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Sharing my knowlege about SQL Server Troubleshooing Skills

Speaking at GIDS 2014 – My Sessions Detail

Posted by blakhani on April 22, 2014

As a part of my knowledge sharing passion, this week I would be speaking at The Great Indian Developer Conference (GIDS). With over 25000 attendees benefiting over six game changing editions, GIDS is the gold standard for India’s software developer ecosystem. Here are the details.

Event Date: April 22-25, 2014 (Tuesday-Friday)
Event Location: J. N. Tata Auditorium
National Science Symposium Complex (NSSC)
Sir C.V.Raman Avenue, Bangalore, India

The location of the event (IISc, Bangalore) is close to my heart as I have done my M.Tech. (1999 Aerospace batch) from there. I have my sweet memories associated. If I get time, I would go and meet my professors.

This year, I have two sessions lined up in GIDS DATA & TUTORIALS Day – Friday, April 25th

Lazy Commit Like NoSQL with SQL Server

45 mins | GIDS.DATA | Conference | 14:05-14:50 (Apr 25)

With every release of SQL Server there is something new that gets added into the product that we rarely notice. One of this capability is to differ on commit data to persistent disk. SQL Server has always used the Write Ahead Logging a.k.a WAL for ages together to maintain consistency. With new innovations coming into picture, we wanted to expand on a slightly different behavior which most of the NoSQL databases claim, lazy commit. For highly transactional systems or systems that are getting into a bottleneck because of WAL process at the IO subsystem. this feature will greatly help. There are tons of caveats that come as part of this implementation and in this session we will do a quick tour on how this can be achieved. We will also talk about the capability of having a data on a completely non-durable mode and just into memory based structure. These new capabilities are fun to work with and have unique scenarios which we can enable for modern applications and SQL Server 2014.

Hidden Secrets and Gems of SQL Server We Bet You Never Knew

150 mins | GIDS.Tutorials | Conference |  15:00-17:45 (Apr 25)

It really amazes us every time when someone says SQL Server is an easy tool to handle and work with. Microsoft has done an amazing work in making working with complex relational database a breeze for developers and administrators alike. Though it looks like child’s play for some, the realities are far away from this notion. The basics and fundamentals though are simple and uniform across databases, the behavior and understanding the nuts and bolts of SQL Server is something we need to master over a period of time. With a collective experience of more than 30+ years amongst the speakers on databases, we will try to take a unique tour of various aspects of SQL Server and bring to you life lessons learnt from working with SQL Server. We will share some of the trade secrets of performance, configuration, new features, tuning, behaviors, T-SQL practices, common pitfalls, productivity tips on tools and more.
This is a highly demo filled session for practical use if you are a SQL Server developer or Administrator. The speakers will be able to stump you and give you answers on almost everything inside the Relational database called SQL Server.

Above is the first session done by Pinal, Vinod and myself on the stage! I am really excited about that.

Along with me, my dear friends Pinal (b|t) and Vinod (b|t) would also be speaking at GIDS. Here is the list of sessions by them on their blog.
Vinod –

If you are coming to event, find me and don’t hesitate to say hello.


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SQL 2014 Learning Series # 6 – New Feature – Incremental Statistics (Part 2)

Posted by blakhani on April 17, 2014

In part 1 of Incremental Statistics, we saw demo about “CREATE STATISTICS …INCREMENTAL = ON” and “UPDATE STATISTICS… RESAMPLE ON PARTITIONS(9, 10). As I mentioned in the closing note of last post, there are few more places where syntax has been enhanced. So, we would cover those in this post.

ALTER DATABASE in SQL 2014 provides an option for auto-stats to be created on incremental basis. Here is the command.

ALTER DATABASE [AdventureWorks2014]

UPDATE STATISTICS also has clause INCREMENTAL ON|OFF. Why? When we specify ON, per partition statistics are recreated whereas OFF would drop existing statistics and recompute the statistics. 

UPDATE STATISTICS Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo (IncrementalStatsDemo)

To identify whether a statistics is created as with incremental or not, we can use catalog view sys.stats. In SQL Server 2014 a new column is_incremental has been introduced.

UPDATE STATISTICS Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo(IncrementalStatsDemo)
select * from sys.stats where is_incremental = 1
UPDATE STATISTICS Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo(IncrementalStatsDemo)
select * from sys.stats where is_incremental = 1

In first select query output, we should see IncrementalStatsDemo and since we turned it off later, the second select should not show the output.


There are some error messages which you should be aware of.

Msg 9111, Level 16, State 1, Line 1

UPDATE STATISTICS ON PARTITIONS syntax is not supported for non-incremental statistics.

Msg 9108, Level 16, State 1, Line 1

This type of statistics is not supported to be incremental.

First error is self-explanatory. If we attempt to update traditional statistics and provide partition clause, we would get first error. Second error is more generic and can be caused in various situation. Books online motioned those limitation here. I am pasting them below.

<Snip from books online>

Incremental stats are not supported for following statistics types:

  • Statistics created with indexes that are not partition-aligned with the base table.
  • Statistics created on AlwaysOn readable secondary databases.
  • Statistics created on read-only databases.
  • Statistics created on filtered indexes.
  • Statistics created on views.
  • Statistics created on internal tables.
  • Statistics created with spatial indexes or XML indexes.

</Snip from books online>

Hope this blog helped you in learning new feature.

  • Cheers,
  • Balmukund Lakhani
  • Twitter @blakhani
  • Author: SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOnPaperback, Kindle
  • Posted in SQL 2014 Learning Series, SQL Server 2014 | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

    SQL 2014 Learning Series # 5 – New Feature – Incremental Statistics (Part 1)

    Posted by blakhani on April 15, 2014

    Many times you might have to update the statistics (index stats or normal stats) with fullscan, either manually or via scheduled job. If the table is large then time taken would be considerably huge because it has to scan each and every record of the table. Let’s assume that we have created partitions on the table and we only modified data for one partition. Earlier version of SQL didn’t offer any choice to update statistics only for one partition. Only choice we had was “FULLSCAN”.

    To overcome this, SQL Server 2014 introduced “INCREMENTAL” keyword under Create Statistics. As per books online “When ON, the statistics created are per partition statistics. When OFF, stats are combined for all partitions. The default is OFF.”

    To have some sample data, I have downloaded base AdventureWorks sample database from:

    I have restored it in SQL Server 2014 and named as AdventureWorks2014. I would be playing around with [AdventureWorks2014].[Production].[TransactionHistoryArchive] table which has transactions from 2005-05-17 to 2007-08-31. I have created quarterly partition.

    Use AdventureWorks2014;
    CREATE partition FUNCTION [QuarterlyDate](datetime) AS range LEFT FOR VALUES ( 
    N'2005-05-01T00:00:00', N'2005-08-01T00:00:00', N'2005-11-01T00:00:00', 
    N'2006-02-01T00:00:00', N'2006-05-01T00:00:00', N'2006-08-01T00:00:00', 
    N'2006-11-01T00:00:00', N'2007-02-01T00:00:00', N'2007-05-01T00:00:00', 
    N'2007-08-01T00:00:00', N'2007-11-01T00:00:00'); 
    CREATE partition scheme [TransactionDatePS] AS partition [QuarterlyDate] TO ( 
    CREATE TABLE Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo(
        TransactionID int NOT NULL,
        ProductID int NOT NULL,
        ReferenceOrderID int NOT NULL,
        ReferenceOrderLineID int NOT NULL, 
        TransactionDate datetime NOT NULL,
        TransactionType nchar(1) NOT NULL,
        Quantity int NOT NULL,
        ActualCost money NOT NULL,
        ModifiedDate datetime NOT NULL)
    ON TransactionDatePS(TransactionDate);

    Now, I am going to populate partitioned table. To show before and after effect, we would populate only one partition at this point. Since our PF is defined as “LFET” which mean boundary value would go to left side. If I have to populate 8th partition, the range would be TransactionDate > N’2006-11-01T00:00:00′ and TransactionDate <= N’2007-02-01T00:00:00′. Here is the query to dump data into newly created table.

    INSERT INTO Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo
    SELECT * FROM Production.TransactionHistoryArchive
    WHERE TransactionDate > N'2006-11-01T00:00:00' and 
    TransactionDate <= N'2007-02-01T00:00:00'

    (10324 row(s) affected). Now, let’s look at partitions

    SELECT * FROM sys.partitions
      WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID('Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo');



    As expected, we have 10324 rows in 8th partition. Use below to create “incremental” statistics. Notice that I have added new clause which is available in SQL Server 2014.

    CREATE STATISTICS IncrementalStatsDemo 
    ON Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo (TransactionDate) 

    Execute DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS command to look at histogram

    DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS('Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo', IncrementalStatsDemo)
    with histogram



    Added more rows to different partition

    INSERT INTO Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo
    SELECT * FROM Production.TransactionHistoryArchive
    WHERE TransactionDate > N'2007-02-01T00:00:00' and 
    TransactionDate <= N'2007-08-01T00:00:00'

    (27318 row(s) affected)


    UPDATE STATISTICS Production.TransactionHistoryArchive_IncrementalDemo (IncrementalStatsDemo)
    with resample ON PARTITIONS(9, 10)

    Now, lets look at stats again.


    If we compare with earlier histogram image, the highlighted range was at step 81 earlier which has moved to step 60 now and Total number of steps have increased to 192 (as compared to 81 earlier). This means that update statistics command has read those partitions which were specified (9 and 10) and merged with earlier created statistics. As per books online “ON PARTITIONS – Forces the leaf-level statistics covering the partitions specified in the ON PARTITIONS clause to be recomputed, and then merged to build the global statistics. WITH RESAMPLE is required because partition statistics built with different sample rates cannot be merged together.”

    There is more to cover because there are various syntax added on different places. In next blog, I would cover those.

    Stay tuned.

  • Cheers,
  • Balmukund Lakhani
  • Twitter @blakhani
  • Author: SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOnPaperback, Kindle
  • Posted in SQL 2014 Learning Series | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »


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