MVA – SQL Server Essentials for Oracle DBAs

The Microsoft Virtual Academy has just released a free course covering SQL Server Essentials for Oracle DBA’s.

This is a Level 200 course containing 15 modules (each consisting of a video presentation, demos and a slide-deck) and while it’s intended to be delivered as a four-day workshop for Oracle DBA’s, the content in its entirety is a reference guide (rather than a mere guideline) and contains valuable information for any SQL Server professional.

Course Description

This course is to help Oracle database administrators (DBAs) leverage their skills and experience as an Oracle DBA to manage a SQL Server 2012 system.  It provides a quick start for the Oracle DBA to map, compare and contrast the realm of Oracle database management to SQL Server 2012 database management.

The content is a comprehensive course with descriptive reference material while the course itself focuses on introducing the concepts and providing hands-on learning. This course has been developed to extend the terminologies familiar to the Oracle DBA and relate those terminologies to the SQL Server world.

Course Presenter

Maciej Pilecki (@DrHouseOfSQL)

Maciej is a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Certified Trainer and former SQL Server Most Valuable Professional (MVP) who is an expert in cross-platform integration and interoperability between Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.

Course Modules

Module 1 – Database and Instance

Provides an understanding of the two major components of a database system.  Contains the following sections:

  • Schema and Data Structures
  • Storage Architecture
  • SQL Server Data Files
  • Logging model

Module 2 – Database Architecture

Goes in-depth into structure, components and contents of the files that constitute the database.  Contains the following sections:

  • SQL Server Instance Environment
  • Client interaction with Database and Instance
  • Database capacities

Module 3 – Instance Architecture

Discusses the memory and process architectures that are key to a database’s performance.  Contains the following sections:

  • Memory Architecture
  • Memory Address Space – Comparison
  • Monitoring memory usage
  • Process and Thread-Based architecture
  • Using the Resource Governor
  • Oracle client-database interaction
  • Comparing background processes

Module 4 – Data Objects

Examines in greater detail the schema objects introduced in Module 2.   Contains the following sections:

  • Reviewing large allocation units
  • Views comparison
  • Creating a table
  • Non-native data types

Module 5 – Data Access

Focuses on how data is accessed and manipulated by the clients.  Contains the following sections:

  • Structured query language
  • Control statements
  • Integrated full-text searching
  • Query optimization
  • Transaction management

Module 6 – Data Protection

Fulfils the twin tasks of protecting data against unauthorized access (database security) and also from the destructive interaction between authorized users working concurrently (concurrency control).   Contains the following sections:

  • Locking
  • Isolation level behaviors
  • Database security
  • Instance security

Module 7 – Basic Administration

Contains discussion on planning and installation of SQL Server.   Contains the following sections:

  • Installing SQL Server 2012
  • Server configuration
  • Database system
  • Database maintenance

Module 8 – Server Management

Discusses the administration of various types of resources such as system resources (such as memory, processes, storage, and so on) as well as low-level database resources (such as lock, latches, queues, and so on).   Contains the following sections:

  • Using the performance monitor
  • Managing storage
  • Locks and latches
  • Capturing deadlock information

Module 9 – Schema Management

Provides the administrative aspect of schema objects described in Module 4.   Contains the following sections:

  • Referential integrity via constraints
  • Managing triggers
  • Managing indexes
  • Managing views

Module 10 – Database Security

Continues the discussion of data protection initiated in Module 6.  Contains the following sections:

  • Managing privileges
  • Managing roles
  • Create logins and users

Module 11 – Data Movement

Examines the non-transactional mechanisms for moving data into and out of a database.  Contains the following sections:

  • Data transport
  • SQL Server Integration Services
  • SSIS data flow
  • Import/export wizard

Module 12 – Backup and Recovery

Lists the types of errors encountered in a database and the various mechanisms that are available to safeguard against these errors.  Contains the following sections:

  • Backup methods
  • Recovery model
  • Recovering from database errors
  • Maintenance plan backup

Module 13 – Performance Tuning

Is divided into two sections: tuning an instance and tuning an application.  Contains the following sections:

  • Application tuning
  • Instance tuning
  • Data compression
  • T-SQL hints
  • Plan guides

Module 14 – Scalability and High Availability

Provides a high-level overview of the scalability and high availability features available in each RDBMS.  Contains the following sections:

  • Clustering
  • Database mirroring
  • AlwaysOn
  • Replication – objects
  • Scalability

Module 15 – Monitoring

Shows the mechanisms by which the database can be monitored for availability, errors, and performance.  Contains the following sections:

  • Error logs
  • Error messages
  • Monitoring performance
  • Activity monitor

SSDT (SSIS) Bug – Marking a parameter as sensitive causes various Task Editors to close unexpectedly without error

Though I’d share details of another SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) bug to hopefully save others the time I wasted trying to figure out what was going on.


SSDT Version: November 2012 Update

Project Type: SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

Setting the Sensitive flag of package parameters to True causes various Task Editors to close down unexpectedly without error when trying to access properties associated with Variables.

Steps to Reproduce

1. Create a new Integration Services Project


2. Open the default Package

3. Click on the Parameters tab

4. Add a new parameter and set its Sensitive property to True


FTP Task

5. Add a FTP Task to the package

6. Open the FTP Task Editor by double clicking on the FTP Task

7. Select the File Transfer page

8. Set the IsLocalPathVariable property of the FTP Task to True

9. Try and select a value in the LocalVariable property field


File System Task

10. Add a File System Task to the package

11. Open the File System Task Editor by double clicking on the File System Task

12. Select the General page

13. Set the IsDestinationPathVariable property of the File System Task to True

14. Try and select a value in the DestinationVariable property field


BTW, if you set the IsSourcePathVariable property to True and then try and select a value in the SourceVariable field, a dropdown list is displayed showing a list of variables/parameters.  This is the expected.behaviour.



This error occurs on a number of other Tasks and I’m not sure whether this existed prior to the SSDT November 2012 Update as I don’t have a machine without this update to test against.

Microsoft Connect ID: 771677

SQL Server 2012 SP 1 Breaks SQL Server Database Projects

After installing SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 you will discover that SQL Server Database Projects can no longer be opened (or created) using SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT).  The error presented when trying to open existing projects is:

Unable to open Database Project

This version of SQL Server Data Tools is not compatible with the database runtime components installed on this computer


(BTW, Clicking on the “Learn more…” and “Get the latest version of SQL Server Data Tools…” links at the bottom of the dialog returns “Page not Found” errors.)

To fix this problem you need to install SQL Server Data Tools – November 2012 update.  That said, when you now try and open an existing project/solution, you are advised that the project needs Migrating however no migration wizard is launched and there is no visible way of migrating the project.

To migrate your project you need to Right Click on the Project name and select “Reload Project”.


This will launch the “One-way Upgrade wizard” which converts your project into the latest version of SSDT.


Would be nice if SP 1 included the SSDT update and that the migration wizard automatically launched when opening a project.

AdventureWorks OData sample with Named Resource Streams

Derrick VanArnam (MSFT) has updated his AdventureWorks QueryFeed OData sample to show how to implement Named Resource Streams to stream AdventureWorks product images. In addition, the QueryFeed sample also illustrates how to select Named Resource Streams within a business workflow, and render a stream in a Word document.

Announcing the AdventureWorks OData Feed Sample

Derrick VanArnam (MSFT) has put together a great blog post on consuming an OData feed based on the AdventureWorks 2012 database.

The AdventureWorks OData service exposes resources based on specific SQL views. The SQL views are a limited subset of the AdventureWorks database that results in several consuming scenarios:

  • CompanySales
  • Documents
  • ManufacturingInstructions
  • ProductCatalog
  • TerritorySalesDrilldown
  • WorkOrderRouting

Well worth the read Smile


Microsoft Second Shot Exam Vouchers Now Available

Second Shot is available for single exams and featured certification packs until May 31, 2013

For more info and to get your voucher, visit .
Spread the word on Twitter with hashtag

Certification: SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Exams are Now Available

The following SQL Server 2012 upgrade exam are now available:

Exam 70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1

Exam 70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Exam 70-459: Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform

Exam 70-460: Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence

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