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Dynamic data sources in PowerBI Desktop

Abstract PowerBI Desktop is a data analytics and presentation tool. Defining data sets is very easy and usually involves creating connection string to the source data and defining objects to pull data from. Alternatively, for SQL databases we can write custom SQL script to query source data. However, if we

Generate realistic test data

As data professionals, we often need test data, whether for functional testing, to satisfy business logic criteria or for non-functional, to satisfy performance requirements. We must also not store any sensitive or personal information in non-production systems and doing so could be against Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). A common approach

SQL Server Performance Dashboard using PowerBI (download)

I often help improve the performance of a SQL Server or an application. Performance metrics in SQL Server are exposed via Dynamic Management Views (DMVs). However, DMVs only provide a view of the current state and no history. This is important as it makes it particularly difficult to draw a bigger picture of how the system is behaving over time and what problems are occurring during overnight batch processing or during peak operational times, for example when users log in to the system at 8 am or when they leave for lunch at 1 pm. To address this deficiency I have built a simple yet comprehensive SQL Server Performance Dashboard in PowerBI.

When to use negative identity

The identity value in relational databases is a field that increases automatically. It is often used to create surrogate primary keys. Surrogate keys Surrogate keys are meaningless and are only used to uniquely identify the row, not the data itself. For example, assume the following table: As we can see,

How I use dbatools to automate SQL Server installs

I lot of you have asked me to expand on the automated SQL Server installation I mentioned in my previous article: dbatools is a free PowerShell module with over 500 SQL Server best practice, administration, development and migration commands included https://dbatools.io/ The dbatools team have spent long hours making sure

Rapid SQL Server test instances with Docker and Azure

As a DBA, developer, and more importantly the creator of SQLWATCH.IO, I need the ability to rapidly deploy and test different SQL Server configurations or test different upgrade variations from one version of SQLWATCH to another. This is quite laborious, time-consuming tasks as I either have to build a new SQL