Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Red-Gate's Data Generator

I've been on data generators lately so I'm continuing that again. I've actually gotten a hold of a couple more last night so I'll be doing some write-ups on those as well. If you want to catch up, here are the other postings that started all of this.

Generating Data
Going Red

OK, I was able to get Red-Gate's data generator up and running on my new instance of Yukon last night and I pumped some data through it. And like many of Red-Gate's other tools it's just easy to use. There are a couple things you have to get used to, but it's really no big deal.

So I was able to generate 100,000 rows across a wireless pretty damn fast. In just a few secs really. I wanted to make a quick Camtasia of it for you last night, but time just got away from me. I'll try to get it done tonight and give you a quick walk-through of the product. But it's a nice tool. It doesn't do absolutely everything I'd like it to do just yet, but there's nothing wrong with it. And it's young so I suspect that it'll grow into itself.

Anyway, I haven't really put it through any real paces yet. I've just barely scratched the surface to get the feel for the GUI and how fast it can generate a simple data set. And it's not only fast, it's easy to use. I'm very pleased so far.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Going Red

Like me mentioned in my IW blog last week, I got a hold of Red-Gate’s new data generator and started playing around with it. The first thing I noticed was that it didn’t yet support Katmai. I’m a little confused by that because the libraries should be close enough to be able to make a basic connection so there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it, but alas, it’s unsupported as of yet. I did connect with the PM on the project who showed me their roadmap which tells me that it should have Katmai support by Q3. No worries, I just put up a Yukon instance so I’ll be starting up my testing soon. Now, I realize that they wanted to make it a simple tool that only connects to SQL Server, so they don’t support ODBC. But that’s the definite advantage to supporting ODBC is that as long as you adhere to basic ANSI you should be able to connect to any DB you have loaded. So in this case, they could support SQL Server only as well as accepting ODBC and you could easily connect to a beta copy like Katmai. Still, I get where they’re coming from; I just always want it all.
Now about the roadmap… I saw some interesting things in there.

1. In Q2 SQ Prompt 3.8 will be released offering a Pro version that incorporates the layout SQL functionality from Refactor. I’ve been trying to find out more info on the future of Refactor, but I’m having trouble hooking up with the PM. I’ll let you know more when I manage to hook up. I don’t know when exactly in Q2, but if they shoot me a press release I’ll let you know and maybe I’ll even get some code to play with as well.

2. Also in Q2 will be SQL Response. This is their new monitoring product. I had no idea that the market could still support a monitoring product, but it apparently can. Personally, I’m really big in the monitoring space so I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

3. Exception Hunter was release back in Dec and I didn’t even know about that one. It sounds interesting though so I’m going to do some reading on it and see what I come up with.
OK, that’s it, but take a look at the roadmap and keep an eye on it for more tidbits. It would be nice if they’d wrap an RSS around it so I don’t have to keep checking.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Database Therapy

A good DBA has to be a bit of a therapist at times. We have to take users who are freaking out and get past their anxiety, past their hurt, and a lot of times past their anger, and get down to the real issue. What I find amusing a lot of times is how the most excited users, the ones who are just freaking out, tend to be the ones in the least amount of trouble. Their problems are usually easy to solve. It's the devs who come up to you nice and calm with just kind of a question to ask you real quick that find out they've done something really stupid and you can't get them out of the hole they've dug.

On slightly the same topic, I had a comical exchange with a dev this morning in trying to explain to him why you can't install a .net assembly in SQL2K, and how SQL can't be compiled into a .dll.

And I'm falling more and more in love with the Katmai group query capabilities. Almost every day I have to deploy code or make some kind of change to all of our marts and being able to hit them all in one shot is just incredible. MS really got this one right.
Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Runaway Instance

I recently installed the latest Katmai CTP on my workstation at home. I installed the entire package. I connected to it just fine and worked with it for several days. I then went to hit it with an external client so I could load some data, but it wouldn't connect. I checked and it was set for remote connections, and it was listening on 1433 so that wasn't the problem. I didn't know if there might not be some kind of glitch so I burped the service from the Katmai Config Mgr. The service failed to restart. The message I got was that 1433 was already in use. OK, at least I have a message to troubleshoot now. Well, I've got Pinnacle running on that box and it uses SQL Express. So since I installed Katmai as a default instance as well, it was clear that Pinnacle was stepping on it... even though Yukon was on the box before and it never had issues with Pinnacle.

Anyway though... I stopped the express service and I still couldn't connect. So to make a long story shorter, because I spent a very long time on this, it turns out that the Katmai Control Mgr was falsely reporting the express instance as stopped when it was really still on. When I went into Windows SCM it was still running. So I stopped it from Windows and all's well.

At least I got some good troubleshooting practice in, huh?

About Me

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Sean McCown
I am a Contributing Editor for InfoWorld Magazine, and a frequent contributor to as well as I live with my wife and 3 kids, and have practiced and taught Kenpo for 22yrs now.
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