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Born SQL with Randolph West

Randolph West solves technology problems with a focus on SQL Server and C#. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP who has worked with SQL Server since the late 1990s. When not consulting, he can be seen acting on the stage and screen or doing voices for independent video games.

Performance as a feature, software developer edition

Relational database management systems (RDBMS) like SQL Server and Azure SQL Database are very good at managing normalized data. Efficient storage and retrieval of data is the name of the game, so performance is a feature. That’s why SQL Server (and other RDBMS products in the market) keep as much… Read more

2 comments, 165 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 11 July 2018

Community recognition

On the first day of January 2017, I was honoured to receive an email naming me as a Microsoft MVP in the Data Platform category. In the previous couple of months leading up to that, I had been contacted by Microsoft about the process, based primarily on this very blog… Read more

0 comments, 156 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 4 July 2018

Update your production servers and stop making excuses about it

Folks, we all like to make sure we’re doing our level best to make things work smoothly. So why am I staring at someone’s server that has never been updated since it was first set up almost three years ago? Do better, so that I don’t have to yell at… Read more

0 comments, 151 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 27 June 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATENAME()

Last time we looked at DATEPART(). This post is all about the DATENAME() function. So many similarities There are many similarities between DATEPART and DATENAME. Where DATEPART returns the date or time part as an integer, DATENAME returns the part as a character string. This DATENAME function also takes two… Read more

0 comments, 646 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 20 June 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEPART()

In my previous posts in this series we’ve seen reference to Transact-SQL (T-SQL) functions that are used to get the specific part of a date and/or time (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, etc.). This week we’ll go through one of them and see how it works. Introducing DATEPART, a… Read more

0 comments, 161 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 13 June 2018

T-SQL aside: replace PRINT with RAISERROR

I was minding my own business innocently reading a blog post by Erik Darling, when this tip smacked me in the proverbial forehead. I even learned something that had always bothered me but had been too lazy to investigate further. Tip #4: Know Your Place Don’t be afraid to use… Read more

2 comments, 952 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 6 June 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: the problem with DATETIME

Recently I wrote a post about date and time functions you should never use, which contained an opinion I’ve expressed previously that some people have disagreed with, namely that DATETIME is a terrible data type which you should not be using in new development. The motivation for this position is… Read more

1 comments, 190 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 30 May 2018

Virtual Log Files: 200 or 1000?

Last week I had the privilege of reviewing possibly the best SQL Server production environment I’ve seen in Canada. During the follow-up meeting, the senior DBA and I had a discussion about Virtual Log Files (VLFs), disagreeing on the maximum number of Virtual Log Files a transaction log should have.… Read more

1 comments, 352 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 23 May 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: more functions you should never use

Previously we looked at four built-in functions to get the current date and time in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database using Transact-SQL (T-SQL). We identified that out of the options provided, SYSUTCDATETIME() is the recommended method because it relies on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and uses the DATETIME2 data… Read more

10 comments, 3,647 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 16 May 2018

A big thank you

Thank you! Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for buying my book. Thank you for attending my sessions at SQLSaturdays and SQLBits. Thank you for providing session feedback to help me improve. Thank you for commenting on my posts, especially when I get things wrong. Thank you to… Read more

0 comments, 152 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 9 May 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: What about TIMESTAMP?

It occurred to me that we haven’t covered the TIMESTAMP data type in this series about dates and times. TIMESTAMP is the Windows Millennium Edition of data types. It has nothing to do with date and time. It’s a row version. Microsoft asks that we stop calling it TIMESTAMP and… Read more

2 comments, 171 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 2 May 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: T-SQL functions to get the current date and time

We have come on quite a journey so far. SQL Server and Azure SQL Database provide date and time data types to help you design the best possible database. You can read more about that here: Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATETIME Dates and Times in SQL Server: SMALLDATETIME… Read more

2 comments, 251 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 25 April 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: the science of time redux

Last time, we began an in-depth look at how time is measured. This post continues our journey. If any of you are students of Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity, this might seem familiar. How does a computer know what time it is? Inside the guts of every computer… Read more

2 comments, 273 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 18 April 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: the science of time

Now that we have covered the various date and time data types (see the post from last time) in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database, it’s time to review what we know about time itself and how it is measured, so that we have a basic understanding of how and… Read more

2 comments, 705 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 11 April 2018

Speaking at SQLSaturday #710 in Edmonton on May 5th, 2018

I will be presenting twice at SQLSaturday #710 in Edmonton, on 5 May 2018. You can join me for two sessions: Back to the Future with Temporal Tables What’s New In SQL Server 2017 SQLSaturday is a volunteer-based day of free training for data professionals, and I encourage you to… Read more

0 comments, 205 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 4 April 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATETIMEOFFSET

This post continues our look at date and time data types in SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 introduced new data types to handle dates and times in a more intelligent way than the DATETIME and SMALLDATETIME types that we looked at previously. This week, we look at the last new… Read more

5 comments, 567 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 28 March 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATETIME2

This post continues our look at date and time data types in SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 introduced new data types to handle dates and times in a more intelligent way than the DATETIME and SMALLDATETIME types that we looked at previously. This week, we look at the DATETIME2 data… Read more

0 comments, 246 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 21 March 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: TIME

This post continues our look at date and time data types in SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 introduced new data types to handle dates and times in a more intelligent way than the DATETIME and SMALLDATETIME types that we looked at previously. What is the time? This week, we look… Read more

0 comments, 674 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 14 March 2018

T-SQL Tuesday #100: Looking Forward

The future, 100 months from now: It’s Monday, 6 July 2026. It’s been quite a week since SQL Server Update 2607 was released. The entire production infrastructure has been refreshed. All devices are reporting in, and your glasses are showing green across the fleet. There’s a problem, though. One of… Read more

0 comments, 210 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 13 March 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATE

This post continues our look at date and time data types in SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 introduced new data types to handle dates and times in a more intelligent way than the DATETIME and SMALLDATETIME types that we looked at previously. The first one we look at this week… Read more

2 comments, 300 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 7 March 2018

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