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+.

Building the Best Data Content Tracks for IT/Dev Connections
The call for speakers has closed and the time has begun to start crafting the best data tracks possible from the sessions that have been submitted. Here is a look into what we'll be bringing you this year at IT/Dev Connections.
IT/Dev Connections Call for Speakers in its Waning Hours

2015 Call For Speakers at IT/Dev Connections is Winding Down

Though technically the Call for Speaker's for this year's IT/Dev Connections Conference at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas closed yesterday I've persuaded the Powers That Be to leave the window on submissions open through tomorrow.  I do know how my fellow SQL Server Professionals love to take their time to mull over their abstract opportunities and get their sessions just right before submitting.

SQL Server Management Studio Requires Modernization 6
SQL Server Management Studio is over 10 years old and little has been done to accommodate growth and feature enhancements in the SQL Server platform. The time has come for Microsoft to invest in it's future as the core client tool for it's flagship data platform.
Efficient SQL Server Administration: Mise En Place for IT
Mise En Place is a culinary term which refers to organizing and arranging ingredients required for a shift in a professional restaurant for preparing all menu items for a given shift. While a culinary term its practice can be applied to anything: even database administration and development.
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!
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
Feb 25, 2015

Data Profiling to the Rescue by Pushing Metadata Boundaries

Don’t let bad data sneak up on you when and where you least expect it. Ferret out bad data with Melissa Data’s newest Profiling Component for SSIS. Learn how to take control of your data using knowledge-base-driven metadata. The truth shall set you free!...More
Feb 16, 2015

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 18: Health Checks for Availability Groups 1

Now that we’ve outlined the process to let servers in a SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group "talk to each other" by means of setting up linked servers, it’s possible to set up some additional or improved checks on Availability Group Health....More
Feb 11, 2015

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 17: Creating Jobs to Check on Synchronization

In my previous post, I provided a high-level outline of the core logic (and rationale behind that logic) that would be needed to set up regular synchronization checks on SQL Server Agent Jobs for servers where AlwaysOn Availability Groups have been deployed. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps--and the code--needed to setup those checks....More
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