Rajib Bahar's Blog

Rajib blogs here about topics of his interest.

Set Operation trick to generate date data #TSQL2sDay

December 08
by Rajib Bahar 8. December 2009 17:52

Two things that happened today, which motivated me to write this post: 

1. I learned a new trick using set-operation

2. Also today is the day some of my SQL Server colleagues having #TSQL2sDay party

 

Here is the entry where I learned the trick [http://ask.sqlteam.com/questions/1206/insert-date-value-for-1-year]. 

 

I have been participating at AskSqlTeam.com lately. One of the recent question was about how to generate date for 1 year. TG had an interesting solution and I did not realize it was set-operation until Kristen set me straight. :) As usual, I was coming up with a iterative solution as opposed to set-based one. Here is the snippet I modified off of TG's code.

create table #myTable 
(dateCol datetime)
go
declare @i int
SET @i = 0
WHILE 
(
 datediff(year, dateadd(day, @i,'2010-01-01'),'2010-01-01')=0
)
begin
    insert #myTable (dateCol)
    select dateadd(day, @i, '2010-01-01')
    SET @i = @i + 1
    continue
end
go
select * from #myTable
go


The script above will create about 365 entries containing everyday of the year 2010. 

TG's answer to that problem was:

create table #myTable 
(dateCol datetime)
go
insert #myTable (dateCol)
select dateadd(day, number, '2010-01-01')
from   master..spt_values
where  type = 'P'and    number < 365
order by number
go
select * from #myTable
go

 

Anyways, my approach above is not the most ideal solution and it will be slow because of the looping. TG had the right idea. Many DB professional create a reference database for their tasks. In this database one may have scripts that can be applied on scheduled jobs and other artifacts that don't belong anywhere else. The solution above can be improved if we create a reference table containing all integers. Let's say we call that table IntValues. I started building that table today and it took more than 6 hours to enter 2 billion numbers. Here is the final draft of what that script would look like.

 

create table #myTable 
(dateCol datetime)
go
insert #myTable (dateCol)
select dateadd(day, number, '2010-01-01')
from   DbReference.dbo.IntValues
where  number < 365
order by number
go
select * from #myTable
go

Combining SMO and Powershell to Generate SQL Database Schema

December 08
by Rajib Bahar 8. December 2009 10:49

There are times we find the need to generate the database schema. In SQL Server, it can be easily done using the graphical wizards in the Management Studio. I haven't found a way to script it to this day.

 

However, one alternative solution to this is to combine .NET programmability feature in powershell, and SMO. With this approach you can setup a powershell script job to automate your team's database build process.

 

Here are some basic assumptions before reading this post:

1. SQL Server 2008 is installed

2. Powershell is installed

3. SMO is in the GAC (Global Assembly Cache) or you know how to register it there

4. AdventureWorks is loaded in the database

 

Here are the steps I took to generate script against AdventureWorks database:

 

First of all, I went to management studio and right clicked on the AdventureWorks database to "Start Powershell"

 

PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> [reflection.assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo")

GAC    Version        Location
---    -------        --------
True   v2.0.50727     C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo\1...

 

At this point, the SMO object was loaded using .NET reflection technology. Next we declare $srv variable and assign the local SQL Server 2008 instance to it. Then we assign the AdventureWorks database to the $db variable. The database object has an overloaded method namely Script(). We need to invoke that method to generate the database script. See the output below as the script is run.

 

PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> $srv = new-object("Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server") "(local)\sql2k8"
PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> $db = $srv.Databases["AdventureWorks"]

PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> $db

WARNING: column "Owner" does not fit into the display and was removed.

Name                        Status          Recovery Model   CompatLvl        Collation
----                           ------          --------------           ---------            ---------
AdventureWorks       Normal          Simple                 100            SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS


PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> $db.Script()

CREATE DATABASE [AdventureWorks] ON  PRIMARY
( NAME = N'AdventureWorks_Data', FILENAME = N'C:\data\MSSQL10.SQL2K8\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks_Data.mdf' , SIZE = 174080KB , MAXSIZE = UNLIMITED, FILEGROWTH =16384KB )
 LOG ON
( NAME = N'AdventureWorks_Log', FILENAME = N'C:\data\MSSQL10.SQL2K8\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks_Log.ldf' , SIZE = 18432KB , MAXSIZE = 2048GB , FILEGROWTH = 1638
4KB ) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS
ALTER DATABASE [AdventureWorks] SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 100
IF (1 = FULLTEXTSERVICEPROPERTY('IsFullTextInstalled'))
begin
    EXEC [AdventureWorks].[dbo].[sp_fulltext_database] @action = 'enable'
end
ALTER DATABASE [AdventureWorks] SET ANSI_NULL_DEFAULT OFF
ALTER DATABASE [AdventureWorks] SET ANSI_NULLS ON
ALTER DATABASE [AdventureWorks] SET ANSI_PADDING ON
.
.
.

 

The limitation we run with the above approach is that it doesn't include the objects such as tables, stored procedures, and functions in the script. That's why we have to write a loop to iterate all the tables, procedures, checks, primary, functions, etc. Each of those classes have the Script() method and we can invoke them as we need it. 

PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> for ($i=0; $i -lt $db.Tables.Count; $i++) {$db.Tables[$i].Script()}
.
.
.
 

Yes, there are more gotchas. :(

 

So far, we have looked into resolving this issue using 1 of the overloaded Script() method. The 2nd version of the overloaded method expects ScriptingOptions as one of the parameter. Here is how we would declare them and the options they give us.

PS SQLSERVER:\SQL\OVERLORD\SQL2K8\Databases\AdventureWorks> $sc = new-object("Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.ScriptingOptions")

Here is a quick list of properties we can set on the $sc (ScriptingOptions) object.


            $sc.AppendToFile = 0;
            $sc.Bindings = 1;
            $sc.Default = 1;
            $sc.DdlBodyOnly = 1;
            $sc.DriAll = 1;
            $sc.DriAllConstraints = 1;
            $sc.DriAllKeys = 1;
            $sc.DriPrimaryKey = 1;
            $sc.IncludeDatabaseContext = 1;
            $sc.IncludeDatabaseRoleMemberships = 1;
            $sc.IncludeHeaders = 1;
            $sc.IncludeIfNotExists = 1;
            $sc.Indexes = 1;
            $sc.LoginSid = 1;
            $sc.PrimaryObject = 1;
            $sc.Permissions = 1;

 

 Depending upon your need, you can set the target server version, and the output file properties as well.

Some funny interview or pre-interview experience

November 28
by Rajib Bahar 28. November 2009 09:41

I have been through my fair share of technical interviews in various roles such .NET/SQL/BI developer. Thanks to putting on many hats in past/present consulting days. Most went well and few are worth a good smile. Please don't think I'm admonishing or looking down upon the people who asked these type of questions. It could happen to any of us (including me). My message is not meant to hurt anyone's feeling/thought/reputation/experience. 

Anyways, some time product-experience-requirement-type-questions can be crafted in funny way. For example, a recruiter may ask you for experience in product that is longer than even the product itself. For example, I was asked about the experience on "SQL Server 2008". I was literally asked "Do you have 10 years of experience on SQL Server 2008?" I felt like I dropped from the sky. At best if I recall correctly, I have used "SQL Server 2008" in 2007 (or later 2006) to try their Community Technology Preview or CTPs (as they are best known). I did correct that recruiter that it's not possible to have that many years of experience unless you were part of the team that developed the product itself or have access to confidential information. Needless to say he and I are good friends. I enjoy bringing him up to speed in my world, and he helps me learn about the business in general. 

Another type of questions involve the GUI. Yes, the dreaded GUI questions. I'll explain it shortly. It was a interview for a "BI Developer Role". They opened the interview by asking me where I can find the subreport button and under which section. I know the general area where that button is. It's on the right hand side on the "Business Development Studio." The 2nd part of that question involving "under which section" annoyed me. This question doesn't take into account "what if I have custom controls?" It'll surely make them rethink as those dynamically compiled controls will appear above and change the ordering of the section. I started considering whether this position will keep me happy. As the IDE itself is dockable so this kind of questions are not as relevant as one deems it to be. It shows that you are more excited about bringing in someone who may be unbalanced on business side of things (while a great technologist in heart). Once in a while I get invited to interview candidates. These are the type of questions I tend to skip. I'd not ask you about Crossword puzzle (though it could serve to show your intellect), philosophy (though it could reveal your personal ethics), or other completely unrelated skill that is not relevant to the job at hand. It may change depending upon the priority and the culture of the organization.

The most interesting type of interviews can happen when both the interviewer and the interviewee were misinformed about the subject area of the interview. In one interview I was instructed to prepare exteremely well for SSIS. So I went well prepared for the SSIS interview, and looked at the basic information on other areas. When the interviewer started, I realized it was a SSRS interview with focus on technologies that was not disclosed to me ahead of the interview. Was I surprised? 

These kind of scenarios may appear outrageous on it's face, but, I usually left those interviews with a smile in my heart and in my person.   

I am interested in learning what others faced. There is plenty of room for all of us to learn.   

 

Search for data on any given database and on any column

November 18
by Rajib Bahar 18. November 2009 15:47
In some of my previous project, I had to find out whether a particular data existed on anywhere in any database. By that I mean, if I wanted to find out whether a particular data, for example, "manager" made in to any table. It's a trivial issue if you know the database table structure and column names. What if you did not have that benefit and wanted to do a massive manhunt for the data? I have written similar script such as the one below, and forgot to keep track of it in my library. Finally, my slowly deteriorating and dull memory served as a motivation for this post. The way it works is a) by getting list of all available databases, b) using dynamic sql to capture tables and column information, c) comparing sought after data against any column that can be converted to varchar type. If you need more explanation then comment please. 
 
Here is the snippet:
 

SET NOCOUNT ON

 

DECLARE @SoughtAfterValue VARCHAR(8000)

 

SET @SoughtAfterValue ='Manager'

 

DECLARE @Tmp TABLE

(

      ID INT IDENTITY(1,1)

    , DBName VARCHAR(255)

)

 

INSERT INTO @Tmp(DBName)

SELECT name

FROM sys.sysdatabases

 

DECLARE @i INT

DECLARE @total INT

 

SET @i = 1

 

SELECT @total = COUNT(*)

FROM @Tmp

 

DECLARE @sql Nvarchar(max)

 

WHILE @i <= @total

BEGIN

 

            set @sql= N'

            use ' +(

                SELECTDBName FROM @Tmp WHEREID = @i

            ) + '

           

            DECLARE @TmpQry TABLE

            (

                    ID INT IDENTITY(1, 1)

                  , Qry VARCHAR(8000)

            )

           

       

        if exists

                  ( SELECT

                  *

        FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

            WHERE TABLE_CATALOG = '''

        +

            (

                SELECTDBName FROM @Tmp WHEREID = @i

            )

        + '''

            )

            BEGIN

 

            INSERT INTO @TmpQry (Qry)

        SELECT

                  ''SELECT CAST('' +COLUMN_NAME + '' AS VARCHAR(8000))[Result] '' +

                ''FROM '

            +

            (

                SELECTDBName FROM @Tmp WHEREID = @i

            )

                  + '..' + ''' + TABLE_NAME  

                  + '' WHERE CAST('' +COLUMN_NAME + '' AS VARCHAR(8000)) like ''''%' +@SoughtAfterValue + '%''''''

                   

        FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

            WHERE DATA_TYPE NOT IN

            (

                  ''binary'',''varbinary'', ''image'', ''geography'', ''geometry'', ''timestamp'',

                  ''xml'',''hierarchyid'', ''sql_variant''

            )

 

            END

 

            DECLARE @i INT

            DECLARE @Total INT

            DECLARE @CurrentQryVARCHAR(8000)

            DECLARE @CurrentQry2VARCHAR(8000)

           

            SET @i = 1

 

            SELECT @Total = COUNT(*) FROM@TmpQry

           

            WHILE @i <= @Total

            BEGIN

                 

                  SELECT @CurrentQry = Qry     

                  FROM @TmpQry WHERE ID =@i

           

                  SET @CurrentQry2 = ''ifexists('' + @CurrentQry +  '') begin select ''''''+ REPLACE(@CurrentQry,'''''''', '''''''''''') + '''''' [Query Ran] '' + @CurrentQry + '' end''

 

                  exec(@CurrentQry2)

 

                  SET @i = @i + 1

 

                  CONTINUE

            END

           

      '

 

exec(@sql)

 

      SET @i = @i + 1

      CONTINUE   

END

  

AdventureWorks 2008R2 November CTP Beta is out

November 18
by Rajib Bahar 18. November 2009 06:06

Two weeks ago I struggled to get the "AdventureWorks 2008" to work on my "SQL 2008 R2" server. I ended up building a 2005 version of it. It appears they have released a beta version of it for the R2 release at CodePlex. Help yourself at your own learning venture.

http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=24854

 I'll update this entry and/or have a followup entry as time permits to share my experience.

useful blog entries on Joins... using join in update or delete statement

March 26
by Rajib Bahar 26. March 2009 07:00

CSV Customization in SSRS Subscription

February 20
by Rajib Bahar 20. February 2009 04:47

I will appreciate if my colleagues and peers would consider looking at this thread I opened at SQL Server Central [http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/Topic661376-1063-1.aspx]. Thanks and have a good day!

 

Update [10/01/2009]:

Thanks to Luke at [SQLServerCentral.com] forum I was able to find the answer. He pointed me to a MSDN article, which in turn pointed to this article [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms156281.aspx]. That helped me figure out how to do it. If I have time then I'll produce steps on how to reproduce it later.

 

 

SQL Server Interview questions - Submit yours

January 26
by Rajib Bahar 26. January 2009 06:44
I get a lot of questions from my peers about finding a good place to get SQL server interview questions. I have had the privilege of being both the interviewor and interviewee. So, I thought I'd put together a collection on my blog. I look forward to hearing your comments. Please post your favorite or most challenging questions on SQL server.

Here is the list of links to blogs and/or websites that I found useful:

VLDB - What's the largest database have you worked with?

January 19
by Rajib Bahar 19. January 2009 15:52
I am asking this question to all of my SQL Server colleagues. There is no right or wrong answer to this. I am interested in learning the experience others have with VLDB systems. Please share your stories. I will compile the responses and make a newer blog entry. That new entry will have your story and link back to your blog if you have any. Feel free to send your responses via facebook, twitter, plaxo, linkedin, livespace, and email. Thanks

MS SQL Server 2008 Debugging

January 15
by Rajib Bahar 15. January 2009 21:20
I like the new debugging capabilities of SQL Server 2008. It brings in features such as stepping in, stepping out, and stepping over. This can come handy when we are trying to track the actual issue. I found this feature interesting because it empowers developers to track issues at the most granular level. Now, we can step inside system functions, and stored procedures to figure out the values of internal variables and sets. See the video below for a quick guide on how to debug in SQL Server 2008 management studio.