Database Design: A Brief Rant About Quality

You’ve perhaps seen this item in the news, which discusses the woes which have befallen the Tokyo Stock Exchange and one of Japan’s largest brokerages after a typographical error in a stock trade resulted in a loss of at least $225 million for the brokerage firm involved and also contributed to an almost 2% decline…


Slight Ado About Nothing: More On NULLs

(updated 08 February 2006 to correct glaring technical inaccuracies; thanks to Adam Machanic) Today saw a major step in the evolution of my humble blog: a question!, from Eric: I have seen others use the NOT NULL DEFAULT “” and insist it is better that NULLS. One of the main reasons they give is that…


93,000 Concurrent SAP Users In A Free Download?!

Well, not exactly..   After teasing you on Friday with hints of what you’d hear in today’s launch of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and Biztalk Server 2006, I’m pleased to say the information is out there, and more than worth your while.   Rather than rehash the content of our website (which is worth your…


Launch 2005: Here Comes The Next Generation of Developer Tools

Remember the old Jimmy Buffett tune, “Come Monday”?  Well, this coming Monday, November 7, 1995 (or “Launch 2005”, as it’s known here in Redmond), will be remembered for a long time as the day the price/performance debate in software development and deployment was changed forever. This is way better than four lonely days in the…


XML Programming in SQL Server 2005

With the RTM of SQL Server 2005, excitement is understandably running very high in the SQL Server developer community.  If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on this release, I urge you to do so as soon as you can.  It absolutely rocks.  MSDN subscribers can download it here (and will also like this…


Database Design: Do Not Fear NULLs

Last week, I found myself simultaneously confounded and fascinated by a conversation on the internal Microsoft SQL Server discussion list.  If you know me at all, you know that I had to toss in my two cents, but I’m getting ahead of myself.   The thread started with a question from an application development consultant…


Two Programming Tricks: Counting Characters In A String and RETURN CASE

A couple of tricks here, from some recent work: a user-defined function to count the number of characters in a string, and a new (for me) syntax discovery: RETURN CASE. Here’s what I came up with for the user-defined function: CREATE FUNCTION dbo.fnCountCharactersInString(    @StringToTest nvarchar(max),    @CharactersToCount nvarchar(max))RETURNS intASBEGIN    DECLARE @EditableCharacterCount int,            @Looper int    SELECT @EditableCharacterCount =…


The Gig Was..

.. a blast.  Over $100 was raised, which the company will match, and as far as I know a good time was had by all. If you’d like to support Cocoon House, please let me know.


The Gig is On

As promised, here are the details of the Giving Campaign concert for Cocoon House.  I’ll be playing between noon and one on Monday, October 3rd, at the cafeteria in the Microsoft “Sammamish C” building in Issaquah, WA. If you can’t join us but would still like to support the cause, leave me feedback so we…


SQL Server 2005 September CTP Available Now!

Here’s a nice little query on the Microsoft download site that will give you quick links to most all of the essential components of the latest Community Technology Preview edition of SQL Server 2005.  Even if you can’t install the software (and you should!), at least download Books On-Line.  Spend a couple of hours with…