Languages and coding

Prashanth Jayaram

Static and Dynamic SQL Pivot and Unpivot relational operator overview

October 12, 2018 by

In this article, we’ll walk-through the SQL Pivot and SQL Unpivot operators and how they can be useful to transpose SQL Server data. Also, we’ll discuss both static and dynamic ways to use PIVOT and UNPIVOT relational operators that can be used to transform aggregated distinct values as column(s) in the result-set by specifying all the column values in the PIVOT IN clause.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Overview of the SQL LIKE Operator

October 2, 2018 by

In this article, we are going to learn how to use the SQL LIKE operator, in SQL Server, using regular expressions to find and/or manipulate text. We will start by learning the symbols and basic syntax of using wildcard regular expressions. We will use character sets and repetition expressions to create flexible matching patterns, and along the way, we’ll examine different ways to use the LIKE operator. And then, finally, in the latter part of the section, we will explore some of the most common and most useful regular expression examples.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Substring function overview

September 14, 2018 by

The requirement of data refactoring is very common and vital in data mining operations. In the previous article SQL string functions for Data Munging (Wrangling), you’ll learn the tips for getting started with SQL string functions, including the substring function for data munging with SQL Server. As we all agree that the data stored in one form sometimes require a transformation, we’ll take a look at some common functions or tasks for changing the case of a string, converting a value into a different type, trimming a value, and replacing a particular string in a field and so on.

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Bojan Petrovic

Querying data using the SQL Case statement

September 12, 2018 by

The Case statement in SQL is mostly used in a case with equality expressions. The SQL Case statement is usually inside of a Select list to alter the output. What it does is evaluates a list of conditions and returns one of the multiple possible result expressions.

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SQLShack

Top 50 PowerShell bloggers of 2018

August 31, 2018 by

We made a collection of the most popular PowerShell bloggers, including a link to each individual blog. The ranking is based on Alexa global score.

If your blog is on this list, you can display the ‘Top blogger’ badge on your blog. Please see the bottom of the page for the instructions on how to display the badge on your website

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Prashanth Jayaram

How to set up a DDL and DML SQL Server database transactional replication solution

August 22, 2018 by

In the article How to setup SQL Server database replication for reporting Server we discussed all about setting up a simple SQL Server transactional replication environment. In this article, we’ll simulate a more robust system that replicates faster and includes both DDL and DML statements. We’ll walk-through the steps to setup a dynamic transactional replication.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Overview of the SQLCMD utility in SQL Server

August 13, 2018 by

This article is aimed at helping you understand the sqlcmd utility. Of course, this is a tool most of us have used it at several occasions given that the tool has been around for a decade now. However, to be a solid starting point, this article contains some examples that help you understand the tool from different viewpoints.

This article discusses the following:

  1. How to enable SQLCMD
  2. A few important points to remember
  3. SQLCMD with scripting variables in SSMS
  4. Passing variables (or argument) as T-SQL and or a SQL Script file
  5. SQLCMD with scripting variables and Windows scripting in SSMS
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Timothy Smith

Useful T-SQL techniques for development in SQL Server

July 17, 2018 by

When we’re developing solutions, we can sometimes forget useful commands we can use in T-SQL that make it convenient to remove data, eliminate objects, or carefully remove data. We look at three of these commands with a few examples of where we might consider using them in development, or in rare production cases. While they may offer us speed and convenience in some cases, we also look at some situations where they may not be the best tool to use.

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Timothy Smith

SQL Server – using lowest unit of measurement in T-SQL

July 2, 2018 by

A client recently discovered a discrepancy on one of our reports that showed an improvement in performance metrics but was inaccurate. Our reports came from a software tool, which showed the average performance throughout the day. It derived this number from periodic checks and the frequency changed, which affected our report. When we showed an improvement in the metrics on a report, the client showed us that the frequency change may have impacted this, not necessarily any improvement in performance. In situations where we’re measuring values and comparing them to other values, how can we prevent a change in measurement from impacting our reports? Read more »

Bojan Petrovic

How to implement error handling in SQL Server

June 15, 2018 by

Error handling overview

Error handling in SQL Server give us control over Transact-SQL code. For example when things go wrong we get a chance to do something about it and possibly make it right again. SQL Server error handling can be as simple as just logging that something happened or it could be us trying to fix an error. It can even be translating the error in SQL language because we all know how technical SQL Server error messages could get making no sense and hard to understand. Luckily we have a chance to translate those messages into something more meaningful to pass on to the users, developers, etc.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Backup Linux SQL Server databases using PowerShell and Windows task scheduler

May 22, 2018 by

This article is an in-depth guide on how PowerShell can be used to maintain and manage SQL backup on Linux and Windows machines.

Here’s an outline of what this article is all about:

  • Introduction
  • Technical specifications
  • How to load SQL Server modules on Windows machine
  • Security – Credential Management
  • The objectives of Backup and Restore
  • Library Linkage
  • How SQL Server 2017 backup feature is used on Linux
  • And more …
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Ben Richardson

Understanding SQL Server’s TRY_PARSE and TRY_CONVERT functions

May 16, 2018 by

Data conversion is one of the most fundamental tasks of any programming language. Data received from different sources is often not in the right format. For example, if you receive an XML file where age is in the string format and you want to calculate an average age for the people in the file you will need to convert age into an integer.

To make the conversion process simple, the TRY_PARSE and TRY_CONVERT functions were introduced in SQL Server 2012. Before TRY_PARSE and TRY_CONVERT, SQL Server only had the PARSE and CONVERT functions.

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Nikhilesh Patel

The HashBytes function in T-SQL

May 16, 2018 by

One of the paramount ways to guard data within a database is to utilize database encryption. However, no one encryption solution is perfect for all databases. Which encryption solution you select totally depends on the requirements of your application. Note that more powerful encryption for larger amounts of data requires a healthy amount of CPU. So, be prepared in the event that that introduction of encryption increases the system load.

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Timothy Smith

Reading file data with PowerShell

May 10, 2018 by

We have some custom files that we receive from different providers and for these situations we are unable to use standard ETL programs without any customization. Since we’re expanding our ability to read these custom files with .NET, we’re looking for efficient ways to read files with PowerShell that we can use in SQL Server Job Agents, Windows Task Schedulers, or with our custom program, which can execute PowerShell scripts. We have many tools for parsing data and wanted to know efficient ways of reading the data for parsing, along with getting specific lines of data from files by number, or by the first or last line of the file. For reading files efficiently, what are some functions or libraries we can use?

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Prashanth Jayaram

SqlPackage.exe – Automate SQL Server Database Restoration using bacpac with PowerShell or Batch techniques

May 7, 2018 by

Data is the key to your organization’s future, but if it’s outdated, irrelevant, or hidden then it’s no good. Maintenance and administration of databases takes a lot of work. As database administrators, we often tend to automate most of these repetitive tasks. A database refresh is one of the most common tasks performed by most of the administrators as part of their daily routine.

Today, database refreshes are quite frequent because of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD). In most of the cases, testing requires a separate but current production dataset to ensure the validity of the desired result.

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Prashanth Jayaram

Discussing Backup and Restore Automation using SQLCMD and SQL Server agent

May 3, 2018 by

Database administrators are often requested to refresh a database, mostly to create a live copy of the production database to the test or development environment. This is done so that the development or the test environment closely resembles the production environment; this way, we prevent many undesirable issues when running the application in the production environment.

Many developers, at times, are required to write and debug code on the production copy of the database, so it makes more sense to refresh the database on regular basis.

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Shawn Melton

Learning PowerShell and SQL Server – Introduction

April 23, 2018 by

Introduction

This article is the first step among many that I hope will help give you a foundation of knowledge to get started utilizing PowerShell. The focus in these steps will be specific to using PowerShell with SQL Server, but I have to cover some of the basic things. Which once you grasp the basics of PowerShell and using it, in a general sense, you set yourself up for easily learning how to use it with other products.

In this article I’m going to touch on the following items:

  • History Lesson (short reference for a timeline on releases)
  • Windows PowerShell vs PowerShell Core
  • SQL Server and PowerShell (as it is today)
  • Terminology (some terms that help to understand)
  • PowerShell Editors

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Ben Richardson

Sequence Objects in SQL Server

March 22, 2018 by

Sequence objects are used to sequentially generate numeric values. They were introduced in SQL Server 2012.

Sequence objects are similar to the IDENTITY column in any SQL table. However, unlike the IDENTITY column, they are independent and are not attached to any table. Sequence objects are used both independently and within the DML statements i.e. INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE.

This article will take a detailed look at sequence objects.

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