Monthly Archives: October 2016

How to identify the location of the SQL Server Error Log file

So you want to find out where the SQL Server Error Log file is located for a specific SQL Server instance?

The Error Log is a great place to start tracking down reasons why SQL Server might be experiencing problems.

The query below uses the extended stored procedure XP_READERRORLOG, which is typically used to read error logs directly, to return the location of the SQL Server Error Log files. The returned value is then cleaned up so only the directory location is provided. You can then copy and paste the result into your file explorer. 

USE Master;


-- Command will create the temporary table in tempdb
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[#TmpErrorLog] (
	,[ProcessInfo] VARCHAR(20) NULL

-- Command will insert the errorlog data into temporary table
INSERT INTO #TmpErrorLog (
EXEC [master].[dbo].xp_readerrorlog 0
	,N'Logging SQL Server messages in file'

-- retrieves the data from temporary table and writes it to a variable to remove everything but directory location
SET @dir = (
		SELECT REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE([Text], 'Logging SQL Server messages in file ', ''), '''', ''), 'ERRORLOG', '')
		FROM #TmpErrorLog
SET @dir = LEFT(@dir, LEN(@dir) - 1)



How to identify all user objects in the SQL Server Master database

What is the SQL Server Master Database used for?

The master database is used by SQL Server to contain all of the system level information:

  • Logins
  • Linked servers
  • Endpoints
  • Configuration settings
  • Information about the other databases on this instance and the location of their files

If the master database is not present, SQL Server cannot start.

This is way you should always take regular backups of the master database.
as if SQL Server suffers a failure, those changes will be lost and you’ll be in a lot of trouble.

So the master database is needed for SQL Server to work. Logic and objects needed to enable your application should not be tangled up in there so you should always avoid creating objects in the master database. Use a user database instead.

In saying that everyone has made the mistake of not specifying the database they want to USE in a script and by default objects get written to the Master database. Or you might have inherited the responsibility for an application which did not conform to best practices and it uses objects created in Master.

To gain visibility of these objects just run the script below.

SELECT o.object_id AS ObjectId
	,o.NAME AS ObjectName
	,o.type_desc AS ObjectType
	,o.create_date AS CreateDate
	,o.modify_date AS ModifyDate
	,SUM(st.row_count) AS RowCnt
	,CAST(SUM(st.used_page_count) / 128.0 AS DECIMAL(36, 1)) AS DataSize_MB
FROM master.sys.objects o
LEFT JOIN master.sys.dm_db_partition_stats st ON st.object_id = o.object_id
	AND st.index_id < 2
GROUP BY o.object_id
HAVING o.is_ms_shipped = 0
	AND o.NAME <> 'sp_ssis_startup'
	AND o.type_desc NOT LIKE '%CONSTRAINT%'
ORDER BY CAST(SUM(st.used_page_count) / 128.0 AS DECIMAL(36, 1)) DESC
	,RowCnt DESC

How to create a datetime stamp within a batch script in the format YYYY-MM-DD

Below is a batch script that populates the variable Timestamp with a datetime value in the format YYYY-MM-DD_HH:MM:SS.

This technique can then be used when creating files etc.

To try out the example below copy the text and paste it into a text editor like notepad. Save the file as timestamp with the extension .bat and then double click on the filestamp.bat file.

This code example will display the current datetime in windows command shell. It will also create a blank file called Test along with the current datetime in the format yyyymmddhhmmss in the same directory the batch script is run from.

@ECHO off
ECHO Date format = %date%

REM Breaking down the format 
FOR /f "tokens=2 delims==" %%G in ('wmic os get localdatetime /value') do set datetime=%%G
ECHO dd = %datetime:~6,2%
ECHO mth = %datetime:~4,2% 
ECHO yyyy = %datetime:~0,4%
ECHO Time format = %time%
ECHO hh = %time:~0,2%
ECHO mm = %time:~3,2%
ECHO ss = %time:~6,2%

REM Variable format 1
SET Timestamp=%date:~6,8%-%date:~3,2%-%date:~0,2%_%time:~0,2%:%time:~3,2%:%time:~6,2%
ECHO New Format 1: %Timestamp%
REM Variable Format 2
SET Timestamp=%date:~6,8%%date:~3,2%%date:~0,2%%time:~0,2%%time:~3,2%%time:~6,2%
ECHO New Format 2: %Timestamp%
REM Building a timestamp from variables
SET "dd=%datetime:~6,2%"
SET "mth=%datetime:~4,2%"
SET "yyyy=%datetime:~0,4%"
SET "Date=%yyyy%%mth%%dd%"
ECHO Built Date from variables: %Date%

REM Write Timestamp into file name
REM BREAK>Test%Timestamp%.txt 


How to get tableau data to refresh automatically within the internet browser

This tutorial describes how to embed a Tableau view, i.e. a published sheet or dashboard etc., into your web page and set the view to refresh every 30 seconds.

Step 1. Open note pad and save the code below into it calling the file template.html

Step 2. Copy the URL

  • Publish the Tableau view and copy the URL from the share button


  • Copy the URL if you have already published the report

Note: If a hash symbol (#) and number, or a “:iid=<n>” appear at the end of the URL, do not include those characters. For example, in the following URL, you would not copy the #3 characters:

Step 3. Replace the following in the template file with your URL and change the title to something more appropriate than Auto Refresh Example.

Note: You can change the rate of refresh by changing the content=”30″ value to however many seconds you need. Also you probably don’t want purple as your background color unless you’re Prince so go ahead and change that too. background-color: #452775

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTDXHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" <html lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US"> 
<title>Auto Refresh Example</title> 
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">
body {background-color: #452775}


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