Humor is a hallmark of a creative mind, and SQL Server Magazine Innovator Award runner-up Michael Metcalf has discovered value in using humor in his work. When Mike was learning about SQL Server 2005 in preparation for migration, he realized that the new release was lacking one important feature: SQL Server Funeral Services (SSFS). As Mike explains, “All hard-core techies I know have an almost personal relationship with certain servers, especially ones they first cut their teeth on. This is a way to say goodbye to that now-ancient server.”

Mike says that SSFS consists of a database, a few tables and procedures, db_Mail, SQL Server Reporting Services, 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration. “To kick off a funeral, I send an email to users who used the server most, supplying them with a procedure to run against the database. They run the procedure, including parameters such as the name of the server they’re paying respects to, a message to go in a guest book, and donation of CPU cycles to help less fortunate servers.” The procedure returns a brief eulogy, a 21-query salute, and an email message thanking them, plus a link to a Guest Book delivered in Reporting Services.

Mike admits he initially conceived the SSFS database as a fun diversion, but says he learned some cool new features of SQL Server 2005 by doing the project. Plus, he says, it’s great to “bring levity to the workplace when people are bogged down, stressed, or otherwise sucked too far into the grind, but without causing anyone harm or laughing at anyone’s expense.”