3+ part naming on Columns will be Deprecated

This is something that I’ve found a few people have missed and were surprised when I told them. This appears to have been snuck in with the Deprecated Database Engine Features in SQL Server 2016 under Features deprecated in a future version of SQL Server (note that in 2017 it is still under that heading and 2019 introduced no new deprecations). Specifically, from the documentation it states: The following SQL Server Database Engine features are supported in the next version of SQL Server, but will be deprecated in a later version. The specific version of SQL Server has not been…

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Stop using ISNUMERIC, it’s (probably) wrong

Even before SQL Server 2012, ISNUMERIC was a function that you best avoided. Put quite simply, it’s just bad. It often provides results that are wrong, and it isn’t data type specific, something is actually really important when you have several numerical data types to use: int/bigint and the smaller ones, numeric/decimal, float/real and money. All of these data types behave very differently when converting from a varchar. Let’s start by looking at the results for ISNUMERIC: CREATE TABLE dbo.BadNumbers(Number varchar(20)); INSERT INTO dbo.BadNumbers VALUES(‘1’), (‘7.8’), (”), (‘1,020’), (‘1,079,190.7’), (‘17,1,68,11.0’), (‘1/3’), (‘1.236E7’), (‘2d6’); SELECT Number, ISNUMERIC(Number) AS IsNumber FROM dbo.BadNumbers;…

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Fundamentals: The semicolon (;) is a statement terminator

The title pretty much says it all here, when you’re writing T-SQL, the correct place to place the semicolon (;) is at the end of all you’re statements. Something I see quite often is batches where people don’t terminate any of their statements, but do start statements that use a CTE or Merge statement with a semicolon. This means you see syntax like the below: DECLARE @MyVariable int SET @MyVariable = 5 ;WITH MyCTE AS( SELECT *, ROW_NUMBER() OVER (PARTITION BY CONVERT(date,MyDate) ORDER BY MyDate DESC) AS RN FROM MyTable WHERE MyColumn = @MyVariable) SELECT * FROM MyCTE WHERE RN…

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Pivoting and Unpivoting: Part 1 – An introduction

There are a couple of ways to Pivot your data in SQL Server. The first is by using PIVOT, and the other is using what is known as a cross-tab. Personally I prefer the latter as it’s more flexible and feel it’s easier to understand. I’ll explain in a later article why a cross-tab is more flexible, so I’ll be covering both methods in this article. In a addition to pivoting, you also have unpivoting. Again, you have two options here, using UNPIVOT or using a VALUES constructor. Again, I prefer the latter for the same reasons but I’ll be…

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Welcome to 2020, may I take you coat? How about your Customer Data?

That’s right, it’s now 2020, we’re already in the 2nd decade of the “new” millennium. A lot has changed in the last 20 years: High Speed Broadband (cough for most of us) is common place, Computers are faster than ever, cars are more economical, the polar icecaps are smaller (apparently), and a Happy Meal for McDonald’s isn’t 99p any more. There are some things that haven’t change too: The UK is still part of the EU (at time of writing), your neighbour’s dog still barks all night, and customer data is still wide open to theft from SQL injection. Yes,…

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