Npgsql "The operation has timed out." when replacing underlying RDS instance - npgsql

We are experiencing what I believe to be an issue with connection pooling when using Amazon RDS database instances to back our web application running on ECS.
Using ("Npgsql.EntityFrameworkCore.PostgreSQL": "1.1.0").
The error specifically occurs when we roll-back the RDS instance to a previous point in time. The connection string remains unchanged, but I suspect the Npgsql driver believes it still has active connections open, even though they have been terminated server side (by the rollback).
Restarting our application obviously fixes the problem as it creates new connections after launch, but is an undesirable solution.
Is this a bug within Npgsql? Should it be timing out on a connection that has been forcibly closed? Maybe there is something we can put in the connection string to force it to retry? (Although I'd like to avoid turning off connection pooling completely if possible.)


Visual Studio Server Explorer not closing sqlsrvr.exe process

I have this 'issue' since a long time and I am really wondering if this is just me or if there actually is a way of preventing the following:
In Visual Studio, when using the Server Explorer on a .mdf database, in a Entity Framework Code first approach project whenever I am opening the Database manually to see the data of certain tables (clicking on Show table data), it seems that even when I close the connection like this:
the database connection stays open somehow in the background.
I am getting "... the Database is currently in use ..." error if wanting to debug afterwards, after closing the connection, even when restarting the solution.
When I close all sqlservr.exe process(es) in the Task manager that does the trick.
Note that this is a local solution and a local database (.mdf) i am using for testing purposes. Nothing or no one else is using this solution.
I am quite sure this is not the behavior it should have right?
What am I doing wrong or what can I do to not have this behavior if this is not by default?
Thank you in advance for any feedback!
Include the "Pooling" flag in the connect string set to false:
However, this might not be the best option in a productive environment:
Connection pooling reduces the number of times that new connections must be opened. The pooler maintains ownership of the physical connection. It manages connections by keeping alive a set of active connections for each given connection configuration. Whenever a user calls Open on a connection, the pooler looks for an available connection in the pool. If a pooled connection is available, it returns it to the caller instead of opening a new connection. When the application calls Close on the connection, the pooler returns it to the pooled set of active connections instead of closing it. Once the connection is returned to the pool, it is ready to be reused on the next Open call. (...) SQL Server Connection Pooling (ADO.NET)

What does `test-on-borrow` do?

What does it do? How does it work? Why am I supposed to test the database connection before "borrowing it from the pool"?
I was not able to find any related information as to why I should be using it. Just how to use it. And it baffles me.
Can anyone provide some meaningful definition and possibly resources to find out more?
"test-on-borrow" indicates that a connection from the pool has to be validated usually by a simple SQL validation query defined in "validationQuery". These two properties are commonly used in conjunction to make sure that the current connections in the pool are not stale (no longer connected to the DB actively as a result of a DB restart, or timeouts enforced by the DB, or whatever other reason that might cause stale connections). By testing the connections on borrow, the application can automatically reconnect to the DB using new connections (and dropping the invalid ones) without a manual restart of the app and thus preventing DB connection errors in the app.
You can find more information on jdbc connection pool attributes here:

SQL Server - How to prevent sql server from disconnect the idle connection after period of time?

i am using sql server 2012 with desktop application as client , the application get errors after period of time when no activity on it , i googled about this issue all solutions points me to AUTO_CLOSE option on database but it's already set to false .
i thing is something missing in connection string (ADO Extension)
To be honest, if you have long running connections, you can hit these errors regardless due to firewalls / routers closing connections, etc. The correct solution is to instantiate a connection when you need it, use the connection and release it. With connection pooling, this is not really a performance problem.
If your long-running application is "bursty", it is sometimes convenient to open the connection, do a number of commands -- then when you go idle, release the connection and wait the next burst of activity.

Automatic failover with SQL mirroring and connection strings

I have 3 servers set up for SQL mirroring and automatic failover using a witness server. This works as expected.
Now my application that connects to the database, seems to have a problem when a failover occurs - I need to manually intervene and change connection strings for it to connect again.
The best solution I've found so far involves using Failover Partner parameter of the connection string, however it's neither intuitive nor complete: Data Source="Mirror";Failover Partner="Principal" found here.
From the example in the blog above (scenario #3) when the first failover occurs, and principal (failover partner) is unavailable, data source is used instead (which is the new principal). If it fails again (and I only tried within a limited period), it then comes up with an error message. This happens because the connection string is cached, so until this is refreshed, it will keep coming out with an error (it seems connection string refreshes ~5 mins after it encounters an error). If after failover I swap data source and failover partner, I will have one more silent failover again.
Is there a way to achieve fully automatic failover for applications that use mirroring databases too (without ever seeing the error)?
I can see potential workarounds using custom scripts that would poll currently active database node name and adjust connection string accordingly, however it seems like an overkill at the moment.
Read the blog post here
It explains what is happening, the failover partner is actually being read from the sql server not from your config. Run the query in that post to find out what is actually being used as the failover server. It will probably be a machine name that is not discoverable from where your client is running.
You can clear the application pool in the case a failover has happened. Not very nice I know ;-)
// ClearAllPools resets (or empties) the connection pool.
// If there are connections in use at the time of the call,
// they are marked appropriately and will be discarded
// (instead of being returned to the pool) when Close is called on them.
We use it when we change an underlying server via SQL Server alias, to enforce a "refresh" of the server name.
The solution is to turn connection pooling off Pooling="false"
Whilst this has minimal impact on small applications, I haven't tested it with applications that receive hundreds of requests per minute (or more) and not sure what the implications are. Anyone care to comment?
Try this connectionString:
connectionString="Data Source=[MSSQLPrincipalServerIP,MSSQLPORT];Failover Partner=[MSSQLMirrorServerIP,MSSQLPORT];Initial Catalog=DatabaseName;Persist Security Info=True;User Id=userName; Password=userPassword.; Connection Timeout=15;"
If you are using .net development, you can try to use ObjAdoDBLib or PigSQLSrvLib and PigSQLSrvCoreLib, and the code will become simple.
Example code:
New object
Me.ConnSQLSrv = New ConnSQLSrv(Me.DBSrv, Me.MirrDBSrv, Me.CurrDB, Me.DBUser, Me.DBPwd, Me.ProviderSQLSrv)
PigSQLSrvLib or PigSQLSrvCoreLib
Me.ConnSQLSrv = New ConnSQLSrv(Me.DBSrv, Me.MirrDBSrv, Me.CurrDB, Me.DBUser, Me.DBPwd)
Execute this method to automatically connect to the online database after the mirror database fails over.
For more information, see the relevant links.

General network error after a night of inactivity

For some time now our flagship application has been having mysterious errors. The error message is the generic
[DBNETLIB][ConnectionWrite (send()).]General network error. Check your network documentation.
This is reliably reproduced by leaving the app open for the night and resuming work in the morning. Since it's a backend server app this is a normal scenario.
The funny thing is - we've migrated from SQL Server 7 to 2000 to 2008 and the issue is present on all of them. But what seems to matter is the OS on which we run the app. On WinXP it works fine, on Vista/7 it fails. So the problem is at the client end.
The results of Google on the error message cover a very wide spectrum of different causes (since this is a very generic error) and none of the scenarios found there are similar to ours.
So perhaps someone around here will know what the problem is in our case?
You should be able to reproduce this error condition on demand by:
1. Opening a database connection (in your client application)
2. Unplugging the network cable
3. Plugging network cable back in (wait until the network connection is restored)
4. Using the previously opened connection to query the database
As far as I can tell from experience, client side ADO code is not able to consistently determine if an underlying network connection is actually valid or not. Checking if the database connection is open (in the client code) returns true. However, performing any operations on that connection results in a General network error.
The connection pool appears to be able to determine when a connection goes 'bad' so it never returns a bad connection to the application. It simply opens a new connection instead.
So, if a database connection is kept alive for a long time (used or unused) by the application, the underlying TCP/IP connectivity can get broken.
The bottom line is that database connections should be closed and returned back to the connection pool when not in use.
Also, depending on the number of clients connecting to the db, not using the connection pool can cause another issue. You may hit the maximum number of sockets open on the server side. This is from memory. Once a connection is closed on the client side, the connection on the server goes into a TIME_WAIT state. By default, the server socket takes about 4 minutes to close, so it is not available to other clients during that time. The bottom line is that there is a limited number of available sockets on the server. Keeping too many connections open can create a problem.
One project I worked on easily hit this socket limit with around 120 users. A new 'feature' was added that absolutely hammered the server, and after a few hours of using the app, things would suddenly slow to a crawl for everyone. SQL server was not closing enough sockets in time for new connection requests. Although there are 65K sockets altogether, only the first 5000 are made available to the ADO (this is a default registry setting thing, so can be changed).
The number of sockets in TIME_WAIT state would slowly build up until the OS would not allocate any more. So clients had to wait until server side sockets closed and a new connection could then be created.
Have you tried disabling SNP/TCP Chimneying?
Had a similar error. For me it was indirectly caused by mismatched calls to WSACleanup and WSAStartup.
The program called WSACleanup more times than WSAStartup. This would cause a reference counter (somewhere in the sockets library) to reach zero too early.
I think effectively from that moment on all sockets owned by the process are broken.
And this would also kill the SQL client since it uses sockets to 'talk' to the SQL server as well.