Joe Celko recently published a challenge to implement Conway’s Game of Life in SQL. At the start of this game, each cell of a 10×10 grid is either occupied or unoccupied by an imaginary creature that Celko calls a Merkle. Each turn, Merkles that have fewer than two neighbors die of loneliness while Merkles that […]

Over at the SQL Server Central forums, I just answered a question about the RAISERROR function in SQL Server 2008R2 and earlier versions. The original poster wanted to use RAISERROR in a CATCH block (after some logging, etc.) to return the original error to the calling application and halt further processing. Unfortunately, RAISERROR behaves much differently when used […]

A recent project at work included a requirement to generate a well-formed XML file from the output of a stored procedure. I knew I could create the XML in SQL Server using the FOR XML clause with nested queries (topics for another time) to create a single-row result set with a single XML column containing the entire well-formed XML. […]

Last week, a front-end developer came to me with an interesting problem. He had written some code that called a stored procedure t0 insert a row in a table that included a [ScheduledOn] column that was set to NULL by the insert and return a GUID value generated in the process, then immediately called a […]

I’ve posted my presentation materials for my session “Mayday! Applying Lessons Learned From Airline Disasters to Avoid Database Disasters” here: PDF - Grayscale – approx. 2 MB download PDF – Color  - approx. 10 MB download

I suspect SQL Server developers and DBAs spend very little time thinking about data types, probably because SQL Server generally is so forgiving about data types. SQL Server will, without complaint, perform implicit conversions whenever it can to match input data types to the defined data types of columns and variables and the specified data types for […]

This first post in a series of posts on “Things That Make You Go ‘D’oh’” - those little “gotchas” in SQL Server’s inner workings that lead to epic facepalms when developers and DBAs finally discover the sources of the problems they cause – explains the issue that inspired me to write this series. I had written a […]

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