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Important SQL Server Functions - Numeric Functions May 11, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 2: Numeric Functions

Like most modern relational database offerings, SQL Server comes loaded with an impressive collection of built-in functions. While some functions are amazingly similar across the board, exact names and signatures may vary. Therefore, it's a good idea to brush up on the SQL Server specific implementations of common SQL function. In part 1 of this series, we explored string functions. In today's installment, we'll be moving on to numerical functions, a category that is highly useful in the generation of statistics and calculated values!

Important SQL Server Functions - String Utilities May 7, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 1: String Utilities

There are certain functions that seem to come up in every programming language. Although SQL differs from your typical procedural programming language like C# or Java in many ways, it too comes equipped with an impressive assortment of built-in functions. These may be applied to Char, Varchar, and Text data types. Each database vendor does not implement functions in exactly the same way, so it pays to familiarize yourself with functions that are specific to the database you work with. In this series, we'll be taking a look at a few important SQL functions, as implemented by SQL Server. Today's blog will tackle string functions, while subsequent installments will explore numerical, date functions, and more!

Iterate over Query Result Sets Using a Cursor May 4, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Being a transactional programming language, SQL is designed to execute its work in an all-or-nothing capacity. Meanwhile, procedural programming languages such as C# and Java are often iterative in nature. As such, they tend to loop over the same code until the stack is diminished and fully processed. Cursors are a notable exception to SQL's transactional approach. Like WHILE loops, cursors allow programmers to process each row of a SELECT result set individually by iterating over them. While many SQL purists shun cursors out of disdain or fear, they have their place in database development and are well worth learning. To that end, today's blog will describe when and how to use cursors within your stored procedures.

Copying a Table to a New Table using Pure SQL Apr 28, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

There are many times where one needs to copy data from an existing table to a new one, for example, to back up data or to replicate data in one environment in another, as one might do for testing purposes. In SQL, one would typically use CREATE TABLE and SELECT statements as follows:

CREATE TABLE new_table; 
SELECT SELECT col, col2, col3 
INTO new_table 

In the first statement, the database creates a new table with the name indicated in the CREATE TABLE statement. The structure of the new table is defined by the result set of the SELECT statement. Then, the database populates data with the results of the SELECT statement to the new table.

While the above procedure works perfectly well, there's an easier way to copy a table into a new one using a variation of the CREATE TABLE statement! We'll learn how to use it here today.

Using Transactions in Stored Procedures to Guard against Data Inconsistencies Apr 20, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

In the Understanding Database Transactions blog, we leaned how transactions are a fantastic way to guard against data loss and inconsistencies by guaranteeing that all operations performed with a transaction succeed or fail together. In today's follow-up, we'll learn how to employ a transaction within a stored procedure in order to ensure that all tables involved remain in a consistent state.

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