Jeff's SQL Server Blog

Random Thoughts & Cartesian Products with Microsoft SQL Server
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Welcome to my weblog. My name is Jeff Smith, I am software developer in Boston, MA and I was recently named a 2009 SQL Server MVP. Check in frequently for tips, tricks, commentary and ideas on SQL Server and .NET programming.


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August 2007 Blog Posts

SQL Server 2008 - Enhancements in Date and Time Data Types (link)

Speaking of dates and times, there's a nice post from Ravi. S. Maniam over at the msdn blogs regarding the new and exciting Enhancements in Date and Time Data Types for SQL Server 2008. It will be very interesting to see how date and time usage changes once SQL Server 2008 becomes the most commonly used edition.  Of course, since even SQL 2005 still doesn't seem to be as widely adopted as I would like, who knows when that will be!

posted @ Thursday, August 30, 2007 10:05 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Links SQL Server 2008 DateTime Data ]

Is it a String Literal or an Alias?

Every now and then I see T-SQL code written like this: select somecolumn as 'columnname' from sometable Notice that 'columnname', despite its appearance, is not a string literal or a string expression, it is the alias that we are assigning to the column somecolumn.  Putting the name of an alias in single quotes in T-SQL is completely valid syntax, and it will work fine, but I feel that it is a really bad practice.   It makes the distinction between string literals and object names very blurry, and it can lead to confusion when examining and maintaining your code. For example, to me this is...

posted @ Thursday, August 30, 2007 11:36 AM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Miscellaneous T-SQL ]

Working with Date and/or Time values in SQL Server: Don't Format, Don't Convert -- just use DATETIME

The next time you are working with dates and times, please remember: how would you handle things if you were working with integers and decimals? The same logic and reasoning applies. Be smart, let SQL do the work for you and use the right data types for the job, even if things don't always "look" right. read more...

posted @ Wednesday, August 29, 2007 10:04 AM | Feedback (33) | Filed Under [ T-SQL Efficiency Database Design DateTime Data ]

Composite Primary Keys

Ah … primary keys … such a topic!  When discussing what columns to define as a primary key in your data models, two large points always tend to surface: Surrogate Keys versus Natural Keys Normalization These can be very complicated and sometimes polarizing things to debate.   As I often try to do, I will attempt to approach this topic from a slightly different perspective. Let's start things off with what I feel is a good interview question: How would you define what a primary key of a table is? a.    An auto-generated numeric or GUID column in the...

posted @ Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:07 AM | Feedback (81) | Filed Under [ Techniques Database Design ]

The problem isn't the poor database model; It's that external code is bound to the schema

Dealing with poorly designed databases is a simple and common fact of life for programmers. It happens, sometimes due to lack of experience or education, or sometimes because business requirements were never analyzed properly or they changed. It's hard to avoid poor database designs, but it takes only a simple concept to make fixing those designs much easier. read more...

posted @ Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:34 AM | Feedback (7) | Filed Under [ Database Design ]

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