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SQLBits in Reading and the British language

SQLBits was held in Reading this Saturday and it certainly superseded my expectations. There were over 300 people, excellent talks and plenty of opportunities to meet others.

There were four parallel sessions, one for BI, Dev, Katmai and DBA, and since there is only one me, it was, as always, difficult to choose.

One thing that probably tops my list of interesting findings for the day is the “British language”. Since the event was in the UK, this was of course bound to happen. And it did happen at least four times in Dave McMahon’s entertaining session. He liked using “SET LANGUAGE ‘British'”. This is a statement that certainly increases the comfort level of SQL Server. It is useful when you want to parse date strings in your session, and these strings are following the format of a different culture. Let’s say, they are in the format commonly used in the UK. You may not want to play with SET DATEFORMAT, just type in “SET LANGUAGE ‘British'”.  Note that sys.messages is looked up based on the language_id, which in case of British is still 1033, so do not expect different error messages after using SET LANGUAGE ‘British’ 🙂

There were of course more interesting bits at this event, but I leave them for later. For now I just want to say thanks to Simon Sabin and Tony Rogerson for organizing the event, and of course, many thanks to those who attended my session.