Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

This is not going to be a SQL post (again) So to have at least some SQL I am going to link to a post I did last year: Calculating Thanksgiving By Using SQL in SQL Server

So that’s that. I have some people coming over today and still have to cook all the stuff. The best part about thanksgiving besides the food and seeing the family is that we pick our secret Santa. Up until last year we would exchange with every family member and have a limit of $25. No we do it differently we pick one person from a hat and spend $125. This is much better because you only have to buy a gift for one person and you can get a nicer gift instead of several smaller gifts. So I usually give my list of Amazon links to the person and they can choose what to get me. Yes it’s not really a ‘secret’ Santa. I will post my list on Saturday so that you can see if I have any taste or not

Now another topic: weight gain. Yes the time between Thanksgiving and New Years day is the time when most people start putting on the pounds. A friend of mine has a blogpost named Fat America but I must warn you if you are a heavier person you might get offended with some of the language at the end of the post (the elevator part)

Anyway enjoy the food and drinks and have a good time

Windows Vista Consumer Launch Countdown Gadget

There is a Windows Vista Consumer Launch Countdown Gadget available. There are 3 versions of this gadget (widget for you Mac fans) available:
one for pages, another for Windows Live Spaces, and a third for installation to the Windows Vista Sidebar.

If you need more info about this gadget then visit this link:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Upgrading My Skills To SQL Server 2005

At work we are required to get training at least once a year. So I decided to take the Upgrading Your Database Development Skills To Microsoft SQL server 2005

At the end of this post you will see what I should learn. The things that I am most excited about are: Service Broker and Using SQL Management Objects. The new Transact SQL enhancements I know already; I have covered several of them in this blog.

I doubt that I will use the .NET CLR in SQL Server 2005; but I must say that I was amazed at how easy it is to set it up. Notification services could be something I could use but right now I have build my own.
The Native HTTP Support was really cool; it was strange to see WSDL generated from SQL Server. It is something that can be deployed internally since I know that we will never open up our SQL boxes at work to the outside world.

So today is the last day of the class and we have a break now. I must say going to training beats a book anytime. it just saves you so much time. This was a 3 day course. If I had to do it by myself with a book it would take me at least 2 weeks.

Talking about books I am also in the middle of reading Inside Microsoft (r) SQL Server (tm) 2005: The Storage Engine and Pro SQL Server 2005 Database Design and Optimization and both are excellent books

So here is what was covered in this course:

Module 1: SQL Server 2005 Overview

The information in this module introduces the main new features and enhancements in SQL Server 2005 and describes the new development tools.

SQL Server 2005 Components and Architecture
SQL Server Developer Tools
SQL Server 2005 Security Implementation

Lab 1: Exploring SQL Server 2005
Using SQL Server Management Studio
Using Schemas

Module 2: Transact-SQL Enhancements in SQL Server 2005

In this module, students learn about the improvements in Transact-SQL in SQL Server 2005.

Data Definition Language Enhancements
Data Manipulation Language Enhancements
Structured Exception Handling

Lab 2: Programming with Transact-SQL
Partitioning a Table
Using Common Table Expressions
Using Relational Operators

Module 3: Using XML in SQL Server 2005

In this module, students learn about the XML-related functionality in the SQL Server 2005 database engine will be described.

XML Enhancements in SQL Server 2005
The xml Data Type
Using XQuery

Lab 3: Working with XML
Retrieving XML from Relational Data
Storing XML Natively in the Databases
Using XQuery with xml Methods

Module 4: Using Service Broker

The information in this module introduces Microsoftr SQL ServerT 2005 Service Broker-a message-based platform for building service-oriented database solutions.

Service Broker Architecture
Using the Service Broker

Lab 4: Using Service Broker
Creating Service Broker Objects
Implementing the Customer Service
Implementing the E-mail Service

Module 5: Using Native HTTP Support

In this module, students learn how to create HTTP endpoints that make database services available to Web services clients.

Native HTTP Support in SQL Server 2005
Configuring Native HTTP Support

Lab 5: Implementing a Web Service with HTTP Endpoints
Create an HTTP Endpoint
Test the HTTP Endpoint
Secure the HTTP Endpoint

Module 6: Using Notification Services

The information in this module introduces Notification Services and how to develop Notification Services applications.

Notification Services Architecture
Building Notification Services Solutions

Lab 6: Using Notification Services
Creating a Notification Services Application
Creating a Subscription Management Application
Creating an Event Provider

Module 7: Using the .NET CLR in SQL Server 2005

In this module, students learn how to implement managed code in a SQL Server 2005 database.

SQL Server and the .NET CLR
Implementing Managed Code in SQL Server 2005

Lab 7: Implementing Managed Code in the Database
Creating a Managed Stored Procedure
Creating a Managed Function
Creating a Managed User-Defined Type

Module 8: Developing Client Applications

The information in this module introduces database developers to client application development techniques that use the data access classes provided in the .NET Framework.

Developing Client Applications with ADO.NET
Data Binding in the .NET Framework 2.0

Lab 8: Developing Client Applications
Creating a Data Bound Windows Application
Creating a Data bound ASP.NET Application

Module 9: Using SQL Management Objects

The information in this module introduces the SQL Management Objects (SMO) Application Programming Interface (API) in Microsoftr SQL ServerT 2005, which provides classes that you can use to manage SQL Server. SQL Server 2005 also introduces Replication Management Objects (RMO) to allow automation of replication.

Introduction to SQL Management Objects
Replication Management Objects

Lab 9: Using SQL Management Objects
Using SMO to Retrieve Server Information
Using SMO to Create Database Objects
Using SMO to Modify Database Objects

SQL Hacks

O'Reilly came out with their latest SQL book: SQL Hacks
From their site:
Whether you're running Access, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, or PostgreSQL, this book will help you push the limits of traditional SQL to squeeze data effectively from your database. The book offers 100 hacks -- unique tips and tools -- that bring you the knowledge of experts who apply what they know in the real world to help you take full advantage of the expressive power of SQL. You'll find practical techniques to address complex data manipulation problems. Learn how to:

--Wrangle data in the most efficient way possible
--Aggregate and organize your data for meaningful and accurate reporting
--Make the most of subqueries, joins, and unions
--Stay on top of the performance of your queries and the server that runs them
--Avoid common SQL security pitfalls, including the dreaded SQL injection attack

Let SQL Hacks serve as your toolbox for digging up and manipulating data. If you love to tinker and optimize, SQL is the perfect technology and SQL Hacks is the must-have book for you.

Sample Chapter
A sample chapter is available: Hack 4: Date Handling (PDF Format)

Table Of Contents:
Chapter 1. SQL Fundamentals
1. Run SQL from the Command Line
2. Connect to SQL from a Program
3. Perform Conditional INSERTs
4. UPDATE the Database
5. Solve a Crossword Puzzle Using SQL
6. Don't Perform the Same Calculation Over and Over

Chapter 2. Joins, Unions, and Views
7. Modify a Schema Without Breaking Existing Queries
8. Filter Rows and Columns
9. Filter on Indexed Columns
10. Convert Subqueries to JOINs
11. Convert Aggregate Subqueries to JOINs
12. Simplify Complicated Updates
13. Choose the Right Join Style for Your Relationships
14. Generate Combinations

Chapter 3. Text Handling
15. Search for Keywords Without LIKE
16. Search for a String Across Columns
17. Solve Anagrams
18. Sort Your Email

Chapter 4. Date Handling
19. Convert Strings to Dates
20. Uncover Trends in Your Data
21. Report on Any Date Criteria
22. Generate Quarterly Reports
23. Second Tuesday of the Month

Chapter 5. Number Crunching
24. Multiply Across a Result Set
25. Keep a Running Total
26. Include the Rows Your JOIN Forgot
27. Identify Overlapping Ranges
28. Avoid Dividing by Zero
29. Other Ways to COUNT
30. Calculate the Maximum of Two Fields
31. Disaggregate a COUNT
32. Cope with Rounding Errors
33. Get Values and Subtotals in One Shot
34. Calculate the Median
35. Tally Results into a Chart
36. Calculate the Distance Between GPS Locations
37. Reconcile Invoices and Remittances
38. Find Transposition Errors
39. Apply a Progressive Tax
40. Calculate Rank

Chapter 6. Online Applications
41. Copy Web Pages into a Table
42. Present Data Graphically Using SVG
43. Add Navigation Features to Web Applications
44. Tunnel into MySQL from Microsoft Access
45. Process Web Server Logs
46. Store Images in a Database
47. Exploit an SQL Injection Vulnerability
48. Prevent an SQL Injection Attack

Chapter 7. Organizing Data
49. Keep Track of Infrequently Changing Values
50. Combine Tables Containing Different Data
51. Display Rows As Columns
52. Display Columns As Rows
53. Clean Inconsistent Records
54. Denormalize Your Tables
55. Import Someone Else's Data
56. Play Matchmaker
57. Generate Unique Sequential Numbers

Chapter 8. Storing Small Amounts of Data
58. Store Parameters in the Database
59. Define Personalized Parameters
60. Create a List of Personalized Parameters
61. Set Security Based on Rows
62. Issue Queries Without Using a Table
63. Generate Rows Without Tables

Chapter 9. Locking and Performance
64. Determine Your Isolation Level
65. Use Pessimistic Locking
66. Use Optimistic Locking
67. Lock Implicitly Within Transactions
68. Cope with Unexpected Redo
69. Execute Functions in the Database
70. Combine Your Queries
71. Extract Lots of Rows
72. Extract a Subset of the Results
73. Mix File and Database Storage
74. Compare and Synchronize Tables
75. Minimize Bandwidth in One-to-Many Joins
76. Compress to Avoid LOBs

Chapter 10. Reporting
77. Fill in Missing Values in a Pivot Table
78. Break It Down by Range
79. Identify Updates Uniquely
80. Play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
81. Build Decision Tables
82. Generate Sequential or Missing Data
83. Find the Top n in Each Group
84. Store Comma-Delimited Lists in a Column
85. Traverse a Simple Tree
86. Set Up Queuing in the Database
87. Generate a Calendar
88. Test Two Values from a Subquery
89. Choose Any Three of Five

Chapter 11. Users and Administration
90. Implement Application-Level Accounts
91. Export and Import Table Definitions
92. Deploy Applications
93. Auto-Create Database Users
94. Create Users and Administrators
95. Issue Automatic Updates
96. Create an Audit Trail

Chapter 12. Wider Access
97. Allow an Anonymous Account
98. Find and Stop Long-Running Queries
99. Don't Run Out of Disk Space
100. Run SQL from a Web Page

And for $19.79 on Amazon this is a great gift

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SQL Server 2005 - Service Pack 2 - Web Chat Today At 9AM PST

The SQL Server Product Team will have a web chat later today
From their site:

If you have any questions regarding Service Pack 2, please join us in a public web chat tomorrow between 9:00am - 10:00am Pacific Time.
Here are a couple of links where you might have already stumbled on this:

Event: Service Pack 2 Web Chat
Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Time: 9:00am - 10:00am (Pacific)


Paul A. Mestemaker II
Program Manager
Microsoft SQL Server Manageability

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Twisted Sister: Twisted Christmas

At work I overheard two people getting excited about the Twisted Sister Christmas album. What?

How in the world can you get excited about that? So I decided to check it out on Amazon. There are 7 reviews and the average is 4 stars. so if you are stuck in the 80's go check it out here

The CD has 10 songs:

1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
2. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
3. White Christmas
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas
5. Silver Bells
6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
7. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
8. Deck The Halls
9. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
10. Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days Of Christmas)

The biggest surpise is the song Heavy Metal Christmas" which is the Twisted Sister version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Instead of this:

twelve drummers drumming
eleven pipers piping
ten lords a leaping
nine ladies dancing
eight maids a milking
seven swans a swimming
six geese a laying
five gold rings
four calling birds
three french hens
two turtle doves
and a partridge in a pear tree.

You get this gem:

On my heavy metal Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 Silver crosses
11 Black mascaras
10 Pairs of platforms
9 Tattered t-shirts
8 Pentagrams
7 Leather jackets
6 Cans of hairspray
5 Skull earrings
4 Quarts of Jack
3 Studded belts
2 Pairs of spandex pants
And a tattoo of Ozzy!

Fun stuff

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals RTM has been set for Nov. 30, 2006

Microsoft has made a couple of announcements at PASS today; one of them is that the release to manufacture date for Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals has been set for Nov. 30, 2006. Here is what has been announced:

The availability of the community technology preview (CTP) of SP2 for SQL Server 2005 delivers key updates, including data compression, increased business intelligence functionality, security updates relating to Common Criteria, manageability enhancements, support for Windows Vista™ and optimization for the 2007 Microsoft Office system environment. More details about SP2 are available. The SP2 November CTP can be downloaded immediately.

• The RC of SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition is a new offering for essential relational database functionality in a compact footprint. By sharing a familiar SQL syntax and common ADO.NET programming model with other SQL Server editions, SQL Server Compact Edition allows developers and administrators to apply their existing skills and be immediately productive while building and supporting the next generation of applications. The RC is available via Web download.

• The release to manufacture date for Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals has been set for Nov. 30, 2006. Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals provides a foundation for change management, development, testing and deployment of databases through integrated functionality that enables database developers and administrators to be more productive, reduce risk and drive quality. More information can be found on MSDN.

• Plans to provide process guidance for database professionals are included in the Microsoft Solutions Framework. This process guidance is the first of its kind in the industry and demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making the database professional a full-fledged participant in the application life cycle.

Going Mobile with SQLServer Compact Edition Podcast On Channel 9

Channel 9 has a podcast about SQL Server Compact Edition. From the site:
"Do you remember when having a mobile phone was a big deal? I can still recall the time when I bought my first “Car Phone” as we called it. It came with a big box that you put under the seat and worked only in the car. It was pretty cool.

Then later I got a big phone that I carried with me on trains and planes and when I made a call people would stare and comment on how important I must be to have such a device. Today even my 12 year old has a mobile phone and my 8 year old wants one. No doubt about it; mobile devices are becoming more and more important every day and I believe that they will become the most pervasive computing platform over time.

The question I have is, what do architects need to know about designing solutions for this platform? Well on this episode I’m joined by Nick Randolph .Net Compact Framework MVP who has been building solutions and has some thoughts for us. "

Download the mp3 or wma version of the podcast here

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


You want to create an indexed view; however creating an indexed view is not as straight forward as creating an index on a table. The view must be created with the SCHEMABINDING option.

The following SET options must be set to ON when the CREATE INDEX statement is executed:

The NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT option must be set to OFF.

The view must not reference any other views, only base tables. There are more restrictions, you can look them up by reading Creating an Indexed View in Books On Line.

So how do you find out if NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT is set to ON or OFF? Since we are using SQL server 2005 we can use the sys.dm_exec_sessions view

FROM sys.dm_exec_sessions
WHERE session_id = @@spid

But wait there is no column named numeric_roundabort. Okay then let's use the old SQL server 2000 DBCC USEROPTIONS
After executing DBCC USEROPTIONS this is the output for me

textsize 64512
language us_english
dateformat ymd
datefirst 7
lock_timeout -1
quoted_identifier SET
arithabort SET
ansi_null_dflt_on SET
ansi_warnings SET
ansi_padding SET
ansi_nulls SET
concat_null_yields_null SET
isolation level read committed

Still no luck. But there is hope because SQL Server 2005 offers the SESSIONPROPERTY function

Let's do a quick test

SESSIONPROPERTY('numeric_roundabort') --1

SESSIONPROPERTY('numeric_roundabort') --0

Now let's create our own view with all the set options needed for creating indexed views included

CREATE VIEW UserOptionsExpanded
arithabort,SESSIONPROPERTY('numeric_roundabort') AS numeric_roundabort
FROM sys.dm_exec_sessions

Let's select from the view

FROM UserOptionsExpanded
WHERE session_id = @@spid

And yes all the columns are there

Of course we could have just executed the following and be done ;-)


Let's see what else we can pass into the SESSIONPROPERTY function

Specifies whether the SQL-92 compliant behavior of equals (=) and not equal to (<>) against null values is applied.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Controls the way the column stores values shorter than the defined size of the column, and the way the column stores values that have trailing blanks in character and binary data.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Specifies whether the SQL-92 standard behavior of raising error messages or warnings for certain conditions, including divide-by-zero and arithmetic overflow, is applied.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Determines whether a query is ended when an overflow or a divide-by-zero error occurs during query execution.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Controls whether concatenation results are treated as null or empty string values.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Specifies whether error messages and warnings are generated when rounding in an expression causes a loss of precision.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

Specifies whether SQL-92 rules about how to use quotation marks to delimit identifiers and literal strings are to be followed.
1 = ON
0 = OFF

[Any other string]
NULL = Input is not valid.

So it looks like SESSIONPROPERTY takes only the SET options required to create an indexed view. Interesting indeed.

Monday, November 13, 2006

sys.sp_estimated_rowsize reduction_for_vardecimal

By now you probably know that Service Pack 2 has added new functionality in the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition to provide an alternate storage format that can be used to minimize the disk space needed to store existing decimal and numeric data types. No application changes area are required to use its benefits.

This new storage format, known as vardecimal storage format, stores decimal and numeric data as variable length columns and can be enabled or disabled at a table level on new or existing tables. If you have declared a decimal or numeric column with high precision but most values do not require it, you can potentially save the disk space needed to store the table. A new stored procedure is provided to estimate the reduction in average row size with the new storage format.

So what is the name of this new stored procedure? The name is sys.sp_estimated_rowsize_reduction_for_vardecimal . The proc returns the following columns: avg_rowlen_fixed_format, avg_rowlen_vardecimal_format and row_count

How do you call this proc?
exec sys.sp_estimated_rowsize_reduction_for_vardecimal 'TableName'

If your table is named OrderDetails you would call it like this
exec sys.sp_estimated_rowsize_reduction_for_vardecimal 'OrderDetails'

Read this post from the SQL Server Storage Engine team for more info

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 CTP

Microsoft is releasing the SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 Community Technology Preview Tuesday, November 7th.

Here are some of the changes:

Database Engine
  • Maintenance plans are now supported by the SQL Server Database Services installation. Before SP2, you were required to install SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS) to run maintenance plans on a server-only installation.

  • Maintenance plans now support multiserver environments, logging to remote servers, and multiple schedules. For more information, see How to: Create Multiserver Maintenance Plans How to: Create a Maintenance Plan and How to: Add or Modify Maintenance Plan Subplan Schedules.

  • Added new functionality in the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition to provide an alternate storage format that can be used to minimize the disk space needed to store existing decimal and numeric data types. No application changes area are required to use its benefits. This new storage format, known as vardecimal storage format, stores decimal and numeric data as variable length columns and can be enabled or disabled at a table level on new or existing tables. If you have declared a decimal or numeric column with high precision but most values do not require it, you can potentially save the disk space needed to store the table. A new stored procedure is provided to estimate the reduction in average row size with the new storage format.

  • Added logon triggers and a common criteria compliance enabled Option for sp_configure to support common criteria in the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition.

  • The sqllogship application is now supported. This application performs a backup, copy, or restore operation and associated clean-up tasks for a log shipping configuration.

  • Plan cache improvements that provide improved system performance, better use of the available physical memory for database pages, and the ability to return text XML query plans that contain an XML nesting level greater than or equal to 128 by using the new sys.dm_exec_text_query_plan table-valued function.

  • SMO for Relational Engine Features

    • Table.CheckIdentityValue() correctly generates the schema name for the fully qualified object name.

    • Column.AddDefaultConstraint() works against table columns for SQL Server 2000 database instances.

To see all the changes go here

SQL Server 2005 Script Repository

Found this on the TechNet site; sample scripts and stored procedures for managing and working with SQL Server 2005. However on the TechNet site the code is spread ove several pages. I decided to make a user-friendly list instead

Buffer Cache
Sample scripts and stored procedures for managing and monitoring the SQL Server buffer cache.

Retrieve Buffer Counts by Object and Index

CPU and Optimization
Sample scripts and stored procedures for optimizing CPU performance in SQL Server.

Determine CPU Resources Required for Optimization
Retrieve Parallel Statements With the Highest Worker Time
Retrieve Statements with the Highest Plan Re-Use Counts
Retrieve Statements with the Lowest Plan Re-Use Counts

Indexes and Indexing
Sample scripts and stored procedures for working with SQL Server indexes.

Analyze Index Statistics
Create/Truncate an Indexstats Table
Determine Index Cost Benefits
Identify Missing Indexes
List Indexes With the Most Contention
Retrieve Index Statistics
Retrieve Index Usage Statistics
Retrieve Indexes Not Used Since the Last Recycle Time
Retrieve Object and Index Fragmentation Information
Retrieve Tables, Indexes, Files, and File Groups Information

Sample scripts and stored procedures for managing and monitoring input and output in SQL Server.

Calculate Average Stalls
List Queries That Could Benefit From an Index
List Rarely-Used Indexes
List Statements By Input/Output Usage

Performance (General)
Sample scripts and stored procedures for managing and monitoring general performance issue in SQL Server.

List Cached Plans Where Worker Time Exceeds Elapsed Time
List Currently-Executing Parallel Plans
List Recompiled Statements
List Runnable Queues
List Statements With the Highest Average CPU Time
List Statements with the Highest Execution Counts
List Top Wait Types for a Workload

Processor Cache
Sample scripts and stored procedures for managing the SQL Server processor cache.

Compare Single-Use and Re-Used Plans
List Statements By Plan Re-Use Count

SQL Text
Sample scripts and stored procedures for working with SQL text.

Retrieve a SQL Statement with a Specified .SQL_Handle
Retrieve SQL Text and XML Plans

Sample scripts and stored procedures for working with the new SQL Server Operating System Layer.

Compare Signal Waits and Resource Waits
List Currently-Executing Statements
List Scheduler Wait List Information
List Schedulers, Workers, and Runnable Queues
List Session and Scheduler ID Information
List SQLOS Execution Model Information
List Statements from a Specified Waiter List

Sample scripts and stored procedures for working with the tempdb system database.

List Real Time Tempdb Task Usage
List Real-Time Tempdb Statements

Transactions and Logging
Sample scripts for working with SQL Server transactions and locks.

Compare Locking and Repeatable Reads
Configure a Block Condition
Handle a Block Condition
List Lock and Serializable Information
List Locks and Reads
List Locks and Repeatable Reads
List Real-Time Blocker and Waiter Statements
Report Blocker and Waiter SQL Statements

Sample scripts and stored procedures for working with SQL Server waitstats.

Retrieve Waiter List Information
Retrieve Waitstat Snapshots

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How Are Dates Stored In SQL Server?

Internally dates are stored as 2 integers. The first integer is the number of dates before or after the base date (1900/01/01). The second integer stores the number of clock ticks after midnight, each tick is 1/300 of a second.

So if we run the following code for the base date (1900/01/01)

SELECT @d = '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000'


The results are

DateInt DateBinary
----------- ----------
0 0x00000000

TimeInt TimeBinary
----------- ----------
0 0x00000000

If we use the max date 9999/12/31

SELECT @d = '9999-12-31 23:59:59.997'


we get the following result

DateInt DateBinary
----------- ----------
2958463 0x002D247F

TimeInt TimeBinary
----------- ----------
25919999 0x018B81FF

If you take binary values and convert to datetime you get the following results

SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME,0x0000000000000001) --1 Tick 1/300 of a second
--1900-01-01 00:00:00.003

SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME,0x000000000000012C) -- 1 minute = 300 ticks
--1900-01-01 00:00:01.000


SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME,0x0000000100000000) --add 1 day
--1900-01-02 00:00:00.000

For smalldatetime the time is stored as the number of minutes after midnight

Now here is some fun stuff

SELECT @d = .0
--1900-01-01 00:00:00.000

SELECT @d = .1
--1900-01-01 02:24:00.000

SELECT @d = .12
--1900-01-01 02:52:48.000

SELECT @d = '0'
Server: Msg 241, Level 16, State 1, Line 2
Syntax error converting datetime from character string.

SELECT @d = 0
--1900-01-01 00:00:00.000

So there is no implicit conversion, o is fine 'o' is not

SELECT @d = 20061030
Server: Msg 8115, Level 16, State 2, Line 2
Arithmetic overflow error converting expression to data type datetime.

SELECT @d = '20061030'
--2006-10-30 00:00:00.000

Here we have the reverse, the varchar value is fine but the int is not.
This happens because the max integer value that a datetime can take is 36523
If we run the following we are okay

SELECT @d = 2958463
--9999-12-31 00:00:00.000

Friday, November 03, 2006

ISO-11179 Naming Conventions

Straight from the man himself comes this statement posted in the microsoft.public.sqlserver.programming forum: "You need to read ISO-11179 so you use proper data element names. You
actually had "tbl-"on the table names! Sometimes "id" id a
prefix and sometimes it is a postfix.

Of course you know who I am talking about? No? Joe Celko of course. So what is ISO-11179?

The 11179 standard is a multipart standard that includes the following parts:

Part 1: Framework, introduces and discusses fundamental ideas of data elements, value domains, data element concepts, conceptual domains, and classification schemes essential to the understanding of this set of standards and provides the context for associating the individual parts of ISO/IEC 11179.

Part 2: Classification, provides a conceptual model for managing classification schemes. There are many structures used to organize classification schemes and there are many subject matter areas that classification schemes describe. So, this Part also provides a two-faceted classification for classification schemes themselves.

Part 3: Registry Metamodel and Basic Attributes, specifies a conceptual model for a metadata registry. It is limited to a set of basic attributes for data elements, data element concepts, value domains, conceptual domains, classification schemes, and other related classes, called administered items. The basic attributes specified for data elements in ISO/IEC 11179-3:1994 are provided in this revision.

Part 4: Formulation of Data Definitions, provides guidance on how to develop unambiguous data definitions. A number of specific rules and guidelines are presented in ISO/IEC 11179-4 that specify exactly how a data definition should be formed. A precise, well-formed definition is one of the most critical requirements for shared understanding of an administered item; well-formed definitions are imperative for the exchange of information. Only if every user has a common and exact understanding of the data item can it be exchanged trouble-free.

Part 5: Naming and Identification Principles, provides guidance for the identification of administered items. Identification is a broad term for designating, or identifying, a particular data item. Identification can be accomplished in various ways, depending upon the use of the identifier. Identification includes the assignment of numerical identifiers that have no inherent meanings to humans; icons (graphic symbols to which meaning has been assigned); and names with embedded meaning, usually for human understanding, that are associated with the data item's definition and value domain.

Part 6: Registration, provides instruction on how a registration applicant may register a data item with a central Registration Authority and the allocation of unique identifiers for each data item. Maintenance of administered items already registered is also specified in this document.

The one that deals with naming conventions is 11179-5 The link will point to a zip file which has a pdf file in it. The TOC of this pdf file is below

1 Scope
2 Normative references
3 Terms and definitions
4 Data Identifiers within a registry
5 Identification
6 Names
6.1 Names in a registry
6.2 Naming conventions
7 Development of naming conventions
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Scope principle
7.3 Authority principle
7.4 Semantic principle
7.5 Syntactic principle
7.6 Lexical principle
7.7 Uniqueness principle
Annex A (informative) Example naming conventions for names within an MDR registry
Annex B (informative) Example naming conventions for Asian languages

So check it out and hopefully you and your team can adapt a common naming conventions instead of having things named like employee_address, EmployeeAddress, employeeAddress and tblEmployeeAddress.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SQL Teaser

Try to guess what the output will be of the following SQL Select statement (don't worry, you can't get it right ;-)

First guess then run this

SELECT 123.654, 123d6, 123e4, '123'e4


I lifted/stole/borrowed the select statement from Mladen Prajdic's blog

Top 5 Posts For October 2006

Below are the top 5 posts according to Google Analytics for the month of October 2006 in order by pageviews descending

Five Ways To Return Values From Stored Procedures
SQL Query Optimizations
Do You Know How Between Works With Dates?
NULL Trouble In SQL Server Land
SQL Server 2000 Undocumented Procedures For Files, Drives and Directories

The reason Five Ways To Return Values From Stored Procedures was number one is because it was posted on digg. Once something makes it to digg and people seemed to like it then you can expect thousands of hits or even more (The Digg Effect) So far 33 people have dugg this story. The link to the digg URL is below

After that 23 people saved it on that link is below

I will update the top 10 of all time (below the masthead) later today

[edit]Why wait? I have updated the top 10, you can see it here:[/edit]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Top SQL Server Google Searches For October 2006

These are the top SQL Searches on this site for the month of October. I have left out searches that have nothing to do with SQL Server or programming (Like Jessica Alba Playboy Pics)

Here is the list:

Line 1: Incorrect syntax near 'TRY'.
execute specific dts steps
"The maximum allowed length of the install path is 36"
ole The provider ran out of memory.
execute dts step active x
El proveedor OLE DB 'SQLOLEDB' indica que el objeto no tiene columnas.
The provider ran out of memory
dts activex
xp_sendmail attachments

I always find it interesting to see what people are searching for and it also gives me ideas for things to write about
So I will cover PIVOT and UNPIVOT and SQL ADD 1 DAY TO CURRENT DATE by the end of this week

Later today I will post the top 5 post of October and I will also update the top 10 posts of all time

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Download A FREE Trial Of Spotlight On SQL Server And Win A Xbox 360

I just received an email from Quest Software. Quest is giving away 15 Xbox 360™ game systems in 15 days! Download a free trial of Spotlight® on SQL Server Enterprise and you'll be automatically entered into the Quest "Xbox-a-Day Giveaway" drawing.

Now you have a chance to win the Xbox 360™ and detect, diagnose and resolve database performance issues with ease—just by trying Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise.

What is Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise?
Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise is an award-winning database diagnostics tool that can help you ensure data availability and prevent problems before they occur.

Discover, diagnose and resolve SQL Server performance issues

Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise provides an agent-less easy-to-use database issue discovery solution that enables you to identify and resolve SQL Server performance problems within your SQL Server environment. This powerful tool pinpoints the underlying SQL server contention issues and processes for fast and efficient database administration.

With Spotlight, DBAs can drill down to locate in-depth information about the source of thousands of SQL Server performance problems such as: a specific user, a resource-intensive SQL transaction, an I/O bottleneck, a lock or wait. Spotlight for SQL Server Enterprise sets a baseline for normal activity for each instance, and can set thresholds, notify users and display alerts when it detects performance bottlenecks of any kind.

Spotlight not only monitors the SQL Server Environment, but the underlying operating system on which it resides. From an overview screen, DBAs can view the most active SQL Server sessions, SQL statements, Replication information , blocks, deadlocks, waits, and disk activityto pinpoint and alleviate problems before they occur before and seriously impact end users.

Through one single interface, Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise answers many questions related to performance:

How is each SQL Server instance performing?
How is the SQL Server Environment as a whole performing?
Where and when are the performance bottlenecks occurring?
How do I catch the problems before they arise?
Who or what is causing the problem and how do I resolve it?

Go HERE for more details