For various reasons which l have now forgotten, l set up transactional replication for some clients. The result of this is l am the caretaker of transactional replication for two of our clients, what l lucky person l am !
T-SQL code used to check Transaction replication
Once l got the process up and running (a very, very long and stressful story). At that point l realised that I would have to monitor these processes. Following some goggling this article was found with some TSQL written by SQLSoldier here. This worked for me and l used this to monitor replication by running the script and checking the results manually.
Our SysAdmin uses a tool called nagios to monitor out IT estate. So they suggested that a script could be written to monitor the replication process and send an alert if anything needed to be looked at. This sounded like an excellent idea, how to do it? The approach that was arrived at, involved using a PowerShell script which would run a SQL query examine the results then respond to Nagios, with the following values
Next we decided to use PowerShell to return the results. Following some goggling we found this page http://www.madeiradata.com/cross-server-replication-health-check-using-powershell/ which runs a SQL script and returned a data set. First challenge was the TSQL script from SQLSoldier was rather long for my first powershell script, l wanted some thing smaller. So l created a stored procedure based on the script, and placed it in my Distribution database on the replicated database server. Doing this had a two reasons, first less TSQL in the PowerShell script, second changing one of the parameters meant it returns different amounts of data. The stored procedure takes the following parameters ;
When considering this error message it was primarily to give some guidance as to what might be happening with the replication process. It is not intended to give any guidance on the underlying reason that is causing the issue. All that is required is that the Nagios process shows that there is something wrong. What ever the reason it requires some form of human intervention. Once an error condition has been detected then the issue will be handed to me to resolve. At least now l do not have to check the process periodically, now l just have to wait for a message from our sysadmin.
Since this one caught me out and a few other people it seemed like a good idea to blog about this.
Sometime ago the Azure portal got a make over, which l have say make the portal look very pretty. Whilst setting up a proof of concept for PowerBI l thought it was also a good time to look at setting up an Azure SQL database. The last time l did this was in the previous portal. So l duly set up the database, one of the last steps was to allow the IP address from my work organisation access to the database. So l goggled and found this page - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/documentation/articles/sql-database-configure-firewall-settings/
The Wrong Way
Open the new style Azure Portal
Click on browse (1)
From the list of blades click once on SQL databases (Figure 1)
Figure 1 - Opening the SQL databases blade
Click on the 'SQL databases' blade this will open a list of the all the SQL databases that are in your account (Figure 2)
Figure 2 - List of SQL databases showing area where to click to show settings
Clicking on the ellipsis will cause a new menu window to appear (Figure 3)
Figure 3 - Clicking on the ellipsis to get the settings link
Click once on the settings link this will then open the settings window (Figure 4)
Open the new style Azure Portal
Click on browse (1)
From the list of blades click once on SQL servers (Figure 5)
Figure 5 - Opening the SQL servers blade
Click on the SQL Servers blade and this will open a list of all the SQL servers in your account (Figure 6)
Figure 6 - List of SQL servers
Move the mouse over the row which is the SQL server that require to see the settings for. Click once with left hand mouse button the selected SQL server in Figure 6 this is SQL server 'kjsgbci03i'. This will then open Settings window on the far right hand side (see Figure 7)
Figure 7 - Settings page for SQL server
Click once on the firewall row and this will open the 'Firewall settings' window (see Figure 8)
Figure 8 - Firewall settings window
Splitting the settings for SQL servers and SQL databases, does make sense, the same logic is used within SSMS. That said in the old style portal, the link to the page for setting allowed IP Addresses is under 'SQL databases' (see Figure 9). Hence why l must have looked at SQL databases blade first. At least that's my excuse and l am sticking to it ;->
Figure 9 - SQL server page with link to Manage allowed IP addresses (Firewall rules) in the old style Auzure portal.
Over the years l have worked with many different people, and observed many people at work. When working in a mechanical garage l was impressed with the range of tools used by the time served mechanic's. When a plumber and electrician come to fit a new kitchen l was always was curious about the range to tools to do different jobs.
Today l had a relatively simple task when completing data migration task, which l was doing using SSIS. Most of the work uses TSQL when possible. In this case though l was asked convert the a string value from the source for one specific control on one form to Camel Case. First thought use play to my strengths and use TQL, so quick google, and found this stack overflow posting -> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5164201/is-there-any-sql-server-built-in-function-to-convert-string-in-camel-case
Ok yes it was possible to use TSQL, the phrase that ran through my mind at that point was "when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail". Yes l could create the function and call it from the query etc.... SSIS is the most wonderful toolbox though (pun intended if you notice it). One of them is the script task. Since l only had to convert one control (there is a large number!) why not use some code? Would that be easier? Goggling lead to stack overflow posting -> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1206019/converting-string-to-title-case-in-c-sharp ( This article filled in the gaps for me https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.globalization.textinfo.totitlecase.aspx)
public void Main()
string fieldName = (string)Dts.Variables["User::str_Field_ID"].Value;
string stringValue = (string)Dts.Variables["User::str_NNLFP_VALUE_TXT"].Value;
if (fieldName == "XYZ014")
TextInfo textInfo = new CultureInfo("en-GB", false).TextInfo;
stringValue = textInfo.ToTitleCase(stringValue);
Dts.Variables["User::str_NNLFP_VALUE_TXT"].Value = stringValue.ToString();
Dts.TaskResult = (int)ScriptResults.Success;
Yes it has taken me time and effort to learn C#, that said it's an excellent additional to my toolbox. Yes l could have done the same in TSQL, it would have taken probably taken longer. Right tool for the right job? That l am sure is a matter of opinion and or debate. Speaking personally for this specific project yes l believe so. It has encouraged me to keep adding to my own personal IT toolbox......