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Overview On SQL Server Database Integrity Check

Problem

Sometimes users may have numerous of databases in their SQL Server. However, while working on database they may face a database integrity issue, as there can be integrity on several parts of a database i.e. Table, database, etc.

Solution

In general, the integrity of SQL Server database task includes the complete checking allocation as well as structure of integrity of the entire object in the stated database. It contains various checking database indexes as discussed below.

Determine Requirements

Firstly, check all the databases at high level periodically for the SQL Server database consistency errors. If there, is a large database then, check it table by table. Moreover, running all these on a set of schedule, it is important to run, as there are the chances of system failure, disk drive failures, etc.

If the database is small then, it is easy to run all the checks across the whole database. In SQL Server 2000 and 2005, all the maintenance plans are the only way for performing DBCC CHECKDB that makes easy in checking the complete database. As it is already discussed above that, it is a part of normal database maintenance process. If the user is not running the checks for SQL Server database integrity or if they are not sure then, take a time for implementation of all these procedures.

Useful Commands

There are mainly four different commands, which can be used for checking different levels of consistency that are there in the database as mentioned:

  • DBCC CHECKALLOC– Check the consistency of structures of disk space allocation, which are there for specified database.
  • DBCC CHECKCATALOG– Check for consistency of catalog, which is therein specified database.
  • DBCC CHECKDB– Check for consistency of catalog that is in specified database.
  • DBCC CHECKTABLE– Check for the integrity of all pages as well as structures, which makes indexed and table view.

DBCC CHECKDB command is widely used by almost all of the users as it checks the complete database. Whereas all the other options are useful for the quick spot-checking. All these options can be used for checking the consistency of particular portion of data and repairing any sort of corruption, which is found.

Running

Ad Hoc at the most basic level of all the commands can be executed interactively against a database. It is always suggested to run these commands during the off hours as these commands issue some problem while executing.

Maintenance Plans as discussed above that SQL Server 2000 and 2005 both can set the maintenance plans for running DBCC CHECKDB command. This is the only way to have the base options of maintenance plans.

Custom Jobs can be created on its own SQL Server Agent jobs for running the desired commands against the database.

Scheduling

The most beneficial time to run these commands is during the low usage times. SQL Server Agent is the best way to schedule jobs during any time. If the hardware is stable then, there is not any issue for running these commands. If user is facing regular hardware problems then, it is the best way for running all these checks frequently.

Output

There are many installations where the plans of maintenance are setup and SQL Server database integrity check is run. The problem is that no one checks the output that results in the corruption issues. For this, users need to check for the output from the commands that make sure that there are no issues. This can be done by reporting option with maintenance plans and by checking SQL Server logs error. Every time, one DBCC command is run and an entry level is made in SQL Server error log.

Handling Issues

If there is corruption in the database then, users want to have the correct action for the elimination for these issues. This is done by utilizing the option with DBCC CHECKLOC, DBCC CHECKDB, and DBCC CHECKTABLE.

Conclusion

After understanding, the users issue that they face while checking for the SQL Server data integrity. In the above discussion, we have discussed the way for SQL Server database integrity check that makes easy for users in resolving this issue.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in General topics

 

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Troubleshooting “SQL Server Database Is In Recovery Pending State”

Overview

Users of SQL Server Database must be aware of Recovery states, that occurs when there is unintentional dropped SQL table or any other components that needs to be restored. The SQL Server Database is in recovery pending state at situations like restart of SQL Server, offline & online state of database or while restoring database from a backup. However, if there is any issue during this recovery process, error can be Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2016 in backups, problems

 

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SQL Server 2016 Row Level Security and its Implementation

Security has been always one the main concern by MS SQL Server. All the releases of SQL Server have some new security feature or enhancement of an existing feature. Similarly, the latest edition of SQL Server 2016 has many security features such as Always Encrypted, enhancement of Transparent Data Encryption, Dynamic Data Masking, and Row-Level Security are added.

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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in SQL Server 2016

 

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Alwayson Availability Groups for Disaster Recovery Solutions

Introduction

There are many users, who are not aware about disaster recovery planning with always-on availability groups. Even they do not know the terms that come in the utilization of Always-On Availability groups for disaster recovery planning. In the following section, we will discuss about the always-on availability groups for resolving the disaster Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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How to Find the Last Inserted Record in SQL Server

Overview

When the users of SQL Server stores data in table of their database, they use an identity column as primary key. The identity column will increase its value automatically whenever new row is added. However, in some cases users may need to determine the last inserted record in database. The blog will be explaining some of the possible ways on how to find the last inserted record in SQL Server.

Determine Last Inserted Record in SQL Server

While we work with the table in SQL Server database, we set identity column that act as an auto increment column in table to increase column ID value whenever new record is inserted. Suppose we want to insert a name of the employee in the table ‘Employees’, we will do that using the below command:

INSERT INTO Employees (FirstName) VALUES (‘Mellisa’)

Now, in order to get the lasted inserted record ID, we can use the following options:

  1. SELECT @@IDENTITY
    • It returns the last IDENTITY value produced on a connection, regardless of the table that produced the value and of the scope of the statement that produced the value.
    • It is used to give the last identity value generated by the statement.
    • If the statement did not affect any tables with identity columns, this command returns NULL
    • If the table contains multiple rows generating multiple identity values, @@IDENTITY returns the last identity value generated.
    • Though @@IDENTITY is limited to current session, it is not limited to current scope. Even if trigger on the table caused identity to be created, you will get identity that was last created, even if it is a trigger.
  2. SELECT SCOPE_IDENTITY()
    • As the name suggests, it will return the last identity produced on a connection and by statement in same scope, regardless of the table that produced the value.
    • It is limited to the current scope and in current session as well.
    • It will return the last identity that was explicitly created, rather than any identity created by trigger or user-defined function.
  3. SELECT IDENT_CURRENT(‘TableName’)
    • It returns the last identity value produced in a table, regardless of the connection and the scope of the statement that created the value.
    • It is not limited by scope and session but is limited to a specified table.
    • It will return the identity value generated for the specific table in any session or any scope.

Conclusion

In the blog, we have discussed about some of the approaches through which we can find the last inserted record in SQL Server database. Among the methods SCOPE_IDENTITY() is recommended as it avoids the potential issues associated with addition of trigger while returning identity of the recently inserted record. The manual methods of determining last inserted record using these commands may sometimes be time taking and difficult for non-technical users. One of the easy alternative for the same purpose is to use a third party tool to view SQL Server transaction log that is used to read and analyze SQL Server Log File transactions that will give detailed analysis of all transactions like insert, delete, update etc.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in General topics

 

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Methods to Repair Corrupted MDF and LDF Files

MS SQL Server is a relational database management system that is used for storing and retrieval of data when requested by other applications. The SQL database mainly comprises of three files- MDF, NDF and LDF. The first two files from the primary and secondary database of SQL Server and the latter stores the log database of SQL server database transactions. While the data files and the log file are accessed by a common server, these files do not share the same location for their storage. Both the data files and the log file are associated with SQL server; in this blog however, we will restrict our discussion to how to repair corrupted .mdf and .ldf files.

Primary & Log Database of SQL Server

Primary database aka Main Database File (MDF) as the name suggests is the main database file of SQL Server that are associated with other files. There exists only a single MDF file for every SQL Server database, which stores data items like triggers, views, stored procedures, etc. It would not be wrong to say that MDF file is the primary element for administration of SQL database.

The LDF (Log Database File) store the entire log information of the transactions or activities carried out in the SQL Server. They play a very crucial role in the restoration of SQL server data in cases of data disaster. The size limitation of LDF is decided at the time of the database designing. Information related to records updation, record deletion, insertion of new record, etc.

Corruption in MDF and LDF Files

Maintaining the database integrity of SQL server is the top priority of the users as any mishap can lead to loss of data that at times cannot be recovered easily. There can be umpteen reasons, which can end the MDF and LDF files in a corrupted state. Some of the reasons for MDF and LDF corruption are:

  1. The biggest reason behind the corruption of MDF and LDF files is the storage size. In case the data exceeds the limit of MDF and LDF file, corruption is likely to occur.
  2. In case the SQL server database is modified during the DROP operation, there are great chances of MDF and LDF files corruption.
  3. Hardware issues such as problem in the hard drive sector storing the SQL database, may lead to corruption of the database.
  4. Virus intrusion is also an important factor when it comes to corruption of MDF and LDF files.

Manual Solutions to Repair Corrupted MDF and LDF Files

In order to repair a corrupt MDF and LDF file, DBCC CHECKDB command can be used. It recovers the data from a corrupt SQL database file that has been damaged due reason such as logical corruption. This involves running an executable code in the SQL server in order to repair corrupted MDF and LDF files.

dbcc-checkdb

Note: Before running the DBCC CHCKDB command, the backup of the existing database should be taken.

In case the repair process fails and the backup of the MDF and LDF files does not exist, the user will not be able to restore the database back to its original state and hence will end up in having a corrupt MDF and LDF file.

Alternate Solution to Repair Corrupted MDF and LDF Files

Regarding the drawbacks of the manual procedure to repair corrupted MDF and LDF files, third party solutions are preferred over them. One such commercial utility that can be deployed for repair corrupted MDF and LDF files is SQL Server Restore Database Manager. The software recovers the entire data from corrupt MDF and LDF files and save it in SQL compatible scripts or directly in SQL server database.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in General topics

 

Know How to Monitor Log Shipping in SQL Server

Log shipping in SQL Server is the process of enabling an automatic backup of the complete database and transaction files of the primary server and then restoring the backup on a secondary server. Being a high-availability solution, it increases the database availability of SQL Server by creating a backup server that can replace the primary server in case of data disasters.

Log Shipping involves 3 servers:

  1. Primary or the source server
  2. Secondary or destination server
  3. Monitor Server

Log Shipping in SQL Server allows sending of transactional log backups from primary instances residing on the primary server to one or more secondary instances residing on the secondary server. These transactional log backups are applied to each instance of the secondary database individually.

It is to be noted that Log shipping in SQL Server can also be configured without the installation of monitor server. In such a case, the history and the status of all the backup operations are stored on the primary server and the history and restore status is stored on the secondary server. However, when the remote monitor server is installed, this information also gets stored on it. It is also responsible for raising alerts whenever the backup process is not performed as per the schedule.

In case the monitor server has not been specified, the primary and secondary servers monitor the backup and restore operations, and raise the alert when an error is encountered.

Key Note for Monitoring Log Shipping in SQL Server

For monitoring the configuration of log shipping in SQL Server, the monitor server needs to be added at the time of enabling log shipping. In case the monitor server is added later on, the existing log shipping configuration must be removed and the new setup including monitor serves must be installed. In addition to this, any alterations in the monitor server can only be enabled after removing log shipping.

History Tables in SQL Server Log Shipping

The monitoring history tables of log shipping comprise metadata that gets stored on the monitor server. Moreover, primary and secondary server-specific information is also stored locally. For monitoring the status of the monitoring sessions, these history tables are brought in use. In order to check the status of log shipping, status and history of backup job, copy and restore functions need to be viewed.

Some of the tables that need to be checked for monitoring the log shipping in SQL Server are:

  1. log_shipping_monitor_alert
  2. This table stores the alert job ID.

  3. log_shipping_monitor_error_detail
  4. This table stores the details of the log shipping transactions. In addition to this, the users can also access the table for accessing errors in a session.

  5. log_shipping_monitor_history_detail
  6. This table gives the details of the history of the log shipping agents. Details regarding an agent session can also be viewed in this table.

  7. log_shipping_monitor_primary
  8. One monitor record for primary database of each log shipping configuration is stored in this table. This includes the information like the details of the last backup and the last restored file.

  9. log_shipping_monitor_secondary
  10. This table stores one monitor record of the secondary database like the last backup file and the last restored file that are used in monitoring.

Conclusion

Monitoring log shipping in SQL Server enables the administrator to monitor the entire configuration of the entire environment. In addition to the history tables, additional parameters like stored procedures enable to monitor log shipping in SQL Server.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in General topics, Log Shipping

 

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