Dots, Skills, and SQL Clone: A Contest from Redgate

Redgate just launched SQL Clone, a new product that can provision copies of databases in seconds. By copies, I mean full sized, up to 2TB copies of your database, each separate and isolated, and built in seconds. What’s even more amazing is that each of these copies takes just a few MB of space.

echodotAs a launch contest, Redgate is giving away 5 Amazon Echo Dots to some lucky individuals. The overall winner will also receive a copy of SQL Clone. To enter, you need to to tell us what “skill” for Alexa you would build. Perhaps you want to know if any backups failed. Maybe you want to know how many deployments you’ve made to your database. Perhaps you just want to have the Dot remind you to pull the lasagna out of the oven. Just let us know in the comments section below to enter and good luck.

At Redgate, we had some fun with SQL Clone and an echo, building an Alexa skill that provisions a database using your voice. Not terribly practical, but that might be fun if a developer gets annoyed and wants to yell at Alexa to create a a new database clone. You can see how they built the real skill here (or watch the video).

Provisioning a database with SQL Clone and Alexa


Over the last few years I’ve been talking DevOps for databases with lots of people, and one of the obstacles many people face is using a shared database for development.

Why? Often because the developers need a certain amount of data and they use a copy of production. They also don’t have (or want to use) the disk space to give everyone a copy of the database. With SQL Clone, you can see that my 97GB database uses only 49MB for each developer.

2017-02-22 17_11_05-SQL Clone

Take a walkthrough of SQL Clone and see how it works for you. Download the 14 day free trial and see how SQL Clone might help you smooth your database development process.

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25 Responses to Dots, Skills, and SQL Clone: A Contest from Redgate

  1. Gary Varga says:

    Steve, I would develop the ALM Motivator. This skill would hook into the Continuous Integration toolset and play music deemed appropriate for the team for a given scenario. The scenarios could be broken builds, different burn rates, releases etc. The music selected for the scenario could be from categorised team selections e.g. calm music when the defect rates go up to aid team serenity in the face of adverse conditions.


  2. mongoman1983 says:

    Alexa to receive alerts from monitoring tools and audibly alert when a performance condition/security alert/any alert happens that is deemed critical. Then with said functionality be able to tell Alexa to acknowledge the alert.


  3. Julie Yates says:

    I would create an Alexa skill to automatically buy birthday cards from an online store such as Moonpig, with appropriate, individual sentiments in each, so I never have the shame of missing birthdays again!!


  4. TJ says:

    I’d keep Alexa in my kitchen and have her keep track of what I have in my fridge, freezer, cupboards etc. I’d get Alexa to order items for home delivery when they’re running low or the use by date is about to expire. I’d also use Alexa’s knowledge of what I currently have in my kitchen to suggest recipes that I could cook based on what items I have available.


  5. Feodor says:

    I would give Alexa all my passwords to all my emails, social networks, and will have it respond to emails, post statuses and communicate with other people’s Alexas (just because I think everyone will eventually end up doing the same thing!) and in the meantime I will go to an island in Greece or the Pacific and will get a small farm without internet and will start building a self-sustained farm where I can enjoy the taste of food and the bliss of sleep, uninterrupted by electronics. This way, the world will enjoy my presence, as virtual as it is (oh, wait, it is virtual enough today as it is!) and if I ever wanted to get back one day, all I would need to do would be to rename myself “Alexa”.


  6. Jimbo says:

    I would get Alexa to remind me each day that there is a ‘real’ world outside all the technology that has come to dominate our lives. He/She (?) would then tell me of something nice to do that involves no tech. 🙂


  7. Joe Kelly says:

    I would have Alexa read me the status report while I have my morning coffee, which she initiated and then deploy any maintenance tasks verbally using the Redgate tools.


  8. Barbara Cooper says:

    I would love for Alexa to tell me when a job fails from various servers or perhaps if database mail fails to send emails out.


  9. Sam Samuelson says:

    “Alexa – Analyze SQL” would activate Alexa’s skill to take a piece of SQL, run the Optimizer, analyze it and suggest what to change. “Alexa – Make It So” (v2.0 of the skill) would generate the SQL to make the change.

    With the time I’m not spending analyzing execution plans, I would create the Alexa skill to generate important-sounding titles for 2 hour meetings. She would then randomly schedule between 3 and 5 of them a week on my calendar – blocking off time so I could build the Alexa skill of all Alexa skills: (After the NDA is signed I can reveal the name…)


  10. Tom Mohoric says:

    Create a skill that would allow me to leave a note for a family member.


  11. hammes says:

    Create a skill to clone production with scrubbed data and test users!


  12. Vinod says:

    Create an Alexa Skill to monitor databases and alert if the database is growing past capacity.


  13. mtriguy says:

    I’d create an Alexa Skill to read me the latest Voice of the DBA post.


  14. gbargsley says:

    I would teach Alexa to use @psdbatools so she can easily admin servers.


  15. Paul R says:

    I’d get Alexa to understand my SQL Prompt snippets and let me dictate SQL code directly, without the need to actually type.


  16. Pingback: Still time to enter the SQL Clone contest | Voice of the DBA

  17. Kurt Zimmerman says:

    I would have Alexa alert me on when my SQL Server database servers are reaching critical thresholds. It would be integrated into something that I already have that auto-generates a work order ticket when any server drives in our corporate enterprise reaches > 95% of capacity.


  18. Khushboo says:

    As a developer(sorry DBAs I am taking some space here), I feel Alexa can monitor my ETL jobs and alert me if jobs are failing or they have deadlock situation. In fact it would be cool to get alerts even after job finish saying what data got refreshed and all. Sometimes automated email goes in folder and so is failure emails and due to work load it’s hard to remember everyday to check an email. Alexa warnings will help ☺️


  19. Sjef de Kort says:

    I’d just want to hear some jokes.


  20. SQL Padre says:

    I would build an Alexa Skill that would automatically collect volume stats (and possibly other performance maintenance) across my network and write them to a repository.


  21. Tracey says:

    I would like to create an Alexa Skill that can send mass emergency desktop notification to all PCs across our facilities.


  22. I’d like to hook Alexa up to the version control and monitoring software. Any time one of the applications starts running “slow” (based on the monitoring software or a comment from the users) it would alert me and send me a list of all recent changes.


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