Chapter 20 – Why every SQL developer needs a tools database

In Chapter 8, Denis Gobo (LessThanDot – blog,  sqlblog,  Blogspotblog,  @DenisGobo – Twitter) answered the question “What makes a bulk insert a minimally logged operation” and I dug that chapter.  In this chapter Denis tackles a subject that most DBA’s haven’t yet implemented, creating a tools database.

With many of my clients, I find the same objects in many user databases… I’ve seen multiple tables containing zip codes, states, etc…. in different user databases that have to each be scrubbed, clean, kept up to date etc…  The methods provided by Denis in this chapter and the samples he provided are excellent and usable out of the box. 

Other options that I include in my “tools” database include dynamic partitioning, re-indexing scripts, backup strategies and meta-data management among other things.  A database full of common functions (think CLR, split-string, calendar data and other forms of “controlled data” such as zip codes, states, countries, time zones, lat / long boundaries, etc…) will enable you to re-use functionality; simply your code, lower the management overhead of your database objects etc….  The list of options and great uses for a common or a tools database exceeds what I have come up with over the years and as time goes on I find myself adding new items to it.  Case in point, I’m still creating proc’s and views that reference DMV’s which answer all kinds of great questions for me when I’m in a new environment. 

To sum it up, create your tools database by beginning with the excellent examples provided by Denis in this chapter and begin to leverage the value that this can have to your productivity.


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