2010 is beginning to look like a great year for SQLSaturday events this year. Already, there are nine planned, and many more in the works. These free, one-day events are a great way to hone your DBA knowledge, and to develop new contacts. If you are interested in speaking at an event, its also a great way to get speaking experience.
Devenius Software is offering a free tool to help you manage SQL Server encryption keys. Its called the SQL Encryption Assistant (Basic Edition), and it allows you to create, modify, and drop encryptions keys and certificates. There are two versions of the software, one each for SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.
Devenius Software is also the company behind the website Snipstorm.com. This is a brand new community website where SQL Server DBAs can share snippets of their T-SQL code with other members of the community.
You have probably heard that the SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP is available, but you may not have given it a try yet because it is such a pain to download the huge install file, find a test server to run it on, and then install it. Under the best of conditions, this is at least a 3 hour job.
Now, if you want to check out the new features of SQL Server 2008 R2 (the August 2009 CTP), you can without going through all this hassle. Instead, you can go to www.sqlserverbeta.com, create a virtual instance of the software, and try it out, all for free.
All you have to do is fill out a short registration form, and shortly thereafter, you will have your own personal instance of SQL Server 2008 R2 to play and experiment with. So now, you don’t have any excuse to learn about, and try out for yourself, all the cool new features in R2.
Whether you like it or not, as a SQL Server DBA or Developer, you will eventually have to learn about XML and XSD (XML Schema Definition Language). XML has become, and continues to grow, as a popular format for exchanging data. If you are not up to speed on this technology, check out the this free e-book by Jacob Sebastian called The Art of XSD: SQL Server Schema Collections.
I often get questions in e-mails, or at user group meetings, for advice on writing T-SQL database maintenance scripts. There seem to be a lot of DBAs who need more flexibility than what the Database Maintenance Wizard offers to perform database maintenance, which means they must user either T-SQL or PowerShell scripts in order to get this flexibility. Unfortunately, many of the DBAs who ask me this question don’t have a lot of time, or T-SQL experience, so they don’t know where to start.
The advice I generally give to them is to not reinvent the wheel, but to see what others have done, and to emulate them, especially to those DBAs with lesser experience. For example, the following websites offer T-SQL database maintenance scripts that are freely available for others to use with little or no modification, or to use as a learning tool in order to see how other DBAs have tackled this issue.