How to find out who has checked out files in TFS?

Here’s a handy tool that lists all the items in TFS which are currently checked out and by whom.
It’s called ‘Team Foundation Sidekicks’ for VS2012 (also available for other versions) and the Status-overview is the one that I’ll be using:

Team Foundation SideKicks 2012 Status Overview

Read more about it and download it here:


Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 by Gartner

Again, also 2015 will be a great year for BI! πŸ™‚

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“We have identified the top 10 technology trends that organizations cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the trends at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”


Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed. “Every app now needs to be an analytic app,” said Mr. Cearley. “Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time. Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.” Big data remains an important enabler for this trend but the focus needs to shift to thinking about big questions and big answers first and big data second β€” the value is in the answers, not the data.

Read the full article from Gartner here.

SQL: A neat trick to create a SELECT-query which will include all the column names

For this one you’ll need to thank SQL Chick (Melissa Coates)
Based on here blog post:

Basically start building a basic SELECT-query with ‘Select *‘, then select it all (CTRL+A) and hit CTRL+SHIFT+Q to open up the Query Designer. Now you can easily copy/paste the query which it has generated for you and this one does include all the column names! πŸ˜‰


SQL Server Tools and Add-ins

I stumbled upon a post from Pat Phelan and I found it worth copy/pasting it here:

(I don’t know these guys btw)

In terms of SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) add-ins, the only one that I’ve ever used (or even considered) was SSMS Tools Pack which is written and maintained by Mladen PrajdiΔ‡.

Another tool that runs outside of SSMS, but is probably more useful to me personally is SQL Spec. This tool will document an entire SQL Server from logins and linked servers down to columns, datatypes, and samples of the data! It will also document SSIS package, Access Databases, DB2, Oracle, and just about anything else that you need to understand when doing a database project. I can’t say enough good things about Jesse and the only bad thing that I can say is that he doesn’t come here often enough!

A great tool to have when doing server onboarding (when you are taking responsibility for managing a SQL Server) is sp_blitz by Brent Ozar and others. This will give you a quick and easy to follow list of potential pitfalls, pre-sorted by their “threat level” to your getting to sleep.

I’m a huge PowerShell fan, and I highly recommend Idera’s SQL Server Tools because they’ll make your life much easier once you learn how to use them. If you don’t know PowerShell now:
Stop reading this
Go learn Powershell (I recommend Pluralsight – Hardcore Dev and IT Training but the tools are free and very good.
Come back when you’re done.
Send me accolades and cash for the advice if you are so moved!
That ought to be enough to get the conversation started!


Another tool which might come in handy is SQL Treeo:

Table Valued Constructors: insert multiple rows of hard-coded values into a table

This one I borrowed from Plamen Ratchev:

One of the new features of SQL Server 2008 is the support for table value constructors (part of ANSI SQL). Here are a couple quick examples of using them.
-- Populate sample table

datacol VARCHAR(30));

In the past, populating table rows was done like this:
INSERT INTO Foo VALUES (1, 'Books');

-- or

INSERT INTO Foo (keycol, datacol)
SELECT 1, 'Books'

-- or using on the fly

SELECT keycol, datacol
FROM ( SELECT 1, 'Books'
SELECT 3, 'DVDs') AS Foo (keycol, datacol);

Here is how the same can be done with SQL Server 2008 table value constructors:
INSERT INTO Foo (keycol, datacol)
VALUES (1, 'Books'), (2, 'CDs'), (3, 'DVDs');

-- or using on the fly

SELECT keycol, datacol
FROM ( VALUES (1, 'Books'),
(2, 'CDs'),
(3, 'DVDs') ) AS Foo (keycol, datacol);

-- and CTE version

WITH Foo (keycol, datacol)
FROM ( VALUES (1, 'Books'),
(2, 'CDs'),
(3, 'DVDs') ) AS F (keycol, datacol))
SELECT keycol, datacol

Another interesting option is to derive a row value from a subquery, like this:
INSERT INTO Foo (keycol, datacol)
VALUES ((SELECT MAX(keycol) + 1 FROM Foo), 'Tapes');

The big advantage of TVCs is that you save typing πŸ™‚