The Demo Setup–Attaching Databases with Powershell

I found another use for Powershell, one actually suggested by someone else: attaching specific SQL Server databases.

TL;DR I have a script that detaches all user databases from a SQL Server instance and then reattches certain ones. Full script at the end.

The Issue

We have a lot of demo databases on our demo VMs for Red Gate. Some specific databases are used to show things with different products, but it ends up with us having a few dozen databases on an instance of SQL Server.

That’s not the best way to show things to users, as they can get confused with so many databases. Specifically for us, we have a set of databases for one of our classes, a different set for a second class, and a third set for a third class. We do this because things need to be set in different stages for each class.

One of our sales engineers said it would be great if we could hide some databases when we didn’t need them. I immediately saw a use for Powershell here.

Approach

My approach to this problem would be this.

  • detach all user databases
  • attach specific databases by specifying the name of the database, and the mdf/ldf/ndf file names.
  • use a batch file the user can double click on the desktop to run the Powershell script.

This seemed to make sense, and I started to tackle this on one of my machines in this manner. However because I detached all my databases first, all of a sudden working on things was a pain. As a result, I setup a new VM and created dummy databases there. I first worked on the attach piece, and then the detach part.

Detaching User Databases

This was fairly simple, and I’ve written about it before. In this case, I merely cut and pasted this code into my script.

$srv = New-Object ‘Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.SMO.Server’ $instance

#detach all user databases
$dbnames = $srv.Databases.name

  foreach ($dbn in $dbnames) {
    Write-Host $dbn
    if ($dbn -ne "master" -and $dbn -ne "model" -and $dbn -ne "msdb" -and $dbn -ne "tempdb") {
      $srv.DetachDatabase($dbn, $false)
   
      }
    }

The first line is actually needed for both parts of the script, and we re-use that object later.

The script gets a handle to the databases object and then a collection of all the names. We loop through the collection and if we aren’t looking at one of the four system databases, we call the detachDatabase method.

Note that this means I’m in control of the instance and I know I don’t have a distribution database or anything else that might break. For me, I can safely drop everything other than master/model/msdb/tempdb.

Attaching Databases

I had to search around for some example code. I guess I didn’t have to, but the docs from MS can be tricky to put together, so I searched and found a few examples. Specifically, I ran across this post that described how to attach a single database.

I decided to begin by building up the db name and paths to the files. I started by setting a variable to the path and database name.

$sqldatapath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\"

$dbn = "sandbox"

One of my databases is “Sandbox” and the path for all my database files is given as the default.

Next I build up the mdf/ldf files. In my case, I don’t have anything other than single mdf file databases.

$mdffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + ".mdf"
write-host $mdffiles
$ldffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + "_Log.ldf"
write-host $ldffiles

With these, I now can tell what I’m doing. I write the data out to the host, mostly so that if something breaks, the user can determine where. We’re all technical, but it’s nice to know what’s broken.

These are the important bits, but now I need a place to store them. At only one time in the script, I create a new StringCollection object.

$dbfiles = New-Object System.Collections.Specialized.StringCollection

I’ll reuse this object for each database. In this object, I store the database file names. I use the .Add method to get them in here.

$dbfiles.Add($mdffiles)
$dbfiles.Add($ldffiles)

Now I have all my parameters. I can call the AttachDatabase method.

$srv.AttachDatabase($dbn, $dbfiles, "sa", "None")

The documentation says I need an owner, and for simplicity, I use “sa”. I also can specify options, but I don’t care in this case.

This attaches my first database. However, I need to repeat this. I could build some loop and use some array, which is probably better, but for the sake of simplicity here, and preventing issues, I copy and paste this code multiple times. In my case, I have no more than 4 databases, for any environment, so I merely copy/paste this code and change the database name.

However, I don’t want to keep adding to my StringCollection each time. In between each set of databases I need to call, I add this:

$dbfiles.Clear()

Now I have a few simple scripts I can modify easily, and others can understand them.

The Batch File

The other thing I learned with the batch file is that it doesn’t have the same context as my editing session. I had to add a line to load the SQLPS stuff at the beginning for it to work.

Import-Module "sqlps" -DisableNameChecking

I also had to ensure the execution policy is set on each machine, but we tend to do that when we set up the machines.

Simplicity

This is the simple way. It’s really not the best way, and if these scripts change much, this is a problematic way of doing things. I really should have a loop with a list of databases in one place in the script. That way if I add or remove a database, I can easily do it.

That’s an improvement I’ll make.

Let me also say that I have a pattern of database names, and files. If I needed to handle different file locations and varying numbers of files, I think this approach actually works better. Each section of the script can be edited easily, and separately, without worrying about complex logic.

I like simple.

Scripts

The batch script is this.

powershell c:\Utilities\attach_demodbs.ps1

I call the Powershell host and give a fully qualified path to the script.

Here is one of my demo scripts, for two databases: sandbox and EncryptionPrimer:

<#

Attach Demo Databases

This script detaches all user databases and then attaches the following databases

Attaches
– Sandbox
– EncryptionPrimer

#>

Import-Module "sqlps" -DisableNameChecking

$srv = New-Object ‘Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.SMO.Server’ $instance

#detach all user databases
$dbnames = $srv.Databases.name

  foreach ($dbn in $dbnames) {
    Write-Host $dbn
    if ($dbn -ne "master" -and $dbn -ne "model" -and $dbn -ne "msdb" -and $dbn -ne "tempdb") {
      $srv.DetachDatabase($dbn, $false)
   
      }
    }

$dbfiles = New-Object System.Collections.Specialized.StringCollection

$sqldatapath = "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\"

$dbn = "sandbox"

write-host "Instance: " $srv.Name
write-host "Attach " $dbn

$mdffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + ".mdf"
write-host $mdffiles
$ldffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + "_Log.ldf"
write-host $ldffiles

$dbfiles.Add($mdffiles)
$dbfiles.Add($ldffiles)

$srv.AttachDatabase($dbn, $dbfiles, "sa", "None")

$dbfiles.Clear()

#attach staging
$dbn = "EncryptionPrimer"

write-host "Instance: " $srv.Name
write-host "Attach " $dbn

$mdffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + ".mdf"
write-host "MDF: " $mdffiles
$ldffiles = $sqldatapath + $dbn + "_Log.ldf"
write-host "LDF: " $ldffiles

$dbfiles.Add($mdffiles)
$dbfiles.Add($ldffiles)

$srv.AttachDatabase($dbn, $dbfiles, "sa", "None")

$dbfiles.Clear()

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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One Response to The Demo Setup–Attaching Databases with Powershell

  1. easyoradba says:

    Reblogged this on Shadab Mohammad.

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