Sql Saturday #332 Interviews at KFAI Radio

By Rajib Bahar at December 25, 2014 01:39
Filed Under: Data, Database, SQL, SQL Saturday, SQL Server



Rick Krueger, director of PASSMN stopped by KFAI radio to discuss the interviews conducted by Dan English & Brian Larson of Superior Consulting. He talked about the significance of this event & the kind of impact it makes for fellow database professionals.

Is a table variable always the answer?

By Rajib Bahar at August 14, 2012 00:27
Filed Under: SQL

I usually got good results with table variables over cursors or derived queries. I wanted to take advantage of available memories. In one of my previous project, I tried to implement an alternative to cursor via table variable. Unfortunately, it caused the SSIS process to run out of memory after running for 8+ hours. I was surprised to see it perform slower than a derived query version of that same query. It was doing a very basic data retrieval function such as selecting the data. After working with our DBA, we discovered that the server didn't have enough memory available during the time of execution (due to high user traffic). The query would slow down after processing few thousands of rows of data. It took some time to work with our colleagues to figure out the most optimal # rows the table variable can handle at any given time. Anyways, we resorted to the derived queries approach for bigger datasets.

The EXECUTE permission was denied on the object 'sp_ssis_addlogentry'

By Rajib Bahar at August 07, 2012 05:51
Filed Under: Database, SQL, SQL Server

I have been lazy about blogging for a long long long time... I thought I'd get back into it again with an error message. Depending upon a project, I either get full-admin privilege or restricted privilege. Both options have merit, but, I prefer more flexibility in anything I do. This particular error message is very trivial. I'll not be breaking any ground by saying the solution is to grant proper permission. We often run into this kind of permission issues whenever dealing with database objects. It happens whenever the user lacks permission to utilize an object. How did I run into this error? I usually prefer storing ssis logging data in a table. One of these days, I'll get motivated to write my own custom solution. Until then I find the built-in logging mechanism sufficient. In most ssis projects, I had the privilege to utilize sp_ssis_addlogentry object. I didn't have to worry about setting that permission. When this issue arose I had to get help from our dba Jimit Mehta. He's a dba-super-hero for our team. As soon as he ran the statement below, my headache was gone. 



grant execute on sp_ssis_addlogentry to [domain_name\user_name]


Set Operation trick to generate date data #TSQL2sDay

By Rajib Bahar at December 08, 2009 17:52
Filed Under: SQL

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)
declare @i int
SET @i = 0
 datediff(year, dateadd(day, @i,'2010-01-01'),'2010-01-01')=0
    insert #myTable (dateCol)
    select dateadd(day, @i, '2010-01-01')
    SET @i = @i + 1
select * from #myTable

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


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

Combining SMO and Powershell to Generate SQL Database Schema

By Rajib Bahar at December 08, 2009 10:49
Filed Under: .NET, SQL

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()

( NAME = N'AdventureWorks_Data', FILENAME = N'C:\data\MSSQL10.SQL2K8\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks_Data.mdf' , SIZE = 174080KB , MAXSIZE = UNLIMITED, FILEGROWTH =16384KB )
( 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
    EXEC [AdventureWorks].[dbo].[sp_fulltext_database] @action = 'enable'


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

By Rajib Bahar at November 28, 2009 09:41
Filed Under: Interesting, SQL, .NET

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

By Rajib Bahar at November 18, 2009 15:47
Filed Under:
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:



DECLARE @SoughtAfterValue VARCHAR(8000)


SET @SoughtAfterValue ='Manager'




      ID INT IDENTITY(1,1)

    , DBName VARCHAR(255)





FROM sys.sysdatabases





SET @i = 1


SELECT @total = COUNT(*)



DECLARE @sql Nvarchar(max)


WHILE @i <= @total



            set @sql= N'

            use ' +(

                SELECTDBName FROM @Tmp WHEREID = @i

            ) + '


            DECLARE @TmpQry TABLE


                    ID INT IDENTITY(1, 1)

                  , Qry VARCHAR(8000)




        if exists

                  ( SELECT



            WHERE TABLE_CATALOG = '''



                SELECTDBName FROM @Tmp WHEREID = @i


        + '''




            INSERT INTO @TmpQry (Qry)


                  ''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 + '%''''''





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

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





            DECLARE @i INT

            DECLARE @Total INT

            DECLARE @CurrentQryVARCHAR(8000)

            DECLARE @CurrentQry2VARCHAR(8000)


            SET @i = 1


            SELECT @Total = COUNT(*) FROM@TmpQry


            WHILE @i <= @Total



                  SELECT @CurrentQry = Qry     

                  FROM @TmpQry WHERE ID =@i


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




                  SET @i = @i + 1









      SET @i = @i + 1




AdventureWorks 2008R2 November CTP Beta is out

By Rajib Bahar at November 18, 2009 06:06
Filed Under: SQL

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.


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


By Rajib Bahar at October 11, 2009 10:37
Filed Under: SQL, Interesting, .NET
It's a challenge to keep track of things as they are constantly changing (just like my tools of the trade). Don't you wish you are always on top of all things, but, other things in life get in the way... Some time I get immersed in work and study that I forget the rest of the world. 

Now, that I have this challenge at hand, the question is how am I going to pull myself through this one? I found a tool on it's face seemed quite interesting. My work involves working with SQL server. If I want to learn the noise around sql server then it will show what everyone in the world is thinking about it. I believe it utilizes the RSS feed from twitter. The people at codemunch.com wrote this very simple and useful tool (depending upon your value on it). I found their site while trying to find the trend on sql server. 

How to use it?

Here is what the URL for the trend on "SQL Server" would look like. 

Simply change the "q=" part to your preferred query. For example, you want find the latest on sql then the query string would look like "q=sql". If you want to use words with spaces in it then place a %20 between each word. It's as simple as that.

Other trends that I may use for myself include:

I am sure other Gurus may have different opionion how to find trend. After all, there are other reliable methods such as reading the book on latest tools, online articles, blogs, visiting focus groups that provide training in similar area. My intention with this entry is to talk about what other tool is out there to complement such effort. Anyways, I do find the existing methods useful from time to time. I have been to the local sql server user group many times. Most of the times, I went their for the swags, and free softwares. Most recently, I went to the "SQL Server Summit" hosted in minnesota with sponsorship from Digineer. I attended one of the reporting services session to learn about the challenges the MVP had in his project. Toward the end, I asked a question about SSRS and sharepoint and got good feedback from several peers. The presenter moved on to take other closing questions. In the meantime, I had this urge to tinker. I took out a yo-yo which I picked up from Digineer's booth prior to that presentation. I thought I'd play with it while the presentation ends. Unfortunatley, I did not know that the yo-yo's extra feature included very loud sound, and shiny lights. Yes, it was an awkwardly funny moment and all eyes were on me. I was in a panic mode trying to silence the alarm. Luckily for me, I did not get bounced out as I worked with some of the people in there running the show. I had an occassion to collaborate with Mark V. from digineer in the past. He was sitting next to me and cracked open. He did not know that the yo-yo would do that. I am making a note to avoid yo-yo's next time. BTW, I transferred the yo-yo to my nephew, but, I digress.

ConnectionStrings - a tribute

By Rajib Bahar at September 29, 2009 07:25
Filed Under: SQL

I use the ConnectionStrings.com site many times. Whehter it's MS SQL server or Oracle or MySql, they have the useful snippet of code for the connection string. It usually saves me time from looking up the manual. I thought I would dedicate this entry just for them.


If you don't know what connection string is then you are lucky to be reading this entry. In short, connection string is what defines how we connect to data sources and destinations. It enables application to talk to the database so that information is persisted in the RDBMS or target data structure. 


A sample connection string may look like this... (Yes... I borrowed the connection string below from their site :) )


Data Source=myServerAddress;Initial Catalog=myDataBase;User Id=myUsername;Password=myPassword;

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