ChatGpt Experiments–Getting Documentation

I get asked questions by salespeople all the time. Usually this is because a customer is struggling and I try to educate the salesperson as well as give them something to send to the customer. Here’s a place I used ChatGPT to make this quicker, or at least try.

This is part of a series of experiments with the ChatGPT and other AI systems.

Asking a Question

A customer asked about configuring SQL Backup Pro to use Amazon S3 for backup locations. Rather than search out the docs, find URLs, etc. I asked ChatGPT. Here’s what I got:

Prompt: How do I configure SQL Backup Pro to send files to Amazon s3?


To configure SQL Backup Pro to send backup files to Amazon S3, you need to set up an Amazon S3 storage account and configure SQL Backup Pro to use it as the destination for backup files. Here are the general steps to configure this integration:

  1. Create an Amazon S3 bucket: Log in to your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and create an S3 bucket where you want to store the SQL Server backup files. Take note of the bucket name and the AWS access credentials.

  2. Install SQL Backup Pro: If you haven’t already, download and install SQL Backup Pro from Redgate Software. Ensure that it is properly installed and licensed.

  3. Open SQL Backup Pro: Launch SQL Backup Pro and open the SQL Server instance you want to configure for backups.

  4. Configure backup settings: In SQL Backup Pro, navigate to the Backup tab and configure the backup settings according to your requirements, such as database selection, compression level, and encryption settings.

  5. Configure backup destination: In the backup settings, choose the backup destination as “File (network or local drive)”.

  6. Set the backup path: Specify a local folder where SQL Backup Pro will temporarily store the backup files before transferring them to Amazon S3. This can be any local folder accessible by the SQL Server service account.

  7. Configure transfer settings: Under the “Backup files to the network or local folder” section, select the option “After the backup completes, copy files to another location or device”.

  8. Choose the transfer type: In the transfer settings, select the transfer type as “Amazon S3”.

  9. Enter Amazon S3 credentials: Provide the AWS access credentials (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) associated with your Amazon S3 bucket. These credentials authenticate SQL Backup Pro to access and upload files to your S3 bucket.

  10. Specify the S3 bucket details: Enter the bucket name and the desired S3 region where the backup files should be uploaded.

  11. Set other transfer options: Configure additional transfer options, such as file naming, retention policies, and logging preferences.

  12. Save and test the configuration: Save the settings and perform a test backup to verify that SQL Backup Pro can successfully transfer the backup files to Amazon S3.

Once the configuration is complete, SQL Backup Pro will automatically transfer the backup files to the specified Amazon S3 bucket after each backup operation.

Note: The specific steps and options may vary slightly depending on the version of SQL Backup Pro you are using. It’s recommended to consult the product documentation or contact Redgate support for detailed instructions based on your specific version and environment.

Did it Work?

While this was generating, I actually looked for docs to evaluate whether this was good advice. I don’t completely trust the AIs yet. What I found was:

The instructions from ChatGPT don’t reference specific URLs, which I think is something that I would hope for. If I were sending instructions to a client, they might figure things out from the ChatGPT answer, but they’d be annoyed.

A good example of where domain knowledge is needed, and still some work. This might be helpful if I had links it the answer to quickly check things.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A New Word: Jouska

jouska – a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head – a crisp analysis, a devastating comeback, a cathartic heart-to-heart – which serves as a kind of phycological batting cage that feels far more satisfying than the small-ball strategies of everyday life.

This happens to me all the time. Maybe this is something I should work on in therapy? However, since I try not to should-on-myself, I’ll see if I can reduce this internal dialogue.

Sometimes it’s productive for me, such as the times I’m gaming what questions someone might ask me about a presentation or how I will pitch something in a meeting. In these cases, running through the “ideal” conversation in my head is good initial prep.

However. I sometimes have this crazy hypothetical conversation in my head when someone has upset or offended me. I’m sure “I’m right”, and I work through all the great things I would say and how I’d show the other person they are wrong.

Things never work out that way, and I hope I find ways to engage in less jouska.

From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Better Communication Through Less Messaging

I have learned to really appreciate and enjoy Slack as a messaging tool. It’s something I use daily, and a place where many inside my company communicate about all sorts of issues. There certainly can be an overload of channels, but for me, I add and prune channels regularly and it’s a good way to segregate conversations.

I didn’t feel that way when I started. At first, I resisted using it. Now I couldn’t imagine not having it, but not everyone feels the same way. There’s an article about a SaaS provider moving their company off Slack and instead using the Basecamp project management platform and keeping communications inside there.

Why? They say they have less meetings, less interruptions, less direct messaging, and more productivity.

Interesting conclusions. I certainly can see that some people might find Slack to be chatty, and there are definitely lots of channels devoted to non-work items. There can be a lot of unread channels from me, but I don’t know that we would have less meetings without Slack. We have various work tracking and productivity tools, like SalesForce, trello boards, etc. However, those aren’t the places I find it convenient to move communications.

Personally, I don’t have a lot of DMs, and I like that I can see unread channels, ignoring them when I’m busy and looking at them when I have time. I can also just mark-as-read a channel when I want to declare thread bankruptcy.

I usually don’t find Slack to be too intrusive to my day. I work fairly independently and asynchronously, as I’d expect many developers to work. I also don’t know that it causes more meetings, at least not for me. There is a fairly high bar to opening a meeting and I find many people don’t bother. Instead, we can have a discussion, in real time or across days, that deals with a topic.

What do you think? If you use Slack (or Teams/etc.) is this a drain on productivity or an enhancer? I think the latter.

Steve Jones

Listen to the podcast at Libsyn, Stitcher, Spotify, or iTunes.

Posted in Editorial | Leave a comment

Summit Launch Pricing Ends June 7

The PASS Data Community Summit is back in Seattle this November, the 14-17, 2023. It’s in person only, and if you can come, you should register today. Launch pricing is discounted and ends next week, June 7.

Complete pricing is on the site, but next week the prices rise, not only for the event, but the pre-cons as well. $500 for a pre-con is a great price, and it’s not something you see from many of the experts when they run private training. The conference is also 30% off now, so let your boss know now is the time to register.

You can see the pre-cons listed, and a number of sessions on the schedule as well. There is a lot of learning and more to come. This isn’t a complete list of sessions as the volunteers on the program committee are still making their final decisions.

If you need to make a case for your employer, there is some great information on the site about what you can learn and why it’s worth attending. The networking alone, which let’s you meet and talk with experts, can be worth a lot later. One support call and the time spent could be avoided with a new colleague that you can query.

I hope to see many of you there. I don’t know if I’m speaking, but I am going and helping run the event. Come to Seattle this fall (and SQL Saturday Oregon the weekend before) and grow your career and get excited about being a data professional.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment