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: Greetings From SQL PASS!

    At the moment, I'm on my first break of my first morning of my first PASS, and so far it's all been good. I rode the Sound Transit 545 bus in from Redmond and was deposited two blocks from the Convention Center. The preconference session on my agenda today is called "Microsoft Business Intelligence...
  • Blog Post: Finally, An Answer (and a mea culpa) For Adam Machanic

    I've once again been frightfully neglectful of this blog, as the holidaze, shifting work assignments, and the occasional personal event have combined to render me a poor custodian. The good news is that I've got a backlog of tidbits to share. Before we get started with those, though, I'd like to respond...
  • Blog Post: A Note From Binh's Customer

    Binh Cao's customer left a comment on yesterday's post on global temp tables. Here's the money quote: My research confirms that global temp table does allow the plan to be shared among processes. However now we are forced to deal with the problem of ownership of data within the global temp table...
  • 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: TechEd Developers 2007 Barcelona: Day 4

    Another busy day here in Barcelona. I started this morning by heading to La Rambla de Catalunya in the center of the old city. I wanted to visit La Font de Canaletes . Local legend has it that visitors that drink from this fountain will someday return to Barcelona. I confess I was expecting a running...
  • Blog Post: SQL PASS 2006, Day 3

    Networking, I'm user friendly Networking, I install with ease Data processed, truly BASIC I will upload you, you can download me - Networking , Warren Zevon and Stefan Arngrim Today is the third day of my trip to the SQL PASS 2006 Community Summit , and the first day of the conference proper. It...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: A Prime Number Contender From Down Under

    Denis' Prime Number Challenge just won't die. I think this topic has spurred more dialog than any other in this blog's 15-month, 180-odd post history. Just imagine if I could've harnessed this global outpouring of SQL skills for something with commercial potential.. J Rob Farley has two posts on his...
  • Blog Post: Cross-Database Connectivity: An Answer For Kyle

    Kyle Schoonover, a former colleague in MSIT, posed the following questions in a comment on October’s cross-version database attachments post : Ward, I'm currently working in MySQL and writing conversion scripts to convert a MySQL database to a SQL 2005 database.  I have also been using OpenQuery...
  • 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: Optional Parameters: Adam Hopes I'm Joking, But The Joke's On Me

    This is absolutely my last gasp on optional parameters. Adam Machanic left some syntax in a comment here which shows just how far off base my "last gasp" in this post was. My syntax produced 594 logical reads to resolve a query while the equivalent dynamic SQL handled the same issue in six logical...
  • Blog Post: Database Design: Do Not Fear NULLs

    Last week, I found myself simultaneously confounded and fascinated by a conversation on the internal Microsoft SQL Server discussion list. If you know me at all, you know that I had to toss in my two cents, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The thread started with a question from an application...
  • Blog Post: Two Programming Tricks: Counting Characters In A String and RETURN CASE

    A couple of tricks here, from some recent work: a user-defined function to count the number of characters in a string, and a new (for me) syntax discovery: RETURN CASE. Here's what I came up with for the user-defined function: CREATE FUNCTION dbo . fnCountCharactersInString ( @StringToTest nvarchar...
  • Blog Post: Earth Day Linkfest

    TechNet magazine has released a web-only “Green IT” edition as a companion piece to Mark Pohto’s recent white paper and article in The Architecture Journal. The issue features a valuable collection of new and archived articles on energy efficient computing, including: · Framework for Building a “Hyper...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles Moving to TechNet and MSDN

    Word today from Christopher Kilborn over at Port 80 that, as part of a larger initiative, Microsoft is relocating much of its Knowledge Base library. The money quote: Microsoft is moving its Developer & IT Professional primary support content (also known as Knowledge Base – or KB - articles...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: Yet More On Optional Parameters

    Ever since I mentioned that Calvin Hsia clued me in to the size of this blog's audience, the comment traffic here has seen a notable spike. I love it.. In case you've missed it in the comment stream from the original post in this thread, Adam Machanic left a comment commending an article on this topic...
  • 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: SQL SUMMIT 2007: More SQL Developers, Another Room, LiveMeeting.. And Lunch!

    Yesterday marked the sixth day since my surgery last week. After getting off of the liquid diet the night before and enjoying dinner with our family, I spent my first full day back on my feet as emcee at SQL SUMMIT 2007, the latest of the internal Microsoft SQL Community's events. Over four hundred...
  • Blog Post: See You Even More In Barcelona: Two Additional Chalk Talk Sessions Added

    I'm pleased to report that the organizers of TechEd have scheduled repeat offerings of two of my sessions (so much for my earlier belief that the schedule was finalized *grin*): Set-Based Thinking for the T-SQL Developer: Insights from Microsoft IT will also be presented in Room 132, 3:45pm-5pm...
  • Blog Post: Paul S. Randal Posts Some Sobering Statistics

    Paul’s name should be familiar to denizens of the SQL Server blogosphere. Along with his wife, Kimberley Tripp , he’s a principal of SQL Skills (home also to the redoubtable Bob Beauchemin , with whom I share a birth date of significance to SQL Server aficionados); given that his history includes authorship...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: Optional Parameters Revisited

    Frequent visitors might recall a thread earlier in the spring regarding optional parameters to a stored procedure (the earlier posts are here , here , and here ). The question had basically boiled down to whether there was single-statement syntax available which would preclude the necessity to use dynamic...
  • Blog Post: See You At PASS!

    This news has been in the works for a couple of days, but it was only just this morning that everything came into focus.. There are two pieces of news to share: one is that I will be in attendance at next week's 2006 PASS Community Summit in Seattle. If you'll be at PASS and you're reading this message...
  • Blog Post: Paul S. Randal Has Another Important Survey

    Paul ’s latest survey is a deep dive into the physical layout of your databases. It’s the same basic question, for four different size categories of database: what’s the physical layout of your database, and why? Paul will publish the results on 24 April, so please respond before then! -wp ...
  • Blog Post: La Font de Canaletes Works Its Magic

    La Font de Canaletes is a public fountain near the head of La Rambla de Catalunya in what it currently the center of Barcelona, Spain: When I was in Barcelona last November, I reported that I "drank generously from the fountain, hopefully sealing my fate."  The fate to which I referred...
  • Blog Post: Database Programming: A Brief Note On The Second OPENROWSET Trick

    Back in March, I presented the " second OPENROWSET trick ", a technique for loading a flat file into a single column of a single row of a table. In researching a question posed by Rob Jarratt of Microsoft Consulting Services in the UK, I discovered that the OPENROWSET extensions that make that trick...
  • Blog Post: Five Things About sp_.. (okay.. Four Things and a Closing Argument)

    Celebrating the first day of Summer with the first technical post on the blog since mid-Winter (apologies for my absence).. Jens has a great post regarding the internal behavior of various forms of sp_-named programmability objects. Some SQLRAP-related research led me to take a different tack, and...