Randomising data

I recently needed to randomise some data to keep some information secret. The idea was that it looked roughly similar to the real data, but was sufficiently different to avoid any identifying features. After discussing it with the client, it was agreed that… 1/ ID numbers would be mixed around the people in the list. Therefore, they were all real numbers (that therefore matched the rules governing what made up a legitimate number), but they would be reordered at random amongst the people. 2/ Dates would be set randomly between the minimum and maximum dates available. 3/ Strings would become … Continue reading Randomising data

Dangers of BEGIN and END

I’ve presented this material at three conferences recently, so it’s about time I wrote a blog post on it… As programmers, we love modularisation – even in the SQL space. We make stored procedures, views, and functions to encapsulate our code. This improves maintainability, simplifies the development experience, and is generally useful. But there’s a time when it’s a bad thing for SQL Server. There’s an amazing component of SQL Server called the Query Optimizer (I always want to write Optimiser, but I’m assuming it’s a proper noun and putting up with the US spelling). When we write queries in … Continue reading Dangers of BEGIN and END

Plane old trouble

Speaking at two SQL conferences in the last two months (SQL Down Under in New South Wales, and SQLBits V in Old South Wales), I’ve had some flights to do. This isn’t normally a big deal, but both times I managed to have some stress getting home. Firstly, I should point out that both conferences were really good. Very different to each other – SQL Down Under was held at a university campus in a country town, SQLBits was in a 5-star hotel with conference centre – but both great events. There’s something about having a conference with a dedicated … Continue reading Plane old trouble

StreamInsight talk coming up at SQLBits

My talk on StreamInsight is up next. I’ll try to blog more about that later. For now, I want to mention more about SQLBits itself. This is by far the largest SQL-only conference I’ve attended (I haven’t been to SQL-PASS yet), and it’s great to be involved. Yesterday I had an all-day seminar about the new items for Developers in SQL 2008. It was a good time – the delegates responded very positively, and many of them have caught up with me since. But for me, the conference is being a great way of catching up with (and meeting for … Continue reading StreamInsight talk coming up at SQLBits

SQLBits V, in Old South Wales

I recently gave a talk in New South Wales, so now I’m going to give one in Old South Wales. In Newport, to be precise. As I’ve written before, I’ve been a big fan of the SQLBits conferences that is run by many UK-based friends of mine. Unfortunately for them, they had a presenter pull out recently, and unfortunately for them, I’m going to fill in. Weather-wise, it’ll be a nice change from the scorching weather we’ve had in Adelaide recently. We’re setting new records for days over 30C here, the streak which will be broken on Monday if the … Continue reading SQLBits V, in Old South Wales

Finding the Microsoft File Transfer Manager

This is really just a reminder blog post for me. Way too often I find that I have closed the Microsoft File Transfer Manager for one reason or another, and I want to start it up again to resume some download from my MSDN Subscription. Like today, I need to grab the latest version of SQL Server 2008 R2, which includes built-in Split, RegEx and Fuzzy matching features for T-SQL (something I’ve wanted for a long time, and that I’ll blog more about later, once I’ve had a chance to try it out). It’s a large download, and not something … Continue reading Finding the Microsoft File Transfer Manager

Darryl Burling’s podcast

Seems strange to write about this, as NZ Product Manager for SharePoint, SQL Server, BizTalk and Visual Studio Darryl Burling has just announced that he’s leaving the SQL, BizTalk and Visual Studio products, replacing them with Exchange Server and Microsoft Online Services instead. A few weeks ago he started a podcast about the areas that interest him, and has done shows interesting shows about SharePoint, SQL and BizTalk so far. He’s even done one about Office Online, which I haven’t checked out yet. Darryl comes from a technical background, having moved to the Product Manager role out of the Developer … Continue reading Darryl Burling’s podcast