Tim Ford

Tim
R.
Ford
Owner,
SQL Cruise

Tim Ford is Senior SQL Server Database Administrator at Survey Monkey, the owner of SQL Cruise, and a senior contributing editor to SQL Server Pro. He's a data professional, author, and community leader whose technical passions lie in creative solutions for managing and presenting data with more than 15 years of experience as a healthcare database administrator, architect, team leader and consultant. Ford is an advocate for proper design, performance, and security in that sphere of information technology where "good data" truly does save lives.

Currently on the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Board of Directors, Ford has oversight of the SQLSaturday program bringing free SQL Server, business intelligence, business analytics, Powershell, Excel, and professional development training to global audiences. Ford regularly provides content on database-related topics, professional development sciences and general technology commentary for SQL Server Pro, MSSQLTips, Simple-Talk, SQLServerCentral, and his own site, thesqlagentman.com.  

He's authored a book on Dynamic Management Objects with Louis Davidson and provides commentary and content in his own voice (and in 140 character bursts) on Twitter as @sqlagentman. Also, follow Ford on Google+.

Articles
How to Share Management Studio Templates
It's not possible to change the template directory in any version of SQL Server Management Studio which means sharing any custom templates you create between team members or different devices you own is not possible... out of the box that is. Tim Ford, the world's biggest advocate for SQL Server templates and how they allow you to be a lazier AND more powerful DBA in one fell swoop explains how you can overcome these obstacles to share your templates across devices and installs of Micrsosoft SQL Server.
SQL Server 2016 SP1 CU2 Released
The latest cumulative update for Microsoft's flagship data platform, SQL Server 2016, has been released. Learn more about how to obtain the latest update as well as the new source page for updates on Microsoft SQL Server now.
Parsing Denormalized Strings with the STRING_SPLIT Function in SQL Server 2016 2
There is a new string parsing function available to you if you're dealing with SQL Server 2016 databases.
Quickly Identify Database and File Sizing for Any SQL Server Instance
I frequently find myself needing to see the sizing information for my SQL Server databases or their files. I also need to periodically check to ensure I've the right auto grow settings enabled to meet best practices when I engage with a new client. I've created a single script that does this and I want to share it with my readers.
2017 Training Resolutions from the SQL Cruise Technical Leads

Granted calendars as we know them are subjective and not all cultures honor the same calendar but we are at that time of the year that is known for setting resolutions for the coming twelve months and I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see what some of the Thought Leaders in SQL Server (and the broader Microsoft Data Platform) are planning on spending time learning this year.

Call for Speakers for 2017 IT/Dev Connections Extended Until February 20, 2017

The 2017 IT/Dev Connections conference is coming to San Francisco, CA after many years in Las Vegas, NV. This year's conference takes place October 23-26, 2017 at the Hilton Union Square in the heart of the San Francisco Financial District. As in years past there will be tracks covering:

Introduction to the Availability Group Dynamic Management Objects in SQL Server 2016

Availability Groups – a hybrid of SQL Server Database Mirroring and Windows Failover Clustering – are becoming the de-facto standard for implementation of high availability solutions for Microsoft SQL Server. While the learning curve can be steep it’s also a fairly short learning curve.

Replacement Release for SQL Server Management Studio 16.5.2 is Available
Earlier this month Microsoft released version 16.5.2 of SQL Server Management Studio. Customers identified issues with the release causing Microsoft to pull the download. The replacement is now available.
SQL Server Management Studio Version 16.5.2 Now Available for Download 2
The latest release from the SQL Server product group at Microsoft has just gone public and is available for download today. Read on to see what has changed.
Identifying SQL Server Logins without Default Database Users
Have you run into a connection issue in SQL Server where you have a valid login and password yet still can't connect to the database? It may be because your login doesn't have a user assignment in its default database (whether that this the database you're querying or not.) Read on to see how this happens and how to identify and correct it.
Identifying Logins with Default Database Connectivity Issues in SQL Server
You've a valid login and password. You've rights to the database you're trying to query. You've verified the sids (unique identifier for a SQL Server login and a database user) match. That's all that is needed to run a query on your database given you have no network issues between you and the database server right? Wrong. In this article Tim Ford looks at another way in which you or your customers may not be able to reach their data and provides a script for identifying those logins that may be involved.
How Old Are Your Backups? 4
Do you want a quick view into how old your backups are or if you're missing any backups on your SQL Server instances? Here is a query for determining just that.
Querying Secure Information from a Restored Master Database Backup
I was recently asked if it was possible to get security information from a restored copy of the SQL Server master database. This article touches on just how easy it is to get information about that and other things from a restored copy of master and without rights in the original master database.
SQL Server IO Analysis Part 1
The SQL Server Dynamic Management Objects provide a wealth of information about performance within the internal structures of Microsoft SQL Server. In this series Tim Ford will start with identifying the base Dynamic Management Function involved in collecting IO baselines. In subsequent articles in this series he'll expose collection, benchmarking, statistical analysis and reporting of the metadata collected for use in root cause analysis as well as in refuting misconceptions about performance issues rooting themselves in "poor storage performance rather than burdensome untuned queries.
Quick T/SQL Tip: Parsing Drive and File Information in SQL Server 1

Parsing full physical file names for information is one of those tasks a Database Administrator finds they do on a semi-frequent basis; from looking up SQL Agent Job output paths or reviewing database file metadata.  Recently, I found myself updating a SQL Server Reporting Services report which provides SQL Agent Job failure history to the DBA Team.  I was adding functionality that would include the output file for any job hitting the report.  This allows the DBA to troubleshoot the failure details without having to navigate to the job on the instance and pull

Comments
Parsing Denormalized Strings with the STRING_SPLIT Function in SQL Server 2016
March 23, 2017

Thanks! I thought I caught all those. For some reason SPLIT_SCREEN started registering in my head as I was writing the article.

SQL Server Management Studio Version 16.5.2 Now Available for Download
January 26, 2017

I've received the following information directly from the program group at Microsoft: "We had a customer report an issue that our perf fixes for OE table nodes has an issue...

Identifying Orphaned Logins
January 5, 2017

I'm always looking for ideas for articles. I just saw this comment and will write something up specifically to address this question for you Shankar. Stay tuned. Will get it...

How Old Are Your Backups?
January 5, 2017
Hi David and happy new year to you as well. I'm making use of template parameters in the script in the area you're referring to. To better understand template params check out...
What Every Accidental DBA Needs to Know Now: Backups
September 13, 2016

Thank you for such a kind comment. You don't know how we authors appreciate the feedback. Usually we feel we just send these articles out into the wild and never hear anything...

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