Top things you need in a SQL Server query plan analysis tool

SQL Server query plans AKA execution plans are one of the greatest assets when it comes to tuning, optimizing, and troubleshooting our queries. Transact-SQL is a declarative language that can be used to query data without requiring a human interaction to specify an exact execution plan to be followed. This simply means that we are not telling SQL Server how to go and fetch the data, we’re just telling it what data we want it to get. So, think of an execution plan as a map. It is a map that the query optimizer is drawing that represents an efficient execution plan to retrieve the data.

July 13, 2018

How to troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems using the SSMS Performance Dashboard

When it comes to SQL Server performance, you might not think of it as a big deal because of today’s modern hardware but every once in a while, your office phone will start ringing off the hook, your email inbox will start blowing up… SQL Server has been brought to its knees. What happened?

That’s what we are going to look at in this article. The main goal is to identify what some of the common problems are and take a close look at the SSMS Performance Dashboard tool. This tool is available out of the box for DBAs allowing to diagnose and resolve their SQL Server performance issues quickly and easily for all supported versions of SQL Server from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2017.

May 17, 2018

How to master SQL Server performance baselining to avoid false positives and/or missing alerts

Baselining SQL Server metrics have significant advantages over traditional predefined alert thresholds when monitoring SQL Server performance. What’s more, when tracking some wait types statistics, it is a must have as there is no other way to interpret collected performance data correctly otherwise. A good start on how to detect performance issues in a real-world situation is the How to detect SQL Server performance issues using baselines – Part 3 article. However, to be able to learn how to use performance baselining and to understand its full potential some advanced knowledge will be presented first

May 11, 2018

How to implement compliance with GDPR for SQL Server

Starting May 25, 2018 all worldwide organizations and companies that process, store or in any other way handle personal information of EU citizens have to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or face heavy annual fines and penalties. In order to comply with GDPR standard, organizations will have to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and reshape their approach to ensure that the security of the personal information is met as per the requirements and have full transparency on any data access, processing or more.

April 20, 2018

How to create and optimize SQL Server indexes for better performance

Indexes are paramount to achieving good database and application performance. Poorly designed indexes and a lack of the same are primary sources of poor SQL Server performance. This article describes an approach for SQL server index optimization to increase query performance.

March 19, 2018

How to optimize SQL Server query performance – Statistics, Joins and Index Tuning

Have you ever gotten a new computer, hooked it up and said: “this computer is blazing fast, I love it”? I have. A year from then, I was like “this computer is so slow, I need a new one”.

Performance is a big deal and this was the opening line in an article that was written on How to optimize SQL Server query performance. The initial article shows not only how to design queries with the performance in mind, but also shows how to find slow performance queries and how to fix the bottlenecks of those queries. I’d highly recommend reading the above article first because this one would give a lot more meaning but also because it’s an appendix to this topic.

February 28, 2018

How to optimize SQL Server query performance

Performance is a big deal. No matter if we’re talking about applications in which users click buttons to display data or if we’re writing a query directly into let’s say SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Nobody likes to click a button, go get a coffee and hope the results are ready. As computers get faster and technology moves forward users get more impatient and want things right now; without having to wait.

January 23, 2018

Documenting individual build changes (vs an entire database) in a SQL Server continuous integration pipeline

Continuous integration is great, and the more iterations, the greater it is. But with all of those changes being integrated it can be easy to lose track of what has actually changed, and when, not if, something fails reconstructing a documentation trail can be a challenge.

If a label is being created with each build, then the label “image” can be restored, depending on the source control system, or even better, you can use ApexSQL Diff to compare the latest label with the previous and see in detail exactly what changed.

But with more frequent iterations (and CI processes are considered optimal when they are triggered as frequently as possible, even on each commit), creating a label for each individual commit, or even a small group of changes, isn’t practical. As changes pile up, it can be even more difficult sorting through the change logs for auditing or diagnostics purposes.

January 18, 2018