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Guest Columnist: Robert Marda

SQLServerCentral.com profile

I have worked for bigdough.com since 18 May 2000 as an SQL Programmer. My duties include backup management for all our SQL Servers, mentoring junior SQL Programmers, and serving as DBA while our DBA is on vacation. I develop, test, and deploy stored procedures and DTS packages as well as manage most major SQL projects. Our offices are located in Bethesda, Maryland. Before working for bigdough, I worked for Telos Corporation in Ashburn, Virginia. I started learning T-SQL and using SQL Server 7.0 on 22 March 1999. In April 1999 I was given the position of Senior Database Analyst/Administrator at Telos Corporation. I have been married to Leoncia Guzman since 23 Jul 1994. We met in the Dominican Republic where I lived for about 2 years as a missionary. We have 4 children, Willem (age 8), Adonis (age 6), Liem (age 4 and a half), and Sharleen (age 3 and a half). My hobbies include spending time with our 4 children (we play chess, dominos, mancala, and video or computer games together), keeping tropical freshwater fish, breeding and training parakeets, coin collecting (US and foreign), and geneology. I have a 55 gallon tank and 20 gallon tank. I have many kinds of fish (such as a pleco, tiger barbs, mollies, cichlids, tetras, and guppies) I also have a small aquatic turtle. I last updated my bio 30 Mar 2004.

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Manipulating And Using DateTime Data

Working with date and time data in SQL Server can be a bit cumersome using just T-SQL. With the separate datatypes being pulled from SQL Server 2005 for the time being, however, it is something that a DBA needs to get used to. Robert Marda brings us an instructional look at the different datetime data types and some things you should be aware of when developing with them.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2004/10/27 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: t-sql
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 16,618 reads

Creating a System Stored Procedure

Creating a system stored procedure isn't hard. You're always cautioned from making changes to the system, depending on the system for a particular functionality, etc., and you should be cautious. However adding system stored procedures to your servers can be beneficial and make your administration much more convenient. Read on the see how easy this can be to do.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2004/05/20 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: administration
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 12,226 reads

Review of SQL Compare v3

Regular columnist Robert Marda had some extra time so we got him to take a look at the latest upgrade to SQL Compare - for those of you aren't familiar with it, it is a tool that will let you compare two databases to see the differences, then optionally sync one to the other.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2004/01/15 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: administration
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 10,145 reads

Output Parameters

Regular columnist Robert Marda writes about the basics of using output parameters. If you're not using output params we hope this article will get you started - they are a great way to return less data to the client, perfect if you need only a few values and not a recordset/resultset.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2007/10/26 (first published: 2003/11/25) | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: stored procedures
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 31,790 reads

Documenting Stored Procedures

Regular columnist Robert Marda discusses a few ideas on stored procedure documentation. How much documentation do you need and is "documentation" different than code comments?   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/10/20 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: stored procedures
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 14,454 reads

Stored Procedure Development Cycle

This month Robert covers the process he uses for developing stored procedures. In many ways it reflects how software is developed, but it does have it's minor differences. This is a high level process discussion, not a line by line example of the entire process - by design of course.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/09/03 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: stored procedures
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 10,626 reads

What Your SP Can Return

Return values from stored procedures (not output params, true return values) probably aren't used as often as they should be. Robert gives you some good examples of how to use them.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/08/05 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: stored procedures
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 9,851 reads

Does Your SP Choke on Errors?

Should your stored procedure continue when it hits an error? Or keep executing? What errors will cause a stored procedure to quit executing auotmatically? Regular columnist Robert Marda has at least some of the answers, we think you'll find this interesting.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/06/26 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: stored procedures
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 7,220 reads

Nesting Stored Procedures

We're pleased to announce that Robert will be writing for us each month - generally on stored procedures, but occasionally on a different topic. This article discusses how nesting stored procedures works and how to use @@NextLevel. Good reading! If there is a stored procedure topic you'd like to see covered, add a comment to the article or email us at articles@sqlservercentral.com   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2007/05/18 (first published: 2003/05/23) | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: t-sql
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 35,021 reads

Handling The Text Data Type

Robert is back this week with a look at the text data type. Not the easiest thing to work with, but sometimes a varchar just doesn't give you the range you need.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/05/07 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: miscellaneous
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 25,103 reads

How to Build Dynamic Stored Procedures

Robert is our expert on dynamic sql. This week he offers some good hints for planning the contruction of a proc that will use dynamic sql. He also adds some suggestions on how to format the code so that when you return to it later, you can figure out what you were doing!   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2005/12/16 (first published: 2003/04/25) | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: miscellaneous
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 48,995 reads

Block the DBA?

Can you block a DBA from performing certain actions on a server if he has sysadmin rights? The real answer is no, but this article shows you how to block an unknowledgable DBA from performing certain actions.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/01/28 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: administration
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 6,836 reads

Case Study: Importing New Data Without Emptying Existing Tables

The challenge for Robert Marda was to devise a way to keep the data available at all times while importing the new data, detect if a full or daily update was received and run appropriate data pumps, put in sufficient fail safes to ensure bad data would not get imported, and to make the process automatic including notification to pagers upon failure. Robert shows you how he did it here.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2003/01/09 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: dts
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 8,169 reads

Using Check Constraints

Check constraints can be added to a table to enforce specific rules on one or more columns. This article shows you how to use them to enforce simple and more complex rules.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/10/03 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: administration
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 11,083 reads

Performance Adding Hints

During the process of performance tuning queries and stored procedures there comes a time when you will notice that the execution plan selected by SQL Server is not the best plan. On occasion, everything you try doesnt cause SQL Server to choose the best way to execute your code. These are the times when hints can improve performance.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/09/10 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: performance tuning
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 8,931 reads

Understanding Execution Plans Part 1

The purpose of this article is to give you a working knowledge of how to view and understand query execution plans for SQL Server. This is part 1 in a series of articles that will walk you through understanding execution plans to help you improve your queries.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/07/26 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: performance tuning
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 22,598 reads

How Dynamic SQL Can Be Static SQL Part 2

This article shows you how to use the CASE function to design single query solutions that have changing results depending on the values you assign to variables. These techniques are extremely useful as alternatives to dynamic SQL.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/05/14 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: performance tuning
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 10,769 reads

Multi-Server Administration

Multi server administration allows you to create jobs and maintenance plans once. You can then monitor and change them from one SQL Server. View job histories and statuses for 2, 4, 10, or more SQL Servers from one master SQL Server. See how you can simplify your administration duties with multi server administration.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/05/06 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: administration
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 10,425 reads

How Dynamic SQL Can Be Static SQL

This article demonstrates the flexibility of static SQL when using the CASE function in a WHERE clause, SELECT clause, ORDER BY clause, GROUP BY clause, HAVING clause, and JOIN. This is done with five examples and includes sample code you can execute on your SQL Server.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/03/14 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: performance tuning
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 10,459 reads

Dynamic SQL vs. Static SQL Part 2, Code

Robert Marda continues his series on dynamic SQL and shows you how to rewrite some queries that you may think need dynamic SQL.   Read more...
By Robert Marda 2002/03/07 | Source: SQLServerCentral.com | Category: performance tuning
Rating: |  Discuss |   Briefcase | 12,568 reads
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