For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, I want you to write about code you’ve written that you would hate to live without
Off on slight tangent I’m actually going to write about the life of some code you’d never wrench out of my hands, just to show how learning to scratch a simple itch can lead to learning a lot more and getting involved with larger projects. And mainly because we didn’t do source control properly back in those days so the early code is lost to history (thankfully as it wasn’t pretty!)
About 6 years ago I needed to implement some SQL Server restore testing to keep our corporate auditors happy. I ran around with T-Sql for a while, but trying to find a solution that worked with all of our systems was a nightmare. So I dug out the PowerShell documentation and started reading up on SMO (that page looks a lot nicer than it did back in 2013). Soon I had a working piece of code, that with enough baling twine and candle wax could do what we wanted.
By now I’d got lots of code examples, so decided to turn them into 31 days worth of blog posts – 31 Days of SQL Server Backup and Restores with PowerShell to help others work out where to go and save them running into the same loops and holes I’d done. Also wrote a presentation and took it around the UK to Usergroups, SQL Saturdays and conferences.
Now we move onto the bit where I can start showing off some actual code
Roll on forward to 2016 and I start to update my scripts to get them a little more up to date. In the process I decided to transform them from a ragtag collection of scripts into a shiny PowerShell model, and so SqlAutoRestores came into being. The code in github is very much a work in progress. The basics worked but a lot of supporting stuff to cope with other people’s infrastructure was still needed.
Luckily I was asked to help with the dbatools project around then, mainly with the restore code. And the rest is history
So in 5 years my scrappy little bit of code has moved from this:
import-module "SQLPS" -DisableNameChecking $sqlsvr = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.SQLServer.Management.Smo.Server("Server1") $restore = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Restore $devicetype = [Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.DeviceType]::File $backupname = "C:\psbackups\psrestore.bak" $restoredevice = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.SQLServer.Management.Smo.BackupDeviceItem($backupname,$devicetype) $restore.Database = "psrestore" $restore.ReplaceDatabase = $True $restore.Devices.add($restoredevice) $restore.sqlrestore($sqlsvr)
(linking to source as these are a tad larger than earlier files)
Restore-DbaDatabase (697 lines)
Get-DbaBackupInformation (354 lines)
Select-DbaBackupInformation (172 lines)
Test-DbaBackupInformation (209 lines)
Invoke-DbaAdvancedRestore (367 lines)
All of which have been worked on by many hands. But I now have a restore solution that I use every day in my day job to reset development environments and restore check my backups still, and is in use around the world by DBAs who need a solid reliable restore solution (If you’ve done a migration with dbatools, guess what’s underneath that)
It’s probably my most used single piece of code, and not just because it’s running 24/7/365 testing! The muscle memory is now so ingrained that I can beat almost any other restore option to start.
The point of that story is what this T-SQL Tuesday is about, if you shout about some nifty code, or at least let someone know, there’s a good chance other people will want to use it or help you develop it. It won’t happen overnight, this story is about 5.5 years old and there’s still debates about where this code is going to go in the future. And it’s been great to see where this tiny project has eventually lead me with my career and community involvement over the years.