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: SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 QFE Rollup Released

    The most recent set of fixes for SQL Server 2005, the Service Pack 1 QFE Rollup, is available for download here . The linked page currently includes instructions in seven languages as well as links for downloading all of the updated components. You'll also find a list of the hotfixes included in the...
  • 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: 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: Issue 18 of The Architecture Journal Now Available

    I found out recently that Microsoft publishes a quarterly called The Architecture Journal .  As its website says, its articles are designed to offer perspective, share knowledge, and help you learn the discipline and pursue the art of IT architecture. The focus of Journal 18 is Green Computing. ...
  • 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: Loading An XML Document Into SQL Server: Another OPENROWSET Trick

    Have you ever had an XML document in a file that you needed to get into a database column quick-and-dirty? Well, another OPENROWSET trick is ready to come to our rescue. Up until I was shown this trick, every time I needed to import XML into a data column, I'd load up a copy of the XML in SQL Server...
  • 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: TechNet White Paper on SQL Server Virtualization Now Available

    Great news today from Mark Pohto: the TechNet White Paper SQL Server Consolidation at Microsoft has just been posted. You can download a Microsoft Word document here , or read it on-line here . In addition to being one of the world’s leading experts on SQL Server operations, Mark is a fine human being...
  • 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: SQL PASS 2006, Day 2

    Greetings from the last break of the second day of preconference seminars from SQL PASS 2006 . Since my primary goal in attending this week is to get up to speed on BI issues, today I'm attending a seminar called, "Enterprise ETL with Integration Services", presented by Erik Veerman of Solid Quality...
  • 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 Programming: The String Concatenation XML Trick, Revisited

    UPDATED 27 February 2009 for spelling I’ve got to pay more punctual attention to my comment pool.. RBarryYoung’s movingsql.com will be on my blog roll shortly after I get this posted (second attempt; first thwarted by a laptop hang. I have suspended unit testing of SQLRAP 2.5 changes until I’m...
  • 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: Technical News: "Express" Program Extended Indefinitely

    Do I work for a great company, or what? When I blogged about the launch of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 back in November of last year, I highlighted the release of Visual Studio 2005 Express and SQL Server 2005 Express , free downloadable versions of this powerful software . At the time...
  • 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...