An honor to be among the SQL Server MVPs

I just found out last night that I was officially awarded SQL MVP.  I am honored to be among those that I respect and admire. 

I don’t contribute for the recognition and as a former MVP Lead I know the caliber of those that contribute to the SQL Server community, and even those that are not MVP, I am grateful for those of you who have helped me get where I am in SQL Server land.

I just wanted to say thanks to the SQL Community for the support and also to Microsoft for this award.

Here’s to a great 2011 and hope to see you MVPs at the Summit in February.
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I am loving Office 2010

I have installed Office 2010 and found that Office OneNote is included in the Office 2010 Professional Plus. It is a very nice Suite of products and is very clean and polished.

The thing I love most is the improved version of Outlook. It is now in the same realm as the other products in the Office Suite. I am anxious to use the Powerpoint 2010 to do a presentation next Monday.

Happy trails.

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The Best Thing I Learned at PASS

SQL Server

Being that I have never missed a PASS Summit yet (in the US), I thought I would share my experience about last PASS and previous PASS conferences.

I attended a Pre-Con with Kalen Delaney on Query Tuning and Plan Guides. I also remember sessions last PASS that were very relevant to my job. Each year that I attend PASS, I find that there is more to know and there is more to learn from many that are there to present.

I was pleased that when I got home each time, I applied my learning directly to my job. I remembered the Plan Guides day, and ironically while troubleshooting some performance issues with a database, found that I could leverage plan guides for a specific query, and it worked as Kalen illustrated. It actually saved many queries from bloating the plan cache, and was pretty helpful. But I had not done anything at that time with Plan Guides, so the topic and the time spent was very timely.

The other topics included Powershell and Wait Stats and Wait Types. The more practical sessions are very helpful and very applicable to my job as a DBA and manager mentoring DBAs. I can only say that I still plan attending all the SQL PASS Summits in the US. One day I hope to attend one outside of the US, but for now, the value of these Summits in networking, vendor introductions and all out knowledge transfer is worth every minute spent for me.

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Windows 7 is pretty cool

I have downloaded Windows 7 and installed the x64 version on my Dell Latitude D820 last week. My experience is this:

4 GB, Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, 200 GB – 7200 RPM drive.

Install: < 30 minutes from CD in drive to Login
Boot-up: < 20 seconds from Off to Login

The only thing I found wierd is that when I went to join my domain at home, I had to configure my network card to have the IP Address and to have the domain name as the default connection DNS suffix. Then I could join my domain, otherwise, it would give me an error and I could go no farther. (bug)

The other thing is that when I was away from my network and had no network connectivity, it logged in very fast (something that Vista is not doing for me).

The other things in the UI as far as grouping or Libraries, and the concept of a Home Network group was pretty cool.

Anyway, my experience has been good, I have installed Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 and SQL 2008 on the laptop and VS 2008 launches amazingly fast and SQL 2008 runs well too.
Overall, I give this a 9 for experience, as I have burned a DVD from ISO with no additional software or anything and it all worked. The only thing I wish that it has was the ability to browse an ISO and use it as a drive without another piece of software. I installed MagicDisc on the machine and it hung everything when I went to access the DVD ISO.

Have fun with it, I plan on taking it through the motions.

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GP 10 and eConnect and RMTransaction


I have been working on a project that involves eConnect 10 for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.  The documentation exists, but is very sparse when it comes to specifics about using the interface.

When using the RM transactions and distributions, the first bite that we had was that there is a property in the taRMTransaction called CREATEDIST and by default it is set to 1 and you need to ensure that it is set to 0 if you are creating your distributions yourself, which in this case I am.

More to follow on the process of this so that there is at least some documentation on the web about how to do it entirely.

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Vista SP1 on x64


I have installed SP1 on my Dell Lattitude D820 with Vista Ultimate x64 on it. It is quite a bit more snappy in the internet browsing, and the OS seems to not be so sluggish.

I don’t have any more than that as I just installed it, but thought I would share that the install took about 45 minutes to apply, and all is well so far. I will keep my blog up to date with any things that I notice are different.

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Vista and IIS and ASP

I was doing a project and it involved ASP connecting to SQL Server. Now this was a script that was being snipped, so there was a potential of having script errors. So I went through the following ordeal and found that there was a configuration that would help me to be effective in troubleshooting my errors.

Here’s the scenario. This ASP page was created and I made sure that I enabled ASP in the IIS 7 configuration (Turn Windows Features On or Off in Control Panel, and IIS, and ASP). Then I saved the ASP page to inetpubwwwroot since I did not change the default directory. I then ran the page, and in IE7 it gives me this “Page Cannot be Displayed” error or something like that, and so I then went into the Tools | Options and Advanced tab, and turned off “Show Friendly Http Error messages”. Now I see “An error occurred on the server when processing the URL. Please contact the system administrator”. I could not tell where this was coming from because I did not have that sentence in my code.

So I went hunting. I came across someone who went into the IIS Manager and you see in the Group By Area group in the bottom of the manager, “ASP”. If you double click on that icon, you get the following window (now notice I circled the options, the Debugging Options), and that phrase is in the line “Script Error Message”. So no matter what the message as long as the option “Send Errors to Browser” as false, you always get the above message. So when you set that option to “True”, then you will get the original messages to show up in your browser.

Vista IIS Manager

To recap on how to get ASP to show you the error messages in the browser in IIS 7:

1) Enable ASP in the Turn Windows Features on or off
2) Open IIS 7 Manager and go to the ASP icon and double-click it.
3) Expand the Debugging properties
4) Make the “Send Errors to Browser” = True so that error messages come to the browser.

Hope that helps anyone running into this problem.

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SQL PASS 2007 has concluded

SQL Server

I went to the SQL PASS 2007 Summit this past week, and I have to say that this was one of the best ones I have been to. I went to a pre-conference session with Kalen Delaney on Managing and the Reuse of Query Plans. Everything that I learned, I could use in my current work. That was very important for me as a new DBA in a project that needed this information.

Thanks to all speakers who took the time to put together presentations for us to learn from.

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Error in SQL (Error: 17806, Error: 18452) SSPI Problem

I recently came across this while managing a clustered SQL Server. There were various messages listed out on forums, etc., but for me we found that the error was originating because we have DNS issues and Domain Controllers (DC) was unreachable due to a network switch configuration problem.

So if you see these errors, you may see in the EventLog a NetLogon error relating to not being able to reach a domain controller to login, and you will get the error below because the DC is the one that hands the Kerberos token to the process for use in SSPI related activities.

Logon,Unknown,Error: 17806 Severity: 20 State: 2.
Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user ”. The user is not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection. [CLIENT: IPAddress] Logon,Unknown,Error: 18452 Severity: 14 State: 1.
Logon,Unknown,SSPI handshake failed with error code 0x80090311 while establishing a connection with integrated security; the connection has been closed.

Good luck and have a great SQL day.

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Working with SSIS in SQL Server 2005

I thought I would document my exploits in SQL Server SSIS 2005 conversion of DTS packages and the scheduling.

I had a DTS package that used the ProtectionLevel “Encrypt Sensitive Data with User Key” that I did not design or create. When I migrated them from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005, I used BI studio to bring them to the file system and then modify them in SSIS and put them back into SQL 2005 into a SSIS Store.

What I did not realize is that when you have the Encrypt with User Key, in 2005 the only option to run an SSIS package is to run it as SQL Server Agent, which in our case is running as Local System. Now the User Key would not be the same as the one that created it, nor would it have Admin rights (per se) to be part of Administrators Group to run this package.

I went about looking for the solution and found a KB article (918760) that indicates that I can put it in a SQL Server storage protection level and then it would use SQL Server roles to get the data out of encryption.

I promptly went into the BI Studio and opened the package and tried to change the protection level to SQL Server Storage and it would not let me save the package because it could not verify that it was secure. But there is no way to put it into SQL Server Storage to use that Protection Level. So I had to change it to Encrypt SensitiveInfo with Password.

Here is the fun part.

I went into BI studio and Added a Package from SSIS store (because the packages were already in there) and then modified the option and then saved it. What I did not know was that it saved it to the file system and did not save it back to the SSIS Store, so the package still failed to run under SQL Agent.

I figured out that I still needed to import it into the SSIS store and I did so, but it still would not run. I could not figure out why, but then after digging and looking at all the options, I saw this dialog and decided to click on the button circled.
SSIS Import Package

I put the password into the package and then saved it out to the File System, then imported it into SSIS Store. I needed to schedule this package to run and so I went into SQL Agent jobs and created a job with a step that indicated to run an SSIS Package. I knew that I had to specify a password so I looked up the dtexec utility page and found the /DECRYPT option. Now here is what threw me. I thought that in the first place that BI Studio saved the package or that the import of the package saved the option of Encrypt with Password option so I went into the CommandLines tab and edited the option and put in /DECRYPT with the password in the Edit Manually option, and then clicked OK. I ran the package and it worked. Well I found out later that it had not, but another weird part is that when I edited the job step the option in CommandLines was set back to Restore original options and I did not see the DECRYPT option in the window below.

So I battled over this for a while, then tried the import again and clicked on the dialog button to change the protection level and chose the Password option, set the password and then it imported. After doing this I changed the job and an interesting thing happened. It prompted me for the password for the package this time. I went into the Commandlines and it did not show any difference, but I went ahead and left it.

I found out that the DECRYPT option was in the CommandLines window, but there was no password specified, which means that it was hiding it from the UI, which is OK I guess, but I had never seen it in there saved before when I manually edited it.

I also found out that when I right clicked on the job and scripted it as CREATE to a new query window, that the option in Command showed the DECRYPT option with the password I specified when I created the Job Step.

So wild stuff and I have survived and the job actually runs now under SQL Agent so I am happy now. Just more wiser too as I spent a great amount of time working this one out.

Sorry if this does not make complete sense. I wanted to get this out now so that I did not forget it.
Have fun and I will have more SSIS stuff to share after the next couple of days.

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