Are You Backing Everything Up?

Andy Levy
We hear the common refrain among DBAs all the time. Back up your data! Test your restores! If you can’t restore the backup, it’s worthless. And yes, absolutely, you have to back up your databases - your job, and the company, depend upon it. But are you backing everything up? Saturday night was an ordinary night. It was getting late, and I was about to put my computer to sleep so I could do likewise.

SQL New Blogger Digest - Week 3

Andy Levy
Here are the posts collected from week three of the SQL New Blogger Challenge. It’s been compiled the same way previous weeks' posts were. Everyone’s doing a great job keeping up with the challenge! Author Post @MtnDBA [#SQLNewBlogger Week 3 – PowerShell Aliases @ceedubvee A Insider’s View of the Autism Spectrum: Autism and Information Technology: New Efforts for Kids to Code @arrowdrive Anders On SQL: Stupid Stuff I have done.

Padding Fields for Fixed-Position Data Formats

Andy Levy
Fixed-position data formats will seemingly be with us forever. Despite the relative ease of parsing CSV (or other delimited formats), or even XML, many data exchanges require a fixed-position input. Characters 1-10 are X, characters 11-15 are Y and if the source data is fewer than 5 characters, we have to left-pad with a filler character, etc. When you’re accustomed to working with data that says what it means and means what it says, having to add “extra fluff” like left-padding your integers with a half-dozen zeroes can be a hassle.

SQL New Blogger Digest - Week 2

Andy Levy
I didn’t intend for last week’s digest to also be my post for week two of the challenge, but life got in the way and I wasn’t able to complete the post that I really wanted in time. So, that post will be written much earlier in week three and completed well ahead of the deadline. Here are the posts collected from week two of the SQL New Blogger Challenge. It’s been compiled the same way last week’s was.

SQL New Blogger Challenge Weekly Digest

Andy Levy
Watching all of the tweets as people posted their first entries in the SQL New Blogger Challenge earlier this week, I quickly realized that keeping up was going to be a challenge of its own. Fortunately, there are ways to reign it in. My first stop was IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT allows you to create simple “recipes” to watch for specific events/conditions, then perform an action. They have over 175 “channels” to choose from, each of which has one or more triggers (events) and actions.

Connecting SQLite to SQL Server with PowerShell

Andy Levy
This post is part of Ed Leighton-Dick’s SQL New Blogger Challenge. Please follow and support these new (or reborn) bloggers. I’m working with a number of SQLite databases as extra data sources in addition to the SQL Server database I’m primarily using for a project. Brian Davis (blog|twitter) wrote a blog post a few years ago that covers setting up the connection quite well. In my case, I’ve got nine SQLite databases to connect to, and that gets tedious.

Rochester SQL Server User Group February Meeting - Slides & Demos

Andy Levy
On Thursday, February 26th I presented “Easing Into Windows PowerShell” to a packed house at the Rochester SQL Server User Group meeting. Thanks to Matt Slocum (blog | twitter) for being my semi-official photographer. Presenting Easing Into Windows PowerShell at the Rochester SQL Server User Group February 26, 2015 We set a chapter attendance record! I had a lot of fun presenting this (my first time speaking outside my company) and we had some great conversations during and after the meeting.

Rochester PASS Chapter February Meeting - I'm Speaking!

Andy Levy
On Thursday, February 26th at 6:00 PM EST I will be speaking at the Rochester PASS chapter meeting. The topic is “Easing Into PowerShell - What’s It All About?”. You’ve been hearing a lot about Windows PowerShell, but you’re wondering if it’s something you should be looking into. In this introductory session, we’ll talk about what PowerShell is, where it came from, how it works, and what it can do for you.

T-SQL Tuesday #61 - Giving Back

Andy Levy
Wayne Sheffield (blog|twitter) is hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday and his topic is Giving Back to the SQL Community. More specifically, he’s asking how each of us is planning on giving something back to the SQL Community in 2015. He offers up a few suggestions, so I’ll start by addressing those and then move on to additional ideas. Are you going to start speaking at your local user group? Yes, I expect that by the end of 2015 I will have spoken to our local chapter at least once.

Lightning Talks at SQL Saturday?

Andy Levy
We’re already in the early stages of preparing for our 2015 SQL Saturday. One thing that was missing from this year’s event was local speakers; we just didn’t have many, and I’m hoping we can change that the next time around. For a lot of people (myself included), getting into speaking can be intimidating. Do I even have something interesting to say? What if I can’t fill an entire hour (or 75 minutes)?