DBAs walk a line between Administrator and Developer. As an Administrator, a DBA makes decisions regarding I/O distribution and is often also a SAN Admin, installs software, manages permissions, and often acts as Server Admin as well. As a Developer, the DBA writes complex SQL code, does application design in the form of stored procedures, SSIS, SSRS, SSAS Development, performs unit & QA testing (which is often times the only testing for this sort of development), assesses application usage and performance characteristics, tunes applications, and so on.
Regardless of how the distribution of a DBA’s duties turns out in a given company (i.e. 50% Admin, 50% Dev), a DBA’s Production Support responsibilities are always at 100%. If there’s a problem with an application in Production, a DBA is needed to assist. If new code is being deployed, a DBA is involved in the deployment. With databases at the heart of any application, a critical database problem often affects an entire business. No pressure. :-)
Any SQL Server DBA worth their salt references SQL Server Books Online regularly. In addition to Books Online, there are many excellent sites and blogs with all levels of tutorials freely available for consumption. Many of those sites will be referenced by my articles directly, as I am adverse to wheel reinvention, and I think the hard work of other authors should (and will) be credited. I will say that I reserve the right not to direct folks to sites that promote anything I am not comfortable with, for-sale products or otherwise. In those cases, I will identify the author, but I will not forward traffic to a site I find objectionable. I’d also like to add that if at any time an author feels that I haven’t properly credited their work, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will correct that right away.
So we’ve said there is a lexicon of great information available, but what happens when you need a simple script to perform a simple but critical task, often in the middle of a Production emergency? Many times a syntactically sound example, which you can then modify to meet your needs, would suffice. While Books Online does include command examples, I’ve often found that an example of something specific that I was trying to do is not present. Meanwhile you’ve got your boss, their boss, and sometimes their boss standing behind you while you attempt to decipher the mechanical reference on Books Online. You know exactly what you want to do, but you just need some help speaking the necessary SQL.
That’s where I’d like this site to come in. Over the years (since SQL 7) I’ve collected many references, and written quite a few scripts myself, often after extensive searching, cross-referencing, and subsequent testing. I’d like to provide The Working DBA some of the tools that I’ve found to be invaluable over the years. I do intend to also write about concepts and theory, but I will endeavor to keep tools and scripts separate from discussions of theory and mechanics so that when your Production environment catches on fire, you’ll be able to get what you need quickly, and perhaps return for some theory later. :-)
I’d like to end this site intro article with the above, but I have to first say that everything you do is at your own risk, and that all the contents of this site are without warranty, and not good for anything at all… similar to Lawyers.