Tim Ford

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+.

Getting Started with SQLCMD

Those of you who are regular readers may notice that my content has shifted towards scripting and some of the emerging platforms and tools for interacting with Microsoft SQL Server. There is a method to this madness but I can’t go into details yet on why. Just understand that this is building towards my efforts to preparing you for the brave new world that is SQL Server on Linux with touchpoints against your instances that are no longer just limited to Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

Using sql_modules System Catalog View to Search Function and Stored Procedure Definitions
Search for code in any stored procedure or function in all SQL Server databases using sys.sql_modules system compatibility view using the following code.
Early Bird Rate for the 2017 IT/Dev Connections Conference Ends Soon
The rate is rising soon for IT/Dev Connections. Don't delay if you plan to attend.
How Do I Find A String In Any Stored Procedure 1
Unsure where a specific object is referenced or where you used a specific snippet of code you may want to reference or re-use? Read this article and find out how you can search all databases on a SQL Server instance to identify a string used in creating any stored procedure without paying for expensive commercial software.
SQL Server Management Studio 17.1 Available for Download 3
The latest version of SQL Server Management Studio has been released.
Estimate When Long Running SQL Processes Will Finish 2

I don’t know about you but I’m a fan of tips and tricks that make my life easier. Here is a quick tip that has saved me numerous times when it’s come to answering the question: “when will that <insert some specific process> be done?”

Symbolic Links for Sharing Template Files or "How I Broke Management Studio with Symbolic Links"
Attempting to use symbolic links to share templates between devices will break SQL Server Management Studio. Read on and see how this happens.
How to Share Management Studio Templates 1
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 1

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.
Estimate When Long Running SQL Processes Will Finish
June 12, 2017

Nice catch. I'm fixing the code now.

SQL Server Management Studio 17.1 Available for Download
June 8, 2017

I've not experienced it personally. Did you also see the same issue in 16.5.3?

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...

Digital Magazine Archives

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
May 22, 2017

Chief Data Officer Playbook: How to Be Successful in This Ground-Breaking Role

Companies looking to grow and extract value from their data are increasingly turning to Chief Data Officers (CDOs) to execute their data strategy. The role is new, and a playbook is necessary to address the many challenges CDOs face....More
May 12, 2017

5 Common Challenges to Building BI in the Cloud

After spending 20 years building analytics, BI and database solutions, I've focused on Cloud data solutions over the past 2 years. I've chosen 5 common challenges that I face every day with Cloud migrations and that you'll face in your Cloud BI projects....More
Sep 15, 2016

Power BI Desktop “Publish to Pyramid Server” Button

Many organizations today cannot use public cloud solutions because of security concerns, administrative challenges and functional limitations. However, they still need a centralized platform where end users can conduct self-service analytics in an IT-enabled environment....More

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×