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
Fork in walking path
Aug 28, 2014
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AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 2: Putting AlwaysOn into Context

Despite similar intentions and high-level goals, the ways in which AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances and AlwaysOn Availability Groups tackle high availability and disaster recovery are quite different....More
start here sign
Aug 26, 2014
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AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 1: Introduction

While AlwaysOn Availability Groups are a powerful solution that let DBAs tackle both high availability and some disaster recovery concerns from within a single, unified, set of technologies and tooling, AlwaysOn Availability Groups also come with a number of challenges....More
Man deciding which door to choose
Aug 15, 2014
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Choosing the Right Health Check

For some businesses, conducting a health check can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and the results, well, frustrating. However, a health check can be easy and rewarding for any business that wants to improve server performance, especially if you take the time to find the right solution provider....More
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