SQL Dumbass

Fighting dumbasses, one query at a time…

Share the Love, Dumbass!

You can now post your own entries to this blog. Think of it like a FAIL blog, but dedicated to the SQLDumbass people out there. This includes you, Microsoft.

Enjoy and have fun, and don’t make it personal (or offensive) or you will find yourself banned.

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More Vendor Brilliance

Vendors never cease to amaze me. I know they could not possibly be as obtuse as they come across, but their communication skills and documentation needs so work. For example, consider this gem:

Have your SQL Server Administrator create a database named ‘[name_withheld_to_protect_the_dumbass]’ with their desired options. The database collation must be SQL_Latin1_General_Cp1_CI_AS or SQL_Latin1_General_Cp1_CS_AS.

The hell?

You want me to create a database, with MY desired options, and then you tell me it has to have a specific collation. Hey, any chance you want to tell me that before I create the database? And look closely at those collations. One is case-insensitive, the other is case-sensitive. Well? Which is it going to be? Do you care, or not?

Vendors. Can’t live with ‘em…pass the beer nuts.

Memory equals diskspace divided by four

Frantic developer storms into the office wants to know the meaning of the error that has just appeared on their screen is….the error is something similar to : insufficient memory space in database…

Now, without a sqlcode or msgno or anything else I go off to the magic world of google and BOL looking for an explanation nothing, nada, zilch….  which was really to be expected, I mean thats about as generic as an error can get.  After a while the developer comes back and will not accept my answer of this cant be a real database issue and to come see me when they get a real dbms error code.  So, after a bit of prodding I turn on a sql trace for the developer, guess what shows up in the trace.  not 1 single SQL, at this point the developer is looking beaten and retreats to their office.  A few days later I ask what ever happened to that error and you’d never guess that I was pleasantly surprised at the great story that was told. 

After spending at least a combined 20 hours the developer decides to call the vendor of the application for some support.  the vendor has a great explanation, Apparently this is a common problem, the client disk space cant be a number divisible by four or this error occurs, all we have to do is create a few 100mb text files in the temp directory so that the free space isn’t divisible by 4 and the problem will be solved.  at this point all I can ask is “Are You Kidding Me?”  and sure enough, modifying the disk free space fixes the issue, nope no database problem here.

All in a weeks work I suppose!

The Analyst From Hell and the Never-Ending Meeting

I was sitting in a meeting room along with two application analysts.  They called the meeting for the purpose of reviewing a new application we were migrating towards.  Both the current product and the new product were dependent on SQL databases so I was involved from a standpoint of the DBA.  Both analysts were from the same team and were in the process of a warm hand-off since the two products would be under the responsibility of different analysts from an application standpoint.

We reviewed schedules, database specifications, security items, networking issues, and hardware requirements.  The nature of the database warranted hosting the database on a dedicated database server and the application footprint would reside on its own application server.  We discussed these hardware requirements for at least 30 minutes of the 45 minutes spent in the meeting.  Both analysts have been with the company for years, handling quite a few applications each.  Sure, the one was a little flighty, but she was on her best behavior during the meeting so far.  My opinion of meetings is well noted in my company.  To me they serve no purpose other than to waste time and hone PowerPoint skills.  However this meeting was progressing nicely.

“This is great, there are no questions; we’ll be done with this meeting 15 minutes early!” I thought. 

As I was gathering my notes and coffee mug I stood up and then heard THE QUESTION.  Nothing good has come from a question that starts with the four words I heard uttered by “Ms. Flighty” but they escaped her lips nonetheless.

“I was just wondering,” she voiced up as my hand was on the door knob of the conference room, “What is the difference between a Database Server and an Application Server?”

The meeting ran for another 45 minutes while I went an led a 100-level IT class for Ms. Flighty and her teammate who shot daggers from her eyes for the better part of the extended meeting.  Did I mention that Ms. Flighty was an application analyst for well over 10 years at various companies?