Articles tagged

Spoofing Data Convincingly: Credit Cards

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I haven’t seen a SQL Server table with real unencrypted credit card numbers for several years, and I don’t know of any good reasons to have them stored that way. However, I’ve needed them in the past for testing a web application that had to take credit card details. Generating credit cards in a way … Read more

T-SQL Tuesday #104: Code You Would Hate To Live Without (Relative Positioning in Date Table)

Today’s blog post is in response to Bert Wagner’s invitation here: https://bertwagner.com/2018/07/03/code-youd-hate-to-live-without-t-sql-tuesday-104-invitation/. For me, the answer was pretty simple. There is one piece of code that I have written that I find very useful, and even more… it was my (as far as I know, my own idea!)  In my life, I have obviously learned a … Read more

Operator Precedence versus the Confusing Constraint Translation

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The other day, a person I work with was creating some fairly complex CHECK constraints to protect data in a new table that was being created (a practice I am 100% for: https://www.red-gate.com/simple-talk/blogs/eliminating-annoying-space-characters-via-check-constraints/. The multiple constraints were combined into just one, with several conditions condensed into a single Boolean expression, using several ANDs, ORs, and … Read more

Finding overlapping ranges of data

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This week, I had a problem where I needed to find and eliminate from the results of my query, data with overlapping ranges. I have written about this topic before, in my database design book book, in regards to building a trigger to avoid overlapping ranges. But even though I have written on the topic … Read more

T-SQL Window Function Speed Phreakery: The FIFO Stock Inventory Problem

Sometimes, in the quest for raw SQL performance, you are forced to sacrifice legibility and maintainability of your code, unless you then document your code lavishly. Phil Factor's SQL Speed Phreak challenge produced some memorable code, but can SQL features introduced since then help to produce code that performs as well and is also easy to understand? Aunty Kathi investigates.… Read more

Maintaining T-SQL Code Quality Using SQL Code Guard

Sometimes you need some functionality in your database build process that isn't quite available. Visual Studio Database projects don't have great ways of reviewing SQL code for potential errors, but is it possible to adapt a good command-line tool like SQL Code Guard that does the job well? Lukasz shows how to do it by using NuGet packages to integrate such tools with the project and the build process.… Read more

Top 10 Most Common Database Scripts

What are the scripts that a working DBA uses so often that they become part of the 'muscle memory'? Grant Fritchey asked the question on the forums of SQL Server Central. From the large response, Grant was able to pick out the ten most popular T-SQL commands, scripts, or fragments. It seems as if, despite the range of tasks we do, there are some common tools we use.… Read more

How to Confuse the SQL Server Query Optimizer

Gail Shaw examines three common forms of generic SQL that can and will confuse the SQL Server Optimizer to the point that it generates and reuses very inefficient execution plans. Want to 'trick' SQL Server into performing millions of logical reads to return the data, when only are few thousand were really required? Try writing catch-all queries, or using control flow statements to create general-purpose procedures, or switching parameter values within a procedure. Just don't expect the resulting queries and procedures to perform well, or consistently. The ideal solution to the problem of generic T-SQL is not to write it, but failing that Gail demonstrates techniques such as recompiling the query on each execution, using hints, dynamic SQL, or splitting generic procedures into sub-procedures.… Read more

How to Avoid Conditional JOINs in T-SQL

Relational databases go out of their way to execute SQL, however bad the crimes against Codd and relational theory within the query. The 'conditional join', can be executed but at great cost. As always, it is much better to sit back and restate the problem in a set-based way. The results can be rewarding.… Read more

Reusing T-SQL Code

Database programmers are often caught in the paradox of wanting to implement business rules and complex functionality in one place only, but being concerned by the performance hit of having generic functions or procedures that have a wide range of parameters and outputs. Alex Kuznetsov, in an article taken from his book 'Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server', shows how DRY principles can be put in practice with constraints, stored procedures, triggers, UDFs and indexes.… Read more

Using the T-SQL PERCENTILE Analytic Functions in SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008

Percentiles give meaning to measurements by telling you the percentage of the population being measured who get higher or lower values. They are now easier to calculate in SQL, and are useful for reporting; but are the new analytic functions faster and more efficient than the older methods? Dwain Camps demonstrates, and investigates their relative performance performance.… Read more