1.1 Feedback

CoinageThanks to everyone who re-tweeted/ favourited my tweet about the release of SSASAV 2012, and to those who read the blog post (biggest traffic this blog has ever received) and of course those people who downloaded it and tried it out! The feedback I’ve got from it has been positive and I’d love for this tool to get more exposure: It’s a great little tool and my additions have made it easier to infer the activity on the server.

There are a couple of changes that I have checked in recently (a panel for blocked sessions and finally anchored the objects on the new connection form, as well as stabilising the connection to an instance) that can be downloaded via the source code for Changeset #26566.

I’ve always fully disclosed that this version is based completely on the code of the Activity Viewer 2008, which itself was based on Activity Viewer 2005. So also with thanks to those guys that made the original tool. Their names are on the “About” window still, but it’s worth name checking those guys because without that tool there would be no way I’d’ve found the time to put it together from scratch.

  • Luis Ballesteros
  • Alli Curley
  • Malini Jagannadhan
  • Meera Srinivasan
If you do download it and you like what you see then don’t forget to give it a rating as good reviews are the life blood of small tools like this.

Cram for the Exam

I’m lined up to take a couple of exams in the coming weeks;

  • 70-496 Administering Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
  • 70-498 Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio 2012 Application Lifecycle Management
2 distinctly un-SQL based exams, but as I am a man of many hats (as well as de-facto DBA I’m also a de-facto TFS Administrator) I need to keep skilled up in software development as well as SQL.

Visual Studio 2013 Launch Date and RTM now Available!

All this leads me to say that the Visual Studio launch date is 13 November. There’s a count down clock at the Launch Visual Studio website and you can also download the RTM version of Visual Studio 2013. I’ve downloaded and trialled a few features, but the lack of WiX support (at the time back in June anyway) meant that I was unable to delve too deep into it.

Windows 8.1 Released

I’d hate to live around the Seattle area right now, as the bandwidth must be taken up by people downloading SQL Server 2014, Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 8.1! Windows 8.1 is a free download available to all those with Windows 8 installed. It marks the return of the Start button, which as far as I am concerned is reason enough to download it right now. Devices, including tablets, laptops and desktops, that run the software will be available in stores Friday, Oct. 18. A boxed version of the software will be out then, too.


This post is my 100th post. When I started this blog all I had as an idea was to post some PowerShell and SQL Scripts I had written the previous 12 months and thought might prove valuable to other people. I’ve posted so much more than just those scripts, and have come into contact with some really smart people along the way, and have learnt so much more writing this blog and interacting with others than if I hadn’t. Here’s to another 100 posts (at least)!