SQL Server INSTEAD OF Trigger “Gotchas” Revealed

May 26, 2011

I just finished implementing a schema change on a table that is central to a public-facing database.  The objective was to normalize the table, and this required that the original table be broken down into five tables.  This will allow my client a lot more flexibility, but it also means that hundreds of thousands of […]

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When is a Routine Too Big?

March 14, 2011

I’m thinking — and not for the first time — of slimming down a monster method that has grown beyond the size any “well-written” routine is “supposed” to be.  Depending on who you’re listening to, no routine should exceed a hundred or so lines of code, or two or three screen’s worth.  And almost universally, […]

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Sql Server Management Studio Epic Fail: User Canceled (NOT!)

March 1, 2011

I just spent 10 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.  I defined a complex view with a bunch of join conditions and field aliases and such, saved and named it.  Then I was informed of an error (despite the fact that the query parsed fine in the UI) and was told that […]

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Sql Server’s Secret Unit of Measure for Subtree Cost

March 1, 2011

Yesterday I was looking at execution plans on a troublesome inner join condition and once again was moved to wonder about the “estimated subtree cost” of “243.872”.  I Googled around for this and found only circular definitions of the form, “the estimated subtree cost is the estimated cost of executing the specified portion of the […]

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Code “Re-Use” in SQL Server .NET Stored Procedures is Overrated

February 7, 2011

When it became possible, beginning with the release of SQL Server 2005, to write stored procedures, user-defined functions and similar database objects using .NET CLR-hosted languages like C# and VB.NET, I thought it was interesting but somewhat of a yawn.  After all, Microsoft still was selling T-SQL as the language of choice for most such […]

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To Unicode or Not To Unicode

April 9, 2010

In another post, I discussed some issues surrounding proper coding of country and state names and design of database schemas to support global names and addresses.  I mentioned that text data types for name and address elements should consider supporting accented characters — another way of saying “Unicode characters”. In terms of SQL Server this […]

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State Secrets: Place Names in Databases, News Story Bylines, and Elsewhere

April 9, 2010

A friend turned me on to this post which heralds a very significant change to The AP StyleBook that has editors and reporters atwitter today.  It impacts datelines and article body text starting May 15. Formerly, with some important exceptions, US place names in writing that follows AP style were followed by a state abbreviation […]

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Dumb Computers Are A Good Thing

April 1, 2010

Eric Sink had some thoughts about a sea change he feels is underway in the world of computing.  The short version: computers are no longer driven by the demands of uber-geeks, who are quickly becoming a minority.  The new driving force are people who are willing to trade power and flexibility for simplicity.  Shiny new […]

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Continuous Learning is Relative

March 27, 2010

The conventional wisdom in software development is that you must always keep ahead of the alphabet soup-and-acronym marketing juggernaut that drives the technology.  While I don’t disagree, exactly, I have to confess that I’m seeing an awful lot of technology that’s driven by the need of traditional software vendors to sell version upgrades and counter […]

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System Administrivia

January 17, 2010

My son is a crack sysadmin, but it’s never been my area of interest.  I’m a software developer.  I like that if something goes wrong with software I wrote, I know exactly who to blame (me) and who can do something about it (me).   With operating systems and hardware — I’m at the mercy of […]

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