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The Voice of the DBA

Null Defaults

One of the things that becomes important in a distributed, team environment is the interface that you present to other systems. In a Devops environment, we really need to have an API for every system, including the database. This means a contract for our database, that spells out what access points are available and what they return. For our data, this often means the structure and shape of a table.

Our tables often aren't static. In fact, they grow and chance over time. This means that the values returned from the table, or even views or stored procedures referencing the table, will change over time. In some sense, this means we're really versioning our API. If that's the case, then as you make additive changes, you'll be adding columns for the most part. The will be time when your application, or maybe a subset of your applications, will not know how to provide data for those columns. In those cases, we need to make a decision about how to handle the column.

What's your default choice? Do you use NULLs when you aren't sure? Perhaps you choose some magic value, such as a blanks or a known date? I know some people like to use 1900-01-01 to mean an unknown date, or even a number such as 99999. Any choice has advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one person might not work for another.

Let us know your default choice and why. I'm sure some of you have great reasons for why you choose a value, and I bet more than a few of us learn something about why one value might be better than others. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 2.9MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Libsyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

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Usage of CTE - Trick with Dates

Suresh Maganti from SQLServerCentral.com

This article exlores the usage of CTEs as a replacement to cursors in order to generate additional data by applying logic to existing data. More »


SSIS Catalog Compare v2.0 Launch Event

Press Release from SQLServerCentral.com

Join the SSIS Catalog Compare v2.0 Launch Event on Tue, Mar 7 at 13:00 EST. More »


Clone a SQL Server login and password to a new server

Additional Articles from MSSQLTips.com

Bhavesh Patel shows how to clone a SQL Server login onto another server while keeping the password the same. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Is Your Database App Ready for the Cloud?

Tim Mitchell from SQLServerCentral Blogs

The cloud has evolved. Just a few years ago, cloud-based applications were the exception rather than the rule, and on-premises... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - I Don’t Understand

Grant Fritchey from SQLServerCentral Blogs

I suspect this may make a few people angry, but I felt the need to share. I was recently asked to... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I want to use ALTER SERVER CONFIGURATION in SQL Server 2016 to set process affinity in my processors. What are my options?

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

How can I use OBJECTPROPERTY() to determine the number of triggers a table has?

Answer: Query multiple times for each type of trigger's count property


Each type of trigger has a property that returns the count of that type of trigger. These properties are:

  • TableDeleteTriggerCount
  • TableInsertTriggerCount
  • TableUpdateTriggerCount

You can query for each of these and sum the values.

Ref: OBJECTPROPERTY - click here

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Corrupt Page Notification

Henrico Bekker from SQLServerCentral.com

Create the trigger after modifying your mail profile settings, and any additional attachment types if you wish.

Simple technique to ensure you are informed if any content is written.

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