Passwords – A T-SQL Tuesday Topic

LateBeing engrossed with the daily tasks at hand I completely missed this month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being brought to you by Sebastian Meine Blog | Twitter.

Although the time frame has passed I would be amiss if I didn’t continue on my journey of joining in these block parties; with that said I’m going to write what I “would” have contributed. This month’s topic is intriguing in that it can cover a wide array of discussion – Passwords.

When I think of passwords I think of etiquette. I cannot tell you how many times I have been on calls, meetings, emails, and the list could go on of scenarios that relate to passwords where users just don’t think or take into consideration the impact of their actions. To me the last four words are the key, “impact of their (our) actions“.

Password Etiquette

  • Conference Calls – how many times have you been on a production call with numerous individuals and hear someone say, “Okay here is the user name and password?” If you have then you are not the only one. Credentials should be kept out of the hands of unnecessary individuals.
  • Open Text Passwords in tables – check into encrypting those; protect yourself before you realize breaches have occurred and you are left holding the bag.
  • Email – transmitting password information via email; not a big fan of. This kind of relates back to the conference call section; who all is on the email? Are you sending it to Project Managers and the like? Probably not the best choice to make.
  • Backups sent offsite – do you have any backups going off site? Is any pertinent credentials contained in the dB and if so are your backups being encrypted before shipping them off?
  • Length – Look at the length of the passwords you are creating; how strong is the password you are making?
  • Sharing – don’t do it; simple enough.

All the above reflects, what I deem, good etiquette. That barely scratches the surface. You have to take into consideration many other factors one of them being a policy.  Small, big, medium – whatever kind of shop you are in define out what the best practice is for your shop and then adhere to it. A good reference could be found on Technet Best Practices

Lastly, if you feel as though a password has been compromised be proactive and take the necessary steps to change it. Don’t wait for something to happen; you be the game changer.

Get your defense model in place and let the good times roll.

SQL Prompt 6.4 – Get It

SQLPrompt

This guy looks just like me a few weeks ago only one difference…..he has hair!!! Okay seriously though, I felt just like this guy not long ago and the reason for this was due to the fact I have become accustomed to specific tools and utilities that I utilize on a daily basis. Is this a good thing, eh, maybe or maybe not but end of the day I like to be efficient, dynamically nimble (if that is an expression), and in control of what my work entails daily.

Now, leading up to this extraordinary blog post you have to understand something. I’m in a RedGate shop pampered with some very nice utilities at my disposal. One such utility is their SQL Prompt utility.

One of the nice features I like about the utility is the recover tab within SSMS that shows me past history of tabs I had open within SQL. Can I tell you how many times this has come in handy? If that doesn’t meet your fancy then how about the code snippets that you can save and reuse later, or maybe the nice IntelliSense it provides while coding.

This leads me into why I looked like our Data Professional up above…..I recently was without my SQL Prompt and you thought I’d been taken back to the stone ages. I went to type out some code and low and behold nothing, I got NOTHING. No tables popping up; no columns to review…..nothing. After the sheer shock and awe subsided I knew I was in for a long day. Needless to say it didn’t take me long to figure out what went wrong with my prompt and how to get it back.

What’s this mean for you guys who are reading this? Glad you asked.

Red Gate’s new version is out so go check it out. Some of the new enhancements are noted below:

  • Execute current statement
  • Insert semicolons
  • Code highlighting
  • Use object definition case
  • Rename variables and aliases
  • Suggestions improvements
  • Qualify object names improvements
  • Remove square brackets
  • Nullability of columns
  • Choose environments to install to
  • New formatting options
  • New tab history options
  • Improved loading dialog box
  • Support for restricted accounts
  • Various usability improvements
  • Many bug fixes

So download the free trial and test drive it; what do you have to lose? Maybe you’ll like it and maybe you won’t but don’t wait and let time go by when you could be becoming more efficient in your everyday work.

If you use the product already drop me a line; if you don’t use the product then tell me why not.