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Generating Test Data: Part 1 - Generating Random Integers and Floats


Generating Test Data: Part 1 - Generating Random Integers and Floats

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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Generating Test Data: Part 1 - Generating Random Integers and Floats

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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dwain.c
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Outstanding article Jeff! Just what the doctor ordered for something I'm working on at this instant.

I can't wait for the purists to berate you for using "pseudo" random numbers though. w00t

And let me guess:
DECLARE @Range INT
,@StartValue DATETIME
,@EndValue DATETIME

SELECT @StartValue = '2012-02-15', @EndValue = '2012-12-31'

SELECT @Range = DATEDIFF(day, @StartValue, @EndValue)

SELECT TOP 20 -- Random dates
DATEADD(day, ABS(CHECKSUM(NEWID()) % @Range), @StartValue) As SomeRandomTime
FROM sys.all_columns ac1
CROSS JOIN sys.all_columns ac2

SELECT @Range = DATEDIFF(second, @StartValue, @EndValue)

SELECT TOP 20 -- Random times (to the second)
DATEADD(second, ABS(CHECKSUM(NEWID()) % @Range), @StartValue) As SomeRandomDate
FROM sys.all_columns ac1
CROSS JOIN sys.all_columns ac2


:-)


My mantra: No loops! No CURSORs! No RBAR! Hoo-uh!

My thought question: Have you ever been told that your query runs too fast?

My advice:
INDEXing a poor-performing query is like putting sugar on cat food. Yeah, it probably tastes better but are you sure you want to eat it?
The path of least resistance can be a slippery slope. Take care that fixing your fixes of fixes doesn't snowball and end up costing you more than fixing the root cause would have in the first place.


Need to UNPIVOT? Why not CROSS APPLY VALUES instead?
Since random numbers are too important to be left to chance, let's generate some!
Learn to understand recursive CTEs by example.
Splitting strings based on patterns can be fast!
My temporal SQL musings: Calendar Tables, an Easter SQL, Time Slots and Self-maintaining, Contiguous Effective Dates in Temporal Tables
Krtyknm
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Hi Jeff,

Nice Article, Keep going.

I have a question on sys tables, most of them using the Sys.tables for generating random numbers. Assume that developers don't have an access to System tables, then how can they get the random numbers.

Thanks,
Karthik
paul.knibbs
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Krtyknm (3/26/2012)
I have a question on sys tables, most of them using the Sys.tables for generating random numbers. Assume that developers don't have an access to System tables, then how can they get the random numbers.


He's only using a system table (or view, strictly speaking) because of the number of rows it has--any table with a decent number of rows will work, whether it's a tally table or one of your main data tables.
GPO
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This article was called "Generating Test Data: Part 1 - Generating Random Integers and Floats" It should have been called "Generating Test Data: Part 1 - A Way Cool Compendium of Well Explained El Neato T-SQL Techniques"

Just one minor gripe - not about the article - about us, the SQL Server community. I know times are tough but we should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing a true luminary of the T-SQL world to slip into such penury that he is only able to afford the sort of machine that my kids wouldn't (well probably couldn't) watch YouTube on. What say we pass the hat around and get a natty 2006 machine off ebay for Jeff? Maybe we could start up a One Laptop Per MVP project.

:-)

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell

Bryant McClellan
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Good idea. If you count all the posters except Jeff you are up to 10 cents:-D

------------
Buy the ticket, take the ride. -- Hunter S. Thompson
Jeff Moden
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Krtyknm (3/26/2012)
Hi Jeff,

Nice Article, Keep going.

I have a question on sys tables, most of them using the Sys.tables for generating random numbers. Assume that developers don't have an access to System tables, then how can they get the random numbers.

Thanks,
Karthik


They can use virtually any table. Any table with just 1000 rows will allow them to build a million row table using the Cross Join.

That, notwithstanding, in such situations and like I said in the article, I'll build a Tally table for them. My Tally tables usually have 11000 rows in them so I can use it to build 30 years of dates. That's enough for a Cross Join to build a million rows... or 121 million if they want. :-)

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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paul.knibbs (3/26/2012)
Krtyknm (3/26/2012)
I have a question on sys tables, most of them using the Sys.tables for generating random numbers. Assume that developers don't have an access to System tables, then how can they get the random numbers.


He's only using a system table (or view, strictly speaking) because of the number of rows it has--any table with a decent number of rows will work, whether it's a tally table or one of your main data tables.


Ah... I should have scrolled down a bit more before replying. Thanks for the cover, Paul!

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 146802 Visits: 41709
GPO (3/26/2012)
This article was called "Generating Test Data: Part 1 - Generating Random Integers and Floats" It should have been called "Generating Test Data: Part 1 - A Way Cool Compendium of Well Explained El Neato T-SQL Techniques"

Just one minor gripe - not about the article - about us, the SQL Server community. I know times are tough but we should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing a true luminary of the T-SQL world to slip into such penury that he is only able to afford the sort of machine that my kids wouldn't (well probably couldn't) watch YouTube on. What say we pass the hat around and get a natty 2006 machine off ebay for Jeff? Maybe we could start up a One Laptop Per MVP project.


That's a much cooler title! Thanks for the great feedback.

I actually do have a more modern HP G71 laptop that comparatively screams and will do parallelism, etc but I actually like my ol' war horse. If I can make something run fast on it, I know you folks with "real" machines are going to love it. :-)

That, notwithstanding, maybe we could get Al Gore to start a "No MVP left behind" project. :-D

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
SSC Guru
SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)SSC Guru (146K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 146802 Visits: 41709
G Bryant McClellan (3/26/2012)
Good idea. If you count all the posters except Jeff you are up to 10 cents:-D


Heh... that's more than Al Gore has given me so far. Hehe

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
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