The Scary DBA Comes to Columbia, SC

Grant Fritchey*sound of glass crashing* *cue theme music*

(in a wrestling announcer’s shocked voice) “It can’t be! He’s not supposed to be here! It’s the Scary DBA! What’s he doing here!”

That’s right, folks, SQL Server MVP Grant Fritchey (blog | twitter) will be coming to speak in Columbia, SC on May 22, 2014. You can register to attend (free) here:

Midlands PASS – May 22nd Meeting with Grant Fritchey

Here is what Grant will be talking about:

Building a Database Deployment Pipeline

The pace of business accelerates fairly continuously and application development moves right with it. But we’re still trying to deploy databases the same way we did 10 years ago. This session addresses the need for changes in organizational structure, process and technology necessary to arrive at a nimble, fast, automatable and continuous database deployment process. We’ll use actual customer case studies to illustrate both the common methods and the unique context that led to a continuous delivery process that is best described as a pipeline. You will learn how to customize common practices and tool sets to build a database deployment pipeline unique to your environment in order to speed your own database delivery while still protecting your organization’s most valuable asset, it’s data.


If you are closer to Raleigh or Charlotte, Grant will also be appearing in those venues. You can find details about those visits at the Charlotte SQL Server user group site.


Free Online SQL Server Training for the Week of November 3, 2013

I’m trying to re-establish this running guide to free online training for the following week. If you’re a training provider and I’ve missed you, please drop me a line at brian {dot} kelley {at} sqlpass {dot} org.

All times are Eastern (New York). To convert to your local time, use the converter at

Tuesday, Nov 5:

Thursday, Nov 7:

Training Providers I Regularly Review:

Review: SQL Server Transaction Log Management

SQLServerTransactionLogManagementBook Details:

SQL Server Transaction Log Management
Davis, Tony and Shaw, Gail
Simple Talk Publishing, October 2012.

Free PDF download

Do I Recommend This Book?

Yes, I recommend this book for any DBA working with Microsoft SQL Server. Gail and Tony do an excellent job of covering how Microsoft SQL Server uses the transaction log for a database. There are plenty of code examples to reveal the behavior they describe. In addition, they provide plenty of references to other sources which reinforce or expand upon what they cover in the book.

What I Liked:

There’s a lot about this book I liked, so let me pick out the highlights.

Easy Reading Style:

Some technical books are hard to read. There’s a lot of jargon and a lot of assumptions are made as to the technical proficiency of the reader. Others have called this the Curse of Knowledge. Gail and Tony don’t have this issue. They make the book readable to a junior DBA level.

Extensive Code Examples:

Gail and Tony provide code examples for just about every behavior they describe. None of them were very long, but all were effective. Sometimes code samples are too long to reasonably type in. However, most of us learn best from learning, so typing in code is helpful. That means the code samples have to be reasonably small. They were in this book as I typed in nearly every example and then tinkered with them to see the behavior described. There was one example where there looks there was a printing/editing error, Listing 7.1), but the rest worked as long as I didn’t mistype. If you don’t feel like typing the code in, there is a provided download (Listing 7.1 is correct in the download).

Coverage of Bulk-Logged Recovery Mode:

This book had an extensive amount of coverage on the bulk-logged recovery mode. Gail and Tony did a great job explaining why this mode exists as well as the pros and cons of using it. If you don’t get this book for any other reason, get it to review what you know about bulk-logged recovery mode.

What I Didn’t Like:

There are only a couple of things I didn’t like.

Images Were Designed for an e-Book:

Some of the images used colors/shading that don’t show up well in a printed black & white book. Also, there were some references to shading in green and yellow. As a result, these particular images were hard to read, especially in chapter 2.

Oversight on Differential Backups:

Differential backups establish or re-establish a log chain with respect to future transaction log backups. However, most of the writing focused on full backups. The first time I noted this was in chapter 1, in the section titled Transaction Log Backup and Restore. Later chapters sometimes mentioned differential backups, but it was hit or miss.


Note: I was provided a free copy of this book for review.