This is a company that practises what they preach

How good is a company at engaging with their user base? Obviously when things are going great then it’s wins all around for the company and hopefully the people have invested their money in that company’s products…

When things are not going well – I feel this is how you know what a company is really like and more importantly how their endemic culture actually is.

The company I am talking in this blog post is Redgate, I’ve known Redgate products for the best part of 3 years. Back when I started looking at how I could integrate database deployments with application deployments – specifically around folding in Continuous Delivery principles and processes – one company was leading the rest of the pack.


I like Redgate tools – they make what can be difficult and cumbersome in other technology stacks simple and easy. I like that – mainly because there are enough hard things to do in computers and getting a database into source control (and easily deployable) can be right up there in terms of hair pulling.

I especially like the culture of Redgate – I’ve yet to meet anyone that works there that is not engaging, passionate and knowledgeable about all things DevOps. It’s awesome to deal with them, they are really friendly and even the scariest of DBAs ( t | w) is a guy who is fanatical about making stuff go and better for the community and industry. Heck,  they just hired Kendra Little ( t | w ) so they must be both a cool company and awesome company.

(Side note: It was thanks to Kendra’s awesome blog posts and videos that helped me become a better Data Professional and yeah – I’m a big fan of what she does for the community. Plus, she’s as humorous as she is intelligent).

So what about when things go wrong with a company?

That’s normally when you find out how they really are.

If you’re a customer of Redgate you might have got an email from Tony Payne – their Chief Operating Officer – so the thing that occurred is fairly important and I like the fact it came “from the top”. The issue was a security vulnerability in SQL Monitor – which is a fairly important thing to fix and get right.

I knew about this security vulnerability as I had contacted some of the people I know at Redgate and trust and said “hey, I have noticed something and I think you need to look at SQL Monitor”.  I use SQL Monitor and I recommend SQL Monitor to my clients – it is a fantastic tool and the way it integrates with other tooling really fits in with the ethos of DevOps .

(Another side note: because I’m the Hybrid DBA – I don’t just do databases, I also do stuff like pen testing, configure web nodes with powershell and/or write in ansible to make stuff go… so sometimes I don’t just use tools, I like to break tools)

Now Redgate could have just said “cool, thanks for bringing this to our attention” and left it at that. And whilst that sounds like no company would do that – trust me there are companies that do exactly that.

Redgate responded back to me immediately, the product manager kept me in the loop both of how serious they took this and more importantly what they would do about it. They went to work immediately to fix it and got in outside consultants to audit that things were fixed.

As per the website above detailing what they did – they did all the right things.

What that article doesn’t tell you is they did something that Agile brings to the table – because they practise Agile they were able to React and Adapt to something that was not forecast as part of sprint planning.

Redgate preaches all things DevOps – but could they practise it. The long answer is Yes. Yes they can and for me that is a fantastic measure of a company.

People are fairly intelligent and can tell if you’re wanting to pull the wool over their eyes (you can fool some of the people some of the time…). If they had just swept this under the rug then yeah – their whole brand about delivering value quicker and keeping your data safe would be a fallacy.

But it’s not – they understand how important your data is, they know how to deliver value quicker because – they did.

I’m really impressed by how they handled this situation – I was very lucky to be an insider on what they were doing and I really appreciate that they let me in on that. It made me feel valued and made reinforced why I love both their products and the culture they have within their company.

Nice one team!!

Want to make your database deployment way safer, easier? You should check them out:




Connecting to SQL Server 2017 using Visual Studio 2017 and getting “An incompatible SQL Server version detected”

This blog post details the error you may get when using Visual Studio 2017 and you get errors that you cannot connect to SQL Server 2017 using Test Explorer or SQL Server Object Explorer.

TL;DR – upgrade Visual Studio from base version…..

I had built a new DEMO machine for showcasing Visual Studio, namely SQL Server Data Tools as well as vendor tools that help people “do DevOps” stuff with databases.

I cloned my repository in my Azure Repo (read up on them here ) and kicked off a BUILD in Azure DevOps  (read more here ) (formerly known as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)) and everything was going great.

I then wrote some unit tests for some stored procedures and went to build my solution in Visual Studio – which worked, then publish it to my local SQL Server 2017 instance – which failed.

The error was “Ensure you have the same name in master or <database>” which is a weird error.

Thing was – I had used Test Connection – which worked!!.

Initial Error
Don’t believe that things are OK…. while the Test Connection worked – nothing else did

But the actual publish failed – couldn’t connect…. (what???)

So I went to use SQL Server Object Explorer in Visual Studio to try and connect and got the following error:

error connecting VS
I couldn’t add my instance here – but could ‘Test Connection‘ in other parts of VS2017 (!??!)

I upgraded my SQL Server 2017 instance to CU11 – mainly as my version was base version:

SQL server Version Originally
In my defense I did only install this today……. 

But of course in reflection (reflected whilst I waited for CU11 to upgrade my instance) – I could connect to SQL Server 2016 instances. But couldn’t connect to my Azure SQL instances…

…..what the???

Which then made me check the version of Visual Studio 2017.

It was version 15.0 – and lo and behold there was an update waiting in notifications area telling me that an upgrade to 15.8.7 was ready to be installed.


So I upgraded……

At least some things are consistent in Visual Studio  🤣

…….and things now work:

Working Now
This now works – hooray
Don’t worry – I did a Build first before I published!!

….and I can now (after a 2 hour hiatus of upgrades) go back to writing unit tests and running them against instances