SQL Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains answers to commonly asked questions about our SQL products and services.
If your question is unanswered or you need more information, call us on 020 8465 9100.
Frequently asked questions
Business Intelligence FAQ's
We have a reporting requirement but are not sure which tools would best meet our needs. Can you help?Yes we'd be happy to analyse your requirement and recommend appropriate solutions. If you want to outsource some or all of the development work, we will scope the work free-of-charge and with no obligation.
Which data technologies do you deal with?We are Microsoft SQL Server database experts, and are also highly experienced in Oracle data warehousing technology. Although we can work with other database technologies, our main body of database expertise lies with these two database vendors.
Do you provide warranties for work performed?All work carries warranties. You will also receive technical documentation and initial support for implemented solutions.
We require assistance with a clientYes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.
How can we be sure of your credentials?We have been providing database consultancy to our clients since 1996, and company references are available on request. We have recent history of providing fully featured reporting solutions to high profile international clients and niche players alike.
SQL Server Support FAQ's
How can you maximise our database uptime?
We believe in prevention rather than cure. Our proactive and continual monitoring regime ensures that outages are extremely rare.
How do you access our database servers?
We will use whatever remote access technology is available. Our clients use various methods to provide secure remote access including site-to-site VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), SSL VPN gateways and Password Token technologies.
What service levels can we expect?
Calls are answered directly by our highly experienced database consultants, so issues are dealt with immediately.
Due to the nature of our systems, it is inappropriate to perform maintenance tasks during standard office hours. Can you perform these tasks out-of-hours?
All maintenance tasks are performed at times that suit you. We perform out-of-hours work at no extra cost.
Which SQL Server versions do you support?
We support all versions from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2016. We are highly experienced at performing SQL Server patching and upgrades.
Does your support price include database recoveries when required?
Yes. All our database support consultants are trained in a range of database recovery scenarios, and our fast recovery service is included in the price.
Where are your support consultants physically based?
All our consultants are based in the UK, in our London and Edinburgh offices. When issues with UK-based clients' databases cannot be resolved remotely, we will travel to the client datacentre free-of-charge to fix the problem.
We have special requirements. Can you cater for these?
Yes. All our packages are flexible to meet clients' individual needs.
What documentation can we expect?
All maintenance tasks performed are fully documented, and this documentation is available on request. Details of all maintenance tasks performed is also included in our periodic reports.
We require support for our clients. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?
Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.
SQL Server Tuning FAQ's
What is your usual strategy for tuning a database and its environment?
Our strategy will depend on your circumstances. However, we typically gather a number of key performance measurements, both at system and database level. These are used in conjunction with user and support staff testimony (where available and appropriate) to identify the main high-level bottlenecks. We then drill down using custom scripts and standard tools to identify the sources of these bottlenecks, before devising solutions to eliminate them.
A specific part of my application is performing particularly badly. Can you fix it?
We will always focus first on specific known issues. In the vast majority of cases you will see a marked performance improvement in those areas when we have finished.
If you find inefficient code in our applications, can you rewrite it?
If the code is stored within the database as T-SQL, we can amend the code on request (but you should check the support implications for 3rd party products). We will not normally amend other code, but will document the inefficiencies (and can provide details of how these code fragments could be better rewritten) so that you can report these to your application vendor for amendment.
Do you provide warranties for any amendments made?
We provide two weeks of free remote support for any changes made.
Which SQL Server database versions can you tune?
We can tune all versions of SQL Server.
When can we expect documentation for the tasks performed?
We typically document the tasks performed within one week of the tuning exercise. You are guaranteed to have a copy of the documentation within two weeks of work completion.
We require an environment to be tuned for our client. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?
Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission.
Can you independently verify a client
Yes, this is one of our more commonly-requested services. Please contact us for further details.
What are your payment terms?
We invoice after work has been completed and you are in possession of our documentation. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date.