Review: SQLbits Manchester 2019

Who has never been to a SQLbits conference will be in for a little shock. Conference by name, but geekfest in appearance, this SQLbits is a special beast in the world of SQLserver conventions. Most eyecatching is “the infamous SQLbits party”, where this year there was a party around the theme of the roaring twenties; gambling, Al Capone, Charleston dancers and reliving the frolicks of a post-war period.

What is good about this conference is that there’s a lot of room for networking. As you may have noticed, IT-folks are better with computers than people, and a little more guidance in meeting people is helpful. For example: there are tables for every industry : banking, healthcare etc so you can team up with people in you branch. There was also a pubquiz where we were put in groups of about 6 people and had to answer freakish questions like “How tall was the brother in the lyrics of “I can’t stand losing you” from the Police?”. I’m embarrassed to admit that I knew the answer to that one.

The Man in MANchester

On to the technical sessions. It’s impossible to mention all 150 of them, but generally the quality of them was very good. I went to most of the Powershell sessions, as this is my focus this year. Rob Sewell showed us how to build a threshold monitoring with Pester – a wonderful idea – and connected it to PowerBI for management consumption.

Wonderfull conference, I hope to go next year as well

Book review: SQL Query store in Action

SQL Query store in Action
A deep dive into the details on the query store
By Grant Fritchey

This is a book about the Query store that would “change the way you monitor performance … and the way you tune the performance..
Well, not so. This isn’t a book at all; this is merely a blogpost that has been put on paper.

For example, you have unreadable screendumps accompanied with the text :
“( you might have to click here to make it bigger)”

You will also see several pages of SQL code, for you to cut and paste – pardon, to type into management studio for an hour or so. Or search the web for the original post. The blogposts themselves are well written with clear questions and very verbose experiments, with an occasional reference to the source with a hyperlink. A hyperlink? Yes, a printed hyperlink.



Pages of Code to Type….

This book is not about the internals and the elaborate posts are to answer
questions such as:

What happens to Plan Forcing when you have RECOMPILE hint in your procs?
– Answer: nothing, a full recompile is done, that plan is discarded and the forced plan is used.

What happens with a forced plan when “Optimized for Ad Hoc” is configured?
– Answer: this may capture many plans, so change the capture behaviour from “All” to “automatic” . This will filter the input to the query store and avoid flooding the query store.

Which takes precedence, the Query Store force plan or a plan guide?
answer: Query Store

Interesting details, but more striking are the subjects that are missing from the book.

Overall verdict:
This printed blog with trivia about the query store will hardly speed up your research.
Keep your money and save the trees – in the case, a bonsai.

Review: SQL Server Execution Plans


Book: SQL Server Execution Plans

author: Grant Fritchey aka the ScaryDBA (

level: 300

Verdict:A good and very solid introduction to execution plans.

listprice:  $25


Grant Fritchey’s SQLserver Execution Plans is an introductory overview of execution plans in less than 250 pages. The target audience are developers and DBA’s who would like to understand about how their SQL code affects the execution plans and therefor performance. The book starts with explaining on how to acquire estimated and actual executionplans ( the GUI, text and XML variant), what the symbols in the graphical plan mean, to the more advanced topics, such as plancontrol via hints and planguides. The subjects are well taught, providing clear screenshots and the book doesn’t get fluffy of chatty.

This book won’t teach you SQLtuning skills, but a good understanding of executionplans is a first step toward this goal.


Clean layouts, good structure of the text, good teaching material.