Simple PS script to copy files from one share to another

XCopy is great but sometimes you need something a little more powerful. Powershell can give you the ability to perform more complex manipulations.

Here we’re finding the previous weekday and using it to find, copy and rename a set of files into an automated regression testing environment.

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Include HTML in a SSIS Configuration File

This stumped me for a while, but a useful pointer from a colleague reminded me how this can be achieved…

Quite simply as the configuration file is XML we can use CDATA so that the content won’t be parsed. Here’s an example below:

<!-- Package replaces {SQLResults} with an HTML table showing Count by User for the last loaded date -->
<Configuration ConfiguredType="Property" Path="\Package.Variables[User::EmailBody].Properties[Value]" ValueType="String">
<ConfiguredValue>
<![CDATA["
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=us-ascii">
</head>
<body>
<div style="background-color:#fff;padding:20px;">
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
<tr>{Message}</tr>
<tr>{SQLResults}</tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>
"]]>
</ConfiguredValue>
</Configuration>

Using the CDATA attribute inside the XML nodes will allow you to add HTML or any other XML tags inside your configuration file.

What port number does my SQL Server listen on?

Looking for an easy way to know what port number your SQL Server is listening on? You can of course go to the Configuration Manager or check through the registry… but an even simpler way is to query the view SYS.DM_EXEC_CONNECTIONS which will tell you provided you’re connected over TCP/IP

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The Developer DBA toolkit

Fellow developers are often surprised at how much I use command line and xp_cmdshell. The reason for this is two fold:

  1. It saves a lot of time because it means that you don’t always have to remote on to the server to view debugging information or execute local commands. e.g. Is XYZ service running? Who’s logged on to the box? Run that SSIS package.
  2. You can view results from a different security context which is often the key for successfully debugging connectivity issues.

I always keep a script just for the purpose which I consider to be an essential part of any database developer/DBA toolkit. This is a selection of tasks that crop up again and again and will often save you a lot of time. Especially if you use xp_cmdshell.

This post list a selection of tasks that come up again and again together with the necessary command lines to speed up the process!
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A simple restore script

This is a simple script that finds all (backup) files in a directory that match a pattern specified. It then derives the database name from the filepath and attempts to do a full restore. It should be executed in SQLCMD mode.

This is a script I created purely for a continuous integration setup on my local machine. Continue reading “A simple restore script”

Get the query and execution plan for a session

A simple piece of code to help you get the execution plan and the query text for a currently running query. This is especially useful when dynamic sql is being run against your database or if DBCC InputBuffer reports that a stored procedure is being run. You can actually view the execution plan for the batch that it’s running. It works using the 2005 management views and functions.

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Disabling TDE on SQL Server 2008

Or more accurately: Preparing an encrypted TDE enabled database for restore on a Standard Edition SQL Server

I recently had the challenge of restoring an encrypted database on to a standard edition server to enable further development on the database code. It took some work, but to save you some time, I’ve listed the steps (and the T-SQL) in this article that you need to take in order to accomplish this.

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What question does this answer?

I was reading a post by BI Monkey and found myself in agreement with what he says. It also got me thinking about the wider implications of the problem of not “helping you make better decisions”.

I’d add to BI Monkey’s question with the specific question I always ask business analysts as they begin to list out the attributes they want added to a dimension in a requirements meeting. “What question does this answer?”. It’s a BI specialist’s responsibility not just to resolve the technical aspects of the requirements, but also to help steer the requirements so that something useful is delivered at the end.

I think this is one of the reasons why support from the business can fade. And without champion users in the wider business, it’s very likely that a BI implementation will be paralysed. People don’t understand the information provided and so don’t use it. Why keep funding the project if nobody uses it? Or the last (over-scoped) project took so long that the team isn’t trusted to take on new projects. Here are some scenarios…

Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)”

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SSIS – The script task junkie!

The script task in SSIS was a fantastic improvement on DTS Active X script. The reasons for this in my view are 2 fold:-

  1. Firstly, by allowing the user to code in Visual Studio it is far easier to develop and debug. Because the developer can make use of intellisense & object explorer, it means even the casual programmer can read & write code.
  2. Secondly, because we can use it to access other external .net assemblies, it provides functionality for logic that can’t be achieved using the standard SSIS components.

These are both reasons in themselves that make it a compelling choice when deciding how to develop your package logic.

However, I have noticed at both client sites and on the forums, that there are those (the script task junkies!) that use the script task in almost any scenario when it is just not necessary. It makes maintenance and support tricky at best and sometimes impossible…

Microsoft SQL Svr Developer Edtn 2008 English DVD (PC)

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Excel VBA to prevent user generated errors in SSIS

I don’t know about you, but one of the things that drives me to distraction when writing SSIS packages is being forced to use excel as a data source. I’d like to qualify that statement by adding that it’s the use of excel in the face of all reason, to do the job that other software would be better for. Unfortunately though, corporations and people being what they are, they are a fact of life for an ETL developer.

Amazon Link: Excel 2007 Power Programming with VBA (Mr. Spreadsheets Bookshelf)

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