Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You Should Never Use IN In SQL To JOIN With Another Table

Do you use the following syntax?


OR this?


Do NOT use that, it will cause problems sooner or later. Don't believe me? Let's take a look

First create these 2 tables and populate them with some sample data

CREATE TABLE TestTable1 (id1 int)
CREATE TABLE TestTable2 (id2 int)



Now let's run the IN query

FROM TestTable1
WHERE id1 IN (SELECT id2 FROM TestTable2)


No problems here right?

What if by mistake you wrote id1 instead of id2?

FROM TestTable1
WHERE id1 IN (SELECT id1 FROM TestTable2)

Oops all 3 rows are returned, if you just run this SELECT id1 FROM TestTable2 you will get this error
Server: Msg 207, Level 16, State 3, Line 1
Invalid column name 'id1'.

So what happens? SQL Server sees column id1 and says "yes I have that it is in the TestTable1 table, I can use that"
What can we do? Use EXISTS because you will get an error instead of a wrong resultset

WHERE EXISTS (SELECT * FROM TestTable2 t2 WHERE t2.id2 = t1.id1 )


A JOIN will do the same as EXISTS

FROM TestTable1 t1
JOIN TestTable2 t2 ON t2.id2 = t1.id1


Now let's try NOT IN

FROM TestTable1
WHERE id1 NOT IN (SELECT id2 FROM TestTable2)

No problem right?

Add a NULL value to the TestTable2 table


Let's try running it again

FROM TestTable1
WHERE id1 NOT IN (SELECT id2 FROM TestTable2)

Where are my rows? Nowhere, since NULL is not equal to anything including another NULL SQL just returns nothing

What happens when you use NOT EXISTS?
FROM TestTable1 t1
WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM TestTable2 t2 WHERE t2.id2 = t1.id1 )

That works without a problem

What about a LEFT JOIN?

FROM TestTable1 t1
LEFT JOIN TestTable2 t2 ON t2.id2 = t1.id1

That works without a problem also

So from now on use EXISTS, NOT EXISTS, JOIN and LEFT JOIN

DO NOT use IN or NOT IN ever again. Okay?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

AdventureWorksLT Sample Database Available For Download, Don't Forget To Attach The DB To See It

There is a new sample database available for SQL Server 2005. The name of this database is AdventureWorksLT , this database is a stripped down version of AdventureWorks.
You can download the installers for the AdventureWorksLT sample databases here
x86 AdventureWorksLT.msi -- 2,251 KB
x64 AdventureWorksLT_x64.msi -- 2,251 KB
Itanium (IA64) AdventureWorksLT_IA64.msi -- 2,251 KB

If you want to read more on the download page go here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=e719ecf7-9f46-4312-af89-6ad8702e4e6e&displaylang=en

Okay so you have downloaded the file and installed the database. But where is the database? You will have to attach the DB, you can use the wizard or this script below (make sure that you change the path and username, both are in bold font)

USE [master]
( FILENAME = N'C:\YourPathHere\MSSQL\Data\AdventureWorksLT_Data.mdf' ),
( FILENAME = N'C:\YourPathHere\MSSQL\Data\AdventureWorksLT_Log.ldf' )

if exists (select name from master.sys.databases sd where name = N'AdventureWorksLT' and SUSER_SNAME(sd.owner_sid) = SUSER_SNAME() )
EXEC [AdventureWorksLT].dbo.sp_changedbowner @loginame=N'LoginName', @map=false

Now you can run these scripts to see how many tables, views, procedures and functions there are

ORDER BY FullTableName


ORDER BY FullTableName






Saturday, April 21, 2007

ORDER BY 1 Will Not Work In LINQ The Same As In SQL

I installed Visual Studio Orcas Beta 1 last night and now I am playing around with LINQ

You know how you can do the following in SQL

FROM SomeTable

This will order the resultset by the first column. This of course is not good practice but that is not the point here. In LINQ if you do orderby 1 (that is right no space between order and by) it looks like that line is skipped, no error or exception is thrown

Dump the following code in a C# console application and try for yourself
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
string[] names = { "Burke", "Connor", "Frank",
"Everett", "Albert", "George",
"Harris", "David" };

IEnumerable expr = from s in names
where s.Length == 6
orderby 1
//order by s
select s.ToUpper();

foreach (string item in expr)



Friday, April 20, 2007

Stop messing around with SQL Server 2005 SP2 and give us SP3 ASAP!

Do you know which hotfix you have to instal to fix SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2?
If SQL Server is between 3042 and 3053, get build 3054
If SQL Server is between 3150 and 3158, get build 3159

Why not move to Service Pack 3 instead?
Here is what is proposed on the Microsoft connect site:

The SP2 is a mess.

Admit it.
Move over and stop releasing all those hotfixes, GDRs, QFEs and what not.
Give us clean and coherent SP3 now!

Here is the URL (http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=267610) to cast your vote

Visual Studio Orcas Beta 1 Available For Download

Visual Studio Code Name “Orcas” Beta 1
Visual Studio code name "Orcas" is the next generation development tool for Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and the Web. Beta 1 consists of multiple releases including, Visual Studio Professional Edition, Visual Studio Team Suite and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, which are available as installation media ISO images you can use to install the products. Alternatively, you can download VPC images with the software pre-installed. In addition, you can download prerelease versions of Visual Basic Express, Visual C++ Express, Visual C# Express, and Visual Web Developer.
For a better download experience, MSDN Subscribers should use MSDN Subscriber Downloads for both installation media ISO images and VPC images.

These downloads are currently unavailable on Microsoft Downloads, but will be available soon. MSDN Subscribers can download these files from MSDN Subscriber Downloads.
Visual Studio Professional Edition ISO Image
Visual Studio Team Suite ISO Image
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server ISO Image

VPC Images
If you prefer the convenience of evaluating prerelease software in a virtual machine environment, you can download VPC images that include pre-installed instances of the prerelease software indicated, including any required prerequisite software.
Visual Studio Team Suite-Only VPC
Visual Studio Team Suite with Team Foundation Server VPC

Note: If you wish to use the Virtual PC image you will need Virtual PC or Virtual Server to run this image. Depending on your hardware the download files make take between 30-60 minutes to decompress these self-extracting files.

Visual Studio Express Editions
Visual Studio Express Editions are lightweight, easy-to-use and easy-to-learn tools for the hobbyist, novice and student developer.
For more information, see Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" Express Editions.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Interview With Itzik Ben-Gan Author Of Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying

If you are a SQL developer then you know who Itzik Ben-Gan is. If for some strange reason you don’t know then listen up. Itzik is a SQL Server MVP, he writes a monthly column for SQL Server Magazine and he is also a principal mentor and founder of Solid Quality Learning. You can also find him in the SQL Server programming public newsgroups. If you browse the MSDN site you will find several articles written by Itzik.
I purchased Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005:T-SQL Querying and must say it is my favorite SQL Server 2005 book so far. Chapters 3, 6 and 9 alone are worth the money for the book. I have posted a link to a sample chapter (6) at the end of this post if you are interested to learn more about the style of writing and just to see how awesome this book really is.
Let’s get started with the interview

Q. What is the target audience for this book?
A. T-SQL developers with intermediate to advanced background.
By the way, the book is actually split to two volumes: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying and Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Programming. Originally I intended to write one book, but I ended up with over 1200 pages; so I had to split it to two. But you should consider them as volumes 1 and 2 of one book. T-SQL Querying should be read before T-SQL Programming.

Also, I’d like to mention that several people contributed to the books, and I had great pleasure working with them. Lubor Kollar wrote Chapter 2 - Physical Query Processing of the T-SQL Querying volume and also provided great help and advice. Dejan Sarka wrote the CLR and XML content and explained what they have to do with the relational model. Roger Wolter wrote Chapter 11 - Service Broker of the T-SQL Programming volume. Steve Kass was the technical editor of the books, but contributed way more than what you would normally expect from technical editors. You can read about the contributors here:


Q. What new technologies in SQL Server 2005 do you think are the most beneficial for developers?

A. I don’t think that it would be right of me to name two technologies in general, rather, depending on need. For example, for applications that involve XML manipulation, developers will find XML enhancements beneficial (and there are major ones in the product). For applications that need to implement at the database computationally intensive calculations, complex calculations, iterative logic, string manipulations, parsing, and so on, developers will find CLR integration beneficial. For applications that need queuing support, developers will find the new queuing infrastructure and the service broker platform beneficial. And then there’s row versioning embedded in the engine supporting the new snapshot isolations and other aspects of SQL Server; programmers will find this technology beneficial for certain types of systems that suffer from concurrency problems.

As for things that are closer to my heart; in regards to T-SQL, the two new features that I find most beneficial for developers are the OVER clause (e.g., with ranking calculations) and Common Table Expressions (CTE).

The OVER clause is really profound; I feel that it helps bridging the gap (or maybe I should say abyss) between cursors and sets. The OVER clause wasn’t implemented fully in SQL Server 2005, but even the existing implementation (especially with ranking calculations) allows simplifying and optimizing many pre-2005 solutions.

As for CTEs, they have both nonrecursive and recursive forms. The nonrecursive form has several important advantages over derived tables, allowing less code and better code maintenance. The recursive form allows for the first time in SQL Server’s history to write recursive queries, and very elegant ones. These are especially useful in manipulation of graphs (e.g., employee organizational chart, bill of materials, etc.).

Q. What will a person who reads this book gain in terms of understanding how the query engine works?

A. The approach I took in the books was first to understand logical query processing, then physical query processing (the engine), and then tackle practical problems where you need to combine your knowledge in both. It’s a problem based approach; I didn’t attempt to explain the engine for the sake of understanding how the engine works; rather to look at common practical problems developers face, write several solutions to each problem, analyze how the engine processes the solutions, optimize their performance, and simplify them. Ideal solutions are those that are both simple and perform well. A complex solution may have the side-effect of making the author proud of the ability to write such a solution, but is more prone to bugs and obviously involves maintenance overhead. The real beauty is in simple solutions that also perform well.

Regarding querying logic, the books put a lot of emphasis on correct understanding of SQL and thinking in terms of sets; this is a very though phase that developers have to go through since for most of us mere mortals it’s not a natural way of thinking.

Q. What are the most important things a person can do to master Transact-SQL?A. The quickest way is to issue the following code:

USE master ;-)

On a more serious note, I believe that there’s no quick way—there’s a way; it’s an ongoing thing. I can give recommendations based on what I try to follow. But some aspects of the way are personal; different things may work differently for different people. Anyway, my two cents worth…

Most importantly, you need to master the basics; or maybe I should use the term fundamentals. Ego and vanity can be big obstacles here. People try to jump directly to what they consider “advanced” and don’t get the fundamentals right. Advanced techniques are a matter of combining fundamental techniques. So be diligent and invest a lot of effort in understanding the fundamentals well. In terms of querying logic this means logical query processing, sets, NULLs, three-valued-logic, all-at-once operations, and so on. In terms of physical processing, this means getting to know internal structures, access methods, analyzing execution plans, and so on.

When facing new problems, try to solve them yourself before looking at others’ solutions. When you try something yourself you understand it best. This will also help you become more creative and develop your own techniques. Also, try different approaches, not just one, and compare the solutions.

Never consider yourself as being finished. Strive for perfection but never consider your solution perfect. Constantly work on problem solving; look for new problems and keep going back to old problems and try to improve the solutions. This way you polish and perfect your techniques and enhance your vocabulary.

I also feel that you get a much better understanding of a subject when you need to explain it to others.

I truly believe in all of the above, but ideally, you don’t need me to tell you these things. In fact I feel awkward and uncomfortable giving such recommendations; so if at this point you think that I’m a fart I won’t hold it against you. I feel more comfortable writing queries and talking about them. ;-)

As I said earlier, this simply feels natural to me. Though some things are common in the way to master any profession, some things are and should be personal; namely, you have to find your own way and not necessarily follow what someone else recommends to the letter. :-)

Q. Itzik , the first time I came across your name was in the Microsoft public SQL Server programming group. Can you explain to us why you participate in newsgroups and forums?
A. In the past I used to be much more active in the newsgroups; today less, but whenever I participate I feel revived—especially when visiting the public programming newsgroup. If I had to name one thing that had the greatest impact on my knowledge in T-SQL it would doubtless be my participation in the newsgroups. It’s a very fertile soil to grow. So many practical problems are posted there daily, and by trying to solve other people’s problems, you end up learning more and more. Also, many practical problems are repeated there frequently, and as time goes by, you keep perfecting your techniques, and also sometimes get to see very unique and interesting solutions posted by other people. People pay so much money to study in schools, colleges and universities; here’s a great place to learn for free, and while you’re at it, you end up helping other people. :-) It’s the perfect Dojo for T-SQL practitioners.

Q. How did the massive changes between SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 affect the research for your book?
A. I think I went through a different experience than some other authors. I’m so immersed in the T-SQL language that I feel that it’s my mother tongue. Seriously, in many cases I feel that I can express myself better with T-SQL than with English or even Hebrew which is supposed to be my native tongue. I was deeply involved in writing T-SQL code using new language elements from the very early builds of Yukon. Also, our company, Solid Quality Learning, works closely with the SQL Server development team and customer advisory team (CAT). We worked on whitepapers for beta builds and got access to specs in very early stages of the product. I also developed and delivered courses on Advanced T-SQL before writing the books. So writing the books did not involve research, rather the material was essentially part of me, and all I had to do was to convert my thoughts to words.

I have similar experience with writing in general. I have a monthly T-SQL column in SQL Server Magazine, and often people ask me where do I get ideas, and what’s the process involved. I work on so many ideas constantly not for the sake of writing, rather, it’s a natural part of me—the way I was talking about earlier. So when it’s time to write a column, it’s basically pulling something from one of the drawers in my mind and putting it into words.

Q. Name three things that you wish would be in Katmai (the next version of SQL Server)?
A. These are easy to name, but I doubt that my wishes will come true in Katmai:

1. Support the ORDER BY sub-clause of the OVER clause for aggregate functions; BTW, this has nothing to do with ordered aggregates, rather it’s a logical way to define to a window function which window to work with. I’ll provide a link to a paper which I wrote recently for people looking for more details.

2. Support the ROWS and RANGE windowing sub-clauses of the OVER clause for aggregate functions.

3. Add support for row value constructors/vector expressions.
In general I wish to see more focus on T-SQL enhancements, and specifically, a more complete implementation of the profound OVER clause. It bears great benefits within it that I believe many people are not aware of yet. You can find more details in the following paper:


Q. Do you think that every developer should have a numbers table in their database?
A. That’s a good question that makes me smile. :-) Yes! If not a table, a table function. I’ve used an auxiliary table of numbers in so many solutions; I find it a great helper tool to solve many querying problems. Just as an example, here’s a query using an auxiliary table of numbers (called Nums with a column called n) that splits strings containing comma separated lists of values (stored in a table called Arrays, with columns arrid and string):

  n - LEN(REPLACE(LEFT(string, n), ',', '')) + 1 AS pos,
  SUBSTRING(string, n,
    CHARINDEX(',', string + ',', n) - n) AS val
FROM Arrays JOIN Nums
  ON n <= LEN(string)   AND SUBSTRING(',' + string, n, 1) = ','  
ORDER BY arrid, pos;  

And if you need to operate on a single array (e.g., one that you get as an input to a stored procedure), you can encapsulate the logic in an inline table function:
    n - LEN(REPLACE(LEFT(@arr, n), ',', '')) + 1 AS pos,
    SUBSTRING(@arr, n,
      CHARINDEX(',', @arr + ',', n) - n) AS element
  FROM dbo.Nums
  WHERE n <= LEN(@arr) AND SUBSTRING(',' + @arr, n, 1) = ',';  

SELECT * FROM dbo.fn_split('10248,10249,10250');   
pos element
---- --------
1 10248
2 10249
3 10250

This implementation has major advantages (both in terms of security and performance) over the commonly practiced solution utilizing dynamic SQL.

Erland Sommarskog, a fellow MVP, wrote a great paper on the subject. You can find details here:

By the way, you can vote for adding the table of numbers as part of the product here:


As a tip, here’s a very fast inline table function that will return a table of numbers for you:

  L1   AS(SELECT 1 AS c FROM L0 AS A, L0 AS B),
  L2   AS(SELECT 1 AS c FROM L1 AS A, L1 AS B),
  L3   AS(SELECT 1 AS c FROM L2 AS A, L2 AS B),
  L4   AS(SELECT 1 AS c FROM L3 AS A, L3 AS B),
  L5   AS(SELECT 1 AS c FROM L4 AS A, L4 AS B),
  WHERE n <= @n;  

-- Test function 
SELECT * FROM dbo.fn_nums(10) AS F;  



It’s even faster than querying a real table of numbers. ;-)

Q. Why is it important to think in sets instead of procedural code?A. SQL is based on the relational model, which in turn is based on set-theory and predicate logic. The relational model is a proven model for handling data—for several decades. It’s important to adopt set-based thinking in order to write simple and efficient solutions, otherwise, you defeat the whole premise on which the model is based. SQL queries (set-based) have several advantages over procedural/iterative code (e.g., using cursors) as far as data manipulation is concerned. Set-based solutions focus on the “what” part of the solution; namely their logic. Iterative solutions spend a lot of code on the “how” part, clouding the logic behind all the code; lengthy code naturally has maintenance overhead. Set-based solutions allow the optimizer to choose an execution plan among several possible plans based on cost estimations, while iterative solutions typically force a very rigid plan. In short, set-based solutions allow you to focus on logic, and speak with the database in its native language. Also, cursors have a lot of overhead associated with the record-by-record manipulation.

I’m not saying that ALL problems are best solved with set-based solutions, but the majority of data manipulation related problems are. Tasks that involve less data manipulation, and more computations, string manipulation, parsing, inherently iterative logic, these can benefit from procedural solutions. But T-SQL (and SQL in general) was not designed to handle such tasks efficiently. That’s an area where .NET is much stronger, richer and more efficient. These are the areas where I see the benefit in the CLR integration in SQL Server 2005.

Q. Which chapter was the hardest to write and can you explain why?
A. Chapter 3 – Query Tuning in the T-SQL Querying volume. It was the hardest for several reasons.

In this chapter I cover internal structures and access methods. It was very important for me to depict internal structures and diagrams of access methods graphically as accurately and as detailed as possible. I created many figures and worked on each for many hours at the pixel level. Several figures took a day of work each. I actually took snapshots of real internal structures like pages of B-Trees with DBCC PAGE and DBCC IND commands, and incorporated real bits of data in the diagrams to make them as reliable as possible.

Also, the chapter appears early in the first volume. I wanted it early in the books to provide important foundations and background that is required for the rest of the books. But I had to include queries used for performance analysis that use advanced techniques that I explain later in the book.

There were also other obstacles.

This was the chapter I wrote last, and it took me several very draining weeks to complete. It ended up with over 100 pages. There’s a lot of query tuning coverage throughout the books, but it’s not the tuning part that was hard, rather the aforementioned reasons.

Q. Why do you write technical books?
A. I’m a teacher in heart and sole. I think that writing is an integral part of teaching. It’s a flowing river; you acquire knowledge and you pass on your knowledge to others. It’s very hard and requires a lot of discipline, but ultimately it’s a process from which you also gain a lot.
Also, there’s a more selfish reason. As I said, I’m a teacher and I want students in my classes. Books give you exposure and I hoped the books would get more students in my courses.

Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. JRR Tolkien, William Goldman, Douglas Adams, Edgar Allan Poe, Niccolo Machiavelli, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Miyamoto Musashi, Sun Tzu, J.K. Rowling

By the way, some of my favorite authors did not write any books, yet. :)

Here are a few examples:

David Campbell, who is the General Manager of Strategy, Infrastructure and Architecture of Microsoft SQL Server used to participate in the past in some private SQL newsgroups back in the days when he owned SQL Server’s Storage Engine. His depth of knowledge, teaching and explanatory skills, passion, humility, great English, all were evident in his posts. I asked him to write the foreword to the T-SQL Querying book; you have to read it to understand what I’m talking about. It’s pure joy to read his writings, and I sorely miss his participation in the newsgroups. I wish he had written books back in the days when he was very deeply involved in the technicalities and small details of SQL Server’s engine.

Roy Harvey, a fellow SQL Server MVP. He’s active in the SQL Server community especially in the SQL Server Programming newsgroup. When you read his posts you feel the experience, wisdom and humility flowing from them. I would have very much loved to see work published by him, but you know, some very wise and knowledgeable people shy away from publicity and exposure—unfortunately for us.

Steve Kass is another good example. Steve was the technical editor of my books and there are no words that I can use to describe his capabilities. He has a very unique combination of knowledge, logic, mathematics, SQL, genius, perfect English, and a way of explaining things in a simple manner. Oh, how much I’d love to see his work published in books some day!

I also like reading posts by David Portas; another fellow MVP. I’d love to see a book on modeling published by him some day.

Q. What SQL Server books are on your bookshelf?
A. With your permission, I’d like to broaden my reply to books covering topics that I believe are important for SQL practitioners. On my bookshelf you will find The Art of Computer Programming by Donald E. Knuth, books about logic puzzles, The Thirteen Books of The Elements by Euclid, Elements of Set Theory, Graph Theory, Regular Expressions Pocket Reference by Tony Stubblebine, Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl, several SQL books by Joe Celko, SQL-99 Complete, Really by Gultzan and Peltzer, Inside Microsoft SQL Server (various versions; early by Ron Soukup, later by Kalen Delaney), The Art of SQL by Stephane Faroult with Peter Robson, and others…

You can find a more extensive list here:


I have to say though that I probably spend more time writing stuff than reading…

Q. I know you like math and logic puzzles, do you think it is beneficial for a SQL developer to be somewhat good in math?

A. Yes, but I would say it is beneficial to be good in logic and not necessarily generally in math. That’s why I included a whole appendix with pure logic puzzles in the T-SQL Querying volume. Some people find it odd, while people that truly follow the SQL way find it natural (at least that’s what I believe). Almost every SQL querying problem in its hart is a logic puzzle. It’s very common to see that people who are deeply immersed in SQL are also very fond of logic puzzles. It’s not by chance. My belief is that if you practice logic puzzles you can improve your SQL. Also, logic puzzles are fun and can be practiced by the whole family.

And there’s another reason to dwell on logic—one coined by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

"Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell."

Amazon Link: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying
Sample Chapter: http://www.sql.co.il/books/insidetsql2005/sample_chapters.htm#T-SQL_Querying_Sample_Chapters

Friday, April 13, 2007

Flamed By Celko?

I found this funny pic of the man who gave us newsgroup gems like this for example: ">> Any suggestion is greatly appreciated. <<

EVERYTHING you are doing is TOTALLY wrong. You have just been cussed
out by one of the people who wrote this language. If you have brain
instead of an ego, you might want to listen.

This is a (bad) COBOL program written in SQL! There is so much
formatting done in SQL code! The bad news -- for me-- is that this
code is so awful I cannot use it in my next book as a bad example
because it is too proprietary! You could be famous!

Your code is so awful, you even use the "tbl-" prefixes to tell us you
have no idea about RDBMS! You keep converting dates to strings because
you are writing COBOL in SQL and want strings!

Why do your have "CREATE TABLE #tmp_sched" when view would work?
Answer: because magnetic tape files have to be materialized

Why do you spit on ISO-11179 rules and use a "tbl-" prefix? Because
you know only BASIC programming, which needs the prefixes for the one
pass compiler.

You write SQL with flags like it was 1950's Assembly language! Flags
in SQL!! Ghod Damn!! Varying length identifiers!? And I loved the way
spit on ANSI/ISO Standards with "SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF", etc.?

You need help you cannot get on a newsgroup.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Chapter On SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 Is Closed

This is the final word on SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (at least from me, I promise)

It is all explained here: http://blogs.msdn.com/psssql/archive/2007/04/06/post-sql-server-2005-service-pack-2-sp2-fixes-explained.aspx

So as you can see from that link, after applying the critical updates you should be on either build 9.00.3054 or 9.00.3159

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Does Anyone Use ~ (Bitwise NOT)?

I have Used ¦ (Bitwise OR) and & (Bitwise AND) but I have never used ~ (Bitwise NOT)
Lets' see what it does

this returns -171, OK Fair enough.

SELECT ~convert(tinyint,170)
this returns 85, mmmmmmm

Here is some more interesting stuff

DECLARE @i int, @i2 tinyint,@i3 smallint, @i4 bigint
SELECT @i =170,@i2 = 170,@i3 =170,@i4 = 170

SELECT ~@i int, ~@i2 tinyint,~@i3 smallint, ~@i4 bigint

-171 85 -171 -171

So for the tinyint it is 85, for the other datatypes it is -171

What does BOL say?

The bitwise ~ operator performs a bitwise logical NOT for the expression, taking each corresponding bit. The bits in the result are set to 1 if one bit (for the current bit being resolved) in expression has a value of 0; otherwise, the bit in the result is cleared to a value of 1.

The ~ bitwise operator can be used only on columns of the integer data type category.

When performing any kind of bitwise operation, the storage length of the expression used in the bitwise operation is important. It is recommended that you use the same number of bytes when storing values. For example, storing the decimal value of 5 as a tinyint, smallint, or int produces a value stored with different numbers of bytes. tinyint stores data using 1 byte, smallint stores data using 2 bytes, and int stores data using 4 bytes. Therefore, performing a bitwise operation on an int decimal value can produce different results as compared to a direct binary or hexidecimal translation, especially when the ~ (bitwise NOT) operator is used. The bitwise NOT operation may occur on a variable of a shorter length that, when converted to a longer data type variable, may not have the bits in the upper 8 bits set to the expected value. It is recommended that you convert the smaller data type variable to the larger data type, and then perform the NOT operation on the result.

There you have it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hilarious Paris Hilton Subway Ad

What else needs to be said. Poor Tinkerbell or whatever the name of that dog is.

Script Multiple Procs With Create And Drop Statements In SQL Server 2005

In SQL Server 2005 Management studio you can not script out multiple procedures with a create and drop statement
This is what you have to do:
1. Open you favorite database in the management studio.
2. Make sure the summary window is visible. (Press F7)
3. In the summary window, double click databases.
4. Double click 'YourDatabase'
5. Double Click 'Programability'
6. Double Click 'Stored Procedures'
7. Select the stored procedures you want to script. (using CTRL/SHIFT clicking).
8. Right click -> Script Stored Procedures As -> Drop -> New Query Editor Window.

Repeat step 8 for the Create.

Who wants to do that? Not me.
Here is a pure T-SQL solution, I didn't feel like using SMO. I can just run this code, copy and paste the output in a new window and I am done.

This code takes care of schema's it also grabs just procedures and only the ones that are created by users (OBJECTPROPERTY 'IsMSShipped' takes care of that)

USE AdventureWorks


#ProcHolder (ID int identity,ProcName VARCHAR(8000), ProcDefinition VARCHAR(MAX))

INSERT #ProcHolder
--SELECT * FROM #ProcHolder --if you want to test

DECLARE @LoopID int,@MaxLoopID int,@ProcDefinition VARCHAR(MAX),@ProcName VARCHAR(8000)
SELECT @LoopID =1,@MaxLoopID = MAX(id) FROM #ProcHolder

WHILE @LoopID < @MaxLoopID
@ProcDefinition = ProcDefinition,@ProcName =ProcName
FROM #ProcHolder
WHERE id = @LoopID

PRINT 'if exists (select * from dbo.sysobjects where id = OBJECT_ID(N''' + @ProcName + ''') and OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N''IsProcedure'') = 1)'
PRINT 'drop procedure ' + @ProcName

PRINT @ProcDefinition

SET @LoopID = @LoopID +1

DROP TABLE #ProcHolder

That is it, let me know what you think

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sopranos: Bobby Baccalla beats the crap out of Tony Soprano

That was a great episode last night, I am glad to see that this season started much better than last season. I watched the last episode of last season on Saturday night and I was quite excited to start watching the final season. Bobby Baccalla beat the crap out of Tony Soprano who insulted Janice after everyone got drunk while playing monopoly. Did you know that my wife’s family does the same thing with that extra rule that they made up to increase the pot?

Janice is one of those people you just cannot stand; I hate her with a passion. They way she acts towards the baby sitter is just plain wrong. BTW it was Tony’s birthday yesterday and he got golf clubs as a present among other things ;-). Yesterday was also my birthday but I did not get any golf clubs ;-(. But then again I don’t play golf or will ever play golf since it seems so boring to me. What is the point? Hit a ball then walk for 15 minutes and hit another ball, golf is not a sport I don’t care what they say otherwise.
Back to the Sopranos, I hope the other episodes are as good as the one from yesterday. Remember last season? The first episode was good; Tony got shot by Uncle Junior. Then the next episode went into the coma/dream nonsense and it was all down the hill after that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Two New Hotfixes Available To Fix The Maintenance Plan Issues Caused By SQL Server 2005 SP2

Run the following query


If the SQL Server 2005 version is between 3042 and 3053, download build 3054 from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934458

If the SQL Server 2005 version is between 3150 and 3158, download build 3159 from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934459

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 8th Is Almost Here

Why should you care? Here are 4 reasons

1) My Birthday
2) Final season of Sopranos starts
3) New season of Entourage starts
4) Easter

So finally the Sopranos will end ;-( I must admit that the last season wasn’t that great, the episode in which Tony had that crazy dream with that suitcase was just horrible. Watch out for the ducks in the last episode (remember the ducks in the first episode? They will be back and we've come full circle with the show)

I did not start watching Entourage until last season, since then I have watched all the episodes (thank you Comcast on demand). Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold) and Kevin Dillon (Johnny "Drama" Chase) are my favorite characters.

Easter, oh yes the day that I have to go to Church with my wife (I made a wedding day promise). My older son will have a lot of fun with all the eggs/chocolates and gifts that the Easter Bunny will bring

It is also my birthday on April 8th, I will be getting closer to midlife crisis. I will turn 37 that day, wait isn’t 37 the new 27?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

SQL Server 2007 Beta1 CTP Released

Microsoft released SQL Server 2007 Beta1 CTP earlier today. You can download it here
A ton of new things, support for spatial data. New functions to deal with numeric data (IsInt, IsBigInt, IsSmallInt). Also new is the addition of Natural Join, a bunch of new dynamic management views that make it easier to prevent deadlocks. Another cool thing is the addition of the new BigDateTime datatype, this makes it possible to enter dates before 1753, you can actually go back to -3000. That is such a big plus for databases that deal with data that's older than 1753. What are you waiting for? Download it here now

Friday, March 30, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Books Online Scoped Search Provided By search.live.com

Check out the new Books On Line search provided by live.com. The link below provides a scoped search of Books Online. It will only return entries for the online version of Books On Line.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

TEMPDB and SQL Server 2005 Tip

When upgrading to SQL server 2005 you already know that you have to rebuild your indexes and update the statistics. In addition to that, create 1 data file per CPU core for the TEMPDB (Dual core counts as 2 CPUs; logical procs (hyperthreading) do not)
This will make a big difference, SQL Server 2005 uses the tempdb different than 2000, by adding more files you will see a dramatic performance improvement for big queries

Our queries on SQL Server 2005 ran slower than on 2000, by adding more files the queries are twice as fast than on the SQL Server 2000 box now

This behaviour is documented here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/bestpractice/storage-top-10.mspx

Look at number 7 (Consider configuration of TEMPDB database)
and number 8 (Lining up the number of data files with CPU’s has scalability advantages for allocation intensive workloads. )

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A list of SQL Server 2005 Whitepapers and SQL Server 2000 Whitepapers

Kimberly Tripp compiled a nice list of all the top whitepapers available for SQL Server 2000 and SQL server 2005. Some of them are written by Bob Beauchemin and some of them are written by Kimberly herself. The number of available whitepapers for SQL server 2005 is 29 at this moment.

Get them all here: http://www.sqlskills.com/whitepapers.asp

Sunday, March 25, 2007

How Not To Do Search Engine Optimization

Just ask Alex Chiu. This is what he wrote:

" Google controls 50% of the world's searches. This famous website is so controversial that it has been banned by the most popular search engine in the world 'Google'. That's right. You cannot find alexchiu.com in Google system. Some very important people don't want you to know about Alex Chiu. Alex Chiu is on more than 30 TV interviews, 250 radio interviews, and in business ever since 1996. Yet AlexChiu.com cannot show up on Google? "

Why is that? Very simple, take a look at his site http://alexchiu.com/
At the bottom of the page you will find a text area with over a thousand keywords, some of these keywords are:
System Heart Aorta Arteries Arterioles Capillaries Venules Veins Vena cava Pulmonaryarteries Lungs veins Blood Digestive Mouth Pharynx Esophagus Stomach Pancreas Gallbladder

This list goes on and on.

End result? Banned by Google.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

SQL Server 2005 SP2 Has Added The OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME Function, OBJECT_NAME Has Been Enhanced

SQL Server 2005 SP2 has an important enhancement to the OBJECT_NAME metadata function and a new OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME metadata function. Because you pass object_id, and database_id to the OBJECT_NAME function it is not needed anymore to write dynamic SQL to get multi DB results.

The OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME metadata function can be used to return the schema name of a schema-scoped object like a table or a view by specifying the object identifier and optional database identifier.

Read more about these 2 functions here, there is also SQL code available that show you how to use the functions on the site.

30 + Tools and Hacks for Gmail

This makeuseof site has some cool Gmail hacks and tools. There are FireFox Extensions, GreaseMonkey scripts,Desktop APPS & Web TOOLS and plain old tips and hacks. The ones that I like the best are Gmail attachment icons and label colors. below is an image of all these things in action

Link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/gmail-craze-30-tools-to-make-your-gmail-better/

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Microsoft SQL Server Samples and Community Projects On CodePlex

Codeplex is the project hosting site for Microsoft SQL Server Samples and Community Projects. This portal page for SQL Server on Codeplex catalogs samples included with Product Releases, samples from the community, and independent SQL Server Community projects.

Link: http://www.codeplex.com/SqlServerSamples

Make sure you check out the DBScript Utility

The Ten Most Asked SQL Server Related Programming Questions In Newsgroups

I have been participating in newsgroups/forums for about five years now and lately I have noticed that at least 60% of the questions are the same ten questions.
That is why I will create a blogpost that lists these ten questions and also provides an answer for them. I think that to write this will take me about a week.

Here is what I have so far

1 selecting only current day/yesterday from a table
2 adding days/weeks/years/months to dates
3 splitting string values
4 select * from one table that doesn't exist in another table
5 getting all rows from one table and only the latest from the child table
6 getting all characters until some character (charindex + left)
7 NULL stuff ( a bunch of stuff here dealing with nulls)
8 Row values to column (PIVOT)
9 Show 0001 as 1 and show 1 as 0001
10 CASE and checking for NULLs

I guess I could have added date display formatting. Did I miss any other obvious questions?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

SQL Server Speaks Almost As Many Languages As I Do

Saw this error while running a job

Error Code: 4860
Cannot bulk load. The file "%ls" does not exist.
Massenladen ist nicht möglich. Die Datei "%1!" ist nicht vorhanden.
Chargement en bloc impossible. Le fichier "%1!" n'existe pas.
???????????????? "%1!" ???????? No se puede realizar la carga masiva......

This is the first time that I have seen a multi-language error. It appears that SQL Server 2005 is a multi-language 'speaker'.
So we have 4 languages in this error

Cannot bulk load. The file "%ls" does not exist.

Massenladen ist nicht möglich. Die Datei "%1!" ist nicht vorhanden.

Chargement en bloc impossible. Le fichier "%1!" n'existe pas.

???????????????? "%1!" ???????? No se puede realizar la carga masiva (don't know what the deal is with those question marks, probabaly a missing font)

So I speak 2 of these languages and 2.5 other languages and also a dialect. But I can curse in many more ;-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Microsoft Joins OpenAjax

OpenAjax Alliance, an open industry collaboration dedicated to developing and expanding Ajax, today announced that its membership has grown to 72 with the addition of Microsoft Corporation and 30 other companies.

"Microsoft is joining the OpenAJAX Alliance to collaborate with other industry leaders to help evolve AJAX-style development by ensuring a high degree of interoperability," said Keith Smith, group product manager of the Core Web Platform & Tools to UX Web/Client Platform & Tools team at Microsoft Corp. "By joining OpenAJAX, Microsoft is continuing its commitment to empower Web developers with technology that works cross-browser and cross-platform."

The newest OpenAjax Alliance members include: 24SevenOffice, ActiveGrid, ActiveState, Appeon, Aptana, Arimaan Global Consulting, Custom Credit Systems (Thinwire), ESRI, Getahead (DWR), Global Computer Enterprises, GoETC, Helmi Technologies, HR-XML, iPolipo, Isomorphic Software, JSSL, Lightstreamer, Microsoft, MobileAware, NetScript Technologies, OpenSpot, OpenSymphony (OpenQA), OpSource, OS3.IT, Redmonk, Tealeaf Technology, Teleca Mobile, Transmend, Visible Measures, Visual WebGui and Volantis Systems.

The Alliance is also announcing that the following members have all been awarded OpenAjax Interoperability certificates: Apache XAP, Dojo Foundation, ICEsoft, ILOG, Isomorphic, IT Mill, Lightstreamer, Open Link, Open Spot, Nexaweb, Software AG and TIBCO. The interoperability certificates represent progress by both OpenAjax Alliance and its members towards defining and achieving industry support for OpenAjax Conformance.

Read the press release here: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=228535

Perfect SQL Developer Setup

Got this pic in the mail today. I have been working with a dual-monitor setup since 2001 but this is unquestionably better. Here is how I would use it.

Monitor1: Outlook, Word and Excel
Monitor2: Production SQL Servers
Monitor3: Staging and Development SQL Servers
Monitor4: Visual Studio, EditPlus, XML Spy, Sybase Power Designer, Visio, SQL Compare etc etc

You see, all work and no fun (makes Jack a dull boy)
Very SQLicious don’t you think? How would you use it?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Joke: Irish Daughter

An Irish daughter had not been home for over 5 years. Upon her return her father cussed her. "Where have ye been all this time? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn't ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old mum thru?

The girl, crying, replied, "Sniff, sniff... dad... I became a prostitute..."

Ye what!!? Out of here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You're a disgrace to this family."

OK, dad-- as ye wish. I just came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion plus a savings certificate for $5 million. For me little brother, this gold Rolex and for ye daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes limited edition convertible that's parked outside plus a membership to the country club....(takes a breath). ... and an invitation for ye all to spend New Years Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera, and..."

Now what was it ye said ye had become?" says dad.

Girl, crying again, "Sniff, sniff.... a prostitute dad! Sniff, sniff."

Oh! Be Jesus! Ye scared me half to death, girl! I thought ye said a Protestant'. Come here and give yer old man a hug!"

Google Buys Gapminder

If you work with data and are trying to visualize this data then you will appreciate Google's latest purchase Gapminder. Gapminder and Google share an enthusiasm for technology that makes data easily accessible and understandable to the world. Gapminder’s Trendalyzer software unveils the beauty of statistics by converting boring numbers into enjoyable interactive animations. I found Human Development Trends, 2005 the more interesting application (two screenshots are at the bottom of this post). This application shows you visually that the number of poorest people continues to increase while the richer are getting richer among other things. There is also another application available: Gapminder World, 2006. You can see a screenshot of that app at the top of this post. Click on the images to see a bigger image or better yet visit the URL to see these apps in action. Also make sure to visit http://www.gapminder.org/links/data/. this URL contains links to the following sites:

GeoHive - the World in Regions
Social Watch
Statistics Sweden (Satistiska Centralbyrån)
Sustainable World
The World Factbook
United Nations Common Database (UNSCB)
UNESCO Institute for Statistics
World Bank: World Development Indicators

These two images below are from the Human Development Trends, 2005 app.

Don't Know What To Say In Meetings?

So you have these boring meetings and you want to say stuff that sound smart but no one will understand what you talking about. What do you do? Well you use the Web Economy Bullshit Generator of course. This tool mixes a bunch of predefined verbs, adjectives and nouns. The result are gems like these

grow collaborative deliverables
disintermediate ubiquitous web-readiness
seize intuitive users
orchestrate integrated portals

So go ahead and give it a try: http://dack.com/web/bullshit.html

I could have sworn I saw some of these phrases in books ;-)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Okay we all know what Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is. Now there is a new service from Amazon called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). with S3 you use Amazon to store your data, images,whatever but with EC2 you use Amazon to do your computing for you.

From the site:

Amazon EC2 Functionality
Amazon EC2 presents a true virtual computing environment, allowing you to use web service interfaces to requisition machines for use, load them with your custom application environment, manage your network's access permissions, and run your image using as many or few systems as you desire.

To use Amazon EC2, you simply:
Create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) containing your applications, libraries, data and associated configuration settings. Or use our pre-configured, templated images to get up and running immediately.

Upload the AMI into Amazon S3. Amazon EC2 provides tools that make storing the AMI simple. Amazon S3 provides a safe, reliable and fast repository to store your images.

Use Amazon EC2 web service to configure security and network access.

Use Amazon EC2 web service to start, terminate, and monitor as many instances of your AMI as needed.

Pay for the instance hours and bandwidth that you actually consume.

Service Highlights

Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs.

Completely Controlled
You have complete control of your instances. You have root access to each one, and you can interact with them as you would any machine. Each instance predictably provides the equivalent of a system with a 1.7Ghz x86 processor, 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth.

Designed for use with Amazon S3
Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to provide a combined solution for computing and storage across a wide range of applications.

Amazon EC2 offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be rapidly and reliably commissioned. The service runs within Amazon's proven network infrastructure and datacenters.

Amazon EC2 provides web service interfaces to control network security. You define groups of instances and their desired accessibility.

Amazon EC2 passes on to you the financial benefits of Amazon's scale. You pay a very low
rate for the compute capacity you actually consume. Compare this with the
significant up-front expenditures traditionally required to purchase and
maintain hardware, either in-house or hosted. This frees you from many of the
complexities of capacity planning, transforms what are commonly large fixed
costs into much smaller variable costs, and removes the need to over-buy "safety
net" capacity to handle periodic traffic spikes.

Get all the details here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=201590011

Online Indexing Operations in SQL Server 2005 Whitepaper Available For Download

TechNet has made availabe a whitepaper that deals with Online Indexing Operations in SQL Server 2005. Introduced in SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, the online index feature provides a powerful way to perform maintenance operations such as rebuilding or creating indexes in a production system without sacrificing DML concurrency. This paper provides a detailed discussion of the index process and provides guidelines and best practices for implementing this feature in a production environment.

Included in this document:

• Introduction

• Data Structures and Concepts

• Overview of the Online Index Build Algorithm

• Capacity Planning and Concurrency Considerations for Index Create and Rebuild Operations

• Online Index Best Practices

• Conclusion

• Appendix A: Performance Study

• Appendix B: Diagnostics

• Appendix C: Log Measurement Script

• Appendix D: Online Index Limitations

Download this whitepaper (Word doc,25 pages) here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/onlineindex.mspx

Did You Have Your Pie On Pi Day?

March 14th is Pi Day as the date 3/14 corresponds to the mathematical number pi.

The mathematical constant π is a transcendental (and therefore irrational) real number, approximately equal to 3.14159, which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean geometry, and has many uses in mathematics, physics, and engineering. It is also known as Archimedes' constant and as Ludolph's number

Here are the first 100 digits of PI

1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GMail Storage Will Be 3560 MB on April 1st 2012

Gmail's quota will continue to increase in the following years.

What to expect in the future:

2835 MB on April 1st 2007
2980 MB on April 1st 2008
3125 MB on April 1st 2009
3270 MB on April 1st 2010
3415 MB on April 1st 2011
3560 MB on April 1st 2012

As you can see, Gmail's storage will increase with 145 MB a year. Great for storing all that spam. Now I wish they could increase the message size to 20MB from the current 10MB.

More detail here: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/03/gmails-updated-quotas.html

Priceless Comment About Slashdot Users

It is all here:http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=44091&cid=4592270

Enough said.

How To Get The Database Name For The Current User Process

This question pops up frequent enough so here are 4 ways to return the database name for the current user process

First up is the fastest method. this will run on SQL Server 200 and 2005


Next up is getting the name by joining the sys.dm_exec_requests dmv and sys.sysdatabases. this runs on SQL Server 2005 only

SELECT s.name
FROM sys.dm_exec_requests d
JOIN sys.sysdatabases s on d.database_id = s.dbid
WHERE session_id = @@SPID

Here is something similar, this also runs only on SQL Server 2005

FROM sys.sysdatabases
WHERE dbid = DB_ID()

And we end with something that runs on both SQL Server 2005 and 2000
FROM master..sysdatabases
WHERE dbid = DB_ID()

But like I said before you should always use DB_NAME()

SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports Available For Download

The SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports are Reporting Services report files designed to be used with the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio. The reports allow a database administrator to quickly identify whether there is a current bottleneck on their system, and if a bottleneck is present, capture additional diagnostic data that may be necessary to resolve the problem. For example, if the system is experiencing waits for disk IO the dashboard allows the user to quickly see which sessions are performing the most IO, what query is running on each session and the query plan for each statement.

Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:
- CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
- IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
- Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer (missing indexes)
- Blocking
- Latch contention

The information captured in the reports is retrieved from SQL Server's dynamic management views. There is no additional tracing or data capture required, which means the information is always available and this is a very inexpensive means of monitoring your server.

Reporting Services is not required to be installed to use the Performance Dashboard Reports.

Keep in mind that the SQL Server instance being monitored must be running SP2 or later.
So what are you waiting for? dowmload it and read the details here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=1D3A4A0D-7E0C-4730-8204-E419218C1EFC&displaylang=en

R.I.P Visual FoxPro

Where is the wake ;-) Finally this thing is about to die, no more having to deal with 40 tables because each FoxPro table has a 2GB limit. And don’t get me started with exclusively locked tables either. I think that I will listen to die, die my darling by Metallica while I finish this post. Here are some of the lyrics

Die, die, die my darling
Dont utter a single word
Die, die, die my darling
Just shut your Foxy eyes (I replaced pretty with Foxy)

So for all you FoxPro lovers, there is a great new site (so there is hope for you ;-)) VFP-Conversion

Think Outside the Fox-Den!

Monday, March 12, 2007

map of the world, based on the frequency of its locations mentioned in books.

Here is something interesting and it has to do with data. Inside Google Book Search has some neat maps of the world based on the frequency of its locations mentioned in books. From the site:
We've all seen views of the Earth from space, where the numerous pinpoints of light on the ground combine to yield a speckled map of the world. I wanted to show the Earth viewed from books, where individual mentions of locations in books combine to yield another interpretation of the globe. The intensity of each pixel is proportional to the number of times the location at a given set of coordinates is mentioned across all of the books in Google Books Search.

Here is the link: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2007/03/earth-viewed-from-books.html

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wladimir Klitschko Knocks Out Ray Austin In The Second Round

This is how I like my boxing fast and efficient. Wladimir Klitschko knocked out Ray Austin in the second round with a series of left hand punches. That is all there is to say about this fight

Scribd: The YouTube Of Documents

What is Scribd?
Scribd lets you publish and discover documents online. It is like a big online library where anyone can upload. We make use of a custom Flash document viewer that lets you display documents right in your Web browser. There are all sorts of other features that make it easy and fun to publish, convert, embed, analyze, and read documents.

Part of the idea behind Scribd is that everyone has a lot of documents sitting around on their computers that only they can read. With Scribd we hope to unlock this information by putting it on the web.

What kinds of documents can I publish on Scribd?
Literally, anything you can put in a Word (.doc), PDF (.pdf), text (.txt), PowerPoint (.ppt), Excel (.xls), Postscript (.ps), or LIT (.lit) file.

So go ahead and check it out: http://www.scribd.com/

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 x64 Edition Release Candidate Available For Download

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Release Candidate (RC) is a cumulative service pack that provides the latest updates, security and stability enhancements, in addition to new features, feature updates and utility updates to the Windows Server 2003 operating system. SP2 helps secure your server and improve system reliability, security, and stability thereby ensuring the highest level of readiness to meet the ever increasing demands of today’s server operating systems.
Windows Server 2003 SP2 can be installed directly on the following operating systems:
Windows Server 2003 Editions (All 32-bit x86)
Windows Server 2003 Itanium-based Editions
Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions
Windows Server 2003 R2 Editions
Windows Server 2003 Storage Server R2 Edition
Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=AC8EDD44-96B3-4D11-9293-12970CD62FED&displaylang=en

Friday, March 09, 2007

how to save a whole heap of money on SQL Server 2000 licenses

I Just read this on the daily WTF (which got renamed to Worse Than Failure the other day)
An insurance company decides to install the trial version of SQL server 2000 on their production box because they don't want to pay the license. After 6 months they backup all the data, wipe out the hard drive (reimage) and install the trial version again, restore all the databases and are good to go for another 6 months...ROFL
Why not just use developer edition? You are violating the license anyway, it will at least save you the hassle of reinstalling every 6 months...
Link to original article is here http://worsethanfailure.com/Articles/SQL_on_Trial.aspx

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Can you solve Joe Celko's SQL puzzles? Three puzzles. Many answers.

ComputerWorld has posted three SQL puzzles that were written by Joe Celko on their website. These puzzles come from Joe Celko's latest book Joe Celko's SQL Puzzles and Answers, Second Edition

These are the puzzles:
Answer #1
Answer #1
Answer #2
Answer #1
Answer #2
Answer #3
Answer #4
Answer #5

the site has individual links to each puzzle and answer, the link to the puzzles is here: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9012350&source=NLT_APP&nlid=48
Let me know what you think and if you can come up with better/different answers.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista Available For Download

Get the download here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=90E2942D-3AD1-4873-A2EE-4ACC0AACE5B6&displaylang=en

Brief Description
The Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista addresses areas of Visual Studio impacted by Windows Vista enhancements.

If the machine participated in the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista Beta, please be sure to uninstall the beta first.

During the development of Windows Vista, several key investments were made to vastly improve overall quality, security, and reliability from previous versions of Windows. While we have made tremendous investments in Windows Vista to ensure backwards compatibility, some of the system enhancements, such as User Account Control, changes to the networking stack, and the new graphics model, make Windows Vista behave differently from previous versions of Windows. These investments impact Visual Studio 2005. The Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista addresses areas of Visual Studio impacted by Vista enhancements.
Many of the Windows Vista enhancements are documented at the Windows Vista Development Center.

This download installs the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista for the following Visual Studio SKUs:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office
Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition
Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition
Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition
Microsoft Visual J# 2005 Express Edition (English Only)
Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Premier Partner Edition
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Agent
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Controller
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Code Profiler
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Explorer

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2a?

SQL Server MVP Aaron Bertrand has posted a blog entry where he mentions that the time and build number have changed to 2007-03-05 and 9.00.3042.01. You can get the latest file here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=d07219b2-1e23-49c8-8f0c-63fa18f26d3a&DisplayLang=en

.NET Rocks Podcast: Paul Randal on SQL Server 2005 Performance and Recovery

.NET Rocks has made available their latest podcast. From the site:

"Microsoftee Paul Randal drops by for an engaging talk about his contributions
to the recoverability of SQL Server 2005, which are many (Can you say CHECKDB?).
An old friend of ours, and a fairly new friend of Paul's, busts in on the
conversation and makes a cameo appearance. "

Download the podcast here:http://dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showID=220

Monday, March 05, 2007

How To Make A FileGroup Read Only in SQL Server 2005

How to make a filegroup read only in SQL Server 2005? This question popped up today on tek-tips. This is how you do that: First we will create a new database named TestFilegroup. Next we will add a filegroup named Test1FG1 which contains a file named test1dat3.
The next step is to do an alter database modift filegroup readonly command
Here is the complete script

USE master

--Create New DB For Testing

--Create FileGroup

--Add file to fileGroup
NAME = test1dat3,
FILENAME = 'c:\t1dat3.ndf',


--Make FileGroup ReadOnly

Use Read_Only not ReadOnly because the keyword READONLY will be removed in a future version of Microsoft SQL Server. Avoid using READONLY in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use READONLY. Use READ_ONLY instead.

Now what happens when you try to create a table on filegroup Test1FG1?
USE TestFilegroup

You will see the following error message
Server: Msg 1924, Level 16, State 2, Line 1
Filegroup 'Test1FG1' is read-only.

You can use sys.filegroups and check the is_read_only column to find out if a filegroup is read only
SELECT is_read_only
FROM sys.filegroups
WHERE name = 'Test1FG1'

Here is the result

Using NTFS Compression with Read-Only User-defined Filegroups and Read-Only Databases
SQL Server 2005 supports NTFS compression of read-only user-defined filegroups and read-only databases. You should consider compressing read-only data in the following situations:
You have a large volume of static or historical data that must be available for limited read-only access.
You have limited disk space.

ASP.NET Library Site Launched

A friend of mine has started the ASP.NET Library site. The idea of this site is to provide ASP.NET articles, code and tips for professional ASP.NET developers. The site right now offers Resources, Articles and a Code Bank. Under Code Bank you can find the following:

So go ahead and check it out: http://aspnetlibrary.com/

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Arrays and Lists Article Updated For SQL Server 2005

SQL Server MVP Erland Sommarskog has updated his Arrays and Lists article and this new version deals exclusively with SQL Server 2005. This is a must read if you are a SQL Server developer. So what are you waiting for? Stop wasting your time here and start reading Arrays and Lists in SQL Server 2005

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Digg Effect

Someone posted The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools post on Digg and over a thousand people dugg the story. I got a massive amount of traffic, so much that I had to get a new counter for this blog because it stopped working when this blog got a total of 99999 hits. After all these diggs people started to add this post to del.icio.us and so far 183 people have added it to their delicious account. You can see all these people here: http://del.icio.us/url/9be2731b569601719d645d97e88254b4

Here is a graph of the pageviews

I promise that I WILL write a SQL post this weekend and it will be about partitioned functions It will show you how you can use $PARTITION to select data from a specific partition

Top 5 Post and Google Searches For Jan and Feb 2007

Usually I do this once a month but I decided to do it once every two months from now on, I guess you can call it lazyness. Here are the top 5 posts for January and February 2007 in terms of pageviews

1 The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools
2 Ten SQL Server Functions That You Hardly Use But Should
3 Clippy Is Not Dead, Clippy Is Alive.....On Linux
4 Increase Your Productivity With Query Analyzer
5 The Real Reason Why Condoleezza Rice Never Smiles

So two of these (Clippy and Condoleezza) have nothing to do with SQL Server.

Top Queries
These are searches that people typed in the Google search box on this site
I always keep track of these because it gives me some ideas of what to write
Here is the top list for the last 2 months, I left out the adult searches ;-)

did france pay brazil to win the cup
query analyzer not view
sql login
%disk read time
daylight saving SQL Express
maximum number database
SQL queries
tree structure catalogue
rainbowfish children book
failed for login sa
origin of the name jacobs

Top Ten Posts Of All Time

Here is the list of the ten most popular posts in terms of pageviews since I started collecting this info. Damn Clippy how did he/she get to number 6?

1 The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools
2 SQL Query Optimizations
3 Ten SQL Server Functions That You Hardly Use But Should
4 Five Ways To Return Values From Stored Procedures
5 Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection. SQL 2005
6 Clippy Is Not Dead, Clippy Is Alive.....On Linux
7 NULL Trouble In SQL Server Land
8 COALESCE And ISNULL Differences
9 Increase Your Productivity With Query Analyzer
10 Three Ways To Display Two Counts From a Table Side By Side

How Do I? video series focused on SQL Server 2005 Express

The http://www.asp.net/ site posted a great new "How Do I?" video series focused on SQL Server 2005 Express (which you can download and use completely for free).
So what is in this series?

#1 What is a Database?
(28 minutes, 15 seconds)

#2 Understanding Database Tables and Records
(24 minutes, 56 seconds)

#3 More about Column Data Types and Other Properties
(21 minutes, 37 seconds)

#4 Designing Relational Database Tables
(34 minutes, 10 seconds)

#5 Manipulating Database Data
(40 minutes, 20 seconds)

#6 More Structured Query Language
(23 minutes, 13 seconds)

#7 Understanding Security and Network Connectivity
(40 minutes, 59 seconds)

#8 Connecting your Web Application to SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
(1 hour, 5 minutes)

#9 Using SQL Server Management Studio
(40 minutes, 26 seconds)

#10 Getting Started with Reporting Services
(32 minutes, 51 seconds)

#11 Building and Customizing Reports in Business Intelligence Development Studio
(44 minutes, 50 seconds)

#12 Creating and Using Stored Procedures
(42 minutes, 34 seconds)

#13 Enabling Full-Text Search in your Text Data
(38 minutes, 25 seconds)

You can download all of these here: http://www.asp.net/learn/videos/default.aspx?tabid=63#sql