Database Fundamentals #24: More Filtering Data

Database Fundamentals, SQL Server
In this Database Fundamentals post we continue discussing the functionality of the WHERE clause. We started with the basics of the logic using things like AND, OR and LIKE or '='. Now, we'll expand into some other areas. Functions in the WHERE clause SQL Server provides you with all sorts of functions that can be used to manipulate strings, modify dates or times or perform arcane mathematical equations. The problem with these is that if you do them on columns in tables it can lead to performance issues. The trick then, is to not perform functions on the columns in the tables. We’ll cover this in more detail when we get to indexing, variables, and parameters. Just don’t get into the habit of putting functions on the columns in your…
Read More

How Does The CHOOSE Command Affect Performance?

SQL Server, T-SQL
Questions absolutely drive my blog content and I really liked this one: how does the T-SQL CHOOSE command affect performance. On the face of it, I honestly don't think it will affect performance at all, depending on where and how you use it. However, the answer is always best supplied by testing. T-SQL CHOOSE Command The CHOOSE command was added in SQL Server 2012. It's fairly straight forward. You supply an array and a numbered index for that array and CHOOSE will pull the matching value for that index. It works like this. We'll start with a simple proc and execute it: CREATE OR ALTER PROC dbo.CarrierAndFlag ( @SalesOrderID INT, @Flag INT ) AS BEGIN SELECT sod.CarrierTrackingNumber, CHOOSE(@Flag, 'A', 'B', 'C') AS Flag FROM Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod WHERE sod.SalesOrderID =…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #23: Filtering Data

Database Fundamentals, SQL Server
If you've been reading these Database Fundamentals posts, you've already seen the WHERE clause because of your use of it when manipulating data with DELETE and UPDATE statements. It's also been used several times earlier in this series to limit the values returned from a SELECT statement. The primary places where people run into trouble with T-SQL is in the JOIN criteria and the WHERE clause criteria. This occurs because they don’t understand well enough what the filters and operators they’re using will do. They end up returning too much data because they didn’t us the WHERE clause or misapplied it. They also filter too much data out. Just remember, there are even more functions than we go over here in this series. While these basic operators answer most needs,…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #19: JOINS

Database Fundamentals
The last Database Fundamentals post introduced the SELECT and FROM commands. We're going to start using JOIN operations shortly, but first, let's explore the idea behind joins. The very concept of relational storage that is the foundation of SQL Server requires you to related one table to another.  You do this through a operation called JOIN. There three basic types of JOINS, INNER, OUTER, and CROSS. Think of them like this. It’s all about relationships. The relationships are only ever between two sets of data. Yes, you can combine lots of tables together through a query, but each JOIN relationship will be between two sets of data. Types of Joins If you take two sets of data and represent them as two circles, they might look like this. An INNER…
Read More

Query Store and Log Backups

T-SQL
A question that came up recently around Query Store is what happens when there are log backups in use on the database. Let's talk about it. Query Store and Log Backups The core of the answer is very simple. Query Store, like any other data written to a database, whether a system table or a user table, is a logged operation. So, when you backup the database, you're backing up Query Store data. When you backup the logs, you're also backing up Query Store data. A point in time will include all the data written to the Query Store at that point. However, that's the kicker. At what point was the Query Store information written to disk? By default, there's a fifteen minute cycle before the Query Store moves the…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #18: The SELECT Statement

Database Fundamentals
In my previous Database Fundamentals post, I showed you how to use the Query Designer to build a query. That was a SELECT statement. The basic construct of all your SELECT statements will be the same. You’re going to define a list of columns, the table or tables you’re interested in, and some sort of filter criteria. That’s the bare bones basics of how it works. But, as we all know, the devil is in the details. There are lots and lots of details. This section will introduce the T-SQL SELECT statement and start explaining some of those details. Column List You’ve been introduced to the basic concepts of the column list in the SELECT statement. It represents the information that is going to be available for display by whatever…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #16: Removing Data With T-SQL

Database Fundamentals
Deleting data from a table using T-SQL works quite a lot like the UPDATE statement. How it Works In the same way you supply the statement, DELETE, and then the table name. You’re not going to specify columns in any way because deleting data is all about removing a row. If you just wanted to remove the values in a column, you would use the UPDATE statement. Because of this, the only other thing you need for a DELETE statement is the WHERE clause. Just like with the UPDATE statement, if you don’t supply a WHERE clause, then the DELETE statement will remove all data in the table. Be very careful about using this statement. Make sure you’ve always got a WHERE clause. This example would delete all the rows…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #15: Modifying Data With T-SQL

Database Fundamentals, SQL Server, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017
The preferred method for modifying your data within a database is T-SQL. While the last Fundamentals post showed how to use the GUI to get that done, it's not a very efficient mechanism. T-SQL is efficient. UPDATE The command for updating information in your tables is UPDATE. This command doesn’t work the same way as the INSERT statement. Instead of listing all the columns that are required, meaning columns that don’t allow for NULL values, you can pick and choose the individual columns that you want to update. The operation over-writes the information that was stored in the column with new information. In addition to defining the table and columns you want to update, you have to tell SQL Server which rows you’re interested in updating. This introduces the WHERE…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #11: Why Learn T-SQL

Database Fundamentals
If you've been following along with the previous 10 Database Fundamentals blog posts, you have a SQL Server installed and a database with a table in it. You may have more if you've been practicing. Now would be the time to start adding data to the database, but first, I want to talk about the importance of T-SQL Why T-SQL? The way SQL Server accepts information is very different than most programs you’re used to using. Most programs focus on the graphical user interface as a mechanism for enabling data entry. While there is a GUI within SQL Server that you can use for data entry, and I will do a blog post on it, the primary means of manipulating data within SQL is the Transact Structured Query Language, or…
Read More

Database Fundamentals #7: Create a Table Using T-SQL

Database Fundamentals, T-SQL
The syntax for creating a table logically follows many of the same steps that you did when using the GUI, but it will all be done with the statements. This script will exactly replicate everything that you did with the GUI: CREATE TABLE dbo.Person ( PersonID int IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL, FirstName varchar(50) NOT NULL, LastName varchar(50) NOT NULL, DateOfBirth date NULL ) ON [PRIMARY]; Breaking the script into separate lines, it’s easy to see how the TSQL commands perform the actions defined in the GUI (it also makes it easier to read). The CREATE TABLE statement in this context is self-explanatory.  After that you’re defining the schema and the table name. Within the parenthesis you define each of the columns. First is the name of the column followed by the…
Read More