May 13, 2011

Should phone numbers be normalized or de-normalized?

If you have a Person's contact record, a contact could have N-number of phone numbers, i.e. by class of number such as work, home, cell, fax, and a highly normalized model would put all phone numbers in their own table. e.g. A fax number as a PhoneNumber with PhoneType=3.
What if application requires that contacts be retrieved with phone numbers? Those numbers in the contact record could in fact be a better solution.
Which one is the phone number to be used from N-number of phone numbers?

When storing phone numbers in multiple columns of a single row you experience different issues. What if a person doesn’t have a land line anymore? Do you put cell phone in the home phone number field…it isn’t home phone. When you want to print out a report with phone number, you need to write a query with a case statement or coalesce in order to find the first populated phone number.

What do you do when you need to record multiple phones of the same type? Personally, Person might have three cell phones used for different purposes. How do we know (if we need to) which type of connectivity that number represents?

if Person A and Person B have the same phone number, should they reference the same phone number record? If not, you still have duplication of data. But if so, you have a harder problem to solve when one person’s phone number changes, but not the other.

How to store a fax number ?
A fax number should be stored as a PhoneNumber with PhoneType=3 in a separate phone table?

All of the issues with having multiple phone numbers can be resolved as business rules. Implement those business rules in stored procedures, functions, etc.If you want to restrict your objects to having three phone numbers such as work, home, and cell, then implement that design in your business objects and business rules.
If your database doesn’t force you into that business rule, then when you get a new requirement to allow for tracking another number, your database schema is not impacted; only your business layer.

Regarding the uniqueness of a phone number and Person A and Person B have the same phone number(it being shared by multiple people); normalize to the point of having a many to many relationship between different entities and phone numbers with which they may be associated.

Regarding how to store a fax number, a fax number in a FaxNumber field is far easier to understand than a PhoneNumber with PhoneType=3 in a separate phone table, so Greater understandability of data.

May 12, 2011

Advantages and Disadvantages of Database Mirroring

Advantages Database Mirroring:
o Database Mirroring architecture is more robust and efficient than Database Log Shipping. It can be configured to replicate the changes synchronously to minimized data loss.
o It has automatic server failover and client failover mechanism.
o Configuration is simpler than log shipping and replication, and has built-in network encryption support (AES algorithm).
o Because propagation can be done asynchronously, it requires less bandwidth than synchronous method (e.g. host-based replication, clustering) and is not limited by geographical distance with current technology.
o Database mirroring supports full-text catalogs.
o Does not require special hardware (such as shared storage, heart-beat connection) and clusterware, thus potentially has lower infrastructure cost.

Disadvantages of Database Mirroring:
o Potential data lost is possible in asynchronous operation mode. RTO will vary and depend on several factors, such as propagation interval time and bandwidth speed.
o Mirror server/database is not available for user operation.
o It only works at database level and not at server level. It only propagates changes at database level, no server level objects, such as logins and fixed server role membership, can be propagated.
o Automatic server failover may not be suitable for application using multiple databases.

Database Mirroring FAQ

Database Mirroring FAQ:

1. How to enable database mirroring?
Answer: You can use TRACE 1400 to enable in RTM version or else update your SQL Server with latest service pack.
Adding Trace Flag to Startup parameter
o Goto RUN --> Type sqlservermanager.msc
o Right click on SQL Server(instancename) service and click on properties
o Click on Advanced tab
o In the startup parameters enter this ;-T1400 and click on OK
o Restart SQLservices and then try configuring db mirroring
o Update SQL Server to latest service pack.
2. IS it possible to configure mirroring between Standard Edition & Enterprise Edition or Vice Versa?
Nope its not possible, both principal and mirror should have same edition.

3. Can I load balance my mirrored database (i.e can i use mirrored for SELECT query) like log shipping in standby mode?
It is possible if your mirror server is running Enterprise edition. You can take snapshot of your mirrored database and then you can query against the snapshot to retrive data's.

4. Is it possible to take backup of mirrored database in mirror server?
No, you won't be able to run BACKUP command against a mirrored database in mirror server.

5. Can I create multiple endpoints for configuring different databases for mirroring and point each database to unique endpoint.
No, thats not possible. You can create only one endpoint in a server for database mirroring you need to use this endpoint to configuring db mirroring for all the databases.

6. Can I configure a single database to be mirrored to more than one server. i.e) One source & many destination like logshipping.
No, thats not possible in Database mirroring, its one to one configuration.

May 11, 2011

An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005.

An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. (provider: SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: -1)

Steps to resolve above error.
1) SQL Server should be up and running.

Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> SQL Server Services, and check if SQL Server service status is “Running”.

2) Enable TCP/IP in SQL Server Configuration

Go to All Programs >> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 >> Configuration Tools >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> Select TCP/IP

3) Open Port in Windows Firewall

All the ports on which SQL Server is running should be added to exception and firewall should filter all the traffic from those ports.By default SQL Server runs on port 1433, but if default port is changed then the new port should be added to exception.
Go to Control Panel >> Windows Firewall >> Change Settings >> Exceptions >> Add Port

4) SQL Server browser service should be up and running
If SQL Server has named instance (another instance besides default instance) is installed, SQL Server browser service should be up and running and also be added to the exception, as described in Step 3.

5) Enable Remote Connection
If this feature is turned off SQL Server will function smoothly on local machine, but it will let another server connect to it remotely. By default this feature is ON in SQL Server 2008.

May 03, 2011

Things to Do in a Database

Things to Do in a Database:

1.Have and exercise a Disaster Recovery Plan
2. Do not modify a production database inappropriately
3. Do not modify existing objects using ad-hoc queries
4. Always Develop new features in development first and then use in production.
5. Normalize your data
6. Enforce Foreign Key Relationships
7. Document a Database Schema
8. Have and implement a data retention policy
9. Tune a database
10. create and maintain indexes based on data access patterns
11. create and maintain appropriate statistics
12. implement appropriate security
13.Utilize Schema's. do not use DBO schema for all roles, use different schemasa for separating roles
14.Separation Data Access
15. Associate Authentication and User with appropriate roles and schema's
16.Review Application Logs