Back to the Basics (B2B: Intro)

On occasion, an IT personnel (non-DBA) is tasked with providing SQL support.  Either with installation, upgrading, backups, restores, moving databases or other tasks that normally would not fall under their “job description”.  Trust me I have been there.  We call these “Accidental DBA’s” and sometimes a strange thing happens, the person actually ENJOYS working with MS SQL.  At least that is what happened to me, I was a .NET developer in a corporation with no DBA and over 20 instances of MS SQL in our network.  As the developer, I did create databases, tables, views, etc.; but I didn’t lean SQL management until much later.

So if you are one of those accidental DBAs, where do you find more information on how to do DBA work.  I have always found,, and MS MSDN invaluable resources to find answers to questions.  I following some “gurus” of the industry on twitter and their blogs are never boring and always informative.  Some of my personal favorites, to just name a few:

  1. Brad McGehee
  2. Steve Jones
  3. Brent Ozar, PLF (which in reality you get 4, Brent Ozar, Jeremiah Peschka, Kendra Little, Jes Schultz Borland)
  4.  Penal Dave
  5. Thomas LaRock

Every non-DBA needs to know the simple and basic steps to manage MS SQL.  Although I am a fan of GUI interfaces, I will attempt to provide both T-SQL and GUI images to help along.  Yes, I know the evil GUI, most professionals will tell you that knowing and using T-SQL is the only proper way to manage a SQL instance.  However, for those of us that are used to a “point-and-click” environments sometimes learning the point-and-click methods is the quickest and easiest way, especially for those of us who are visual learners.  That being said, I encourage you to always script it out, so you can learn the T-SQL behind the GUI.

During this series I will hope to provide the following information:

  1. How to install SQL; standalone vs. network, there is a difference!
  2. Working with SQL Server Management Studio SSMS
  3. Documentation: Why, I can remember the name of the server?
  4. Documentation Part 2: Didn’t realize the database was that big.
  5. Maintenance plans (they are not just for backups)
  6. Definition of and creating a Disaster Recovery plan

As of now these are the topic I plan to cover in my Back to Basics series.  Although I reserve the right to edit this, I believe if an “accidental” DBA would learn these, then they could probably drop the “accidental” form their title.

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