I love T-SQL, and I love Vegas, so it's no surprise that I'm happy to take part in the upcoming IT/Dev Connections conference taking place in Las Vegas, September 30 - October 4.

Covering a Mix of Different SQL Server Versions

I’m going to deliver a full-day workshop on Monday, September 30. I’ll be talking about T-SQL querying and query tuning improvements in the last major releases of SQL Server (2012, 2008 and 2005). There's sometimes a tendency in conferences to focus more on the newest features. It's nice to hear about the newest products, but most environments have a mix of different versions of SQL Server. Therefore, I decided that there'd be more value for people to hear about T-SQL features introduced in the different versions of the product.

What's nice about this sort of mixed coverage of features is that, as I mentioned in the seminar's abstract, for each version of the product, I could use a different perspective in the coverage of its features.

Learn Fundamental Optimization

Take the features introduced in SQL Server 2012, such as the new and improved window functions (the framing options for window aggregates, the LAG and LEAD functions, etc.). Most people have little experience with these features. So, the focus with such new features, is to first understand them correctly, learn about their fundamental optimization aspects, and compare them to older techniques used to achieve similar things. Gradually, people start discovering more sophisticated uses of the features, like handling intervals, specialized types of gaps and islands problems, and others. I’m hoping that with time, people will discover many more elegant, smart and creative uses, and further optimization aspects, and I’ll be sure to cover those in the future.

With older features covered in the seminar, there’s naturally much more general knowledge, and many interesting uses cases that have been discovered already. If you take, for example, the ROW_NUMBER function and the APPLY operator, both introduced in SQL Server 2005, I’m amazed about number of uses that have been discovered so far. Also, there are very interesting ways these features can be used when you want to achieve certain optimization aspects for your solution query.

Create New and More Efficient Solutions to Querying Tasks

What’s also interesting is the ability to mix old and new features to create new and more efficient solutions to querying tasks. For example, the seminar covers solutions to median calculations, including the fastest one which combines the use of the APPLY operator and the OFFSET-FETCH function.

As for features that were introduced in SQL Server 2008, the seminar covers interesting aspects of working with the MERGE statements that were discovered over time. Understanding how to avoid conflicts, how to do things with the OUTPUT clause that you can’t do with any other modification statements, as well as special things about the MERGE ON and USING clauses.

Hope to see you in Las Vegas! Register now.