More Irish SQL MVPs

This month, I discovered that Ireland gained another two SQL MVPs.

Thomas Grohser is an existing SQL Server MVP who moved from his Austrian home to come work here in Ireland. He has presented on many interesting topics in Europe and I look forward to organising some presentations from him here.

While Vikas Sahni, who is a member of our own SQL Server Ireland User Group, becomes one of a small handful of people recognised as SQL Azure MVPs.

Vikas presented on his experience with SQL Azure to our user group at the end of last year and we hope to hear him speak on Powershell & SQL Server in the near future.

I look forward to hearing more from both of these.

Including Bob Duffy & myself, Ireland now has 4 SQL MVPs.


Another Very Successful Day with SQL Server Guru Kevin Kline

It was incredible to have Kevin Kline come visit our User Group in Ireland again in 2011. It was almost 4 years since Kevin completed a road show around Ireland in May, 2007, visiting Galway, Cork, Dublin, & Belfast. Unfortunately, this time he had time to visit the SQL Server Ireland User Group in Dublin only.

Hopefully, we will have an excuse to bring him over again. In particular, a visit to Cork now that Quest Software have opened new offices there. The Cork MTUG User Group, run by Joe Gill, was most disappointed that he could make it this time.

Performance optimization on SQL Server is difficult. A vast array of information exists on how to address performance problems in general. However, there is not much information on the specifics and even less information on how to apply that specific knowledge to your own environment.

In this full day event, we were fortunate to have Quest Software’s Kevin Kline explore some of the biggest challenges SQL Server professionals face in their daily lives. Kevin offered some practical knowledge and recommendations for how to improve SQL Server performance in your environment. The topics included:

· Performance troubleshooting

· Using DMVs

· SQL Injection Attacks

· Managing performance in physical and virtual environments

Thanks to Carmel Gunn, of Prodata SQL Centre of Excellence, for the photographs from the event which are found on Facebook

Presentation Notes can be found at SSIUG Skydrive and also at .

Thank you, Kevin, for another excellent event.

SQL Server Databases without Owners

Have you ever come across the following error when running exec sp_helpdb?

Server: Msg 515, Level 16, State 2, Procedure sp_helpdb, Line 53 Cannot insert the value NULL into column ”, table ”; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails. The statement has been terminated.

The next thing to check is whether the following T-SQL code returns any rows

select name from master..sysdatabases where sid is NULL

The result is those databases that are associated with owners who no longer exist (or existed another server elsewhere if the databases were restored from another server).

The solution is simple enough:

exec sp_changedbowner’sa’

Sometimes, due to orphaning, this can still fail. Just run sp_changedbowner to any valid user. Afterwards, changing it to SA should work too, if you wish. is a good blog on this particular problem.

Understanding Database Behaviour for Developers

I got home last night from my third Galway visit presenting on SQL Server to it’s local IT community.

Galway is such pretty and vibrant city and I continue to enjoy the opportunity to come and visit it albeit briefly. Despite arriving after 10pm at night, the city showed no signs of quieting down and it was a pleasure to amble the streets from the train station to the hotel (though doing so with 2 laptops is not so good for the spine).

My last visit was also in April two years earlier when I presented on the Accidental DBA for the first time and this proved to be an extremely popular topic ever since.

This was my second time presenting “Understanding Database Behaviour for Developers” which was first presented to my own SQL Server Ireland User Group on February 15th 2011.

Using the feedback from the first event, I spent the last week tuning the presentation, adding more & clearer examples as T-SQL scripts and removing as much code as possible from the slides. I also tried to improve the story flow which was a bit too disjointed for my liking originally.

The changes appear to have worked with many more questions and “what-if” scenarios coming from the audience. They say the presenters should never write code in a presentation but some questions were effectively answered by testing it out together there and then. These new cases have been added to my presentation notes.

It was my first time presenting to the local Information Technology Association Galway (aka ITAG) and it’s leader, Damien Joyce, was both friendly and extremely helpful.

I would be happy to return again. The ITAG event details are found at

My presentation notes can be found at!111&type=6&Bsrc=EMSHHM&Bpub=SN.Notifications

Moving to WordPress

Today, I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I have nothing against Blogger and has served me well over the years. It is just that I rarely use Google for much else and I wanted to integrate and control my online presence more easily.

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