Tim Mitchell
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SSIS Documentation suggestions on Microsoft Connect

For SSIS developers, the need for proper documentation is crucial.  However, the built-in object for documentation, the annotation, is difficult to use.  It doesn’t wrap text, doesn’t support varying font styles in a single instance, and doesn’t offer spell checking.  Further, all annotations are “at large” and are not attached to a particular object – they are associated with a…


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Getting Into the Biz, Part 2

In a previous blog post, I began writing about how one might start a career as a database professional, and agreed to share my own experience in doing so.  Since every person and every situation is different, I don’t declare my experience to be a recipe for success, but I’m happy to share it in hopes that someone can learn…


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SQL Saturday Baton Rouge – Session Evaluations

I received my evaluation summary from the SQL Saturday event in Baton Rouge earlier this month.  This was the first event in which I did more than just one session (and back-to-back sessions at that), and I’d just gotten over the flu as well, so I was a little nervous about how I’d present, but all told it worked out…


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Social Networking: Where Do I Start?

In a blog post a few weeks ago, I wrote about social networking in the SQL Server community.  I was inspired by being witness to a colleague posting on Twitter about being unexpectedly and suddenly thrust into the open market of looking for a job.  His network responded immediately, rebroadcasting his message and exponentially widening his circle.  It seems like…


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SQL Saturday Baton Rouge – Recap

After a long weekend of travel and speaking, I’m finally able to put my feet up and get a little time to catch up on things.  This weekend I travelled to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to speak at SQL Saturday 17, and was pleased with how well everything was run.  Patrick LeBlanc, the organizer of the Baton Rouge SQL…


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Why Make Up Test Data? Snag Some Government Data

… and by government data, I mean the mountain of data recently made available by the G-Men on Data.gov.  This site contains what must be terabytes of data on every topic from environmental measurements to crime statistics, from geographical data to labor statistics.  The Obama administration has committed to greater transparency, and the availability of this data is a significant…


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Social Networking in the SQL Server Community

Like many SQL Server (and other technology) people, I utilize several social networking vehicles to stay in touch with others in the SQL community.  Some of those who don’t use Facebook and Twitter (among others) have expressed skepticism of the real value of social networking.  Does it work? Does it provide any value beyond entertainment? Can it actually help your…


Being The Best vs. Being Affordable

I read a post on Brent Ozar’s blog last week that discussed employers’ expectations when hiring new team members.  Though the story was specific to database professionals, the same principles apply to almost any hiring situation.  The moral of Brent’s story is that when hiring, just like in real life, you have to compromise what you may really want to stay within…


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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…