Ward Pond's SQL Server blog

Ruminating on issues pertinent to the design and development of sound databases and processes under Microsoft SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2000 (while reserving the right to vent about anything else that's on my mind)

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  • Blog Post: Feedback is a Gift; Thanks, Kalen!

    The law of unintended consequences is an amazing thing. When I posted Dirk Gubbels’ holiday greeting last week, I very quietly snuck in a new format for displaying source code, a formatting plug-in that was recommended in an internal discussion group.  It was decidedly not what I was looking for...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: A More Performant Alternative To COLUMNS_UPDATED()

    (updated 18 February 2006 to clarify version information) A recent discussion with several colleagues reminded me of a hard-won insight I've been meaning to share here. This involves the code that we originally discussed here . I know the following to be true for SQL Server 2000. I've not tested the...
  • Blog Post: R.I.P. Tun-Hsu "Martha" McCoy -- and Thank You!

    Every once in awhile, you get a piece of news that sets you looking at where you are and where you've been. Today is one of those days. There will be no technical content in this post, and it might ramble some. Bear with me; it's been a contemplative night.. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= When I was a young...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: Why I, Like, May Never Write Another LIKE, Like, Ever Again

    [ UPDATE 30 October 2007 : There are significant ambiguities in this post which are addressed in the comments and in this follow-up , which I recommend reading after you've read this post and its comments. -wp] I've been doing some performance tuning work over the last couple of days, and I've found...
  • Blog Post: A Month and a Day in Florida

    We are 32 days in Florida as of today, and so far it's been a marvelous experience. All three boys are thriving in school. I haven't seen so many A's since my mother's book club read The Scarlet Letter. * Good on you, boys! Connectivity in the home office is stable and strong, the result of a two...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: Feedback Requested -- Which Syntax Is More Maintainable?

    This might be something of an atypical post for this blog in that it's a solicitation of feedback rather than a "sermonette," but so be it. Perhaps this is the start of a positive trend.. :-) I was looking over this code from a previous post : UPDATE s SET SupplementTitle = CASE NULLIF ( i . SupplementTitle...
  • Blog Post: Database Versioning Demonstration Uploaded

    Fulfilling my promise at TechEd , I’ve finally completed a self-directed demonstration of the database versioning techniques I first presented at last year’s TechEd and which was alluded to during this year’s TechEd SQL Tricks presentations. It’s published here on my resource page at MSDN Code Gallery...
  • Blog Post: Pond's Seventh Law, Applied Again

    [ UPDATED 17 August 2007: the first story turns out to be a hoax , which places the second one in doubt as well. Please consider this a parable rather than a reportage] A colleague sent along an email earlier today which, at its root, strikes me as a plea for Pond's Seventh Law , so it seems a good...
  • Blog Post: Second Shot with a Side of Career Assist: Just What the Doctor Ordered

    In light of the current state of the economy (not to mention recent news in my own back yard (I can still call it that since we continue, against our deeply held wishes, to own a house in Redmond)), I make it a point to count my blessings every day.  A loving and supportive family is primary among...
  • Blog Post: Thank You, Greg Winston

    If you live long enough and lead a certain sort of life, you end up writing a lot of correspondence that you don’t really want to write when you start writing it. If you’re lucky enough, more of those missives relate to happy things happening in peoples’ lives than sad things. If you’re not wanting to...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: TOP Without ORDER BY?

    Egad, a technical post! And after I'd already said goodbye for the month. A long time ago, a friend taught me that expectations are small murders. What does that make plans? At any rate, Peter asked a FAQ on one of the internal discussions this morning, and since we haven't discussed it here.. ...
  • Blog Post: Pond's Seventh Law, Applied: Avoiding Random Elegance

    Another application of Pond's Laws comes to light from an exchange on an internal SQL Server discussion list. My good friend and colleague John Huschka, a Senior Software Development Engineer for Microsoft Business Solutions' FRx Software Corporation, alerted me to this post on the list: I am...
  • Blog Post: Another Word On For-Fee Aggregators

    One more post before I turn in.. Blogging is about passion and community, which may well be two sides of the same coin.  Our passion makes us a community.  Even though I don't read the output of my fellows in the SQL Server blogosphere nearly as much as I should, I know they're out there. ...
  • Blog Post: What I Know Now: Ward’s Epistle to the N00bs

    And I remember what she said to me How she swore that it never would end I remember how she held me, oh so tight Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then Bob Seger, Against the Wind All you need is love Love is all you need John Lennon and Paul McCartney, All You Need is Love My pal Jimmy May apparently...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: The String Concatenation XML Trick, Finalized

    It's an especially Good Friday when we can close the loop on a technical conversation, and I believe that our modifications to The Technique That Lance Found , also discussed here and here , are complete.  Scott Whigham left a comment on the most recent post offering an XML implementation that will...
  • Blog Post: Yet Another Blog You Should Check Out

    The comment space for yesterday's rant about the web site that's charging for access to MSDN and TechNet blog content is busier than any has been for awhile.  I also got this email via the contact mechanism on the blog: I was just about to ask you where I should send you your money! ha ha Blogging...
  • Blog Post: An Answer For Spazecaze: A Reasonable Method To Implement User Defined Fields

    Spazecaze discovered a February, 2006 discussion of order of operations and poses the following question in its comment area : So how would you go about designing a database that allows for end user defined fields? For instance, a system is built to allow users to enter data into fields on...
  • Blog Post: Two Pieces of Technical News from Kalen

    Kalen Delaney has one of the most consistently informative SQL Server blogs in all of the Internets, and unless I miss my guess, it was also she who left the first of the very supportive comments I've received in the wake of my recent series of personal posts. Thank you, Kalen, and everyone else for...
  • Blog Post: Non-Technical News: Lessons from Benihana and Brandon Roy

    Yesterday was a big day in our household. In addition to our two resident mothers, we also commemorated our eldest son's sixteenth birthday. Earlier in the week, after a delicate negotiation, we agreed on a blended celebration dinner at the Benihana restaurant in downtown Seattle. In addition to being...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: The String Concatenation XML Trick, Sans Entitization

    When last we checked in on The Technique That Lance Found , Adam had noted that the method entitizes XML special characters, a state of affairs which limits its utility somewhat.  I tried to leverage Tony Rogerson's technique , which Adam passed along in his comment, but it was late and I was tired...
  • Blog Post: Pond’s Laws Home Page Now Live

    Thanks to yet another kick-in-the-pants from Jimmy May (did he play soccer as a youth?) the Pond’s Laws Home Page is now live. Jimmy wanted to find all of Pond’s Laws in one place, and now he (and you) can. There’s also a link to the new page in the A Bit More From Me section to your left (if you...
  • Blog Post: MERGE, XML Access, and a CTE: Not So Fast

    A bit of old news, as I return to the blog in earnest after some time away.. Last summer, in the posts Database Programming: What I’ve Learned About SQL Server 2008 (with a little on SQL Server 2005 thrown in) and Database Programming: Why I Like MERGE , I commented that I’d been able to build a MERGE...
  • Blog Post: Database Design: A Brief Rant About Quality

    You've perhaps seen this item in the news, which discusses the woes which have befallen the Tokyo Stock Exchange and one of Japan’s largest brokerages after a typographical error in a stock trade resulted in a loss of at least $225 million for the brokerage firm involved and also contributed to an almost...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: The String Concatenation XML Trick Revisited (Or, Adam Is Right, But We Can Fix It)

    A find shared by one friend leads to correspondence from another.. The redoubtable Adam Machanic left a comment on The Technique That Lance Found which points out that special XML characters in a string will get entitized. As usual, Adam is correct. If we make a subtle change to the contents of...
  • Blog Post: Victory! Broadband Connectivity from my Home Office in the Boondocks

    Now the story can be told..  the last couple weeks have not been pretty around here, connectivity wise.  Think of a duck..  paddling like the dickens underwater to keep things going while looking calm and serene from above. Note that if I appeared calm and serene to you, it’s only...