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Archive for December, 2015

2015 in review

December 30, 2015 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 520,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 22 days for that many people to see it.

In 2015, there were 68 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 272 posts.

Click here to see the complete report.

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SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.2 update is here | download now

December 18, 2015 3 comments

Microsoft (on 17-Dec-2015) announced the CTP 3.2 update of the recently and initially released Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.x & 3.0 versions of SQL Server 2016.
 

[Register and Download the CTP 3.2 Evaluation version (180 days) here]
 

–> Direct download link (~2.6 GB):

– Download the single ISO: SQLServer2016CTP3.2-x64-ENU.iso

– Or download both EXE & BOX files:
– – Box file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.box
– – EXE file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.exe
 

–> Check version and SQL build:

select @@version

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (CTP3.2) – 13.0.900.73 (X64) Dec 10 2015 18:49:31 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Evaluation Edition (64-bit) on Windows 10 Enterprise 6.3 (Build 10240: )
 

–> This release has major enhancements on Reporting Services (SSRS):

1. A new Reporting Services web portal is available, with an updated, modern, portal which incorporates KPIs, Mobile Reports and Paginated Reports.
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2. Support for Mobile reports which is based on Datazen technology, optimized for mobile devices and form factors and provide an optimal experience for users accessing BI reports on mobile devices.
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3. Design mobile reports using SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher.
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4. For more enhancements check [the SSRS Blog].
 

–> Few more enhancements in other areas:

1. SQL Server Managed Backup to Microsoft Azure uses the new block blob storage for backup files instead of page blobs. Block blobs have a size limitation of 200GB per blob, whereas page blobs have a size limitation per blob of 1 TB.

2. JSON support now includes the WITHOUT_ARRAY_WRAPPER option, to remove the square brackets that surround the JSON output of the FOR JSON clause by default.

3. With Stretch Database you can specify a predicate to select rows to archive from a table that contains both historical and current data, by using the ALTER TABLE statement.
– You can also unmigrate the data that Stretch Database has migrated to Azure.
– You can now use a federated service account for SQL Server to communicate with the remote Azure SQL Database server when certain conditions are true, by using ALTER DATABASE statement.

4. Analysis Services (SSAS), new functionality for Tabular models at the 1200 compatibility level, including the first wave of JSON scripting in SSMS, DirectQuery, Calculated Tables in SSDT, and other smaller enhancements that add up to a better model design experience.

5. Integration Services (SSIS), enhancements include HDFS-to-HDFS copy support, as well as Hadoop connectivity improvements, including ARVO file format support and Kerberos authentication support.
 

I’ve covered very few and important points here, you can check all the updates here in [SQL Server blog for CTP 3.2] with details.
 

For all these new features released in SQL Server 2016, check my blog posts here.
 

So, download the Preview today and start playing with the new features and plan your DB migration/upgrade.
 


 

Do check & Like my FB Page.


Exam 70-461, SQL 2014 update – Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2014

December 1, 2015 7 comments

 
In one of my previous post I talked about [Exam 70-461 for SQL Server 2012], and I really got good and big response, with ~250 comments. As SQL Server 2014 got released most of the folks asked me about the certification update.

So here in this post I’ll talk about the same exam 70-461 which is now updated for SQL Server 2014, and Microsoft has not changed the exam code for this version of SQL Server.

 
This updated certification exam is still based on SQL Server 2012 with new features of SQL Server 2014. Previously with SQL 2012 the exam was divided into 4 modules, please check my previous post, link above. Here with SQL 2014 update the exam is reshaped into 20 modules listed below:
 

1. Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2014
– SQL Server architecture | MSDN
– Editions | MSDN
– SQL Server Management Studio | MSDN

2. Introduction to T-SQL Querying
– T-SQL intro | MSDN
– Set based queries
– Predicate Logic | MSDN
– SELECT statement Logical Ordering | MSDN

3. Writing SELECT Queries
– Simple SELECT queries | MSDN
– Find & eliminate duplicates, and DISTINCT keyword
– Working with Columns
– CASE expressions | MSDN

4. Querying Multiple Tables
– SQL JOINs (INNER, OUTER, CROSS & Self) | MSDN | TechNet

5. Sorting and Filtering Data
– Sorting data with ORDER BY clause | MSDN
– Filtering data with WHERE clause MSDN
– Filtering data with TOP keyword | MSDN
– Using TOP-OFFSET clause | MSDN | TechNet
– Working with NULL/unknown values

6. Working with SQL Server 2014 Data Types
– New SQL 2014 datatypes (Character, Date, Time) | MSDN
– Write Queries using different Datatypes | MSDN

7. Using DML to Modify Data
– Inserting Data | MSDN
– Modifying Data | MSDN
– Deleting Data | MSDN

8. Using Built-In Functions
– SQL 2014 new functions (Conversion, Logical)

9. Grouping and Aggregating Data
– Using Aggregate functions | MSDN
– Using GROUP BY clause | MSDN
– Using HAVING clause | MSDN

10. Using Sub-Queries
– Self-Contained Subqueries | TechNet
– Correlated Subqueries | TechNet
– Using EXISTS() predicate with Subqueries | TechNet

11. Using Table Expressions
– Using Views | MSDN
– Using Inline Table Values functions | MSDN | TechNet
– Using Derived Tables
– Using CTEs (Common Table Expressions) | MSDN | TechNet

12. Using Set Operators
– The UNION, UNION ALL Operator | MSDN
– EXCEPT vs INTERSECT | MSDN
– Using APPLY (CROSS & OUTER) | TechNet

13. Using Window Ranking, Offset, and Aggregate Functions
– Window functions with OVER() clause | MSDN
– More Window functions (ROW_NUMBER, RANK, DENSE_RANK, NTILE) | MSDN

14. Pivoting and Grouping Sets
– Writing queries with PIVOT and UNPIVOT | MSDN | TechNet
– Using Grouping Sets | MSDN | TechNet

15. Querying data with Stored Procedures
– Creating Stored Procedures (SP) | MSDN
– Using Parameters with SPs | MSDN
– Working with Dynamic SQL | MSDN
   – EXECUTE | MSDN
   – sp_ExecuteSQL | MSDN

16. Programming with T-SQL
– Working with Variables, Batches | MSDN | TechNet
– Using IF conditions | MSDN
– WHILE loops | MSDN

17. Implementing Error Handling
– Using TRY/CATCH block | MSDN
– Working with Error Handling | MSDN
– Returning error information
– Raising user-defined errors and passing system errors | MSDN

18. Implementing Transactions
– Using Transactions | MSDN
– Use of “SET XACT_ABORT” with Transactions | MSDN | MSDN-2
– Effects of Isolation Levels on Transactions | MSDN

19. Improving Query Performance
– Factors affecting Query Performance | MSDN
– Checking Execution plan
– Optimize SQL queries, Query tuning | MSDN
– Optimize SQL Indexes, Index tuning | MSDN

20. Querying SQL Server Metadata
– Querying System Catalog Views | MSDN
– Querying System Catalog Functions | MSDN
– Using System Stored Procedures | MSDN
– Using Dynamic Management Objects (DMVs, DMFs) | MSDN

 
–> Check SQL Server 2014 videos here:

 
I’ll be updating the above post going forward and as I post something related to SQL Server 2012 & 2014.

Please provide your comments if you want me to talk about any of the above items, thanks !


SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.1 update is here | download now

December 1, 2015 1 comment

Microsoft today (01-Dec-2015) announced the CTP 3.1 update of the recently and initially released Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2.x & 3.0 versions of SQL Server 2016.
 

[Register and Download the CTP 3.1 Evaluation version (180 days) here]
 

–> Direct download link (~2.58 GB):

– Download the single ISO: SQLServer2016CTP3.0-x64-ENU.iso

– Or download both EXE & BOX files:
– – Box file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.box
– – EXE file SQLServer2016-x64-ENU.exe
 

–> Check version and SQL build:

select @@version

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (CTP3.1) – 13.0.800.111 (X64) Nov 21 2015 16:40:33 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Evaluation Edition (64-bit) on Windows 10 Enterprise 6.3 (Build 10240: )
 

–> Following are enhancements in some areas:

1. New In-Memory OLTP improvements, including Unique indexes, LOB data types, and Indexes with NULLable key columns.

2. The COMPRESS and DECOMPRESS functions convert values into and out of the GZIP algorithm.

3. Programmability improvement for DATEDIFF_BIG and AT TIME ZONE functions.

4. New view sys.time_zone_info added to support date and time interactions.

5. Enhancements to StretchDB, compatible with AlwaysOn and unmigrate the data that Stretch Database has migrated to Azure.

6. Enhancements to SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), upgrade your existing Tabular models from 1100/1103 to 1200 compatibility level, Roles support for Tabular 1200 model, and a JSON editor for SSDT.

7. PowerPivot and SSRS/Power View are now available for SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2.
 

I’ve covered very few and important points here, you can check all the updates here in [SQL Server blog for CTP 3.1] with details.
 

For all these new features released in SQL Server 2016, check my blog posts here.
 

So, download the Preview today and start playing with the new features and plan your DB migration/upgrade.
 


 

Do check & Like my FB Page.