Real-Time Operational Analytics and Non-Clustered Column Store Index

In this article, we will focus on real time operational analytics and how to apply this approach to an OLTP database. When we look at the traditional analytical model, we can see OLTP and analytic environments are separate structures. First of all, the traditional analytic model environments need to create ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tasks. Because we need to transfer transactional data to the data warehouse. These types of architecture have some disadvantages. They are cost, complexity and data latency. In order to eliminate these disadvantages, we need a different approach.  (more…)

SQL Server Triggers: Understanding and Alternatives

The SQL Server trigger is a special type of stored procedures that is automatically executed when an event occurs in a specific database server. SQL Server provides us with two main types of triggers: the DML Triggers and the DDL triggers. The DDL triggers will be fired in response to different Data Definition Language (DDL) events, such as executing CREATE, ALTER, DROP, GRANT, DENY, and REVOKE T-SQL statements. The DDL trigger can respond to the DDL actions by preventing these changes from affecting the database, perform another action in response to these DDL actions or recording these changes that are executed against the database. (more…)

Implementing Incremental Load using Change Data Capture in SQL Server

This article will be interesting to those who often have to deal with data integration.


Assume that there is a database where users always modify data (update or remove). Perhaps, this database is used by a large application that does not allow modifying the table structure. The task is to load data from this database to another database on a different server from time to time. The simplest way to tackle the problem is to load the new data from a source database to a target database with preliminary cleaning up the target database. You can use this method as long as the time to load data is acceptable and does not exceed preset deadlines. What if it takes several days to load data? In addition, unstable communication channels lead to the situation when data load stops and restarts. If you face these obstacles, I suggest considering one of the ‘data reloading’ algorithms. It means that only data modifications occurred since the latest load are loaded.


Using Indexes in SQL Server Memory-Optimized Tables


In this article, we will discuss how different types of indexes in SQL Server memory-optimized tables affect performance. We will examine examples of how different index types can affect the performance of memory-optimized tables.

To make the topic discussion easier, we will make use of a rather large example. For the purposes of simplicity, this example will feature different replicas of a single table, against which we will run different queries. These replicas will use different indexes, or no indexes at all (except, of course, the primary keys – PKs).

Note, that the actual purpose of this article is not to compare performance between disk-based and memory-optimized tables in SQL Server per se. Its purpose is to examine how indexes affect performance in memory-optimized tables. However, in order to have a full picture of the experiments, timings are also provided for the corresponding disk-based table queries and the speedups are calculated using the most optimal configuration of disk-based tables as baselines.


Implementing a Common MS SQL Server Performance Indicator


There is often a need to create a performance indicator that would show database activity related to the previous period or specific day. In the article titled “Implementing SQL Server Performance Indicator for Queries, Stored Procedures, and Triggers”, we provided an example of implementing this indicator.

In this article, we are going to describe another simple way to track how and how long the query execution takes, as well as how to retrieve execution plans for each time point. 

This method is especially useful in the cases when you need to generate daily reports, so you can not only automate the method but also add it to the report with minimum technical details.

In this article, we will explore an example of implementing this common performance indicator where Total Elapsed Time will serve as a metric.


Missing Indexes in MS SQL or Optimization in no Time

When executing a query, the SQL Server optimizer tries to find the best query plan based on existing indexes and available latest statistics for a reasonable time, of course, if this plan is not already stored in the server cache. If no, the query is executed according to this plan, and the plan is stored in the server cache. If the plan has already been built for this query, the query is executed according to the existing plan.

We are interested in the following issue:

During compilation of a query plan, when sorting possible indexes, if the server does not find the best index, the missing index is marked in the query plan, and the server keeps statistics on such indexes: how many times the server would use this index and how much this query would cost.


SQL Server Index Backward Scan: Understanding, Tuning

Table indexing strategy is one of the most important performance tuning and optimization keys. In SQL Server, the indexes (both, clustered and nonclustered) are created using a B-tree structure, in which each page acts as a doubly linked list node, having an information about the previous and the next pages. This B-tree structure, called Forward Scan,  makes it easier to read the rows from the index by scanning or seeking its pages from the beginning to the end. Although the forward scan is the default and heavily known index scanning method, SQL Server provides us with the ability to scan the index rows within the B-tree structure from the end to the beginning. This ability is called the Backward Scan. In this article, we will see how this happens and what are the pros and cons of the Backward scanning method. (more…)

Creating Dynamic Pivot Table with QUOTENAME Function

In my previous article on the basic pivot operator, we saw how pivot operator could be used to convert rows to columns, resulting in pivot tables. We saw that there were three main steps to create a pivot table. The first step was selecting the base data. The second step was converting the base data to a table-valued expression, and the final step involved applying a pivot operator to the temporary data, which resulted in the pivot table.