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  • Blog Post: “I could use a little help here” or “I can do it myself, thank you” for Cloud Projects

    Windows Azure allows you to write code in languages within the .NET stack, you can use Java, C++, PHP, NodeJS and others. Code is code - other than keeping things stateless, using a Web or Worker Role in Azure is not all that different from working with an on-premises system. However…. Working in a scalable...
  • Blog Post: When you’re asking for help, make sure you explain what you’re trying to accomplish

    At some time, all of us need technical help with something. Whenever you do, make sure you try and frame the question not necessarily in terms of what you want to know, but what you're trying to do. Spending time on thinking through your questions will help you get better answers, and people will appreciate...
  • Blog Post: Lessons from Volunteering

    Saturday I volunteered at a work-day at our church. Our building is one of the first buildings built in this area of Washington, so it’s a beautiful old structure, which of course means there’s lots of maintenance. I’m fairly decent with tools, I’ve done some woodworking in my day, and I’ve even rebuilt...
  • Blog Post: Help for SQL Server

    Sometimes issues pop up with your system. You need a way to find help, quickly. Here’s a few links that might be useful – feel free to post a reply to this post with other sources you might know, from web sources to your favorite consultant. Note – this list is not exhaustive, and I’m happy to add...
  • Blog Post: Make it Easy for People to Help You

    OK, there are probably a dozen or more of these kinds of posts, but I’ll dive in anyway. From time to time, people send me e-mails or comments on this blog asking for help. Sometimes it’s on the topic at hand, and other times the topic just jogs their memory about something else. Often I’m happy to help...
  • Blog Post: Plan and Prepare or Just Do It? How about Both!

    I'm kind of a type "A" person. OK, I'm a VERY type "A" person. I even cook by setting things up ahead of time. I'm definitely more in the "Plan and Prepare" camp than the "Just Do It" camp. But I do realize that there are times when you just can't stop and prepare. Sure, it would be great to know...
  • Blog Post: How Microsoft Does IT - Updated

    I’ve pointed out this link before, and I’ll definitely bring it up again. Microsoft is one of the few companies I know, especially the big ones, that explains how they run their IT. We have a fantastic, I mean really fantastic site that you should definitely check out. Can save you lots of time, and...
  • Blog Post: The SQL Server 2008 Developer Training Kit

    Want some free training? I think Microsoft does an amazing job of getting training out for free. If you need a boost for your career, are just starting out, or need to re-tool after a layoff, or if you just want to become more familiar with the latest version, you can access these resources to learn...
  • Blog Post: Replacing the Books Online Search Feature

    Some time back, the Books Online team at Microsoft made a very cool macro on Live.com that would search within the on-the-web version of Books Online – a very handy feature indeed, since the search for the installed version of Books Online is, well, “less than optimal”. Anyhow, it seems...
  • Blog Post: Help Me Help You

    Before I start this post, let me say that it is not pointed at any one person - if you've asked me for help recently, this isn't about you! The programming and administration computer disciplines are fairly unique, in my mind, in one interesting way: we help each other a lot. Since the beginning of the...
  • Blog Post: A Web Based Search for Books Online

    As many of you know, I used to work on documentation like whitepapers and Books Online for SQL Server. One of the main problems I've found with our documentation isn't that there is not enough content - we have over 65,000 pages in BOL alone - but that it is hard to find. The search tool inside the "fat"...
  • Blog Post: Check that database before you restore it...

    I'm on my way to the city of Seattle this morning on the train and I ran across an issue with a database restore. I've been working with Service Broker and then put it out of my mind. I then backed up said database and restored it the same instance as a test. Then things started going awry... Then this...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Whitepaper Access Point

    A special site is available to get at the whitepapers for SQL Server 2008. You can find that here: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/learning/whitepapers.mspx . And here are a few of my personal favorites: Performance and Scale http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_perfandscale...
  • Blog Post: Free SQL Server Videos

    Microsoft is now including video content along with Books Online for SQL Server. Check them out here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc952928.aspx
  • Blog Post: Free "Basic Training" for SQL Server

    I answer a lot of questions about SQL Server - on forums, in newsgroups, in presentations and so on - and many are "101", or basic questions. That's great! I don't have a problem with that at all - I enjoy helping someone that is new to SQL Server learn the ropes. Over the years I've collected some really...
  • Blog Post: Changes on the Developer and TechCenters for MSDN

    I'm not sure if you've noticed the changes on the SQL Server Developer Center on MSDN or SQL Server TechCenter on TechNet. If not, you should definitely check them out. Here are a few highlights: · On the home page of both MSDN and TechNet, you’ll see links to featured Blogs from key Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Tips for (getting ready to deal with) Support

    At one time or another, we all need a little help. When you’re knee-deep in Production and you run into a Problem, a little panic is unavoidable. Having a military background, I’ve been taught that the best way to deal with inevitable panic is preparation. What I’m describing in this blog aren't tips...
  • Blog Post: MSDN and TechNet SQL Server Sites Linked

    SQL Server can be a strange animal - we have no direct end users, but we do have Developers and DBA's. For years we've have two sites that the two camps have used: MSDN for Developers, and TechNet for DBA's. But of course, there is no such thing as a "DBA", meaning that DBA's do lots of stuff, including...
  • Blog Post: Templates

    I’ve run into quite a few DBA’s who aren’t using the Templates feature we provide with SQL Server Management Studio. If you spend a little time becoming familiar with them, I think you’ll find they are a powerful tool. Templates are really just a series of Transact-SQL statements that live on your...
  • Blog Post: It’s two helps in one!

    Did you know that you can show help in two different ways from SQL Server Management Studio? Most of us like the full client of Books Online, which is actually a program called the “DExplorer”. This tool has multiple windows, a URL bar, a search feature and more. But those of you who are more familiar...
  • Blog Post: Using the Tools

    A lot of the comments I get at conferences and over e-mail ask for various features within the management tools. To be sure, there are many things we can do to make the tools better, but many times (over half, actually) I end up saying "You know you can already do that, right?" I then show how we've...
  • Blog Post: The Biggest Problem We Face

    Last night I gave a presentation to the Pacific Northwest SQL User Group. I mentioned that we often think our biggest problems are lack of time, too much work, people we have to deal with or technical issues. But all of us get done only what we can, we manage to deal with the people at work that are...
  • Blog Post: Copying the Favorites from Books Online

    I get asked a lot if it is possible to copy the Favorites from Books Online to another Favorites folder on another computer. The answer is yes! The Help Favorites are stored by default in: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Shell\VS Help...
  • Blog Post: Slicing Books Online

    With all of the content in Books Online arranged into a single table-of-contents, it’s sometimes difficult to find information that “spans” topics. For instance, if you want to find out about general security topics, you’ll find they are spread across many sections of Books Online. Although we try to...
  • Blog Post: Books Online Innovations

    It's just documentation - right? Well, there's actually a bit more to it than that. Of course, we update the content of Books Online all the time, as I've mentioned before. But we've also innovated in the way that we present and deliver the content. I asked Bryan, a friend that works here with me, to...
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