Jay's Blog

[coding, debugging, and troubleshooting with Microsoft Technologies]

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  • Blog Post: Orphaned Locks - Idle Session - and XACT_ABORT

    Sometimes you might see a situation where a session is holding locks, blocking other sessions for an extended period of time, but does not have an active request and appears to be Idle.  This can happen in a few different scenarios, but here we’ll outline one scenario and how being sure to use XACT_ABORT...
  • Blog Post: Sequence Objects in SQL 2012 and SQL 2008

      Sequence Objects are new starting in SQL Server 2012.  They work similarly to an IDENTITY value, but where the IDENTITY value is scoped to a specific column in a specific table, the Sequence Object is scoped to the entire database and controlled by application code.  This can allow you...
  • Blog Post: Do waiting or suspended tasks tie up a worker thread?

    I had a discussion the other day with someone about worker threads and their relation to tasks. I thought a quick demo might be worthwhile. When we have tasks that are waiting on a resource (whether it be a timer or a resource like a lock) we are tying up a worker thread. A worker thread is assigned...
  • Blog Post: Finding Missing Dependencies

      While working with a customer on a SQL port, I came across a system view that was new with SQL Server 2008.  Have you ever needed to check your database code (stored procedures) to see if it references any missing objects?  As of SQL Server 2008 this is easy thanks to: sys . sql_expression_dependencies...
  • Blog Post: Loading data with foreign keys

      Working on a customer project the other day, I needed to load some data into a database that had been scripted and re-created.  The newly created database already had foreign keys in place which means for loading data (this was from SSIS), we had 2 options: 1) drop the foreign key constraints...
  • Blog Post: Default Trace and System Health

    So it’s been a little while since my last posting – actually a long while.  Since my last post some 8 months ago I’ve changed customers in my role as a PFE here at Microsoft and that has had me quite busy. I have a couple of posts I wanted to write to answer some questions I get from customers in...
  • Blog Post: Proper I/O Capacity Planning and Configuration Resources for SQL Server

    To understand and perform proper IO Capacity Planning for SQL Server, you must understand the IO characteristics and data access patterns of the workload that will be sent to the SQL Server.   Unless you are using a vendor or 3rd party product, the workloads will be specific to each customer...
  • Blog Post: Using DBCC PAGE

    DBCC PAGE is an undocumented – and unsupported – DBCC statement in SQL Server for dumping the raw contents of a single database page.   It will return all the metadata stored in the page, and with the right detail level parameter – return the user data as well.  Since this is not documented...
  • Blog Post: How does SQL Server perform deletes in my table?

    In this post we’ll look at how SQL Server deletes records in a table.  In this example, we’ll be using a clustered index.  For performance, SQL Server does not actually delete a row of data when requested by a transaction.  By not incurring this cost when the transaction is executing,...
  • Blog Post: How do I track this in my Stored Procedure? (Using a custom trace event)

      It’s been a while since I’ve posted an entry as I’ve been busy with moving to a different position that has me working dedicated to one customer here in my PFE role at MS.  I’ve been keeping up with the topics I want to post about, so there are plenty more posts to come. Today I want to cover...
  • Blog Post: Creating a custom performance monitor counter for SQL Server

    If you have ever needed to monitor a value in SQL Server, or follow the trend of anything that can be expressed in a numerical value – then creating a custom performance monitor counter could be just what you need…. For this example, I am going to use a query that calculates the size...
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