Tim Mitchell
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Transaction Rollbacks with Identity Values

Have you ever noticed unexpected gaps in sequences in IDENTITY columns?  Even though you’ve got transactions set up for your inserts and a no-deletion policy, you find that there are missing values in what should be an unbroken sequence of numbers.  The problem could be partially related to transaction rollbacks. Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that a rolled back…


Never Delete Data?

Should you ever delete data? Data quality is important, and completeness is a measure of the quality of data.  Whether you refer to it as data integrity, permanent retention, or simply maintaining a complete audit trail, it can be effectively argued that purging old data clouds the big picture that the data presents.  After all, any data that is worthy…


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Your Local User Group

When I talk to other SQL Server professionals, I’m often surprised at how many do not have any involvement in their local SQL Server user group.  As best I can tell, the problem is not limited to SQL Server types – many technical pros do not even know that there are user groups in their area, much less participate in…


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Getting Into the Biz, Part 1

I’ve seen a good deal of coverage recently that is geared toward those who have recently begun a career as a database professional.  Brad McGehee posted this week about some potential topics for a book for new SQL Server developers, and Craig Outcalt is publishing a series of articles on SQLServerCentral.com aimed at new DBAs.  Brent Ozar also has a…


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When Data Mining Goes Too Far

Data mining is commonly used to find otherwise undetectable patterns in related sets of data.  However, sometimes these patterns provide absolutely useless information.  This story on FoxNews.com explains a recent correlation between teens who skip breakfast and those that lose their virginity earlier in life.  Interesting information, yes, but what exactly does a parent or other concerned party do with this?  Is…


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SQL Quiz: Two Mistakes

I was tagged by Gail Shaw to post two big mistakes made during my professional career.  The only challenge here was to narrow the list down to two 🙂 The first one is very easy.  During my early days working with SQL Server, I wore a lot of hats, including that of web developer.  One of my first major web projects was…


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SQL Quiz: Career Challenges

I’ve read a number of responses from Chris Shaw’s first DBA networking quiz.  I missed out on the first one, but I have been tagged by Grant Fritchey for the second round. The Questions for this quiz… What are the largest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome those? 1) The first one of these, I still…


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The Next Generation DBA

DBA, database developer, analyst, SQL grunt, or whatever your title may be, there is no question that your role will be evolving in the next few years. I read a couple of posts from Jason Massie about the Death of the DBA (part 1 and part 2) earlier today, in which he predicts a diminishing market for database administrators, and SQL DBAs…


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Microsoft Certified Master program – Is This The Answer to Certification Woes?

In the past few years, many people – myself included – have expressed a desire to see the quality of the Microsoft certification program improved.  Even though there have been some positive changes in the MCP program during the past few years, it still lacks the repute (and frankly, market value) many of us hope for.  On that topic, I…


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Does regulation make data any safer?

Working with healthcare organizations, I am constantly aware of the restrictions my staff and I must abide by according to HIPAA constraints.  It’s not really rocket science; as far as data security goes, HIPAA mandates what logically should already be in place.  Any organization that takes data security seriously will already have safeguard on the storage and transmission of data, fully tested…