Tag Archive for Red Gate

T-SQL Tuesday #59 – My Hero is Scary

Tracy McKibben(b|t) is hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog party. The party was started by Adam Machanic (b|t) in December of 2009. This month’s invitation is about who our Hero is.

I didn’t like him at first

That’s right. I was not happy with my hero when I first met him, but maybe I should start from the beginning. It was a dark and stormy fall daywhat am I saying. I live in Southern California. It was a beautiful day in Los Angels and Red Gate was hosting their first American SQL in The City. The day was Oct 28th, 2011. I have been a Red Gate addict for a while and I was very excited about attending the events. (It’s free after all.)

I listened to presentations all day from speakers I didn’t know (yet). You see, I was not involved in the SQL Community yet. (That would take another year to happen.) The day was winding down and there was a presentation by this guy named Grant Fritchey (b|t). He was speaking about performance tuning, execution plans, and other things I didn’t understand at that time. Then he brought up User Defined Functions, which I was in love with. And he told me how bad they were, and my jaw dropped. I was not happy that he just told me my favorite toy was not good for the performance of my queries.

Even though he just delivered me some bad news, he caught my attention. You see, Grant is an amazing speaker. He gets excited about what most of the human race considers boring. He engages the audience. And he loves questions.

Fast forward a few months

While I wasn’t happy with what Grant told me, he piqued my interest. Grant had a book that I found called SQL Server Execution Plans. I read that book cover to cover, and then I started using what I learned. Within a few months, I was the go to person at work for query tuning. I was able to tune a 12 minute query down to acceptable performance because of what I had learned from Grant’s book and I was rewarded for my great work. You see, I had learned about PASS Summit by then, and Grant had a pre-conand I wanted to be in that class. Since I had done an outstanding job that summer improving the performance of quite a few lagging queries, my manager let me go to my first PASS Summit and it changed my career.

718Fan girl

One of the goals I had for Summit, was to meet a list of people I had created. Some were speakers and some were people I had gotten to know on Twitter. Grant, of course, was at the top of the list… and I had met him within an hour of my plane landing in Seattle. You see, Red Gate had another SQL in the City event. This time on Monday of the week of Summit. (They do this year too.) I wasn’t able to attend the entire event, but I did make it to Grant’s session.

I won’t bore you with the details of that whole week, but needless stay that any time I had a question and Grant was free, I was able to talk to him. Why? Because that is the kind of guy he is. He loves helping people.

Not so scary after all

While it sounds like I just have a big “geek crush” on the guy, that isn’t the caseany more. Here is a short list why I call Grant Fritchey my Hero

  • Fabulous Presenter: Grant is a fantastic presenter. He is engaging, he loves questions, and he has no problem admitting that he doesn’t know everything.
  • Great author: Let’s admit it. Technical books make better monitor stands than interesting reading. Technical books can be so monotonous, but not Grant’s books. You can here Grant in his books. His sense of humor comes out between the lines.
  • Giver at heart: As mentioned earlier, he loves to help people. You can send him a question through his blog, and he’ll reply. He is constantly speaking at events and conferences, sharing his knowledge in the SQL Family style.
  • He gives it his all: Grant doesn’t do anything half way. He is prepared when he speaks. He is prepared when he runs for office. And he is prepared when he agrees to be a mentor.
  • My mentor: At the beginning of 2013, I wanted to have a mentor. I even blogged about it here. I got the courage up and I sent Grant an email, asking if he would mentor meand he said yes. I was shocked and honored to find out that I was the first person he had “officially” mentored. He mentored me all throughout 2013.
  • Frank: Grant is not scary, but he doesn’t sugar coat his answers. I love this about him. It means that I can trust his opinion, whether they are about SQL or about my abilities, and especially about the things I still need to work on.
Shout out to Grant

Thanks Grant, for lifting me up and telling me that I can accomplish things I thought were outside my reach. Thanks for being a fabulous role model as a speaker and community leader. Thanks for being my hero and my friend.

Thanks for all the fish

Thanks also go out to Tracy McKibben for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog party.

Questions Answered From Presentation: Changing Your Habits to Improve the Performance of Your T-SQL

QuestionMark_127880048This past Tuesday, Oct 8th, 2014, I had the privilege of speaking for the DBA Fundamentals Virtual PASS Chapter. It was my biggest audience to date and the fourth biggest audience for the user group to date. There were 374 people listening in, and they weren’t all from the US. I was thrilled to see that I had at least one person listening in from the UK.

Since there were so many people on line, I couldn’t answer all the question…thus my post today. You can download the slide deck, demos, and my sample database. (All my presentations eventually find there way to my resources page, here.)

I will post the link to the presentation on this page when it becomes available.

Questions Answered

1.    What is the name of the Red Gate tool for source control you mentioned?

Red Gate’s tool is called SQL Source Control. It’s like a bridge between your source control repository and SSMS or Visual Studio. They have a trial version that you can download here

2.    What to do when you come into a team and there was no SQL coding standards before and we do not want to spend time re-writing everything?

I would first get buy in on why standards are important to have and outline the standards you want to use. Then I would slowly change the code. What I mean by this is, update the code as you make changes to it. For instance, you need to modify stored procedure XYZ, I would add the standards to only that stored procedure or even only the part of the stored procedure that you change.

3.    What version of SSMS are you using?

In the presentation I was using SQL 2012, but all the concepts I covered applied to SQL 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2. Even the Template Browser and Template Parameters I covered are available in those versions (Talk about a well kept secret!). Note: If you need the sample database in SQL 2008 or SQL 2008R2, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

4.    Can you give an example of commenting within a stored procedure?

Sure. You can comment using two different ways. You can comment at the end of a line using two dashes. You can also comment any where in the code using /* and */ to encompass the comment. This allows for comments to spend multiple lines.

When I’m adding comments about my changes, I will include the date, my name and brief comment. If I’m lucky to have a work item or bug tracker application to keep track of my work, then I’ll reference that number as well. Here is an example.

USE AWMonkey
/* ***********************************************************************************
Purpose:    Returns list of Territory Groups.
EXEC List.GetTerritory
Author:     THEZOO\mstuewe
Date:       9/16/2014

Revision History
(Change Date)    (Author)        (Description of Change)
10/10/2014        Mickey Stuewe    #2345 Added All to the list of values as requested
By end user.
************************************************************************************ */


,[Group] AS CountryRegion
,st.Name AS Territory
AdventureWorks2008R2.Sales.SalesTerritory AS st
,' All'
,' All'
CountryRegion; --Added the ALL to the list.

@ErrorMessage AS nvarchar(3000)
,@ErrorSeverity AS int;

SET @ErrorMessage = ISNULL(DB_NAME(DB_ID()) + N'.' + SCHEMA_NAME(SCHEMA_ID()) + N'.'

+ OBJECT_NAME(@@PROCID, DB_ID()), N'SQL Object Name Not Available')

+ N': Error: ' + CONVERT(nvarchar(10), ERROR_NUMBER()) + N' Line: ' + CONVERT(nvarchar(5), ERROR_LINE()) + N' - ' + ERROR_MESSAGE();

SET @ErrorSeverity = ERROR_SEVERITY();
RAISERROR(@ErrorMessage, @ErrorSeverity, 1);


5.    Is there any configuration for the Template Browser? Can it integrate with any source control?

No configuration for the Template Browser is needed. Here are the generic steps to integrate your Template Browser folder with your source control repository. Each Source Control repository will be different, but these are the general steps.

1. Open the location of the Template Browser. Since I’m using SQL 2012, I found mine here:

C:\Users\<Your User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SQL Server Management Studio\11.0\Templates\Sql\<My Templates>

2. Import your templates into your source control repository.

3. Set your templates folder as the “working folder” location.

4. Test by getting the latest from your repository.

5. Connect the template browsers on your team’s computers the same way.

6. Let them know when you make changes to the templates so that they can do a “get latest” to download the changes to there computers.

6.    Is there any kind of Freeware repository tool?

Yes, Subversion is an open source product and widely used repository tool. It has two parts. The first part is the repository which resides in a common location, usually on the network so that everyone can use it. Then each user needs to have a subversion client tool to connect to the repository. There are many different clients to pick from. I use Tortoise. Why? It was suggested to me and recommended by Red Gate. Since I was going to use SQL Source Control by Red Gate to connect to subversion, I decided to stick with there recommendation.

7.    So, Row_Number() is non-deterministic?

Yes, that is correct.

8.    Is there any difference or improvements in using a CAST vs CONVERT or vice versa?

There isn’t a different in using the two functions, in terms of performance. As Jeff Joy kindly pointed out, the difference between the two comes down to compliance.

Jeff Joy – CAST is ANSI – compliant while CONVERT is Microsoft-specific casting function that builds in additional formatting functionality. If you may ever need to convert to another platform you need to write code that is cross-platform compliant, use CAST.

The downside of writing all of your code to ANSI compliant standards, is you miss out on quite a few rich features that Microsoft has added to the SQL language. These rich features will help SQL statements perform faster or make your life easier. 

9.    Isn’t CTEs much better than subqueries? This is in regards to readability?

Yes CTEs (Common Table Expressions) are much easier to read. There are even patterns that can be accomplished with CTEs that can’t be accomplished with sub queries, but CTEs aren’t always faster. I have had a few queries I’ve had to re-write with sub queries because I needed every millisecond of performance.

10.    Can I see the trace options selected?

Yes, here are the events I captured. I also isolated the database, to the demo database.



11.    Is there a standards document about T-SQL Formatting?

I don’t have one I can give you. I can create a template for you if you would like. Just send me an email.

12.    Can you e-mail that URL to us?

I’m not sure which URLs this is referring to, so I’ve listed the URLs that were mentioned in my presentation.

13.    Is there better performance between CTE and Apply?

Comparing CTE and APPLY is like comparing apples and oranges. They are two different things. A CTE provides you the ability to create a query to be used within another query. APPLY is an operator like INNER JOIN, but it is specifically used to join table functions (in line and multi line) as well as sub queries and CTEs.

14.    On the comparison of temporary, table variables, and materialized tables…Why was the second execution plan eligible for auto-parameterization and the others were not?

This will take a little bit of investigation since I don’t know off the top of my head. I will post this one in the next week or so.

15.    What is the proper way to use DISTINCT with lots of columns in the SELECT without duplicate records? (Per our SDLC, avoiding using DISTINCT with lots of columns.)

The DISTINCT operator causes a SORT in the execution plan which is usually a very costly operator. Unfortunately sometimes you can’t avoid it. One thing that you can do, is see if there are other ways to filter the data so that there aren’t duplicate records. For example maybe there is a column that marks the latest record as active. You could filter on that field to provide uniqueness across the rest of the fields. Another example would be joining to another table that will help reduce the records, but not alter the data you need to return.

IMHO, your SDLC is trying to avoid unnecessary DISTINCT operators in the code. I had added that same requirements to my SDLC document when DISTINCT was being abused. I later added the comment, “If you can prove the need for the DISTINCT operator, then the use of DISINCT will be approved.”

16.    About predicate and especially LIKE, we know that to put predicate more efficient, we shouldn’t start with a wildcard, but if we need to return data that end by defining string, it exists a way to improve that?

See # 17 below.

17.    REVERSE string?

I wanted to answer 16 and 17 together. #18 is related, but I answered it separately. While all the string functions are deterministic, the particular pattern that needs to be implemented (looking at the end of string), does not allow it’s self to an efficient execution plan. This has to do with how indexes are built. The keys in the index are stored sorted. This means that finding records can only be efficient when looking from left to right, not right to left when comparing strings. You can see this by running the following sample on my demo database I provided.

I created an index on the field we are looking at, then I tried various techniques to get the last three characters. All three execution plans show an Index Scan.

USE DemoProgramming

IF  EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.indexes WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'dbo.TestData') AND name = N'IX_TestData_SomeDateText')
DROP INDEX IX_TestData_SomeDateText ON dbo.TestData WITH ( ONLINE = OFF )
SomeDateText ASC

dbo.TestData AS td
td.SomeDateText LIKE '%-09'

dbo.TestData AS td
REVERSE(SomeDateText) LIKE '90-%'

dbo.TestData AS td
LEFT(REVERSE(SomeDateText),3) = '90-'

When you run this sample, you do get an Index seek.

dbo.TestData AS td
SomeDateText LIKE '2004%'

With all that said, if a particular column is constantly being split into separate parts to be searched, then I would consider storing those separate parts in fields in the database. That way they can be indexed and improve performance.

18.    Full Text index vs Like?

I have not had the opportunity to use or even investigate Full Text indexes, so I can’t comment on this at this time. (sorry)

19.    Is it ok to manually create tables in the temp DB? Would that be the same as creating materialized tables, but will be wiped out after a DB server restart?

Temp tables and global temp tables are tables with in the TempDB. As far as creating materialized or permanent tables within in TempDB, that is not a good idea. TempDB can already be burdened by all the other queries that use temp tables, table variables, and worktables. It would be better to create materialized tables outside of the TempDB.

20.    For the Template explorer…how do you share your templates to other users in SQL because when we create templates they seem to only be available to the user specifically that created them?

See Question #1.

21.    What’s the best hosting solution for MSSQL server standard/enterprise?

This is outside the scope of this session and an area I don’t have a lot of experience with.

22.    Does including Actual Execution plan also puts an overhead on the server?

No. The Actual Execution plan is what is created when a query is ran. The query itself can cause overhead, but not the plan. In fact, the engine allows a specific amount of time to find the best plan. If it can’t go through all the different possibilities, then it will do the best it can with the possibilities it ran through . You can see this in the execution plan. Click on the SELECT icon and look at the properties. For this query, it told me it found a “good enough plan”.




If you want to get the last execution plan that was generated for a query, then you can get it using sys.dm_exec_query_plan. See how to use this DMV here.

Last but not least…

23.    What’s your favorite whisky?

Well in the immortal words of Grant Fritchey…that depends. It depends on where I am, what I’m eating, and how many people I’m with. (I know, that is a weird one. But I find I can handle the smokier Scotchs when I’m around a group a friends, but not when I’m home relaxing.) Also, I drink all my whiskey neat.

So, since I don’t have one favorite, I’ll answer the question by country in the order of my preference.

  • Ireland – I don’t think I’ve met an Irish whisky I didn’t like, but my favorite (right now) is Redbreast.
  • USA – I love 100% Rye whiskey! Mitcher’s Rye and Highwest Rendevous Rye are at the top of my list.
  • Scotland – I like the Fruity and Spicy Scotch’s from Speyside, with Oban being at the top of list.
But wait there is more

Mark Finch mentioned a free formatting tool. I wanted to include it in my summary since I had never heard of it. You can find it at poorsql.com.

Thanks for all the fish

I want to thank everyone for attending my presentation, as well as for all the encouraging feed back I received.

Going Beyond The INSERT Statement

The Seventh Mission

In this installment of SQLCoOp, we are writing about CRUD. No, this is not about the stuff you scrape off the bottom of your shoes after hiking. This is Create, Read, Update, and Delete. I’ll be focusing on create, which is done with the INSERT Statement, but I’m going to go beyond the basic INSERT statement.


Multiple Rows

Let’s start with a new feature of the basic INSERTVALUES statement that we all know and love. In SQL Server 2012, Microsoft improved the INSERTVALUES statement, by allowing you to include multiple lists of values in the same query. This allows you to insert multiple rows of data with one INSERT statement. I find this syntax to to be a wonderful feature when I’m creating small sets of data using Excel.

Here is an example of what the syntax looks like. The values for each row are enclosed in parenthesis and separated by commas. In this example, I’m entering student scores for tests the students took at the end of September. After this one query runs, there will be 12 rows in the table.

     StudentScoresID int IDENTITY PRIMARY KEY
     ,StudentID int
     ,TestingRoomID int
     ,Score tinyint
     ,TestDateTime datetime


INSERT INTO StudentScore
     (StudentID,TestingRoomID, Score, TestDateTime)
     (35, 1, 110, '2014-09-30 17:00:00.00')
     ,(36, 1, 87, '2014-09-30 17:00:00.00')
     ,(42, 1, 94, '2014-09-30 17:00:00.00')
     ,(10, 1, 99, '2014-09-29 12:00:00.00')
     ,(35, 10, 90, '2014-09-29 17:00:00.00')
     ,(36, 10, 100, '2014-09-29 17:00:00.00')
     ,(42, 10, 105, '2014-09-29 17:00:00.00')
     ,(10, 10, 99, '2014-09-29 17:00:00.00')
     ,(35, 5, 115, '2014-09-28 17:00:00.00')
     ,(36, 5, 70, '2014-09-28 17:00:00.00')
     ,(42, 5, 90, '2014-09-28 17:00:00.00')
     ,(10, 5, 67, '2014-09-28 17:00:00.00');
Common Table Expressions (CTEs)

I love CTEs, sometimes a little too much. The reason I think they are so great is two fold. First, they can make complicated queries easier to read and maintain. Second, they can perform complicated functionality such as recursion without breaking a query up into multiple statements. An added benefit, is they can be used with all CRUD statements, including the INSERT statement.

Let’s take a look at an example.

I have a group of students that were given the same test multiple times in different classrooms on different dates. I want to only insert the row representing  the highest score a student had. I also want to make sure that I keep the first time they received this score and any other data that came with that record.

Below I’ve highlighted the rows that I want to insert into the new table.


The first step is building the SELECT statement for the CTE that numbers the scores for each student. This is done by using the ROW_NUMBER function in conjunction with the OVER clause. The OVER clause will have two parts. The first part will use the PARTION BY statement. This is used to restart the numbering for each partition. In this case we will partition the data by StudentID. The second part will use the ORDER BY statement. This tells us how to order the data so that it will consistently come out in the same row number. Since we want the highest score first, we will order the data by Score in a descending order. Then we will order the duplicates by TestDateTime so that the first date the score was achieved will appear first in the order.

               ORDER BY ss.Score DESC, ss.TestDateTime) AS RowID
     dbo.StudentScore AS ss

This SQL statement above will be used in our CTE. We’ll then use all the rows that have a RowID of 1 for the INSERT. The final INSERT statement will look like this.

CREATE TABLE dbo.StudentScoreHigh
     StudentScoresID int PRIMARY KEY
     ,StudentID int
     ,TestingRoomID int
     ,Score tinyint
     ,TestDateTime datetime


WITH cte_Scores
          ,ROW_NUMBER() OVER (PARTITION BY ss.StudentID
               ORDER BY ss.Score DESC, ss.TestDateTime) AS RowID
          dbo.StudentScore AS ss
INSERT INTO dbo.StudentScoreHigh
     RowID = 1;

A different way to approach this same problem, would be to use the MERGE statement. The MERGE statement, is like CRUD on steroids. It will look at all the data you specify that is coming in and compare to all the existing data. Then you can determine what will happen. Do you want to insert, update, delete, or ignore the data based on what does and does not match.

For this example, we’ll assume we are constantly updating the StudentScoreHigh table with the students highest score. We’ll compare what is already in the StudentScoreHigh table (the target) with what is in the StudentScore table (the Source) each night. If there is a record already in the table and the student achieved a higher score today, than the existing record will be updated. If the student does not exist in the table, then the student will be inserted into the table. Note: for this example, we’ll assume that the student could only take the test once in a day.

The MERGE statement will look like this.

MERGE dbo.StudentScoreHigh AS target
          dbo.StudentScore AS ss
          TestDateTime >= DATEADD(d, -1, GETDATE())
) AS Source ON Target.StudentID = Source.StudentID
WHEN MATCHED AND Source.Score > Target.Score THEN
     StudentScoresID = Source.StudentScoresID
     ,StudentID = Source.StudentID
     ,TestingRoomID = Source.TestingRoomID
     ,Score = Source.Score
     ,TestDateTime = Source.TestDateTime

If you have the latest Red Gate’s SQL Prompt installed (ver 6.4), then you will have an even easier time writing your favorite INSERT statement. They added a new feature that will highlight the field of the value you are modifying and vice versa.  Below you can see that my cursor is on line 61 and line 54 is highlighted. If I were to put my cursor on line 54, then line 61 would be highlighted.



Don’t Stop Yet

Don’t forget to check out these blog posts by the rest of the SQL CoOp team on the subject of CRUD:

To follow our quest for SQL knowledge through this collaborative project, follow the #SQLCoOp tag on Twitter.

See you next time!!

On a SQL Collaboration Quest

Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.

Original Post: On a SQL Collaboration Quest

Becoming a SQL Prompt Power User

MCJJ_ALLFour SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. This month we are cooperatively blogging about SQL Prompt by Red Gate.

The Next Mission

What makes up a SQL Prompt power user? Well, they use the SQL prompt commands like they were extensions of SSMS. They know the shortcuts, and they’ve memorized the key words to call up their favorite scripts. Let’s take a look what these short cuts are and how to integrate them seamlessly into your every day SQL Life.

Playing The Ebony Keys

A power user of any software is one who uses the hot keys in lieu of the menus. SQL prompt has a plethora of hot key combination.

Before I use <ctrl> + e to execute my code, I always use <ctrl> + k, <ctrl> + y. This hot key combo will structure your code based on the styles you have set in SQL prompt. This is my most heavily used hot key combo right after <ctrl> + e and <ctrl> + r (hiding the results window).

There is a new hot key combination that is coming out soon in version 6.4, and I’m very excited about it. It adds a semicolon at the end of each statement! I’ve been trying to add the habit of using semicolons for 2 years now, and it never sticks. Now I can use <ctrl> + b, <ctrl> + c and away I go.

Here is a table of the hot key combinations I use the most, plus the shortcut way I remember them.

Hot Key Combination Shortcut Hot Key Combo What It Does
<ctrl> + b,
<ctrl> + w
<ctrl> + bw Expands ALL of the wild cards.
<ctrl> + b,
<ctrl> + q
+ bq Qualifies all the SQL Objects and fixes the capitalization as well.
in beta <ctrl> + b,
<ctrl> + c
<ctrl> + bc Adds semicolons to the end of each statement. (Available soon in 6.4)
<ctrl> + k,
<ctrl> + y
<ctrl> + ky Standardizes the code based on the formatting styles that were set in SQL Prompt.

As a power user, my key strokes will look like this when I use them all at once:

<ctrl> + bw, bq, bc, ky and finally <ctrl> + e to execute my code. Here is an example of how an ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan by applying all of these hot keys at one time.


alter procedure [dbo].[salesteamassignment_rptugly](@group as varchar(1000), @startdate as date, @enddate as date)as
set nocount on
declare @uselessvar as varchar(max)
p.businessentityid ,firstname,lastname,s.name as store,[group] as TerritoryGroup,cr.name as CountryRegion,st.name as Territory,customercount,s.*
adventureworks2008r2.sales.salesperson as sp join adventureworks2008r2.person.person as p on sp.businessentityid = p.businessentityid
join adventureworks2008r2.sales.salesterritory as st on sp.territoryid = st.territoryid join [adventureworks2008r2].[person].[countryregion] as cr on st.countryregioncode = cr.countryregioncode
join adventureworks2008r2.sales.store as s on s.salespersonid = sp.businessentityid join dbo.fn_split(',', @group) as grps on st.[group] = convert(nvarchar(50), grps.separatedvalue)
outer apply (select count(*) as customercount from adventureworks2008r2.sales.customer as c where s.businessentityid = c.storeid ) as cc


ALTER PROCEDURE dbo.SalesTeamAssignment_rptUGLY
@group AS varchar(1000)
,@startdate AS date
,@enddate AS date
DECLARE @uselessvar AS varchar(MAX);
,s.Name AS store
,st.[Group] AS TerritoryGroup
,cr.Name AS CountryRegion
,st.Name AS Territory
AdventureWorks2008R2.Sales.SalesPerson AS sp
JOIN AdventureWorks2008R2.Person.Person AS p ON sp.BusinessEntityID = p.BusinessEntityID
JOIN AdventureWorks2008R2.Sales.SalesTerritory AS st ON sp.TerritoryID = st.TerritoryID
JOIN AdventureWorks2008R2.Person.CountryRegion AS cr ON st.CountryRegionCode = cr.CountryRegionCode
JOIN AdventureWorks2008R2.Sales.Store AS s ON s.SalesPersonID = sp.BusinessEntityID
JOIN dbo.fn_Split(',', @group) AS grps ON st.[Group] = CONVERT(nvarchar(50), grps.SeparatedValue)
COUNT(*) AS customercount
AdventureWorks2008R2.Sales.Customer AS c
s.BusinessEntityID = c.StoreID
) AS cc;

But Wait, There’s More

Formatting your code is only half of the features in SQL Prompt. There are three other features that every power user should use. (Ok, the truth be told, there are more than 3, but my article shouldn’t be the length of a book.)

Feature 1:

SQL Prompt offers the ability to save snippets of code. This is really useful for repetitive tasks. Here is a list of articles that I’ve written talking about specific snippets that I find handy.

Placeholders are one of the most helpful features that SQL Prompt provides for you to work with snippets. The placeholders are reserved words that are variables for specific pieces of information or represent actions that can be applied to your snippet. They are always completely capitalized and are surrounded by dollar signs ($). You can find the current list for SQL Prompt 6 here.

One of the new placeholders is prefect for the power user. It allows you to insert a snippet and have part of it highlighted. Here is an example of how I like to use it. This particular snippen, which I named “st1”, will add SELECT TOP 100 * FROM in front of the table name that I”ve highlighted and copied to the copy buffer.


The $PASTE$ placeholder will be replaced with whatever is in my copy buffer. The $SELECTIONSTART$ and $SELECTIONEND$ placeholders will cause the code within the placeholders to be highlighted.

To use it, I follow these steps.

1. I highlight a table I want to use and hit <ctrl> + c to get the table  into my copy buffer.



2. I type st1 + to get the snippet. I now have a highlighted SELECT statement ready to execute, so I hit + e to execute it.



3. Finally, I type <ctrl> + z twice to undo the changes I’ve made.



This allows me to quickly see some sample data from the table without ever leaving my current query window.

Feature 2:

This is a hidden gem. This feature finds all the invalid objects in your database. This is a great feature for those of you who need to perform code reviews and want to make sure that any DDL changes have not broken any existing SQL Objects.

In this example I have a table with a trigger that uses the field ModifiedDTS. I deleted the field and ran the command. It listed all the SQL Objects that are now broken due to the deleted field.


This feature does not have a Hot Key, but it is definitely worthy of a power user.

Feature 3:

This is a great “clean up” feature, especially when you are working with stored procedures with 200 + lines that you have inherited. You know the ones, they are filled with old code and have never been cleaned up. Well, this feature is perfect for it, because it finds all the unused variables and parameters. Simply use the hot key combination + b, + f. SQL Prompt, will then underline in green all the unused variables and parameters for you to evaluate for usefulness.



I encourage you to spend 10 minutes going through the SQL Prompt menu to find out what other goodies exist for you to leverage. There are also new features coming soon in version 6.4. Here is a great reference to all the release notes for each version, plus the release notes for the current beta version.

Don’t Stop Yet

If you want to read more about how to work with SQL Prompt, then check out these blog posts:

To follow our quest for SQL knowledge through this collaborative project, follow the #SQLCoOp tag on Twitter.

See you next month!!

Original Post: On a SQL Collaboration Quest

Catching Up With Mickey

IMG_0555I can’t believe the year is almost half way through. I keep trying to slow the days down, but it just isn’t working. This year I’ve already accomplished so much, and I still have a long list before the year ends. Here is a recap and some events to look forward too!


I started the year off with a bang by starting a brand new Business Intelligence chapter in Irvine called Business Intelligence Group, A PASS Community (AKA BIG PASS Community). We consistently have 15 people every month and I’m really happy to announce that I have speakers lined up for the rest of the year! (Yippee!)

I also had the opportunity to participate in Pragmatic Work’s Training on the T’s. This is a free webinar series they have every Tuesday and Thursday.  I was able to present my Scalable SSRS Reports Achieved Through the Powerful Tablix presentation. You can still go to their website and view it.

I also had the honor of presenting remotely to the LA SQL UG for their 10th anniversary!


This month was spent writing abstracts for the year…and still understanding my new user group. I was also being courted for what became my new job. You can read about it here.


March was extra special. I had the opportunity to present at the Silicon Valley SQL Saturday. It was extra special, because it marked my 1 year anniversary for speaking in the SQL community. I also had my largest class to date! 97 people! Here was my favorite tweet of the day too. (Thanks Glenn!)


This month was full of meetings for our local Huntington Beach SQL Saturday that I helped host at the end of April. It was great having SQL Family come out to my neck of the woods beach.


I didn’t speak anywhere this month, but I did spend time every weekend writing. (Actually, I write every month.) I really enjoy participating in the T-SQL Tuesday Blog Parties, writing for myself, and participating in #SQLCoOp with my friends Julie, Chris, and Jeffrey.


And here we are in June, where I decided I would do EVERYTHING. I’m writing, speaking, leading, writing, and participating in #SQLHangout. Oh, and I’m getting my first dog. (More on her in a moment.)

My friend Boris Hristov (b|t|f), from Bulgaria, invited me to participate in an “episode” of SQL Hangout. We hung out in our two countries with 10 time zones between us and chatted about data types. You might not think this is an exciting topic, but it is a cornerstone to all databases. We came up with some great reasons why all database professionals should care about the data types of every field in their tables. So grab some popcorn or a glass of whiskey and hang out with us for half an hour.


You can find out about up and coming SQL Hangouts by following #SQLHangout on twitter, and you can find the full list of recorded SQL Hangouts here.

This month, I’ve also been blessed with a co-leader for my (now our) BI user group. His name is Rob Hatton, and I’m really happy he asked to lead the group with me.

I also had the opportunity this month to drive out to Riverside to speak with the Inland Empire User Group. This is the third time they’ve had me present, but the first time I’ve actually presented in person. Riverside is not a quick drive from where I live, but my boss, Steven was happy to be a carpool buddy for me. It ended up being a perfect presentation for him to hear, since it was on source controlling your SQL scripts with Red Gates’ SQL Source Control.

Now we get to look into the future…

2014-06-15 22.26.14Well, not to far into the future. Tomorrow (Wednesday) I’m heading out to Kentucky for a week. One of the events on my vacation will be speaking at SQL Saturday #286, Louisville. I’m really looking forward to the event since I enjoyed it so much last year. My husband and I are also going whiskey tasting with friends, we’ll hopefully be visiting the Corvette factory, and we’ll be picking up this adorable Labradoodle puppy who we’ve named Lucy. She will be 10 weeks old, and I can’t wait to hold her.

Here is a list of other events that I’ll be speaking at this year. You can also go to my 2014 Speaking Engagements page for an updated list through out the rest of the year.

I’ve applied to a few other events, but the accepted speaker lists have not been sent out for those events yet.

I’ll also be attending PASS Summit 2014 in Seattle in Nov this year. I hope to see all of you there.

T-SQL Tuesday #54 – How LinkedIn and Red Gate Landed Me My Job

My friend Boris Hristov (b|t) is hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog party. The party was started by Adam Machanic (b|t) in December of 2009. This month’s invitation is on the topic of interviewing and hiring. This happens to be an apropos topic for me, since I have a new job.

It was a dark and stormy night…

OK, it was 8:30 am on a Monday morning and it was a beautiful January morning. It is Southern California after all…

I was checking my email like I always do after I get my morning coffee. There was yet another LinkedIn request. I’ve gotten to the point in my career where I’m picky about who I connect with. Basically, I always keep my LinkedIn account up to date, I’ve stopped connecting with people whom I couldn’t possibly help because our professions are so different, and I don’t connect with recruiters unless they are on my good side. This particular LinkedIn request was from a CEO named Richard at a company called DeskSite. Little did I know it would change my professional life.

A String of Events

Let’s step back a few days. I was already at a relatively new job. I had been there for six months, but I had also been frustrated. It was not the position I was expecting. I decided to pray about it the whole weekend and figure out if I wanted to start interviewing again or if I wanted to stick it out for another six months. By Monday I had decided to start looking.

So, we’re back to the LinkedIn request sitting in my email box on a Monday morning asking if I want to connect. Normally I would have said no. “He’s a CEO. He’s not a SQL person. We have no common connection.”, I would tell myself. But I was in a good mood. I thought, “Sure. Why not.”

Within an hour, I had an email from Richard, and it said:
Hey, we’re looking for a Database Architect. I was wondering if you could spend 10 minutes on the phone with me to see if you could help us find one.

I happen to be a chapter leader of a local BI user group called BIG PASS Community. While our group is BI focused, I know we have database professionals that cover the board, so I agreed to speak with him to see if I could find a match.

Side Story: I went down to my car to speak with Richard so that my colleagues wouldn’t know. I didn’t want them to think I was looking for a new job. Unfortunately, I have a blue tooth speaker at my desk and it was close enough to my car that my phone started transmitting through it. (Face Palm) So, I had to move my car. Problem solved.

Richard painted a picture for me of his startup company, DeskSite. He then told me where it currently stood technically and where he wanted to take it over the next three years. He then asked if I knew anyone who might be interested in joining his team or if he could possibly lure me away from my current company.

I kind of stumbled over my words, “I…I’m available. I just decided…literally, this weekend to start looking for a new position.” I cannot tell you how happy I made him. By time we got off the phone, DSC_3187I had an in-person interview scheduled for the next night at their office.

Side Story: When Richard called to verify that I could still make it, he told me that he had seen my SQL earrings that I wore in one of my Avatars. He loved them! So I wore them to the interview.

When I arrived at their office, I was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm. They were so happy to meet me. You see, they had Googled me. They knew that I’m heavily involved in the PASS Community. They had even seen the YouTube video that Red Gate published of me speaking at one of their SQL in the City events in 2013. They absolutely loved my enthusiasm and my obsession with SQL. They had already decided they wanted me on their team. They just had to convince me that I wanted to be on their team.  (You see, I was at a startup when the dot com bubble burst. It makes me leery of startups.)

My half hour interview ended up being three hours. At some point I was offered a job. Richard then wanted to know what it would take to have me on his team. Normally I don’t bring up the fact I like to speak and attend conferences in the first interview, but I’m also not normally sought after. So I asked if they would send me to conferences. Richard didn’t even blink. He gave me an allotment of days AND a budget. Wow. I did tell him I needed it in writing. I learned the hard way by taking something like that on good faith.

I was not prepared to have left with a verbal offer in hand. I was definitely thinking this offer was too good to be true. So like a good data professional, I started researching.

Over the next week or so, I asked many of my SQL friends what they thought. I sent Richard quite a few questions about the position, the company, the stock options, the offer, and even the culture of the company. (If you have never worked at a startup, they are VERY different than a mid-size or larger company.) I also made two more visits to their office.

The first trip was at lunch. You see, Richard’s ideal company is more like a family and families eat together. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a people person. I despise eating by myself. It depresses me. Now that I have a Kindle, I have gotten more used to it, but I still prefer to eat with people. The bottom line is, I loved the culture of the company and Richard was one step closer to getting me on his team.

The second trip was a technical trip. They wanted me to meet with one of the consultants they use, to make sure I knew what I said I knew, and to talk deeper about the technical environment I would be working in. This one hour interview ended up being three hours. I think the technical part was only an hour, the other two hours was about the company… And my acceptance of their offer. (Aaacckkkk!)

Side note. I don’t do anything without talking to my awesome husband. I did take a bathroom break and talked to him on the phone for a bit and he was completely supportive of me taking the position.

The money dance

This is the part that has always been hard for me. Making sure I get paid fairly. I was asked what I wanted for a salary. I spent several hours researching what my salary should be. I have a wonderful friend who I got to talk real numbers with. I knew that I had been undervalued 2 jobs ago, but that had to do with the growth I experienced at that company. I grew professionally so fast when I first got involved with PASS that my salary soon became disproportionate to my knowledge, but because of red tape, my salary could not be fixed.

Anyhow, I finally came up with a number and sent it in. They made me an offer based on that number. It was made up of cash and options in the company. Unfortunately the cash portion was much too low. I was crest fallen. I know I could make a lot of money when the company goes public, and I really do think it will, but I have a daughter who will be heading to college in two years. I can’t risk her education or her younger sister’s education.

So what did I do? I talked to my friend who was also crest fallen for me. He offered some great advice and helped me devise a counter offer. I thought for sure it wouldn’t happen.  A week went by with no word. I prepared to start interviewing with other companies.

Then the clouds broke

I then received an email apologizing for the delay. They were in the processes of acquiring a larger office space do to the growth of the company and it had taken up much of their time. They really wanted me on their team. They understood my financial needs, but they had to discuss my counter offer.

In the end we came to an agreement and I became a member of an amazing team. I have been at DeskSite for a month and a half as of this writing. I’m very excited about the challenges ahead of me and I’m happy about being part of an amazing team.

So you see, I owe my awesome job to LinkedIn and Red Gate. I suppose Google should be added to the list since it was used to find my SQL in The City video on YouTube. So, YouTube should be added to the list as well……………

Thanks for all the fish

Thanks go out to Boris Hristov for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday blog party. I always love and appreciate Boris’ enthusiasm about participating in T-SQL Tuesday, so please visit his website at http://borishristov.com/.

New and Improved SQL Search By Red Gate


The Third Mission

In this installment of SQLCoOp, we are sharing our views on the newly released SQL Search 2.0 product by Red Gate. This amazing product is free to the public and can be downloaded here.



SQL Search is one of those amazing products that you just can’t believe they give away. While I always find it useful, I found it the most useful this year when I was getting to know a new (to me) database. Why? Because I could quickly and easily search all the databases for particular keywords. Below I’ve included some of my favorite Use Cases for using SQL Search.

Use Case 1: Where did I leave my TODO list?

One of the things I love to do is leave notes for myself in my SQL objects, but I’m not always good at remembering where those notes are. With SQL Search, I can find them easily by searching for the keyword TODO. Now I can go a step further and look for all the TODO’s that ALSO have my name.


I do this by using the AND operator to search for the two keywords todo and mstuewe. There are some special rules to note.

1. AND and it’s counter part OR are both case sensitive.

2. You can only use one at a time. I can have todo AND mtuewe AND 2014, but  I can’t have todo AND (mstuewe OR mickey). (Maybe in a future version – hint, hint.)



Use Case 2: How many databases do I need to look through?

George is new to the company and he needs to get to know how orders are stored in the database. He decides to use SQL Search to look at all the tables that have Order in their name. He is a bit shocked when he find out that there are hundreds of databases on the server and he is not sure which ones he should start with. George, luckily got some help from one of his co-workers Sarah. She told him he should start with three specific databases.


In previous versions of SQL Search, you could look through one database or all the databases. This could lead to a very long list of values if you have quite a few databases on your server. This is now a problem of the past. (And there was much rejoicing.)  Now you have the option of selecting only the database you are interested. You can even select the system tables which are all listed at the bottom  of the pull down window.




Use Case 3: Rolling the dice for a job.

imageLiz needs to find all the SQL objects that use the SalesOrder  table, but she isn’t interested in searching through tables and views. She does, however want to search through all the jobs first, and then she’ll take a look at triggers, stored procedures and functions.


I found this next new feature a huge bonus. Jobs are not something I’m looking through often, but now I have a way to search through them without any trouble. Simply, select Jobs.


I’m also very happy to be able to select ONLY the database objects I want to search through. For me this means I can ignore tables and views. (Yippee!)

Use Case 4: Getting to know your neighbors.

There have been some implicit conversion problems with some of the date fields in the database. Sarah has been tasked to verify that all fields that end in “DTS” are actually datetime data types and not date data types.


Red Gate has added the ability to see table definitions in the results pane. It’s a simple view of the table structure, but it beats having to go back to the Object Explorer to see the entire table structure. Now when you’re researching field data types, you can do it quickly and efficiently.



Bonus Tips

Here are a few bonus tips that make SQL Search even more useful:

1. You can highlight all the rows in the grid, copy it, and paste it directly into Excel for further reference. This can be very helpful if you are changing all the objects in the list and you want to keep track of the original list. (This isn’t a new feature, but it is an awesome one to know about.)

2. They have improved the indexing of the database objects. This is GREAT  news. In the past, if you were expecting a modified object to appear on the list and it didn’t, you would have to close SSMS and restart it in order for the SQL objects to be properly re-indexed. You no longer need to do that. Just go to the Index menu item, and select Reindex.

3. Each of the columns in the grid can be sorted. This can be very handy if you want to deal with all the tables at one time, or a particular schema first.



Don’t Stop Yet

If you want to read more about the newly released SQL Search, don’t forget to check out these blog posts:


See you next time!!


On a SQL Collaboration Quest

Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.


Original Post: On a SQL Collaboration Quest

On a SQL Quest Using SQL Search by Red Gate


Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra – Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam – The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.

Original Post: On a SQL Collaboration Quest 

The First Mission

For our first collaborative entry in this blog series, we have chosen to investigate Red Gate’s FREE tool, SQL Search. The question we posed to each other was: What is the purpose of Red Gate’s SQL Search and how do you use it in your daily work life?

The Search Begins

Right now I’m in retro-fit mode at work. I have an application that I recently inherited that needs a new feature. This requires me to add new columns to tables in the database(s), as well as find all the objects (Stored procedures, triggers, etc.) that reference the tables I need to modify to make sure they will still work and to add logic to support the new feature.

Red Gate has a whole suite of tools for me to use on my current adventure at work, but the tool I used the most this past week was their FREE tool, SQL Search. This tool will work with SQL 2005 and up.

Instead of writing about how to use SQL Search, I want to highlight some shortcut keystrokes that will improve the speed of using this awesome tool. Did I mention it is a FREE awesome tool?

The Task

I have a set of tables that I modified and I need to look at the code for all the objects that reference that set of tables to not only make sure they still worked properly, but to add code to support the new feature that was added. I’ll use the Adventureworks2008R2 database in my example below.

After I found the list of objects I needed to inspect, I did the following:

  1. Scripted out the object as an ALTER statement.
  2. Quickly searched for the table in the script (some of the scripts were 1000+ rows long).

Here is my favorite part

If you double-click one of the objects in the SQL Search list of found objects, that object will be found and selected in the in the Object Explorer. Unfortunately, if that object is a view, it takes several mouse clicks to get an ALTER script created, soooo

With the help of Mark Holmes (b|t), we figured out what the hot key combination is to script out the highlighted object as an ALTER statement. You ready? SHIFT  F10 + S+A+N. Yes, that is a lot of keys, but if you are like me, keystrokes are faster than mouse clicks.

Note: I remember it as SHIFT F10 + SAN

The CTRL + F shortcut will take you into the Find dialog box where you can search for the name within the script. If you had been searching  for the same value prior to this script, then F3 is your best friend and it will take you directly to the search term in the ALTER script.

But wait! There’s more

If you are a Red Gate junkie like myself and have SQL Prompt installed, then there is another shortcut you can add between SHIFT + F10 + SAN and F3.  If you use CTRL K + CTRL Y then you can have the alter script formatted to your taste. (aka, you can read it faster. Win!)

Note: I remember it as CTRL + KY


Scenario Time

So here is what it would look like if you were using the Adventureworks2008R2 database and looking for the Person table.

  1. Enter Person into the search field
  2. Select the “Exact Match” option. (Optional)
  3. Select the “All Objects” from the list of objects
  4. Select “All Databases” from the list of databases (The search term is automatically searched. Hitting ENTER is not required.)
  5. Click on one of the objects listed
  6. SHIFT  F10 + S + A + N to create an ALTER script
  7. CTRL K + CTRL Y to format it (this step requires SQL Prompt)
  8. CTRL  F to pull up the SSMS search window to search within the script
  9. Type in Person and click enter. You’ll be taken to the first instance of Person
  10. Use F3 to find the other instances of Person in the script

Now to look at a second script. You already have the list of objects, so you don’t have to search for them again.

  1. Click on one of the objects listed.
  2. SHIFT  F10 + S + A + N to create an ALTER script
  3. CTRL K + CTRL Y to format it (this step requires SQL Prompt)
  4. Use F3 to find the other instances of Person in the script

Repeat these four steps for each script you need to look at. Win!

Don’t Stop Yet

If you want to read more about SQL Search, don’t forget to check out these blog posts:

To follow our quest for SQL knowledge through this collaborative project, follow the #SQLCoOp tag on Twitter.

Tribal Award Winner for Best New Community Voice

2013 was an amazing year for me and winning this award was the cherry on top. I want to not only thank the people who voted for me, but for the people who nominated me.

Thank You!

I appreciate your belief in me and for accepting me into the SQL Family.

While we can’t all clap together, we can tweet our approval. Please help me recognize the four others who were nominated with me. It’s a big planet, and they have contributed in their countries and abroad to be noticed and nominated too.

  • Koen Verbeeck (b|t) from Belgium
  • William Durkin (b|t) from Germany
  • Rob Sewell (b|t) from United Kingdom
  • Mark S. Rasmussen (b|t) from Denmark

Very Sincerely,
Mickey Stuewe

Reflections in the 2013 Mirror

2013Reflections-lake2013 was a wild ride. I had set up my goals in December of 2012 and surpassed some of them half way through the year. I hope that I continue reaching my goals in 2014. If I do, it will be another amazing year.

Here are the goals I had and how I measured up.

Being Mentored

I knew I wanted to be mentored, I even wrote a post about it here. I had no idea how valuable it would turn out to be. After I wrote my post, one of my friends convinced me to ask Grant Fritchey (b|t) if he would mentor me. I really like his speaking style and the topics he speaks on. So, I held my breathe, sent him an email, and he said yes. I couldn’t believe it.

We Skyped all through 2013. Our meetings were very valuable for me. You see, like many people, my confidence isn’t that high, but Grant believes in me. He encouraged me to go after my goals. He critiqued my abstracts and even my first speaking event. This was definitely an achieved goal.


This goal I blew out of the water. My goal was to speak at 5 events. I picked this number because there are 5 SQL Saturdays in California where I live. I ended up speaking at 15 different events. I exceeded my goal by 300%! Here is the full list of 2013 events and here is a summary of the events:

  • 6 User Group Meetings
  • 5 SQL Saturdays
  • 3 Women in Technology panels (I moderated 2 at SQL Saturday’s I was already attending, so I didn’t count them in the total count)
  • 2 Red Gate events (You can view one of my sessions here.)
  • 1 Conference (Dev Connections)

I’ve already listed the SQL Saturday’s I plan to apply for. The conferences will be added as I’m accepted as well as the user group meetings. Here is the list of 2014 events so far.


My blogging goals were only half met. The first part of my goal was to write on my personal blog (this one) at least once a month. Since I like to participate in the T-SQL Tuesday Blog Parties, I knew this was most likely achievable. The other half of my goal was to write once a month for mssqltips.com. I did not reach this goal at all because there just wasn’t enough time. I was only able to submit one tip this year.

For my person blog, I exceeded my expectations. Since this was my first full year having a blog, I compared the first half of the year with the second half of he year. In that time, I doubled my page views. I had 40 posts for the year, 18 of which were in December, 8 of which were for the T-SQl Blog Party, and 1 was an incredibly fun (and funny) story based on the pictures that Pat Wright (b|t) took at PASS Summit.

Here are the 3 posts that had the most hits this year:

Obtaining a New Job

It took six months of carefully identifying exactly what I wanted to do and going through interviews and talking to recruiters, but this past July I finally took a leap into a new job and I’m glad I did. I miss my former colleagues, but I’ve acquired some pretty cool new ones too.

Friends of Red Gate (ForG)

Red Gate has my absolute favorite tools. They also have some amazing people working for them. This year had the privledge of being part of their Friends of Red Gate program. This program conects various proffesionals who are power users of their products with developers and project managers at Red Gate. We get to disucss new features and how to improve existing features. It’s a wonderful program and I think their product is better for having the program.

Unexpected Surprises

Those were my goals for 2013, but I had some surprises along the way that have shaped me this year and are worth mentioning.

Jan 2013 SQL CruiseSQL Cruise

In December of 2012 I won a trip (the registration) on Tim Ford’s (b|t) SQL Cruise from SQL Sentry. The cruise was for a week in the Caribbean. Three wonderful days at sea listening to amazing speakers like Kevin Kline (b|t) and Allen White(b|t). And three wonderful days in port. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and recommend it to ALL of you.


Half way through the year, Marlon Ribunal (b|t) approached me and asked if I wanted to help finish the book he was writing on reporting services. I was very honored that he asked me and I said yes. Marlon and I had our book published this past October. It’s called SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Blueprints.

I also had the honor of being included in an ebook by Red Gate called 45 Database Performance tips for Developers. I’m very honored to be included in this endeavor with Grant Fritchey (b|t), Jonathan Allen (aka Father Jack) (b|t), Phil Factor (b|t), K. Brian Kelly (b|t), Ike Ellis (b|t), and Louis Davidson (b|t).


I was so impressed with the first SQL Saturday that I ever attended, that I agreed to help out with two local SQL Saturdays (Huntington Beach and San Diego). Since I enjoyed the planning and running around with my head cut off, I’ve agreed to help out again this next year.

I also help the Women In Technology virtual chapter (WIT). I had the honor of moderating three panels this past year, one of which was at PASS Summit in front of 600+ people. You can view the event here.

One of my most proud moments occurred this month, but it really started in September. (You can read the back story here.) I created an event for Jason Strate (b|t) and Bradley Ball (b|t) so that they could speak in Orange County. I had no idea if one person would show up or 100. QuickStart Intelligence hosted the event and they helped find attendees by calling all of their former students. Between my contacts, QuickStart’s former students, and Jason and Bradley’s reputations I was able to get 48 people sign up and around 30 people attend the event. I also found a sponsor for the pizza so it didn’t cost me or any of the attendee’s a dime. I call that a win!


I thought that my 2013 SQL year was at a close once December hit, but I was wrong. Red Gate put out a call for nominations for their new Tribal Awards and I was nominated for Best New Community Voice. I wrote about it here. All that I can say about this one, is that I’m pleasantly surprised and that I’m secretly hoping that Koen from Belgium wins.

2013CheersThank You

I want to thank all of you for reading my posts this year, for the comments that you leave, and for coming back time and time again. Cheers to you!

Where am I going now?

So what does 2014 hold for me? You’ll have to wait for my next post. (Evil grin inserted here.)

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