Monday, 28 January 2019

Is Data the World's Most Precious Resource?

The James Bond film Quantum of Solace discussed that water is the world's most precious resource …!

Interesting to see that Data is now number two then!

#data #databases #sql

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

To Page 1 of Google in 48 hours!

For those who read this blog and don’t know … I also own a Martial Arts business ( if you’re interested).

About 8 years ago it was growing rapidly, with new students turning up every week … mostly due to a google search.

I then moved into a larger premises … with more overheads … and then something strange happened. The leads stopped … there were some new schools in the area and they were getting the new leads. And i must admit I was slow to figure out why (becoming a father for the first time being one of the reasons I dropped the ball).

Finally, I decided to do a search on Google for what I assumed was the most common search phrase for my business, I was shocked to find that I was on page 2 of the results … how could this be? There were only 3 or 4 gyms in the same area with what I offered!

I had to figure it out … so I went back to study and learned how to rank in Google. I watched videos, and read books. And in one those I found the most useful information. It was a tiny book too .. only about 100 pages and cost less than $20.

But what it contained was gold … I completely re-did the website, and followed the other instructions. Within 3 months I was back, and not just on Page 1, but either ranking 1 or 2 depending on the actual words entered into Google.

Fast forward to today, and my gym runs itself which allows me to focus on my IT business. With my new focus now on SQL Server, I have to make sure that “sql server expert sydney” ranks high.

No word of a lie … it has taken me 48 hours to go from Page 3, to Page 1 for this search phrase. And without spending any money!

If you want me to help with your business’ #SEO then contact me at … but here’s a FREE tip .. Google is a #database. Yes, it’s bloody huge, but a database is a database. And not many people in Sydney know more about databases than I do …  😉
Here is the "before" image, where the phrase is on Page 3
And now here is the "after" on Page 1, about half-way down. Soon it'll be #1, you watch!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

How to be Big Brother in Microsoft SQL Server!!!

A few years ago I was working as a SQL Developer at a large company in Sydney’s CBD. Although an established business, the environment was relaxed and based on many of the “start-up” type businesses which you see around today. For example the office was filled with comfortable lounge chairs and TVs everywhere, plus an on-site barista and cafe.

Of the roughly 120 staff in the Sydney office, over 100 would have been in IT, with probably 20 teams spread across everything from mobile web and app development, to myself in the database team and 3 or 4 full-time SQL DBAs.

As one of only a handful of people who had access to the production SQL environment, and the ability to view and change the production data, I would often get tickets in regards to importing or exporting data.

One day a request came in for me to import some data from Excel, and then use it to update some records.

To assist with this, I used the SQL Server Import And Export Wizard to import this data from Excel into a new table.

Within minutes of me doing this, my phone rang. It was the senior DBA. Ie, the man who all the database programmers and DBAs reported to.

His question was simple … “why did you just create a new table on a production database?”.

Even though I had all the boxes ticked from the testing team, and another senior manager (for which this task required) ... for whatever reason he didn’t see the authorisation and wanted to know what I was doing. When I explained it to him, he approved it and had no issue with what I was doing. But … it got me thinking … how did he know?

Not long after, I’m at a smaller company and am THE DBA when I notice that a .net programmer had snuck in some DDL changes into a release script. Once released into production, it caused some issues that did not appear in UAT. It was a lesson for me in that I needed to performance test the changes that came through via the developers.

As it was a smaller company (especially in terms of IT resources), I now wanted to keep more of an eye on what the .Net programmers were doing. And it reminded me of what happened to me earlier at my previous role - how did my boss know I made DDL changes almost immediately?

I soon discovered that you can setup what is known as Server Triggers.

There are many examples on sites such as stack overflow on how to set these up, so I won’t bother with typing the exact steps. But in short all you do is enable SQL Mail, and then create Server Triggers which are fired from the system tables. From the event which is fired, call a stored procedure which then writes the changes to an audit log (along with who did it, assuming you're using Windows Authentication) and also sends you an email.

Simply do this on whichever SQL Instance you wish to monitor and you too can play Big Brother and keep an eye on any cowboy developers! Personally, from now on I always do this on all UAT and Production instances. Often the Dev instances have too many changes made and I feel that if I get too many emails coming through saying “DDL change” then they become lost in my inbox of other alerts. But when I get one saying change(s) in UAT or production, then I can investigate … and if necessary get out the proverbial big stick!

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Database Example - How Qantas is going to know your every move ... with your permission!

Want to collect your customers' data?

Qantas is paying in Frequent Flyer Points to find out more about you.

With this #App, you earn points by telling Qantas what you do, and where you go!

(Not saying it's ethical, but the lawyers have made it permissible)

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Friday, 4 January 2019

Brad Sugars explains this so well ...!

This 3 minute video is the perfect example of how the combination of a #database, and mobile #app, are required for all #businesses in 2019.

At I type this, I'll be at our HQ in #Caringbah until 4pm, so if you want to come in for a chat, please do!