Greg Smith

Preparation | Exam 70-461 (Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012)

My current goal is to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Business Intelligence. Preparing for the exam My plan is to work my way through each chapter in the Training Kit book. I will read each chapter, answer the quick check questions, the lesson review questions, work through the case scenarios and complete all the practice exercises. I will also be watching some YouTube videos and the Udemy course Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Certification Training Exam 70-461 by Infinite Skills as I have read some positive things about it. I will NOT be completing the practice tests that came with the book because I… Read More

MCSE: Business Intelligence | Starting my journey

My goal for 2020/2021 is to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Intelligence. The three Training Kit books arrived today:  Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases Training Kit (Exam 70-463): Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012. While the reviews on Amazon range from “useless” to “excellent” they will be a good starting point and guide to the areas I need to learn. I can also search and read online other blogs as well as the Microsoft docs to fill gaps. My own… Read More

Microsoft SQL Server Database Certifications

SQL Server offers a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence, data warehousing and data-driven applications of all kinds. That probably explains why Microsoft offers database-related credentials at every level of its certification program, from the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) all the way to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) program. In September 2016, Microsoft announced significant changes to its certification program, adding five new certifications to the MCSE and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) programs alone. These certifications are designed to support Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft SQL Server 2016, among other technologies. For database administrators, the new MCSE: Data… Read More

Python: Where to Start?

Docs Bookmark these! Python 2 documentation Python 3 documentation Downloadable PDF of some changes Why Python 3? New to Python? …but not to programming in general? Start with Transforming Code into Beautiful, Idiomatic Python The official Python tutorial! (or for python 2) How do I choose between Python 2 or 3? Learn Python2 in Y Minutes Learn Python3 in Y Minutes Learn Python 3 PythonTutor.com uses animated stepping and data structure visualization New to programming? Try one of these online books! Introduction to Python (Python 2 and 3) Automate the Boring Stuff with Python (Python 3) Build applications in Python the anti textbook (Python 3) Introduction to… Read More

What is an API?

If you spend time around software or internet tools you’ve likely heard the term “API”. API stands for “application programming interface”. There are tons of APIs available online for software developers to use to integrate information from other applications into their own software. What is an API? An API is a system of tools and resources in an operating system which lets developers create software applications that interact with other services. APIs are what allow two separate applications to communicate with each other. APIs let users interact with other services or websites without leaving your website. APIs are important because… Read More

Docker Containers: Common Issues

Issue: I am trying to build a development SQL Server that I can continue to learn SQL on and use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to access on a Windows PC. However I wish to use SSMS on my Windows PC and am unsure how I begin to connect to the remote box. In the picture below, there are no options to specify an SSH key or to even login in to the Ubuntu box, only to access the SQL server. Solution: Connect via SSMS using the public IP address, followed by comma separator and then the port (xxx.xx.xx.xxx,port).You’ll… Read More

Docker Containers: Additional Commands

Rename a Container Change the SA password The SA account is a system administrator on the SQL Server instance that gets created during setup. After creating your SQL Server container, the MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD environment variable you specified is discoverable by running echo $MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD in the container. For security purposes, change your SA password. Choose a strong password to use for the SA user. Use docker exec to run sqlcmd to change the password using Transact-SQL. In the following example, replace the old password, <YourStrong!Passw0rd>, and the new password, <YourNewStrong!Passw0rd>, with your own password values. Remove your container If you want to remove the SQL Server container used in this tutorial, run the following… Read More

Docker Containers: Creating a SQL Server Demo Environment

Running SQL Server in a Docker Container In order to run our SQL Server container we have to execute the following code in PowerShell:  Note The password should follow the SQL Server default password policy, otherwise the container can not setup SQL server and will stop working. By default, the password must be at least 8 characters long and contain characters from three of the following four sets: Uppercase letters, Lowercase letters, Base 10 digits, and Symbols. You can examine the error log by executing the docker logs command. The following table provides a description of the parameters in the previous docker run example: Parameter… Read More

Docker Containers: Getting An Image

I will be working with Docker running on Windows (although sometimes on Linux). Docker appears to be the most popular and has a strong standard. You can go here to get the appropriate Docker installation. If you are unfamiliar with what a container is or why they are used Docker has a great explanation here. Basically, a container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to… Read More

Docker Containers: Why?

Since discovering Docker, I rarely find my self directly installing software on my computer or home lab. Whether is it a database server (Microsoft SQL Server) or I am just wanting to explore something new  I try to find or build an appropriate Docker image. Installing software is not hard, however using Docker saves time and provides consistency by reducing the task of installing and running software to just two commands (docker run and docker pull). In my next post I will show this process in action by taking a step by step look at how easy and simple it… Read More