Most Valuable Yak (Rob Volk) Blog

…and other neat SQL Server tricks

24 Hours of PASS: Whine, Whine, Whine

24 Hours of Pass (or 24HOP) is a great program offered by PASS to provide free, online training for anyone who wants to learn more about SQL Server. They routinely have the best SQL Server presenters available for these sessions, and attract hundreds, perhaps even a thousand attendees from around the world. Read more →

How to do an ER Diagram

As a follow-up to my earlier post, I found yet another great free resource that the "professor" and the poor students taking that class should look at. I found this via the excellent material Stanford provides for their open course on Databases. Read more →


I received an "ER diagram" from someone enrolled in a "database course" offered by a "professor" at a "university". This person would like to remain anonymous for the time being, as they are in an important position and don't want certain people to know what information they're providing. Read more →

T-SQL Tuesday #21 - Crap!

Adam Machanic's (blog | twitter) ever popular T-SQL Tuesday series is being held on Wednesday this time, and the topic is… SHIT CRAP. No, not fecal material. But crap code. Crap SQL. Read more →

HSSFS Part 2.1 - Parsing @@VERSION

For Part 2 of the Handy SQL Server Function Series I decided to tackle parsing useful information from the @@VERSION function, because I am an idiot. It turns out I was confused about CHARINDEX() vs. Read more →

Handy SQL Server Function Series: Part 1

I've been preparing to give a presentation on SQL Server for a while now, and a topic that was recommended was SQL Server functions. More specifically, the lesser-known functions (like @@OPTIONS), and maybe some interesting ways to use well-known functions (like using PARSENAME to split IP addresses) I think this is a veritable goldmine of useful information, and researching for the presentation has confirmed that beyond my initial expectations. Read more →

Handy SQL Server Function (you may not have known about)

Have you ever scripted a stored procedure? Or dealt with indexed views? Or wondered why Management Studio says you can't index or alter a table column? Then you've been bitten by one or more of the the ANSI_NULLS, ANSI_PADDING, or QUOTED_IDENTIFIER settings! Read more →

SQL Server Execution Plan Icons

Here's a handy link that shows all the query operator icons used in graphical SQL Server execution plans. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write a query or batch that displays all of them. Read more →

Regular Expressions are cool…

I recently had to modify tables to add some auditing columns and triggers. Being a good fair to middling crazed, insane DBA and wanting to ensure data integrity and good design, I made the columns not nullable, and therefore also had to add defaults for these new columns: ALTER TABLE [dbo]. Read more →

Handy DBCC Feature

I'm sure most of you use DBCC commands and have experience with the WITH TABLERESULTS option to put their output into a table. Did you know that most of the DBCC CHECK commands also accept WITH TABLERESULTS: Read more →

SyFy Channel Original Movie Title Generator

Saw this linked on reddit today and couldn't resist going through all the combinations: create table #pre(name varchar(20))create table #post(name varchar(20), pre varchar(10))insert #pre select 'Dino' union all select'Alien' union all select'Shark' union all select'Raptor' union all select'Tractor' union all select'Arachno' union all select'Cyber' union all select'Robo' union all select'Choco' union all select'Chupa' union all select'Grizzly' union all select'Mega' union all select'Were' union all select'Sabre' union all select'Man' insert #post select 'dactyl','a' union all select'pus','to' union all select'conda','a' union all select'droid',null union all select'dile','o' union all select'bear',null union all select'vampire',null union all select'squito',null union all select'saurus','a' union all select'wolf',null union all select'ghost',null union all select'viper',null union all select'cabra','a' union all select'yeti',null union all select'shark',null select a. Read more →

Fixing Robocopy for SQL Server Jobs

Robocopy is one of, if not the, best life-saving/greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread command line utilities ever to come from Microsoft. If you're not using it already, what are you waiting for? Of course, being a Microsoft product, it's not exactly perfect. Read more →

According to Steve Ballmer…

DBA'S BABY!!! Legacy Comments Brett 2006-11-17 re: According to Steve Ballmer... Care to elaborate? Christy 2006-11-22 SQL Server DBA Help Needed We are in need of someone who can provide overall Database Architecture, Design, Support and Maintenance for WEB based and Client/Server Enterprise Applications in the Intranet & Internet settings on a Microsoft, IBM and CISCO Infrastructure Platform utilizing RAID, SAN, and Cluster technology. Read more →

Sometimes it's just too easy…

Yet another fair and balanced Slashdot discussion about XML databases. Legacy Comments Brett 2005-03-15 Not anymore Holy crap..the company just blocked slashdot... ClaesW(rockmoose) 2005-03-16 re: Sometimes it's just too easy. Read more →