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I’m all ‘bout the data…

Dec 5, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Governance, Fun, Parody, Snark  //  No Comments

AllAboutTheData

Holiday Pairings with DBMSs & Datastores – Part I

Nov 26, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Database, DLBlog, Fun, NoSQL, Parody, WTF  //  1 Comment

It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving weekend in the US and the rest of the world is thinking about how much MORE WORK we are going to accomplish while our American teammates are stuffing themselves with Tofurky and mashed potatoes….what?…hold on…. Oh, right. Turkey and a box of wine that someone’s sister got for a great deal at a Piggly Wiggly last June and has been saving it in the trunk of her car for her boozy in-laws (that would be YOU!).

This got me thinking about what sorts of holiday beverages the rest of us should be pairing with our database management systems and datastores. I have to say datastores because some pretentious people data professionals insist that database means relational database. Of course, those of us old experienced enough know that there were databases long before Ted Codd had that wild road trip with his friends  Raoul and Dr. Gonzo and discovered  developed the relational model for shared data banks.

So while the Yanks are dipping into their third helping of candied yams with marshmallows on top, we in the rest of the world can be productive. But since we aren’t in the US no one will think us odd for supplementing  our work with appropriate hydration products. To help you out, I’m recommending holiday beverage pairings based on what data technology you are touching over the next four days. Four blissful days of the most productive work week of the year.

Comma Separated Values Files (CSV files)

Moonshine in Ball Jar. Chris Herbert.

CSVs were the original data hipster, before XML became cool. It was text. In a file. On a disk, with magnets, that spun around. Your data might be comma-delimited or length delimited…it doesn’t really matter.  It’s text and anything you want to do with it you have to do by hand. So obviously, these data formats pair well with moonshine, the homemade booze of choice in most of the US. This data could also pair well with bathtub gin, but only if the bathtub is clean enough. Typically not an option, therefore, for DBAs and most of the rest of us in IT.

Excel

For Excel I’m going to split the pairings based on vintage year of release.  Excel is the perfect candidate. Let’s not kid each other here: business are run on spreadsheets, not databases (Ed. – I don’t think you can say that Me:  It’s my blog and besides that I’m drinking, I mean sampling, all these pairings. In other words, I may or may not be drunk already).

That means that Excel is everyone’s real data storage solution of choice, so it pairs well with the common denominator beer of choice, Budweiser. It’s cheap, there’s always some in the fridge, and it works, for the most part. So for Microsoft Excel 2003 and earlier, this Bud’s for you. The working man.  The typing women.  Yes, you.

Excel + Power BI

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But with the release of Excel 2013 and self-serve BI via the Power…wait, hold on…. let me look up to see if it has a space or not…okay, there’s a space today….Power BI, Excel gets a bit more kick. Power Query, Power View, Power Pivot, Power Stuff, really. We’ll need the picante version of Budweiser Chelada. A chelada is beer plus Clamato. Clamato is tomato juice mixed with clam juice. The spicier version is Chelada Picante, so Budweiser + Tomato Juice + Clam Juice + salt + lime + chili peppers. Phew! I need an Excel slice and bad pie chart to show this. But I’m too busy drinking. This isn’t to say that Excel plus Power BI isn’t a great BI tool framework, but if it’s your datastore, you’ll need more booze in the morning. And like its primo the Bloody Mary, a Chelada makes for a great 7 AM meeting drink.

Oracle

Glenfiddich 50

Ah. Now we are on to the expensive stuff. Larry has to fund his yachts some way (Yes, that joke is getting old. But I’m drinking, so it’s okay. I mean sampling, so it’s okay.) Again, we need to factor in various versions of the Oracle suite (Presidential Suite, I should say) of products.

 

Exadata

For Exadata, I recommend this lovely 50 year old scotch. At about $30,000 a bottle, this is the equivalent of about one licensing core with no add-ons. It’s older than Oracle itself, but 50 is the new 25. So I hear.

It’s perfect for you and your sales guy to share. In the Presidential Suite. Of a club. but the price point seems spot on for the work you’ll be doing and the rate you should be charging.  You are charging Oracle rates, aren’t you?

Oracle Enterprise Edition

For Oracle Enterprise Edition, nothing beats a XO Cognac. With hints of rose petals, tobacco and leather, it’s going to feel just like it did when you signed that license agreement on your date with the Oracle sales guy. (Ed. – I don’t think you can say that. Me: I just did. And I’m drinking. You, editor, have never had to date an Oracle salespro as part of your assigned project duties and these pairing samples aren’t going to drink themselves.) The good news is that this comes with fine Baccarat Crystal glasses (aff link). They are free, until you use them. After you use them, of course you will have to pay for support on the glasses, at 23% of list price per annum.

Oracle Standard Edition

hennessy0.jpg

With Oracle Standard Edition, I recommend a  pint of Hennessy with a silicone flask cover to ensure you have a good grip on your booze and yourself. Both the Hennessy and Standard Edition fit “affordable and full featured”, if by full featured they mean “keeps you warm in the data centre”. If you are using Standard Edition, you can’t afford those grown up bottles yet because they aren’t paying you Larry rates. Plus the silicone will remind you of… (Ed.- STOP.  Right there.  Just STOP.  Me: Okay!!! {shhh…I may refactor this when my editor is sleeping off his turkey.})

Sybase

File:Honey-Fruit-Mead-Brewing.jpg

Oh, the father of SQL Server, sort of.  At least they have a common ancestor in the evolution of databases.  Do people use this DBMS anymore?  I’m so old experienced that I can remember when Sybase was called SQL Server 6.5 (Ed. – I don’t think that’s true.  Me: Shhh..don’t yell so loud. I’m sampling here.  And I’ve lost my Glog.  Mead…whatever.)

If you are supporting this DBMSs, I recommend mead. Because your Sybase DBA has been around so long it was probably his first drink. Don’t get me wrong: fruit, alcohol, honey – it’s all good stuff.   If you use Sybase as a special one-off DBMS to support a vendor package, I recommend a can of Redbull and a shot of whatever you find under the sink in Executive washroom.  Even if it’s a cleaning product. Maybe add a teaspoon of honey.

DB2

File:Burning Manhattan Cocktail.png

Ah, DB2. One of the first fully relational databases (Sorry, Ted) I ever worked with. I’d have to say that this classic DBMS, in mainframe, client server and whatever zombie hellspawn we classify AS/400 Power i as will always be close to my heart.  I want to go old school here, but still classy, so I’m going to recommend a Manhattan. Who can’t love rye (“Canadian whisky”), sweet vermouth and a cherry? Really, this is the only “manly” drink that legitimately requires a cherry.  For the Power i series, I’ll have to go a bit more retro and recommend that you just pick up some fallen fruit in your office parking lot.  It’s probably well fermented at this time of year.

 

SQL Server

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SQL Server 2008 R2D2 and earlier
I recommend here Tito’s Vodka in airline bottles. Prior to version 2012, SQL Server was primarily licensed with a server + CALS licensing scheme. You bought a server license, plus CALs for each user/device/whatever your salesperson said needed a license.  I like Tito’s vodka. It’s good and affordable. Plus I can buy airline bottles of it on the plane which helps me with portion control, much like those 100 calorie snack packs of Oreos one eats to lose weight. So I’m told. FYI: a good flight attendant cuts you off after 6 of these little bottles. A bad one cuts you off after two. A fantastic flight attendant says "Oh, did I give you your 6 bottles already? No? Okay, have these." The same thing worked well with CALs – the more you had the happier everyone one was.  It was easy to plan for new servers because this is the way it had always been done. But now….

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Then along came SQL Server 2012 and a new licensing model. CALs were gone and core licensing came along. That means magnum 6+ litre-sized bottles of vodka for everyone! But not everyone can afford to fill those magnum bottles to the top with high-priced vodka. The good news is if you’ve already purchased giant bottles, you can pour out a few core’s worth of liquid to save money. Then cry about the room in the bottle that could be filled with vodka but isn’t.  In the long run, the new licensing model is simpler.  But for now, you might just have to live with less kick until you can right-size your servers.

Microsoft Windows Azure SQL Database Azure SQL DB

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I’m not even sure what the brand name for cloud products are any more.  It’s not just Microsoft, either.  I figure since there are no boxes of DVDs to ship around, brand names change on a whim.  Just like trends in database design.  For Microsoft Azure cloud-based databases and datastores the good news is that you can just pay as you drink. Just like at your local bar. You don’t have to do much – most of the administration and maintenance is taken care of for you.  At work home I recommend you purchase a Star Trek Replicator and order a Blue Cloud cocktail every time you create a database. The good news is you can also have them delivered. This is known as Cocktail as a Service (CaaS). You need to go put this into your cloud budget request now, before we hit year end. Do it now.

Finally…

These pairings are based on my experiences purchasing, renting, and borrowing these technologies.  Your mileage may vary.  If so, I’d love to hear about it below.  And yes, I have more pairings coming soon about other data formats and databases (Ed. – Please promise me you aren’t going to write about NoSQL datab…datastores.  Me: I promise {I will}).

Thanks to my co-samplers & writers Joey D’Antoni (blog | @jdanton ), Karen’s Whisky (@karens_whisky) and Thomas LaRock (blog | @sqlrockstar)  You should follow them because they know booze and snark.

You might also like: 5 Things to Do to Help Your Family’s Tech Ecosystem Over the Holidays with Pairings

Yet Another Odd Job Criterion

Aug 26, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Careers, Database, DLBlog, Interviewing, Professional Development, WTF  //  3 Comments

I’ve seen this a few times.  I’d like to think it just a cut-and-paste error, or someone doing alcohol-driven job postings, but I’m guessing these sorts of things are used to, let’s say, target certain candidates.

 

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Here’s a blurb from another posting, courtesy of a government contractor:

 

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But if you think Business Analysts have it bad, look to see what this upstate NY retailer thinks they need in a Data Analyst

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And don’t get me started on someone looking to hire a Data Analyst to be a a “Data Cop” for $35k a year. I don’t care how “generous” the benefits are.

Here are the rest of those Data Analyst job requirements:

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He-men Only

I don’t see anything in the job description that requires the ability to lift 70 pounds frequently. I can only guess is helping move the bodies.

When recruiters issue silly job postings, this is a major sign that they aren’t serious about the posting.  Just give them a pass.

And ladies, start doing bicep curls and push ups. You are going to have a difficult time meeting that requirement without weight training. But perhaps that’s the point after all.  All that data stuff is really hard work.

It’s Just a Hardware Problem…

Jul 16, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Fun, Snark  //  No Comments

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Make Your Data Work for You

Jul 12, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Fun, Snark  //  No Comments

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Toronto SQL Server User Group PASS Summit Discount Code

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Many Toronto User Group members will be attending the PASS Summit in November in Seattle Washington, including me.  If you work with SQL Server, this is the only community-driven event for SQL Server training, presentations, workshops and networking.

Would you like to join us?  Use our PASS Summit Discount code / Coupon / promo code:

CASUMG64

You can register now at  http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2014/RegisterNow.aspx and use the code to save $150 off full registrations.  If you register before 27 June, you’ll get the best discount you can get right now and the Toronto User Group gets $50 to fund our meetings which start again in September.  That’s right: you save some dough and our user group gets funding for our upcoming season that starts in September 2014.

If you can’t register now, no worries.  You can still use our chapter code later. 

Feel free to share this information with colleagues, even the discount code.  The more the merrier. And the better you can love your SQL Server data.

Big Data, NoSQL and Data Modeling: Big Challenges in Data Modeling

Jun 24, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Database Design, Events, NoSQL, Speaking  //  1 Comment

Database table

Big data and NoSQL have led to big changes In the data environment, but are they all in the best interest of data? Are they technologies that "free us from the harsh limitations of relational databases?" as I recently blogged about at Dataversity.net?

In this month’s webinar (register now), we will be answering questions like these, plus:

  • Have we managed to free organizations from having to do data modeling?
  • Is there a need for a data modeler on NoSQL projects?
  • If we build data models, which types will work?
  • If we build data models, how will they be used?
  • If we build data models, when will they be used?
  • Who will use data models?
  • Where does data quality happen?
  • Are there NoSQL technologies for which data modeling will never apply?

Finally, we will wrap with 10 tips for data modelers in organizations incorporating NoSQL in their modern data architectures.

Join NoSQL expert extraordinaire Dan McCreary ( blog ) and others (including YOU!) as we talk about the future of data modeling and data modelers this Thursday, 26 June, at 2PM EDT.

We’ll also have some prizes to give a way, so plan on attending live.

 

(BTW, don’t get me started on the lame modeling styles/naming standards in stock photography.  Maybe I should start making some for Getty Images?)

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