Blink – Year is gone

KnockAs the door begins to knock I start to wonder who it can be. As I begin to open it the person on the other side asks if he can talk to Perfection. No, I replied, perfection isn’t here and will never be here.

That same concept is what this blog I started 4 years ago is all about. No, you will not find perfection. What you will find is a data professional who loves working with SQL server and views his everyday job as not really a job at all. I’ve learned over the years that I’m probably in that rare club who enjoys his job and what all he has to work with.

I work with a fantastic SQL Community and have met several interesting folks along the way. I enjoy talking and working alongside the vendors where I can, and offer feedback when asked. The many questions and collaborations that have been had this year from user groups, talks, sessions, presentations, conferences have been phenomenal and I am humbled by the response given to the SQL Professor.

While you won’t find perfection you will find a guy who will share with you some of the knocks, bumps and bruises; along with solutions to what he has faced along his SQL journey in hopes that it will benefit you and others.

You will find a data professional who will be continual learning so that he can share the solution with someone in need

…..and you will find a data professional who will help anywhere he can in hopes of growing the thing he has enjoyed so much being a part of ~ The SQL Community.

As we move into 2015 I am thankful for the people who have taught me that quality of my content is important and I will take that into 2015 and do my best to enhance The SQL Professor to new boundaries. This year has been a roller coaster of a ride, one that I am both humbled and thankful for. As the year draws nigh and me having some vacation days to take I decided to venture back over some of the past posts. These past few weeks, ever since getting back from PASS Summit, have been nothing short of hustling and bustling to and fro. I am thankful that the SQL Professor site has had a reach into many countries this year a nice increase from last year and the representation is noted below:

United States FlagUnited StatesUnited Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom

India FlagIndia            Australia FlagAustralia

Canada FlagCanada        Netherlands FlagNetherlands

Germany FlagGermany      France FlagFrance

South Africa FlagSouth Africa Brazil FlagBrazil

Belgium FlagBelgium       Norway FlagNorway

Italy FlagItaly            Sweden FlagSweden

Nepal FlagNepal          Ireland FlagIreland

Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation Switzerland FlagSwitzerland

Poland FlagPoland        New Zealand FlagNew Zealand

Spain FlagSpain         Taiwan FlagTaiwan

Portugal FlagPortugal     Mexico FlagMexico

Denmark FlagDenmark    Serbia FlagSerbia

Singapore FlagSingapore  Colombia FlagColombia

Viet Nam FlagViet Nam   Philippines FlagPhilippines

Israel FlagIsrael         Turkey FlagTurkey

Chile FlagChile         Hong Kong FlagHong Kong

Argentina FlagArgentina  Finland FlagFinland

Puerto Rico FlagPuerto RicoCzech Republic FlagCzech Republic

Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica Malaysia FlagMalaysia

Austria FlagAustria       Japan FlagJapan

Ukraine FlagUkraine      Egypt FlagEgypt

United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab EmiratesCroatia FlagCroatia

Pakistan FlagPakistan    Slovenia FlagSlovenia

Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea     Romania FlagRomania

Indonesia FlagIndonesia   Thailand FlagThailand

Algeria FlagAlgeria      Peru FlagPeru

Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic Bulgaria FlagBulgaria

Greece FlagGreece     Bermuda FlagBermuda

Montenegro FlagMontenegroChina FlagChina

Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic

Slovakia FlagSlovakia       Guatemala FlagGuatemala

Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi ArabiaNicaragua FlagNicaragua

Venezuela FlagVenezuela   Armenia FlagArmenia

Lithuania FlagLithuania     Morocco FlagMorocco

Paraguay FlagParaguay    Belarus FlagBelarus

Luxembourg FlagLuxembourgAzerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan

Latvia FlagLatvia         Hungary FlagHungary

Tunisia FlagTunisia       Côte d'Ivoire FlagCôte d’Ivoire

Bangladesh FlagBangladesh Ecuador FlagEcuador

Oman FlagOman         Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan

Iraq FlagIraq            Uruguay FlagUruguay

Iceland FlagIceland       Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka

Bolivia FlagBolivia        Nigeria FlagNigeria

Albania FlagAlbania      Macao FlagMacao

Jordan FlagJordan       Estonia FlagEstonia

Libya FlagLibya         Uganda FlagUganda

Papua New Guinea FlagPapua New Guinea

Cyprus FlagCyprus       Kenya FlagKenya

Djibouti FlagDjibouti      Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands

El Salvador FlagEl SalvadorCambodia FlagCambodia

Georgia FlagGeorgia


Solid increases have been gained since inception and I believe that is because of the content and the focus that has been put forth on it this past year. Thank you for a great year and I look forward to the journey of continual learning and sharing moving forward.

Enjoy the holidays and short work week; look forward to seeing you all again in 2015.

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer – Don’t Leave Home Without It

CollaborateImageIf you’ve been around me long enough then you realize that I am a Red Gate fanatic. With that said I’ve grown accustomed to another utility called SQL Sentry Plan Explorer by SQL Sentry.

I’m a big Aaron Bertrand (B|T) fan and he is the one that first introduced me to this utility via his blog; if you aren’t following this man then you are missing out. He has some stellar commentary on his blog and twitter and has a deep passion for the SQL Community.

What is SQL Sentry Plan Explorer

One thing that I think of when the words SQL Sentry Plan Explorer are said is query optimization. Do you have that one go to script or utility when you are troubleshooting stored procedures and queries? If so, and this utility isn’t part of it then add it to your tool DBA tool belt.

There are two different versions that you can download; a free version and a Pro version. Both utilize SQL Server to help streamline and make optimization of queries become more efficient for the every day data professional.

What does the Free Plan offer

The free plan offers quite a bit. You can check out the overview here

  1. Enhanced plan diagrams
  2. Statements tree
  3. Plan trees
  4. Top operations
  5. Query columns
  6. Join diagrams
  7. Parameters
  8. Expressions
  9. I/O

These are just a few of the things you can expect to see with the free version

What does the Pro plan offer

In addition to what the free plan offers you will find some of the following:

  1. Wait Stats
  2. Full Query Call Stack
  3. Open Deadlock files
  4. Plan Filtering
  5. Rotate plans

…and much more

Personal Approaches

In the past I have found that the free plan has allowed me to:

  1. Quickly identify bottlenecks
  2. Review and compare statements
  3. Review costly operations
  4. Review index seeks and scans

I think one of the most beneficial items that SQL Sentry has done for this utility is adding it as an SSMS add in.

Utility Downloaded, Now What?

Like any other tool, the goal is to help streamline and make the data professional more efficient. With that said, the data professional has to know the “why’s” and how things function within SQL; don’t utilize the tool as a crutch nor should you utilize the tool as a means to solidify commands like a robot.

A SQL community member and MVP has taught me (thanks Tim Chapman (B|T) that just because you have all these tools at your disposal you, yourself have to be able to connect all the dots which means what guys – learn and know what you are reading.

You see an index seek; great….now why?

You see that Plan Explorer is showing you a critical alert in red on index cost…great; why?

Don’t just simply follow a tool; know what you are looking at.


I highly recommend SQL Sentry’s Plan Explorer; from personal experience it is helped me on more than one occasion. You can view all they have to offer here.

Well done SQL Sentry; well done indeed.

I tell you what; check out what my other colleagues have to say on the matter and how they have benefited from this utility:

If you want to read more about the newly released SQL Search, don’t forget to check out these blog posts:

On a SQL Collaboration Quest

Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.


T-SQL Tuesday #61 – Giving Back

TSQL2sdayIt just seems to me that these block parties of T-SQL Tuesday come quicker each month. I’m always thrilled when I have the opportunity to host or participate.

This month Wayne Sheffield (B|T) is our host. Wayne is good people, first time I got to meet Wayne was at SQL Saturday in Louisville, KY. He was presenting a session on SQL Myths and busting them to pieces; it was truly a great session. Wayne’s picked a fantastic topic in getting the opportunity to reflect back on 2014 and looking ahead to 2015.

The topic in which he chose is simple; yet those two words can be quite profound Giving Back. More precisely what would you give back to the SQL Community in 2015.

Looking Back

2014 was filled with many opportunities, both from a professional standpoint and career standpoint. Appreciation and gratitude ran rampant with the many friendships formed and cultivated over this past year along with some great vendor ties. Now how do we keep that steam engine rolling down the tracks from a personal standpoint?

Looking Ahead

I could go on about the many speaking events, books and articles coming to fruition, sessions poured over – but that is not what I’ve come to a conclusion on. Anything and everything I’ve ever done I have given it my all. SQL is no different. To me, what I do is fun – it  isn’t a job; it is part of my DNA.

I will continue to strive to better myself and challenge myself; to be daring and pick up where this steam engine leaves 2014 and heads into 2015. How do I do that?

Investing Time In Others

Will my schedule slow down? Not in the least if anything it will pick up, but one thing that the SQL Community has taught me is that investing time in others is top on my list. You see I’m living proof of what investing time in others is all about. People have been doing this my whole life, my mentors in the SQL Community, and they know who they are, took a chance on me.

SQL has been good to me; why can’t I share that with someone else who is in need. I tell you what; if you are serious and you want to get plugged in and learn then send me a message. I will be happy to help, assist, push you to reach your maximum potential. With that said nothing will be handed to you; learning is a constant. It is the fire within that drives us to reach our fullest potential.

So Wayne, investing time in others. Whether that means speaking at local, regional, national events, blogging, mentoring, answering questions ~ you will find me somewhere trying to invest time in others. With words of encouragement and with words of motivation.

T-SQL Tuesday

Adam Machanic (B|T) had a vision 6 years ago in creating what is now known as T-SQL Tuesday. If you are serious about it and want to try out your gig in hosting then drop him a line. You won’t regret it; I’ve been blessed to host a few occasions over the years and it has been a blast.

Thanks Adam for your vision and thank you Wayne for hosting. Hurry back to Louisville where you can teach us some more good stuff.