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+.

Tech Outbound SQL Cruise 2017 Mid-Week Update
Midweek Update on SQL Cruise Alaska 2017
SQL Cruise Alaska 2017 Kicks Off
August 12, 2017 marked the first day of Tech Outbound’s SQL Cruise Alaska. After 3 years away, SQL Cruise returned to Seattle under hazy skies from the forest fires burning in Central British Columbia.
Release Candidate 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Announced

Fast on the heels of Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of SQL Server 2017 less than three weeks ago, Microsoft has announced the availability of Release Candidate 2 of SQL Server yesterday.


Microsoft Centralizes Online Product Documentation

Microsoft Centralizes their Online Product Documentation and Forums

Microsoft Corporation has now provisioned a new portal for all their application/framework documentation and are also placing the ability to add to that content at your fingertips. The new docs.microsoft.com rolled out recently and provides a jumping-off point for their documentation covering each of the following topic groups arranged by product line/focus:

Danger Averted: A DBA Horror Story
Most technical articles written explore new features of existing products or identifying a problem and providing a solution.
SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate 1 Available for Download
Today Microsoft announced the first public release candidate of their flagship relational database platform, SQL Server 2017 (RC1), which is readily available to download today.
Cloning Security Objects Between Servers
Looking to avoid issues with SID mis-match, password synchronization, orphaned logins, and missing server role membership with working with test, UAT, dev, or training instances of your SQL Servers? Read on for how to make this process much easier between instances of SQL Server.
SQL Server Diagnostics Extension for SQL Server Management Server
If you're looking to self-serve your dump files from SQL Server without either waiting for formal support from Microsoft or in case your company does not have a formal support agreement with Microsoft then there is a new add-in for SSMS 2016 and 2017 that allows you to submit dump files to Microsoft for analysis.
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.
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
Jul 17, 2017

How Inferred Linking in Matched Records Digs Deeper into Your Data

Duplicate records clutter databases and render the data within them unclear. This kind of problem is very common, and it’s the main reason that deduping software exists. But there’s another benefit to deduplication software: the ability to infer connections between individual records from various data sets....More
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

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