Your Ten Favorite Blog Posts from 2019

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Here are the 2019 posts you visited the most this year:

10. The Silent Bug I Find in Most Triggers – Once you know how to recognize this bug, you’ll see it everywhere. I wrote the post as an interactive Azure Data Studio notebook, something I thought I’d be doing a lot in 2019, but the lack of execution plan support in notebooks put the kibosh on that one. I don’t expect Microsoft to solve that anytime soon – there can’t be a lot of us who need query plan support in notebooks, just presenters. (I’m not being sarcastic there – the number of presenters who would use ADS for this kind of thing is really, really tiny compared to the number of, say, data scientists who use ADS daily. I love ADS and use it daily myself.)

9. Should we use stored procedures or queries built in the app? – Client DBAs ask this one a lot because they believe if they simply require untrained developers to start writing T-SQL instead of using ORMs, the queries will somehow magically be instantly faster, as if developers are just going to naturally write fast T-SQL.

8. SSMS v18 and Azure Data Studio: The Golden Age of SQL Server Tooling – How the hell did this end up in the top 10?!?

7. [Video] What’s New in SQL Server 2019 – When SQL Server 2014 released, the cardinality estimation changes caused legendary surprises for early adopters, especially the ones who didn’t test their workloads. (I get it – workload testing is hard.) As 2019 approached, I thought, “Can I write a demo for SQL Saturday attendees that will prevent a similar problem with 2019’s new engine features by teaching them while making them laugh?” This session went over really well at SQL Saturdays, so I figured I’d record it for the blog.

Big tequila

6. Free SQL Server Load Testing Tools – Everyone thinks they wanna load test their SQL Server until they realize how freakin’ hard it is. Classic example: try load testing a query with a DELETE in it, and it’s only gonna really show load one time before you have to reset the database.

5. What’s Better, CTEs or Temp Tables? – I field this question constantly.

4. How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine, Post 1 – This fall, I took my Engine presentation videos series and wrote them out as blog posts. I’ll also rerecord these with better A/V quality in 2020.

3. There’s a bottleneck in Azure SQL DB storage throughput. – When I discovered this, I mostly just wanted to document it for other Azure users so they understood why they weren’t getting the performance they wanted. Some blog posts are evergreen – always growing in popularity because they’re timeless topics. This one, not so much – it got a lot of attention (including from Microsoft) right when it went live, but then tapered off over time:

2. Which version of SQL Server should you use? – I put a ton of work into this one, and have already updated it since 2019 went live. This is an example of a more evergreen topic where traffic grows over time.

1. How to fix the error “String or binary data would be truncated” – If you ask Google a question, and if it thinks it can give you a snippet of text from a search result as the answer, then it displays that answer directly in your search results, like this:

You can write blog posts specifically for that kind of search optimization, so I decided to give that a shot with this blog post about the string or binary data error. In one way, the experiment worked – it got a lot of hits – but I forgot to follow up later to see if the right snippet showed up as an answer in Google’s results. It didn’t:

Ah, well. Gives me something to play around with in 2020.

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