Readers

Articles
How to Recycle a Virtual SQL Server 2005 Machine 1
This reader’s remote client needed a new virtual SQL Server 2005 machine within 24 hours to test a project release update. Learn how he added this server from 200 miles away.
Reset Identity Values
Use a stored T-SQL procedure called ResetIdentities.sql to globally reset all identity values in a database to their initial seed value.
A Clever Way to Connect to a Hidden Named Instance 2
If you're having trouble connecting to a hidden SQL Server named instance, try adapting the connection string. Here's how.
Queries Dragging? Try Defragging 6
If your queries against a table or database are running slow, the indexes in that table might be fragmented. The cspDefragIndexes stored procedure can quickly and easily take care of the problem.
BINARY_CHECKSUM Query Better for Big Table Samplings
Selecting a random sampling of rows from a large table in SQL Server 2000 used to take a long time and use a lot of disk I/O. The BINARY_CHECKSUM query changes all that.
UDF Eliminates Concatenation Woes 1
If you often need to provide multiple values in a variable but find the 8,000-character limit too restrictive, give dbo.fn_AddToBuffer a try.
SELECT vs. SET: Optimizing Loops
If you discover a loop in a stored procedure, you might find that the code iterates thousands of times before the loop exits. One way to improve the performance of loops is to optimize variable handling.
Compare Databases' Structural Differences
The sp_DBDiff stored procedure lets you can compare the structural differences of databases by generating a report that lists new tables, dropped tables, new columns, dropped columns, and column definition changes.
Easily Identify the Most Accessed Tables in Your Database 1
By combining the schema views of sys.tables and sys.dm_db_index_usage_stats in SQL Server 2005, you can find out which tables users access the most.
Handy CLR Functions That You Can Call from T-SQL Code
Here are 17 string-manipulation functions written in Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++ that you can call from T-SQL code.
Download T-SQL User-Defined String Functions
Here are some helpful user-defined functions for manipulating strings in T-SQL code.
Use CURSOR to Send Customized Email
Companies often need to send email to a group of people, but each mail message needs to contain unique information for each person. Here’s how you can accomplish that task.
Drop SQL Server Some Subtle Hints
Microsoft SQL Server’s cost-based optimizer must find the most efficient way to execute any query. To help with this difficult task, you can provide some subtle hints.
Letters, October 2005
Readers write in about August's "Logical Puzzle"-- plus some updates on our Readers' Choice issue.
Simulating Oracle Sequences in T-SQL Code 1
Oracle sequences offer certain advantages over SQL Server’s Identity column. Here’s how you can simulate Oracle sequences in T-SQL code.

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From the Blogs
Feb 25, 2015
Commentary

Data Profiling to the Rescue by Pushing Metadata Boundaries

Don’t let bad data sneak up on you when and where you least expect it. Ferret out bad data with Melissa Data’s newest Profiling Component for SSIS. Learn how to take control of your data using knowledge-base-driven metadata. The truth shall set you free!...More
Feb 11, 2015
blog

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 17: Creating Jobs to Check on Synchronization

In my previous post, I provided a high-level outline of the core logic (and rationale behind that logic) that would be needed to set up regular synchronization checks on SQL Server Agent Jobs for servers where AlwaysOn Availability Groups have been deployed. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps--and the code--needed to setup those checks....More
Jan 22, 2015
blog

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 18: Health Checks for Availability Groups

Now that we’ve outlined the process to let servers in a SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group "talk to each other" by means of setting up linked servers, it’s possible to set up some additional or improved checks on Availability Group Health....More
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