SQL in the City Streamed: The June 2018 Edition

NOTE: This post first appeared on Simple-Talk.

I often joke that I wish cloning was perfected so that I could be two places at once. Sometimes, it is hard to decide which opportunity is more important, for example, my niece’s graduation party ended on up the same day as a concert with my favourite band. My ticket included a meet and greet pass. (Sorry, Katie, I chose the concert, but I did send you a nice card and check.)

A couple of months ago, our manager informed the team when the next SQL in the City broadcast would be, the 20th of June. Oops, I have the biggest holiday trip of my life planned that week, a trip I have been planning and saving towards for five years. Along with my husband, our kids and their families, I will travel to one of the hottest spots on earth right now, The Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, that is where Mount Kilauea has been erupting for several weeks.

Thanks to modern technology, I don’t have to be in Cambridge on the day of the SQL in the City broadcast. I made a trip to the UK in May to record my session so that I can experience my vacation trip without worrying about my job. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy my presentation even though it is not live like the rest of the day.

Each SQL in the City broadcast has a theme. This time, the theme is Compliant Database DevOps. This is an important topic as companies around the world make sure they are compliant with the GDPR. Understanding the GDPR and other regulations is important for database professionals, especially database administrators who are really the caretakers of data in most companies. My session demonstrates how monitoring can help DBAs with compliance. I see monitoring divided into four areas: resources, configuration, maintenance, and performance. Aspects of data protection are baked into all of them.

This event is a great way to learn more about ways to protect data, such as creating a catalogue of servers, databases, and tables that contain sensitive information and providing clones of production databases for developers with all sensitive information masked. You’ll also learn how your team can be more efficient when writing T-SQL Code.

While on vacation, I’ll miss seeing my fellow MVPs Grant Fritchey (@gfritchey) and Steve Jones (@way0utwest) that week, but you don’t have to miss out. Register today!

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T-SQL Tuesday: Giving back to the community


This month’s T-SQL Tuesday from Riley Major (b|t) asks us to figure out a way to give back to the community and then write about it. I’m going to go with the option to write about how and why I got started since I am already heavily involved with the community.

My first involvement with community was in 2004 at PASS Summit. At that conference, I attended two sessions that would change my life forever. One was about volunteering for PASS, and the other was titled something like ‘How to make a name for yourself’ – basically how to become well known in the community and possibly become an MVP. I decided to volunteer for PASS and signed up before leaving Orlando. I was also about to complete my master’s degree, so I knew I would have some extra free time which I could fill with writing articles. It took me two months to get that first article written and published to SQLServerCentral, but I was hooked.

Initially, I didn’t think about volunteering and writing as ways to give back exactly. I was just looking for interesting things to do. I really didn’t think about the fact that my efforts would help people all over the world learn more about SQL Server. I also didn’t realize that so many opportunities would open up for me or that I would make so many friends in the community.

If I have to narrow down what I’m most proud of, I’d have to mention two things. The first is my book Beginning T-SQL, now in its 3rd edition. The second is teaching in the CoderGirl program for LaunchCode. I have been teaching T-SQL and SSRS to women who want to make career changes as well as developing the curriculum for this class. I’m hoping that the curriculum can be used by LaunchCode in other cities around the country. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.

By giving back to the community, be that writing, presenting, teaching, or leading a user group, I’m making a difference in the world. My life has been enriched beyond my wildest dreams. I highly recommend taking the initial step by writing that first blog post, speaking at your local group, or just reaching out to some of us for advice on how to get started. You’ll be glad you did!

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Configuring SQL Monitor

I got to meet with the team who creates SQL Monitor today. (Yes, I have a very cool job!) Since I’m kind of new to SQL Monitor, they wanted to know what I didn’t like about it. Well, I had a hard time coming up with anything because I found it so easy to use. Once I had watched a couple of videos, I was able to find my way around easily. The tool seems very complete as well. Everything that I could think of that I wanted to monitor was either there by default or a script to add it as a custom metric was available.

Finally, I thought of something. I wanted to create an exception list for the ‘Database Unavailable’ alerts. When I went to the to the configuration page, I was hoping to see a way to add a database name that was set offline on purpose. This is what I saw:


I didn’t see any way to set up an exception list. It would get annoying really fast to be alerted about an offline database that was purposely offline.

I knew that it could be set across the organization, group, and instance. I didn’t realize, however, that it could also be set at the database level. Just by drilling down, I could turn this alert off for an individual database!



By default, settings are inherited from the organizational level. Below that, you can customize at the SQL Monitor group, server, instance and database level. For example, there are probably some metrics that are important for production servers that you don’t care about for development servers.

I’m back trying to think of something I don’t like about SQL Monitor. I’ll keep you posted about that. If you want to play with SQL Monitor, check out this live demo.  It’s actually monitoring Redgate’s live SQL Server instances. Enjoy!

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