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Archive for the ‘T-SQL’ Category

What are SQL Query Hints?

July 5, 2014 Leave a comment

SQL server usually selects the best query plan required to execute a T-SQL query. However, there might be cases where the plans selected are not the best. In such situations, you can use the query hints to suggest the best possible plan/method of executing a query. The Query hints can be applied on all operators in a query. These hints apply to SELECT, DELETE, INSERT, UPDATE and MERGE. You can use the Query hints in the OPTION clause after the query.

Few commonly used Query hints with examples are as below.

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Advantages and differences between CHAR and VARCHAR datatypes in SQL Server

April 25, 2014 1 comment

Everyone reading this must have come across these datatypes, but have you ever thought what are the differences and advantages between these two?

The obvious difference that comes to our mind is related to the length. Yes! You are right. The varchar supports variable length and Char supports fixed length. This is the main advantage varchar datatype. for example,  let us consider varchar(10) and char(10) . To store “GEEKEPISODE”, both the datatypes will use the complete length allocated and to store “GEEK”, CHAR datatype will use the complete 10 characters  allocated, but VARCHAR will use only 4.

From the above examples it might seem that VARCHAR is better than CHAR all the time. But remember, CHAR was included as a separate datatype because it has certain advantages over VARCHAR.

Compound Operators in SQL Server

July 5, 2011 1 comment

There was a time when we all wished SQL Server supports compound operators just like any other programming languages. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a shorter syntax for assigning the result of an arithmetic operator?  Well, SQL server 2008 introduced Compound operators that allow you to perform several arithmetic operations using an operand along with equal to (=) operand.

 For example:

Declare @var1  int

Set @var1 = 150

Set @var1 += 100

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Understanding MERGE Transact SQL Statement

July 5, 2011 1 comment

By using “Merge”, you can perform insert, delete and update on a table in a single SQL statement. This helps in synchronizing the tables as well.

However while using merge there are several points that you need to keep in mind. Few

  • In a “Merge” statement, a “When Matched” clause with a search condition cannot appear after a ‘When Matched’ clause with no search condition.
  • A “Merge” statement must be terminated by a semi-colon (;).
  • An action of type ‘DELETE’ is not allowed in the ‘WHEN NOT MATCHED’ clause of a MERGE statement.
  • At least one of the three MATCHED clauses must be specified, but they can be specified in any order. A variable cannot be updated more than once in the same MATCHED clause.
  • Any insert, update, or delete actions specified on the target table by the MERGE statement are limited by any constraints defined on it, including any cascading referential integrity constraints.

Few examples of merge are as given below.

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The string function SOUNDEX() and its purpose in SQL.

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The Soundex code was developed to help negate the effects of all the spelling variations that can occur for similar sounding names ( Smith, Smithe, Smythe, etc.).  This way, users can index records based on a Soundex code based on the sound  and “not” by how it is spelled.

The Soundex system is not infallible – the surnames Gough and Goff sound the same (Goff), but a different code is formed for these two names.  Soundex can however be used to a great extent to get a desired result ( atleast closer to a desired result) This is a commonly used algorithm by many researchers.

In SQL a string function is available for this and is usually comes handy.  The function is

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Executing the script in batch file using “sqlcmd” command

April 25, 2011 1 comment

 often create batch files to execute sql scripts ( specially SPs) and then schedule it using SQL agent job/Task Scheduler. In this post , I will show you how to create a batch file with sql commands.

First of all, The command that is used to execute SQL queries from commnd prompt is “SQLCMD“. The general syntax of this command is available in the link. I will go with a simple one as below

sqlcmd –E –S Servername –Q Query -o “Output Path”

here
-E = Trusted connection (windows authentication)
-S = Server Name
-Q = CommandLineQuery
-o = Output file path
a simple command on the commnad prompt can be written as
 
 
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Changing SQL database to single user mode and back to Multi User mode

October 26, 2010 1 comment

It is often necessary to change the database to single user mode, especially if you are a DBA. A simple example would be to change the collation settings or any DB settings. The single user will allow only one  user ( usually DBA) to access the database. Hence it will be easy to make changes without the worry of deadlocks or any other type of contention for DB and also without affecting the users.

It is very easy to change the database to Single user mode; in fact, it is just an execution of the script away. Use the script below to change the mode.

ALTER  DATABASE <<Database Name>>  SET SINGLE_USER  WITH NO_WAIT

The NO_WAIT clause will set it to single user mode as soon as you execute the query.  An alternate to this is by using the system stored procedure sp_dboption

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