Tim Ford

SQL Cruise

Tim Ford is an independent consultant and the owner of SQL Cruise. He's a data professional, author, and community leader whose technical passions lie in creative solutions for managing and presenting data with 15 years of experience as a healthcare database administrator, architect, and team leader. Tim 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, Tim has oversight of the SQLSaturday program bringing free SQL Server, business intelligence, business analytics, Powershell, Excel, and professional development training to global audiences. Tim 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 Tim on Google+.

5 Reasons Against Allowing db_owner Role Permissions
As someone who has had to implement independent software vendor-developed (aka "purchased") solutions with a foundation in SQL Server for over 15 years I cringe whenever I see that the vendor requires db_owner role permissions for the end users.
4 Methods of Identifying Connections Count in SQL Server
Recently I received a question about finding out how many connections were associated with a SQL Server instance. The answers really depend upon which version of SQL Server we're talking about.
17 Questions Every SQL DBA Should Ask Before Supporting a New Third-Party Database 3
17 questions every production DBA should ask to ensure that the architecture that surrounds the new database is appropriate, complete and as minimal as necessary to accomplish the correct level of support and service.
Identifying Indexes on a Table
During performance tuning it's frequently necessary to determine if there are better indexing options to satisfy the query you're tuning but at the same time ensuring you're not going to make matters worse overall. That usually means you need to know what indexes already exist on a table. Here is a quick script you can use immediately to give you that information.
Reactive Learning and Relevancy for the Accidental DBA
When learning new skills and technologies is knowledge enough? Tim Ford asserts that relevancy in your organization is a critical piece to learning successfully.
Free Tools for SQL Server Professionals
Looking for free SQL Server tools? Do you want recommendations from leaders in the SQL Community? Look no further than this summary from the panel discussion held this year at the Dev/IT Connections Conference in Las Vegas where that question was posed to the panelists.
Enhancing SQL Agent Notifications
SQL Agent has certain limitations but they can usually be overcome given a bit of simple ingenuity. Join Tim as he shows you how to get SQL Agent to speak to a wider audience when needed.
Important Soft Skills for the Entry-Level Data Professional 1
When hiring for an entry-level data professional role, you don't have the same technical benchmarks to measure prospective candidates against compared to when you're looking to fill higher-level technical roles.
Returning Column Metadata for a Specific Table 1
The SQL Server Community uses Twitter quite efficiently—and just yesterday, through the use of the #sqlhelp hashtag—one community member had their question answered, and I came up with this article as a result.
My Query is (Not) Waiting Because of Parallelism?
I recently received a frantic email from a team member stating their query was suspended because of parallelism. Let's talk about why that's probably not true.
Column Cardinality, Statistics, and Query Plans: Order Can Matter
When it comes to proper statistics, and therefore, proper use of indexes to satisfy queries against your SQL Server databases, order can matter and I'll show you why!
Identifying Details of Active Cursors
Recently, I was digging my way through a really nasty set of trace results from SQL Profiler when I ran across a series of commands that only provided insight into the fact that cursors were being employed.
SQL Server master files
One SQL Server Catalog View to Rule Them All
Have you ever wanted to query multiple databases on a SQL Server instance in order to return information about it's data and log files yet didn't want to deal with undocumented stored procedures to do so? If that's the case, get an introduction to sys.master_files.
red tips and tricks key on computer keyboard
Quick T-SQL Tip: Parsing Drive and File Information in SQL Server
Parsing full physical file names for information is one of those tasks a database administrator (DBA) finds they do on a semi-frequent basis; from looking up SQL Agent Job output paths or reviewing database file metadata.
GUIDs are Unruly, Mean-Spirited and Worst of All... Non-Sequential
Clustered Indexes Based Upon GUIDs 4
A look at GUIDs and Clustered Indexes and why this combination is bad and what can be done to make it better (to some extent).
17 Questions Every SQL DBA Should Ask Before Supporting a New Third-Party Database
January 18, 2015

Sure! db_owner allows you to grow or add a data or log file inside your database. That being the case imagine someone doing so at a size that fills up the associated disk...

When Will Key SQL Server Processes End?
July 10, 2014

Doh! I don't often get lyrics wrong, but you're absolutely right. How about we cap off the article with the following instead: "we CAN check out anytime we like AND we're...

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From the Blogs
Dec 16, 2014

Eight SQL Server Signs the Illuminati Exist

Make no mistake about it, the signs that the Illuminati exist are all around us. You can find their markings on our buildings, on our currency and even in our music videos. That’s right, they’re everywhere!...More
Dec 2, 2014

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 16: Job Synchronization Checkup Logic 1

With Linked Servers configured to allow cross-host or cross-box communication between the servers you’re using to host your AlwaysOn Availability Groups, it’s time to start looking at some scripts that can be used to regularly check whether or not SQL Server Agent jobs are correctly synchronized across all servers in your topology....More
Abstract illustration of linked SQL Servers
Nov 18, 2014

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 15: Setting Up Linked Servers

Learn about setting up Linked Server definitions to let two (or more) servers in an AlwaysOn Availability Group talk to each other and check up on job statuses of jobs running on each other....More
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