Rules of SQL formatting – SQL code commenting

In this article, tips on T-SQL code commenting and improving productivity will be given, while using the ApexSQL Refactor’s Comments feature. ApexSQL Refactor is a SQL Server and Visual Studio SQL formatting add-in with nearly 200 formatting options.

The main purpose of comments is to document our code and write descriptions of what code is doing.

February 12, 2014

How to recover a deleted image from SQL Server into a file

More and more companies are creating online catalogues to allow customers to browse their objects prior to coming to their store

Having a list with a price and description just doesn’t cut it anymore. People want to see what the product looks like and as such having images associated to each item is pivotal

February 10, 2014

Security and compliance in SQL Server

The primary purpose of any database management system is to store and provide accurate information as requested by other software clients. Security of the database system and the information it keeps is another crucial component. There are many aspects of SQL Server security configuration, such as authentication, server and database roles, ownership, or Common Language Runtime (CLR) integration. However, in this article, we’ll focus on those that are related to (and common for) most of compliance regulations.

February 7, 2014

Auditing security changes in SQL Server

When it comes to SQL Server security, it’s important to note that there are server and database security levels. All work done by a user is performed on a database, but in order to access the database and do the work, the user first needs to access the server, and afterwards the database – the server security level affects the database security level

February 6, 2014

Rules of SQL formatting – Commas and spacing in T-SQL

This article describes some possibilities of formatting commas and spacing in T-SQL using ApexSQL Refactor SQL formatter with nearly 200 SQL formatting options.

Formatting commas in T-SQL

Commas in T-SQL are used to format numbers, as list-separators, and value separators. When commas are used as separators, there is no specific rule for placing commas at the end of a line or at the beginning.

February 5, 2014

SQL Server database security and compliance

When discussing SQL Server security, one of the most important terms is principal. Principals are SQL Server entities, arranged in a hierarchy, which can request specific SQL Server resources. There are various principals in SQL Server, and in this article, we’ll focus on a database user entity. Unlike SQL Server login entities, which are used for accessing a SQL Server instance (a server-level principal), a database user entity (a database-level principal) is used for defining access to a particular database that belongs to the SQL Server instance

February 3, 2014

How to recover a single table from a SQL Server database backup

When you ask a DBA what feature they would most like to see added to the SQL Server recovery functionality, they will undoubtedly say: “The ability to recover a single table from a database backup”.

Of course, it is possible to retrieve the data of a specific table from a database backup, but you cannot do it without restoring the entire backup.

Why do DBA’s want this? Well, the reasons are simple:

January 29, 2014

Auditing SELECT statements on SQL Server

Although SELECT statements are not destructive by nature, nor they can change either data or schema, there are several cases that require their auditing on SQL Server. Executed SELECT statements can indicate various current or potential issues, and this is the reason why it’s important to know who-saw-what and when

January 23, 2014

HIPAA Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a security act that sets standards for ensuring security, privacy, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient health information – electronic Protected Health Information (PHI).

January 16, 2014

How to format SQL like a pro – formatting to implicit Microsoft standards and guidance

There is little formal guidance regarding SQL formatting and coding styles, but there is no universally accepted coding standard for SQL Server. In this article, though, implicit guidance will be followed from:

  • MSDN
  • SQL Server 2012 Books Online documentation
  • and the Adventure Works 2012 SQL Server database

This article will describehow to implement these standards via ApexSQL Refactor.

January 8, 2014

FERPA Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) [1] is a Federal law created to protect the privacy of student education records. It establishes the rights of parents and currently enrolled eligible students to review their education records, request changes of misleading or inaccurate data, and control the record disclosure

December 24, 2013

Basel II Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

The Basel Capital Accord Basel II [1] is an improvement of recommendations for banking standards on international scale, based on three intertwined pillars, issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. It’s an extension the Basel I Accord [1], and it sets risk and management requirements while introducing a data management approach.

December 5, 2013

GLBA Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

The Gramm – Leach – Bliley Act (GLBA) is a security and privacy regulations standard created with a purpose to protect consumer financial privacy. To meet GLBA compliance requirements customers must be informed by the financial organizations about the organization’s information privacy and sharing practices. The customers must be provided with explanations about their rights and unambiguous option to deny their financial information to be shared with any third parties.

December 4, 2013

Auditing SQL Server data changes – the centralized solution

In the previous part of the Methods for auditing SQL Server data changes articles series, How to analyze and read SQL Server Audit information, we described several native SQL Server auditing features – Change Tracking, Change Data Capture and Audit. We described their unique and shared characteristics, how they store captured information, how to provide the information, and explained the advantages and disadvantages of each feature.

November 27, 2013

PCI Compliance for SQL Server DBAs

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS, or just PCI) is a security regulations standard related to payment cardholder and card payment information security. Any company or institution that uses and stores such information is obligated to comply with the PCI standard.

November 22, 2013

Reverting your SQL Server database back to a specific point in time


There are certain circumstances in which you may need to roll back your database to a specific point in time. There may be various reasons why this could be necessary but it is usually related to the execution of accidental or malicious DML or DDL statements. For example:

November 20, 2013

How to set up and use SQL Server Audit

In the previous part of the SQL Server auditing methods series, SQL Server Audit feature – Introduction, we described main features of the SQL Server Auditfeature – its main characteristics, what events it can audit and where the audit information is stored. We also explained two levels of auditing – the database-level and server-level, and three components necessary for using the feature – the SQL Server audit object, database audit specification, and server audit specification

November 17, 2013