Your 10 Favorite SeniorDBA Blog Posts of 2016

Top 10 - SeniorDBA

Here’s the top 10 items you clicked on the most in 2016:

  1. 20 SQL Server DBA Interview Questions – Some sample questions you might be asked about in an interview for a DBA position. Also used by the hiring managers to make sure they have some relevant questions during your interview.
  2. Comparing SQL Server vs. Oracle License Cost – Looking at the difference in cost between SQL Server and Oracle.
  3. SQL Server and Windows 10 Compatibility – Quick instructions on using SQL Server Management Studio on a Windows 10 desktop.
  4. SQL Server Trace Flag List – List of available trace flags for use in SQL Server.
  5. Using PowerShell to Manage Audits – Using PowerShell as a powerful scripting tool that can manage your SQL Server audits.
  6. SQL Server TCP and UDP Ports – This post lists the ports and protocols required to communicate with an instance of SQL Server. This can be very helpful if you need to create or manage firewall rules blocking unauthorized access.
  7. SQL Server End-Of-Life Schedule – This is a useful reference if you need to know if your version of SQL Server is still supported, and when it will no longer be supported.
  8. Common Database Design Mistakes – I short list of common database design mistakes, and how to avoid them in your environment.
  9. Free eBooks from Microsoft Blog – A list of free ebooks from Microsoft, in a wide range of technical topics from SQL Server, Windows, Azure, etc.
  10. Reset Password and Disable SQL Server SA Account – With auditors wanting all user accounts to have passwords that change at least every 90 days, or the account must be disabled, this provides some guidance on how to make that work with the SA account.

Happy New Year! I hope you will continue to visit this site for helpful information on a variety of topics.


Free ebook: Data Science with Microsoft SQL Server 2016

Microsoft is really good at providing technical information about their products, and this free ebook is a great source of information on SQL Server 2016, analytics, Big Data, and R. The free ebook, Data Science with Microsoft SQL Server 2016, isn’t a deep-dive but it’s a free way to learning more about this complicated subject. Microsoft says:

The world around us, every business and nearly every industry, is being transformed by technology. This disruption is driven, in part, by the intersection of three trends: a massive explosion of data, intelligence from machine learning and advanced analytics, and the economics and agility of cloud computing.

While databases power nearly every aspect of business today, they were not originally designed with this disruption in mind. Traditional databases were about recording and retrieving transactions such as orders and payments very reliably, very securely and efficiently. They were designed to enable reliable, secure, mission-critical transactional applications at small to medium scale, in on-premises datacenters.

Databases built to get ahead of today’s disruptions do very fast analyses of live data in-memory as transactions are being recorded or queried. They support very low latency advanced analytics and machine learning, such as forecasting and predictive models, on the same data, so that applications can easily embed data-driven intelligence. They allow databases to be offered as a fully managed service in the cloud, in turn making it easy to build and deploy intelligent Software as a Service (SaaS) apps.

They also provide innovative security features built for a world where a majority of data is accessible over the Internet. They support 24×7 high-availability, efficient management and database administration across platforms. They therefore enable mission critical intelligent applications to be built and managed both in the cloud and on-premises. They are exciting harbingers of a new world of ambient intelligence.

SQL Server 2016 was built for this new world, and to help businesses get ahead of today’s disruptions. It supports hybrid transactional/analytical processing, advanced analytics and machine learning, mobile BI, data integration, always encrypted query processing capabilities and in-memory transactions with persistence. It integrates advanced analytics into the database, providing revolutionary capabilities to build intelligent, high performance transactional applications.  

Imagine a core enterprise application built with a database such as SQL Server. What if you could embed intelligence, i.e. advanced analytics algorithms plus data transformations, within the database itself, to make every transaction intelligent in real time? That’s now possible for the first time with R and machine learning built into SQL Server 2016.  By combining the performance of SQL Server in-memory OLTP technology as well as in-memory columnstores with R and machine learning, applications can get extraordinary analytical performance in production, as well as the throughput, parallelism, security, reliability, compliance certifications and manageability of an industrial strength database engine.

This book is the first to truly describe how you can create intelligence applications leveraging SQL Server and R.  It is an exciting book that will empower every developer to unleash the power of data driven intelligence in their organization.

Download it here: You will need a free Virtual Academy account to get access to this book, and well as several more free ebooks and free courses on various Microsoft products.

Free eBooks from Microsoft Blog

Interested in free ebooks from Microsoft? This post from Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence Blog, provides links to several free development books available in electronic format. The topics range from Visual Studio, Windows 10, Windows Phone, Office, and SQL Server. Take a look and see if you find something interesting.

Free eBooks - @SeniorDBAFree eBooks - @SeniorDBAFree eBooks - @SeniorDBA

Free eBooks from Microsoft Blog

Interested in free ebooks from Microsoft? This post from Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Sales Excellence Blog, provides links to several free development books available in electronic format. The topics range from Visual Studio, Windows 10, Windows Phone, Office, and SQL Server. Take a look and see if you find something interesting.


Free eBook: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure

Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure

This new eBook from Microsoft is free right now. While it does explain a little about Azure and SQL Server, it also includes one or more walk-throughs for creating a trial Azure subscription, an how-to on creating a SQL Server instance with an Azure virtual machine and Azure SQL Database instance. It also talks about migrating an on-premises SQL Server database instance to each available Azure solution.

The free eBook is available here.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2016 with Free eBook


Microsoft has published a free eBook to help introduce you to SQL Server 2016. Microsoft posted a blog entry on this new offering:

  • Chapter one: Faster queries – Get up to speed on how to perform real-time transactions and ultra-fast analytics using new features like in-memory transaction processing and in-memory updateable column stores.
  • Chapter two: Better security – Explore three new principal security features in SQL Server 2016—Always Encrypted, Row-Level Security and Dynamic Data Masking, and learn how to use each one of these features to its fullest potential.
  • Chapter three: Higher availability – Learn how to deploy more robust, highly available data management solutions using the new features in AlwaysOn Availability Group and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster.
  • Chapter four: Improved database engine – Find out how to optimize query performance, how to take advantage of hybrid cloud architectures, and how to stay in control amidst growing volumes of data.
  • Chapter five: Broader data access – Discover how SQL Server 2016 can help you manage, maintain, integrate and import data of all types, leading to richer business insights.
  • Chapter six: More analytics – Learn how to more quickly build secure, advanced analytics solutions, how to create predictive models with R functions, and how to generate better business outcomes by incorporating these models into application and reporting tools.
  • Chapter seven: Better reporting – Explore the new data visualization and layout options in Reporting Services, and how Mobile BI lets employees easily access business intelligence, whether in the office or on the road.
  • Chapter eight: Improved Azure SQL Database – Learn more about Microsoft Azure SQL Database and how features such as elastic database pools and rapid development cycles make it a natural complement to your on-premises DB solution.
  • Chapter nine: Expanding your options with Azure SQL Data Warehouse – Find out how to exponentially increase your data management and analytics capabilities, without the usual overhead.

Free eBook Download

Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2016

SQL Server

There is a new SQL Server 2016 ebook available for free. The preview version of the book, Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2016, is available for download directly from Microsoft. The final version of the book should be available soon.

With Microsoft SQL Server 2016, a variety of new features and enhancements to the data platform deliver breakthrough performance, advanced security, and richer, integrated reporting and analytics capabilities. In this preview ebook, by Stacia Varga, Joseph D’Antoni, and Denny Cherry, we introduce you to several of these changes that you can experience for yourself in Community Technology Preview 3.2. We start by introducing three new security features that you can use to protect your data: Always Encrypted, Row-Level Security, and dynamic data masking. Then we describe significant database engine enhancements that enable you to better manage performance and storage: TempDB configuration, query store, and Stretch Database. Last, we review several improvements to Reporting Services, including new data visualizations, support for mobile reports and key performance indicators, and subscription enhancements, to name a few. In each of these areas, we review the key concepts you need to understand before using these features and describe the steps necessary to get started so you can quickly experience the benefits of SQL Server 2016 firsthand.