Backing Up A Cosmos DB with the Cosmos DB Migrator Tool

CosmosDB really is an amazing datastore and even better (you might be thinking): Microsoft handles the backups for you. Which is true. They take backups every four hours and keep the last two. If you need anything recovered from the database you’d better hope that you notice with in that window and get a ticket open with Microsoft to get it fixed. This being the case Microsoft helpfully recommends that in addition to the by default backups that come with the Cosmos DB service that you export your data to a secondary location as needed to meet your organizations SLA.

What's a Data Catalog? Denver Edition

I had the wonderful opportunity to present an introduction to data catalogs to the Denver SQL Users Group yesterday. I am grateful for the chance to work on my presenting skills and talk about the new challenges about identifying and protecting risky data. I’ve uploaded the slide deck and some sample PowerShell scripts for SQL Data Catalog to my git repo here. Additionally there was a question about re-using Data Catalog work for data masking: Richard Macaskill’s blog post I mentioned is here.

SQL 101: What Happens When...

I had an interesting question asked this last Saturday when I was giving my Intro to SQL session at SQL Saturday Redmond: “What happens if you cast a NVARCHAR string as┬áVARCHAR?” I had an educated guess but I didn’t have the time during the session to test it out: Casting NVARCHAR to VARCHAR. It won’t throw an error but it will destroy any data in the string that isn’t VARCHAR compatible.

Presenting Away!

I’ll be presenting my introduction to SQL queries in just a few short days at SQL Saturday Redmond! If you know somebody that’s just getting started with SQL and is wants an introduction to how to query and join tables: have I got a session for you! (It’s this one.) This will be my first time presenting away from my home turf of Spokane so I’m only a little nervous about it: I hope I see you there!

SQL 101: Query Basics

SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language so when getting started with it I think it’s best to think about how it was put together to be able to ask questions about data. With that in mind let’s a take a look at some beginning SQL to understand how to write queries. Queries can be very simple but they won’t answer very many questions in their most simple forms:

Data Privacy Is Coming For You

I’ve been thinking a lot about GDPR and similar legislation for the last year or so. I think that codifying how companies treat our data (and what they can and can’t do it with) is a huge step in the right direction. Late in 2018 I was happy to find myself working with Redgate on their SQL Data Catalog early access program as we started looking at ways to attach and track metadata about our data in our environment.