Growing It At Home: Building Your Own Tools

Short On Money?

Sometimes that is the motivation. Maybe the tool you want doesn’t really exist yet? For me it was those things and the joy of building something useful. I’ve built dozens if not hundreds of tools in the form of scripts, batch files and executable code. Did you know some of the tools you are paying your employers hard earned money for came up from the same roots? Someone needed a tool to do X, and lo’ there were others who were willing to pay for that work.

Great, Someone Has Written The Tool…

They also want something called money for me to use it. That may be the case but some More >

Digging Around For Free Tools – Google Code

Digging Around In Google Code

Google Code was very thin when it comes to SQL Server. I did find a few of interesting projects that may appeal to others as well as me. I will say there was a TON of use SQL Server with x programming language.

Project RoundhousE

“Professional Database Versioning and Change Management”

RoundhousE is an automated database deployment (change management) system that allows you to use your current idioms and gain much more.

It seeks to solve both maintenance concerns and ease of deployment. We follow some of the same idioms as other database management systems (SQL More >

Digging Around For Free Tools – BitBucket

Digging Around In BitBucket

BitBucket was very thin when it comes to SQL Server. I did find a couple of interesting projects that may appeal to others as well as me.


Turn any version of Microsoft SQL Server into a platform capable of acting just like MongoDB – only you get transactions and the ability to join with traditional relational data as well!

This is a nice example of using newer methods with our good ol’ SQL Server engine.


Scripts to auto-deploy SQL from SQL Server and to dump database objects to disk (so they can be searched or committed to source control).

There More >

Digging Around For Free Tools – SQL Server

Tool Archaeology, Digging Through The Web

About every three to six months I will burn some time and just go digging for tools. Mostly, I’m looking for stuff related to SQL Server, PowerShell or C# development. There are lots of places to search through that could yield your next life saving tool. All the major sites have a search feature but if you just put in SQL Server you will get a ton of hits that don’t have anything to do with SQL Server. I usually do something like “SQL Server” NOT MySQL NOT Postgresql NOT DB2 NOT Oracle to keep the other databases from cluttering up the results. The More >

Building Flat File Connectors Dynamically For SSIS

Building Connectors Is Crap in SSIS – Updated

What else can I say. I finally broke when I had to build a flat file connector with 258 columns that needed to be imported into a staging database. 258 columns… I almost had a stroke. Not only is it mind numbing it’s also error prone. I do dabble in c# so I build a little tool to automate this for me.

Introducing SSISConnectionBuilder

SSISConnectionBuilder is a simple command line tool to ease the burden of building flat file connectors for SSIS. It is WAY WAY alpha but I am working on cleaning up the code. You can pick it up here on codeplex.

I More >

Moving Files with Open Source Software, cURL and winSCP

Open Source, ON WINDOWS!

I’m still stunned in this day and age that people pay obscene amounts of money on tools that are easily replaced in most cases with quality and stable open source alternatives. Part of the problem is that a lot of OSS tools don’t work well on Windows or require some fiddling which can scare off some people. The two tools I’ll be chatting about today don’t fall under that category. In one or two steps you have them installed and ready to rock. I’m constantly working with clients that require file movement in a secure manor. Ether upload or download.

cURL, World Wide More >

Finding SQL Server Installs Using Powershell

Old Dog, New Tricks

I’ve been writing tools for SQL Server for a lot of years. Some of these tools were never completely released. Some of them were just for me. Some of them overlapped other tools already on the market and free for all. Recently, I started updating my bag of tricks and tools. This seemed like a great time to get back into PowerShell. I decided to pull out a bit of C# code I cobbled together nine years ago as part of a tool to find SQL Server instances on a network. I never really got around to making it a “production” ready tool since there was already a most excellent one More >

Building A New Storage Test Server

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Not to sound too obvious, I test IO systems. That means from time to time I have to refresh my environment if I want to test current hardware. Like you, I work for a living and can’t afford something like a Dell R910 Heck, I can’t afford to shell out for the stuff that Glenn Berry gets to play with these days. Yes, I work for the mighty Dell. No, they don’t give me loads of free hardware to just play with. That doesn’t mean I, or you, can’t have a solid test system that is expandable and a good platform for testing SQL Server.

The hardware choices, inexpensive More >

Understanding Benchmarks

That Means What? Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE. Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – Princess Bride

If you are like me, you are constantly reading up on the latest hardware. Each site has it’s own spin on what makes up its review. All of them use some kind of synthetic benchmarking software. Some don’t rely to heavily on them because they can show the real world performance using playback tools. This method is used heavily on gaming hardware sites like [H]ard|OCP where they decided long ago that using purely synthetic benchmarks More >

SQLDIY: Tracking Wait Stats

One of the most important methodologies to date for troubleshooting problems with the SQL Server engine is examining the wait statistics. As with most of the DMV’s provided in SQL Server 2005/2008 sys.dm_os_wait_stats is a cumulative view. To add to my series SQLDIY: Manage and Monitor SQL Server Yourself  here is my stored procedure for capturing deltas on an ongoing basis. It is modeled the same way I capture sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats. This procedure captures the delta and the raw data at a point in time. This allows you to do your own roll ups to look at the numbers in different ways. More >

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