T-SQL Tuesday #147 Invitation – Upgrade Strategies

Invitation and wrap-up from Steve Jones

Planning for Upgrades

In my career, most of the time we don’t upgrade production databases very often. In most of my jobs, we’d change versions for new databases, but existing ones often lived on their original version. It’s how I got into a job where I was managing 4 different versions of SQL Server. These days I expect it’s common for many DBAs to have to deal with that many, or more, versions.

I do have customers these days that try to upgrade often, and limit the number of versions they work with. I have customers now that are on a mix of 2016-2019 only, some that might be working on 2014-2016 only, and I’ve run into a customer that only has SQL Server 2017. Of course, they have few databases and look to upgrade about every 5 years when mainstream support is running out for their edition.

This month I want you to write about how you look at SQL Server upgrades. A few things you might think about:

  • Why we wait to upgrade?
  • Strategies for testing an upgrade
  • Smoke tests or other ways to verify the upgrade worked
  • Moving to the cloud to avoid upgrades
  • Using compatibility levels to upgrade an instance by not a database.
  • Checklists of things to use in planning
  • The time it takes to upgrade your environment
  • What you evaluate in making a decision to upgrade or not?
  • Anything else

I don’t know when SQL Server 2022 will release, but certainly many of us will need to consider in 2023 whether we want to upgrade systems or not. Think about it and write about something that matters to you.

T-SQL Tuesday #146: Upending Preconceived Notions

Invitation and round-up from Andy Yun.

Welcome back to another edition of T-SQL Tuesday! I’m honored to be your host once again!

Theme to Kick off 2022

This month, I’d like to ask everyone to think about something you’ve learned, that subsequently changed your opinion/viewpoint/etc. on something. Maybe you’ve had a certain opinion, belief, or bias? Perhaps you’ve always thought something worked a certain way? Or you’ve always thought that a certain something (called “X”) was only good for “A”, only to later learn that it can help with “B”, and “C” as well. Regardless, you learned something and it totally upended and changed that preconceived notion you held previously.

When has this happened to you Andy?

Let me share an example. In my past as a T-SQL developer, I remember when I first learned about CTEs. I thought the world of them and started using them everywhere! However, there was one slight problem. I was under the mistaken impression that they pre-materialize each sub-query. And they do… in OTHER RDBMS’s. Whoops! After a few years, I learned that they don’t behave that way in SQL Server. Instead the query optimizer inlines the query in the CTE, making them functionally no different that a subquery. And well, let’s just say that that made me regret some of the coding decisions I’d made during my “CTEs-are-awesome” phase.