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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.

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

2 comments, 133 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, 110 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, 139 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, 203 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

0 comments, 196 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, 661 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, 176 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, 505 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, 216 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, 633 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, 179 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, 263 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 7 March 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: SMALLDATETIME

Last week I spoke about a world wary data type for storing dates and times in a single column, with a granularity of three milliseconds, DATETIME. But let’s say you don’t need that kind of accuracy and are happy with a granularity to the nearest minute. Maybe you’re storing time… Read more

2 comments, 739 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 28 February 2018

Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATETIME

Last year I ran a series of posts about Database Fundamentals. Over the next few weeks, I will cover the basics of various date and time data types in SQL Server, when to use them, and which functions to use for date and time calculations. This week will start with… Read more

0 comments, 225 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 21 February 2018

Why nested views are bad

Nested views are bad. Let’s get that out of the way. What is a nested view anyway? Imagine that you have a SELECT statement you tend to use all over the place (a very common practice when checking user permissions). There are five base tables in the join, but it’s… Read more

3 comments, 1,655 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 14 February 2018

Help the fight against cancer

Tom Roush The SQL Family lost a much admired member to cancer last month, Tom Roush. In our little community, Tom was a well-known raconteur who wrote around a hundred stories, many of which were published on his blog. He was working on a book containing the best of these… Read more

0 comments, 269 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 7 February 2018

Speaking at SQLSaturday 725 in Victoria

Victoria is on an island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The island is wisely called Vancouver Island. It is beautiful there, and I wouldn’t mind retiring there someday. Those of you who listen to my convoluted stories will recall that it was on Vancouver Island that I broke… Read more

0 comments, 290 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 31 January 2018

Speaking at SQLBits next month

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I will be presenting for the first time at SQLBits in London, on Saturday 24 February 2018. My session is called Back to the future with Temporal Tables. Here is the abstract: Back to the Future is the greatest time travel movie… Read more

0 comments, 206 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 24 January 2018

Secure or fast? Secure, obviously …

By now you have probably seen the news about a major flaw in the design of CPUs from all major vendors (Intel, AMD, and ARM) resulting in a series of vulnerabilities in operating systems and … web browsers? One of my favourite things to do is to make queries run… Read more

0 comments, 211 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 17 January 2018

The cloud is not just someone else’s computer

A year ago, I wrote in a post that cloud computing is just someone else’s data center. I was wrong. Whether we like it or not, the cloud is more than just a bunch of 1s and 0s hosted on someone’s hardware. The problem with my statement was the word… Read more

0 comments, 271 reads

Posted in Born SQL with Randolph West on 10 January 2018

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