Posts Tagged ‘ SQL Server 2008 ’

SQL Server 2008 R2

Yesterday at TechEd, Microsoft announced the R2 version of SQL Server 2008.

It created a bit of confusion for me as I thought the next release “Kilimanjaro and Madison” were both going to be part of a new (major) SQL Server version. As I understand it, much of this functionality will simply be a “bolt-on” to SQL Server 2k8.

When I first read about this, I was conflicted. However, after spending the evening contemplating many of the conversations that I’ve had with clients around 2008, I think that this move by Microsoft is brilliant! The main reason that I’m excited is around the MDM and self-service reporting that Kilimanjaro and Madison were all about. It will be substantial in them martket have them sooner and more importantly, create an additional incentive to help justify the move to 2008. Over the last couple of years, I have had many conversations with clients who “want” to go to 2008, but have had a hard time justifying the regression testing, time etc… The additional features now included will really round out a signficant 2008 release.

Details of the offering can be found below.

http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/r2.aspx

I just read this article and I liked it as well.

http://reddevnews.com/news/article.aspx?editorialsid=10836

These are the specific items that I’m looking forward to seeing:

Master Data Services (MDS)

Master Data Hub
Improve the Quality of Your Data
• Centralized approach to defining, deploying, and managing master data
• Ensure reporting consistency across systems and deliver faster more accurate results across the enterprise
• Serves both BI and operational requirements and improve the quality and efficiency of data and processes for all systems
• Enables organizations to track versions of master data to answer questions about master data at a specific point in time
• Supports integration through a Services (WCF) API, business rules, workflow, notification, and hierarchy management
Stewardship Portal
Improve the Quality of Your Data
• Central portal to create, edit and update master data master including members and hierarchies
• Enables direct stewardship and ensures data quality by enforcing business rules and managing supporting domains
• Enables model administrators to upload data, review validation status, manage data versions, develop models, copy versions of models and define the structure of hierarchies

Self Service Analysis
Add-in for Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010
Share & Collaborate with Confidence
• Enables users to publish reports and analyses to SharePoint to make them available to others in the organization
• Applications and reports can be refreshed automatically while also maintaining version control and tracking
• Central, secure location where users can easily control who has access to sensitive data while also maximizing the number of people who can view the reports
SharePoint 2010 Management Console
Manage User-Generated Analytical Applications
• Provides a single, comprehensive management tool through Microsoft Office SharePoint that gives IT administrators the ability to set server policies and monitor Self Service BI activities
• IT can manage and secure all BI assets, freeing the original authors to focus on business priorities
• Dashboard views to monitor access and utilization of analyses and reports as well as track patterns of hardware usage to help ensure the right security privileges are applied and user generated solutions are continuously available, up-to-date, and secured

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Policy Management

In Novemeber, I had the opportunity to present at DevConnections.  I spoke on two topics, Policy Management and Plan Guides.  Both of these are new / unique to SQL Server 2008 and I really love both of the additions to the SQL Server platform.  

In this blog post I have attached two files; one of them is my powerpoint slide deck and the other is the script I used for the demo’s.  

This was a very difficult talk to give as the concept is/was relatively new and the amount of information available was scarce when I was developing the content.   

So, what is Policy Management?  Microsoft’s definition is as follows :  “Policy-Based Management is a policy-based system for managing one or more instances of SQL Server 2008.  Use this with SQL Server Management Studio to create policies that manage entities on the server, such as the instance of SQL Server, databases, and other SQL Server objects.”  What this definition leaves out is something of great importance.  This new feature CAN be used with down versions, providing that the facet you want to throw a policy around is availalable in that version.  Meaning, if you want to monitor datafiles or schema changes in a SQL Server 2005 instance, you can!  

I found there to be three components to Policy Management.  

  1. Policy Management  — Creation of conditions and policies
  2. Explicit Administration — One to many managed targets
  3. Automated Administration — Automate enforcement of policies

For each of these there are components – Refer to the slide deck and Microsoft’s site for more information.  

One of the biggest helps that I had when leaning Policy Management was the following CTE:   

The results of this query provide all of the available facet’s and which mode then can be run for.  This is a huge help as going through the gui to see if something is availalble for a certain type of mode can take a while.   

USE MSDB;
with automatedpolicyexecutionmode (modeid, modename)
as
          (select * from (values (0, ‘On Demand’), 
                              (1,’Enforce Compliance’), 
                              (2, ‘Check on Change and Log’),
                              (4, ‘Check on Schedule and Log’))
as em(modeid, modename))
   

So far I have successfully implemented policies against a host of the facets offered.  Microsoft is going to continue to build on this inital release as time goes on; so look to new additions of facets as time goes on.  

Enjoy Policy Based Management and may it save you a great deal of time, decrease your daily / weekly checklist of items and enable you to provide further value to your organization.  

SELECT dmf.management_facet_id as facetid, dmf.name as facetname, apemode.modename
FROM syspolicy_management_facets as dmf
       INNER JOIN automatedpolicyexecutionmode as apemode on dmf.execution_mode & apemode.modeid=apemode.modeid
ORDER BY dmf.name, apemode.modename  

If you walk through the slide deck and the demo script; you can quickly see how easy it is to create a policy.  Once you have one created (IN DEVELOPMENT),  =), then evaluate the policy in two ways.  The first way you will want to ensure that the evaluation is successful.  The second time, break it, so that the evaluation of the policy is false.  Once you have done this, run the query below.  

 USE MSDB;
GO
SELECT a.execution_date AS 'Date Run' , 
                  c.name AS 'Policy' , 
                  a.target_query_expression AS 'Policy Failure Targets' , 
                  d.name as 'Condition',
                  d.description as 'Condition Description', 
                  d.facet as 'Condition Facet'
FROM syspolicy_policy_execution_history_details_internal a
              INNER JOIN syspolicy_policy_execution_history_internal b ON a.history_id = b.history_id
              INNER JOIN syspolicy_policies_internal c ON b.policy_id = c.policy_id
                           INNER JOIN syspolicy_conditions d ON c.condition_id = d.condition_id
WHERE a.result = 0
ORDER BY a.execution_date DESC, c.name ASC, d.name ASC 

Attachements for this post ::  

Script: policymanagementscript2  — The majority of the t-sql in this document can be found below.  

Slide Deck: sql-connections-conference-slides-policy-management2  


USE msdb;
GO
WITH automatedpolicyexecutionmode (modeid, modename)
AS
 (select * from (values  (0, 'On Demand'),
    (1,'Enforce Compliance'),
    (2, 'Check on Change and Log'),
    (4, 'Check on Schedule and Log'))
          as em(modeid, modename))
     SELECT dmf.management_facet_id as facetid, dmf.name as facetname, apemode.modename
     FROM syspolicy_management_facets as dmf
        INNER JOIN automatedpolicyexecutionmode as apemode on dmf.execution_mode & apemode.modeid=apemode.modeid
     OREDER BY dmf.name, apemode.modename

— Demo 1
— Greenfield development
— Standard Naming convention
— Create Conditions
— Create Policy 


use DemoDB
go

-- Successful Object Creation
-- Table
CREATE TABLE UserTable_test_me3 (test int)
GO

-- Procedure
CREATE Procedure PRC_Test_proc AS SELECT GETDATE()
GO

-- View
CREATE VIEW UserView_Test AS SELECT test from UserTable_test_me3
GO

-- Failed Object Creation due to Policy enforcement
-- Table
CREATE TABLE test_me3 (test int)
GO

Create Procedure Test_proc AS select GETDATE()
GO

Create View VW_Test as select test from UserTable_test_me3
GO

Create View Test as select test from UserTable_test_me3
GO

-- Fails
EXEC sp_rename 'UserTable_test_me3', 'test_me3'
GO 

--  Check MSDB for policy execution Failures

USE msdb;
GO

     SELECT a.execution_date AS 'Date Run' , c.name AS 'Policy', a.target_query_expression AS 'Policy Failure Targets',
                     D.name as 'Condition', D.description as 'Condition Description', D.facet as 'Condition Facet'
      FROM syspolicy_policy_execution_history_details_internal a
        INNER JOIN syspolicy_policy_execution_history_internal b ON a.history_id = b.history_id
        INNER JOIN  syspolicy_policies_internal c  ON b.policy_id = c.policy_id
        INNER JOIN syspolicy_conditions d  ON c.condition_id = d.condition_id
    WHERE a.result = 0 AND a.execution_date >= GETDATE() -1
    ORDER BY a.execution_date DESC, c.name ASC, a.target_query_expression ASC;
GO

-- Existing environment somewhat different ::

select * from msdb.dbo.syspolicy_policies_internal order by date_created desc;
GO
-- Delete the policy
 -- Can use SSMS to do this as well.
Declare @Object_set_ID_Delete INT
set @Object_set_ID_Delete = (select object_set_id from msdb.dbo.syspolicy_policies_internal where name = 'Standard Naming Convention')

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_delete_policy @name= 'Standard Naming Convention'
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_delete_object_set @object_set_id = @Object_set_ID_Delete
GO
-- Delete the Condition
 -- Can use SSMS to do this as well.
 EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_delete_condition @name = 'Standard - Naming Convention'

-- Create an Existing environment

Create Database Demo_existing
GO

USE Demo_existing
GO
create table test_me3 (test int)
GO

Create Procedure Test_proc AS select GETDATE() as The_Time_is_Now
GO

Create View VW_Test as select test from test_me3
GO

Create View Test as select test from test_me3
GO

—  Re-Create Condition and Policy
— Using t-sql versus SSMS
  

Declare @condition_id int
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_condition @name=N'Standard - Naming Convention', @description=N'Enforcement of Standard Naming Convention

The Object you attempted to create was rolled back.

This Policy prevents the following naming standards ::

Object names MAY NOT begin with "tbl" OR "sp" OR "vw"

AND

Ojbect Names MUST begin with "UserTable" OR "PRC" OR "UserView"

', @facet=N'IMultipartNameFacet', @expression=N'<Operator>
  <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
  <OpType>AND</OpType>
  <Count>2</Count>
  <Group>
    <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
    <Count>1</Count>
    <Operator>
      <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
      <OpType>OR</OpType>
      <Count>2</Count>
      <Operator>
        <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
        <OpType>OR</OpType>
        <Count>2</Count>
        <Operator>
          <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
          <OpType>NOT_LIKE</OpType>
          <Count>2</Count>
          <Attribute>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <Name>Name</Name>
          </Attribute>
          <Constant>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
            <Value>tbl%</Value>
          </Constant>
        </Operator>
        <Operator>
          <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
          <OpType>NOT_LIKE</OpType>
          <Count>2</Count>
          <Attribute>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <Name>Name</Name>
          </Attribute>
          <Constant>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
            <Value>vw%</Value>
          </Constant>
        </Operator>
      </Operator>
      <Operator>
        <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
        <OpType>NOT_LIKE</OpType>
        <Count>2</Count>
        <Attribute>
          <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
          <Name>Name</Name>
        </Attribute>
        <Constant>
          <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
          <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
          <Value>sp%</Value>
        </Constant>
      </Operator>
    </Operator>
  </Group>
  <Group>
    <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
    <Count>1</Count>
    <Operator>
      <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
      <OpType>OR</OpType>
      <Count>2</Count>
      <Operator>
        <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
        <OpType>OR</OpType>
        <Count>2</Count>
        <Operator>
          <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
          <OpType>LIKE</OpType>
          <Count>2</Count>
          <Attribute>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <Name>Name</Name>
          </Attribute>
          <Constant>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
            <Value>UserTable%</Value>
          </Constant>
        </Operator>
        <Operator>
          <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
          <OpType>LIKE</OpType>
          <Count>2</Count>
          <Attribute>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <Name>Name</Name>
          </Attribute>
          <Constant>
            <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
            <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
            <Value>UserView%</Value>
          </Constant>
        </Operator>
      </Operator>
      <Operator>
        <TypeClass>Bool</TypeClass>
        <OpType>LIKE</OpType>
        <Count>2</Count>
        <Attribute>
          <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
          <Name>Name</Name>
        </Attribute>
        <Constant>
          <TypeClass>String</TypeClass>
          <ObjType>System.String</ObjType>
          <Value>PRC%</Value>
        </Constant>
      </Operator>
    </Operator>
  </Group>
</Operator>', @is_name_condition=0, @obj_name=N'', @condition_id=@condition_id OUTPUT
Select @condition_id

GO 

—-
—   Condition was created with an ID of XX.
—- 

Declare @object_set_id int
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_object_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @facet=N'IMultipartNameFacet', @object_set_id=@object_set_id OUTPUT
Select @object_set_id

Declare @target_set_id int
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/StoredProcedure', @type=N'PROCEDURE', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/StoredProcedure', @level_name=N'StoredProcedure', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Synonym', @type=N'SYNONYM', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Synonym', @level_name=N'Synonym', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Table', @type=N'TABLE', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Table', @level_name=N'Table', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedFunction', @type=N'FUNCTION', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedFunction', @level_name=N'UserDefinedFunction', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedType', @type=N'TYPE', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedType', @level_name=N'UserDefinedType', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/View', @type=N'VIEW', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/View', @level_name=N'View', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set @object_set_name=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1', @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/XmlSchemaCollection', @type=N'XMLSCHEMACOLLECTION', @enabled=False, @target_set_id=@target_set_id OUTPUT
Select @target_set_id

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/XmlSchemaCollection', @level_name=N'XmlSchemaCollection', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_target_set_level @target_set_id=@target_set_id, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @level_name=N'Database', @condition_name=N'', @target_set_level_id=0
GO
Declare @policy_id int
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_add_policy @name=N'Standard Naming Convention', @condition_name=N'Standard - Naming Convention', @execution_mode=1, @is_enabled=True, @policy_id=@policy_id OUTPUT, @object_set=N'Standard Naming Convention_ObjectSet_1'
Select @policy_id

-- The next piece will Update the Targets for the policy
GO
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=128, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=128, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/StoredProcedure', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=128, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=129, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=129, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Synonym', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=129, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=130, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=130, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/Table', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=130, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=131, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=131, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedFunction', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=131, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=132, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=132, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/UserDefinedType', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=132, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=133, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=133, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/View', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=133, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set @target_set_id=134, @enabled=TRUE
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=134, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database/XmlSchemaCollection', @condition_name=N''
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_target_set_level @target_set_id=134, @type_skeleton=N'Server/Database', @condition_name=N''
GO
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_syspolicy_update_policy @policy_id=62, @execution_mode=1, @schedule_uid=N'00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000'
GO

–Verify that the new policy is working as intended 

-- Will FAIL 
<pre>create table TEST_Post_NewPolicy (testcol int)
GO

-- Will suceed
create table UserTable_Post_NewPolicy (testcol int)
GO
-- Find an object to alter
Select * from sysobjects where uid = 1 and xtype in ('v','u','p')

-- Alter object to another invalid naming convention

-- Will FAIL
Alter Procedure Test_proc
AS select GETDATE()  as [When]

--Will Suceed
Drop Procedure Test_proc

-- Alter an Invalid object to a valid naming convention

-- Successful
EXEC sp_rename 'Test', 'UserView_Test'
GO 

-- Check the execution history

USE msdb;
GO

     SELECT   a.execution_date AS 'Date Run' , c.name AS 'Policy', a.target_query_expression AS 'Policy Failure Targets',
                  D.name as 'Condition', D.description as 'Condition Description', D.facet as 'Condition Facet'
     FROM syspolicy_policy_execution_history_details_internal a
        INNER JOIN syspolicy_policy_execution_history_internal b
           ON a.history_id = b.history_id
        INNER JOIN  syspolicy_policies_internal c
         ON b.policy_id = c.policy_id
       INNER JOIN syspolicy_conditions d
        ON c.condition_id = d.condition_id
     WHERE a.result = 0 AND a.execution_date >= GETDATE() -1
     ORDER BY a.execution_date DESC, c.name ASC, a.target_query_expression ASC;
GO

With the sql above and the slide deck that is attached to this post, you should be well on your way to creating your own Policies.

Partitioning

Over the past few years I have implemented partitioning a number of ways.  In the world of SQL Server 2000, it was “home-made”.  Meaning that I would create a number of tables whose schema was identical, create check constraints and then link all of the data together with views.  This method had tremendous upside, but as you can imagine, the overhead ov moving data from one “partition” to another was very time intensive and expensive from an I/O perspective.

With SQL Server 2005, Microsoft introduced partitioning as part of the relation engine… This was huge news for me specifically.  I could actually do this “Right” for my clients.  As many of you know, paritioning has some limitations in SQL Server 2005 that made a great option, but the limitation of parallelism that accompanied the feature left for a bad taste in the mouths of many.

This brings us to SQL Server 2008 where, based on my testing, the parrallism issue is truly resolved and the optimizer is actually recoqnizing the partitions as it should. 

So, what have I done?  I’ve implemented it all over the place.  That is the point of this post.  At one client, it’s worked just as I imagined that it would… at another, I’ve had a bit of stumbling block.  I did not realize the impact that non-clustered indexes would have if they weren’t created with the partition.  So what I ended up with, over time were very, very, very heavily fragmented indexes.  In fact, some of them were so bad that the optimizer was choosing different paths to the data.  (That’s B.A.D.).

I thought my fix would be a tough one.  But it turned out to be uber simple.  I dropped the indexes that existed on the primary filegroup and re-created them on the partition.  Viola, piece of cake.  Everything was awesome, until about 2 weeks later when the fragmentation of those indexes caught up with me.  This left me cursing the amount of time it was going to take to rebuild these huge indexes and wondering how often I’d have to do it…

So, I stopped trying to do it my way and went to my favorite resource.  BOL.  Of course, there is a way to do this and it’s not painful.

It’s the function $PARTITION.  If you are using partitioning in your environment and you are unaware of this function, become aware. 

What this function enabled, in a very easy and straight foward manner was for me to quickly and dynamically identify which partition was the active partition.  Once I had that information, I simply wrote an alter index statement with rebuild where the partition equaled my variable value.

Code snippet below.

Declare @PartitionID INT

Select @PartitionID  =  (SELECT $PARTITION.PartitionName (getdate()));

ALTER INDEX IndexName ON owner.TableName

REBUILD Partition = @PartitionID;

    —  Note that I can utilize the getdate function with the $Partition function.  Since my partition function (key) is a datetime value.  Simple logic could be used if it were an int.

The obvious advantage to this is that when I run the rebuild index script, it is only running for the active partition.  This brings down the amount of time required for this action and enables me to run it nightly as the data becomes very fragmented from day to day in the current partition.

So, my lesson for this day?

Easy, think ahead about what will happen down the road.  Always check BOL and test, test, test. 

Happy Partitioning!

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