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Nice function. Tip 1: Instead of the CASE to get rid of negative values, use ABS. Tip 2: Add a CASE to work around the domain error you'd get from LOG10(0). Tip 3: Stop being lazy and use decimal instead of float. Because float can't represent many values exactly, you run the risk of errors. For instance: SELECT dbo.fix(1.15)  Returns 1.1 instead of 1.2 alter function dbo.fix(@num numeric(36,18), @digits int) returns numeric(36,18) as begin declare @res float select @res = case when @num = 0 then 0 else round(@num,@digits1floor(log10(abs(@num)))) end return (@res) end
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This article is quite a coincidence, I was just thinking this morning, how could I use log? Now if I could just remember how they worked, it's been 14 years since I've last used them.




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Having completed IT + Maths degrees at university it is nice to see someone using some maths in the real world  I reckon 99/100 SQL developers would've used a varchar conversion with something to cater for the possible decimal point and minus signs and lived with the performance loss. Nice article and good thinking!




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Very sweet! But why the extra overhead of declaring and setting a variable? Why not just return the calc'd value? ... BEGIN RETURN CASE WHEN ... END
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Nice to see someone using LOGs. But I would trust your results more if you displayed them, instead of using the WHERE expected_result <> actual_result. The problem I found was that you don't get exact representation when using float. Frankly, I have never used float before, so maybe I am doing something incorrectly, but note the example below. declare @num float , @res float , @digits int SET @num = 1.23456678 SET @digits = 4 select @res = case when @num > 0 then round(@num,@digits1floor(log10(@num))) else round(@num,@digits1floor(log10(@num))) end select @num as ORIGINAL_NUMBER, @res AS RESULT , @digits as NBR_SIG_DIGITS RESULT IS: ORIGINAL_NUMBER RESULT NBR_SIG_DIGITS 1.23456678 1.2349999999999999 4 Probably not what you really want (I assume you want 1.235 ??)




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Hi Skip, >>The problem I found was that you don't get exact representation when using float<< Of course you don't  check Books Online. Float is an approximatenumber data type. For most numbers, it can only store a (close) approximization. Internally, float uses base2 representation. As a result, only numbers that can be written as x + (y / EXP(2, z)) where x and y are integers and z is a nonnegative integer can be represented exactly in that representation. Just like our common base10 representation can only represent an approximation of 1/3, float can only represent an approximation of 1.235. That's one of the reasons why I wrote that the function should use decimal instead of float in my previous reply (though I now see that I forgot to change the datatype for the internal variable).
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True, I should've used numeric. I said in the article it was out of laziness.
I chose float originally because that's the type that the trigonometry functions use. Ideally I'd have it return the same type as is passed in (the way that the others work). But I knew numeric would be better... I was just being lazy.
As for using abs... yes  that would've been better. And I can't believe I didn't see that it doesn't work for 0. That's awful of me.
Thanks Hugo...
Rob
Rob Farley LobsterPot Solutions & Adelaide SQL Server User Group Company: http://www.lobsterpot.com.au Blog: http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rob_farley



