SQL Dumbass

Fighting dumbasses, one query at a time…

Rah Rah Sis Boom SAaaaaaaaa

Chalk this up to the Third-Party Vendors Suck Department:
When are these flies on the potato salad at the IT Picnic going to get it through their Red Bull-addled brains that SA is off limits?  I had to deal with a webex session only for the point of entering the password into a textbox on a form for a combined application/database installation.  The password was not displayed as plain text (good), but the installation failed.  The failure was a blessing to me; we started troubleshooting the failure and determined the password for the SA login was stored in plain text in 3 separate log files and 2 batch files.

Furthermore, the database installation could have been handled separately by supplying a batch file with the associated .sql files it called to the DBA with instructions.  Ultimately, the process did not even require SA rights, but only the ability to create a database and a login.

I give this vendor credit though.  The did ask after the fact what my recommendations are for the install process and agreed that the pwd issue was unacceptable.  (This was of course our Sales Rep on the account though so that may be a case of “Make the Customer Feel Good.”)

So, now I am going through all 90 SQL instances changing the SA password. (A dumbass move on my part for having the same pwd for SA on each SQL instance.)

There is an old Chinese proverb:  “Do not use an ax to remove a fly from your friend’s face.”  Think that applies?

Sadly, this is true

Things had been quiet for a few days, and I was getting used to coming to work, having time to get a cup of coffee, chat with my cubical (in)mates, and work on some much needed items that allow for our team to be proactive with regards to our enterprise. I should have known that the walls would come crashing down, right?

And there it was. A desperate email from a developer. He needed help immediately. Of course, true to form, he did not provide any details about what the issue was, instead he just directs us to the solution.

“Please delete the log for database [dbname]”.

Uh…ok. My first thought was “how?” In most cases, even if you did remove the log, MSSQL would create a new one when it starts up the database (at least I know you can attach a database without a log). At any rate, after I stopped daydreaming about the “how”, I then started to wonder “why”? This was quickly followed by my thinking “what an idiot”. So, I was moving through all the typical stages of emotions that DBA’s usually have. First, wonderment “how many ways is this possible, and what is the best one”? Then, curiosity “tell me more about the thought process that got you here”. Lastly followed by “what an idiot”.

I then imagined what would happen if I actually did delete the log. The conversation would be similar to:

Him: “I am still having problems, but now they seem worse. Did you delete the log like I asked?”

Me: “Yes.”

Since that scenario was not about to win me any customer service awards, I decided to tell the developer that deleting a log was not advisable. Turns out that did not win me any awards either.

Him: “What do you mean, we have the logs deleted all the time.”

Me: “Really? Do you really mean deleted, or are you asking for the log to be truncated?”

Him: “What’s the difference?”

At this point I am considering calling Microsoft Learning and urging them to revoke the certifications that this developer has “earned”. At the very least an investigation should be opened. To think that this certified developer does not understand the difference only makes me wonder what other things do they not understand.