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+.

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.
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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).
Beware of Implicit Conversions
Even good code can be impacted negatively by a bad SQL Server database schema. Tim shows us why you should ensure your column data types are appropriate and consistent, and how a simple query can be impacted when that's not the case.
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Fixing Outdated Page Verify Settings in SQL Server
Here's a very simple script to fix out-dated or incorrectly-set page verify values in your SQL Server 2005 and later databases.
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Not All SQL Server Page Splits are Bad
Page splits! They're bad and cause massive amounts of performance issues, or do they? Let's look at diagnosing where page splits are high and when this is NOT a problem.
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SQL Server Workshops at IT/DEV Connections 2014
IT/DEV Connections 2014 is less than one month away. We have five workshops devoted to a broad range of SQL Server topics this year by leaders in the SQL Server Community. Here is your guide to those sessions.
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Behind the Scenes with SQL Server Included Columns and Covering Indexes
Learn what happens behind the scenes between a SQL Server query run against a table with a Covering Index and one with the same index structure, but without the Included Columns.
Important dates
Cheat Sheet for Calculating Important Dates 1
Looking for a single source for date calculations for starting and ending periods for days, months, and years? We have you covered!
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Identifying Orphaned Logins 1
Identify and resolve orphaned logins on a SQL Server instance with this simple query process from Tim Ford.
Shortcut to Consistent SQL Server Installs Using Configuration Files 1
If you support a large environment for SQL Server, then consistency between SQL instances and simplicity of installations are both key to making your life easier; this advanced install tip leads to both.
Identifying Role Permissions & Who Can Get You Fired
People who can get DBAs fired are the ones that have permissions to do things such as dropping databases, overwriting backup files, creating databases with 2TB log files on a 500GB log volume—they have server-level role membership.
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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Browse back issues of SQL Server Pro, from January 2007 through the last issue published in April 2014. Find the back issues here.


From the Blogs
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Oct 9, 2014

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 10: Dynamic Detection Gotcha #3

You can interject a SQL Server Job Step into your Jobs and have this new/injected Job Step do some checking for you. Here's a look at everything that’s involved in such an approach....More
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Oct 7, 2014

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 9: Dynamic Detection Gotcha #2 3

Given that a USE statement is parsed before code is actually run, there are a few options that could be used as a around when it comes to detecting whether or not code should be run....More
Oct 2, 2014

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 8: Dynamic Detection Gotcha #1 1

Learn about why the option of dynamically detecting whether or not to run a SQL Server Job at execution time is quite a bit more problematic than you might think....More
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