Datatypes are very important concepts of SQL Server and there are quite often need to convert them from one datatypes to another datatype. I have seen that deveoperoften get confused when they have to convert the datatype. There are two important concept when it is about datatype conversion.
Implicit Conversion: Implicit conversions are those conversions that occur without specifying either the CAST or CONVERT function. Explicit Conversions: Explicit conversions are those conversions that require the CAST or CONVERT function to be specified.
What it means is that if you are trying to convert value from datetime2 to time or from tinyint to int, SQL Server will automatically convert (implicit conversation) for you. However, if you are attempting to convert timestamp to smalldatetime or datetime to int you will need to explicitely convert them using either CAST or CONVERT function as well appropriate parameters.
Let us see a quick example of Implict Conversion and Explict Conversion.
You can see from above example that how we need both of the types of conversion in different situation. There are so many different datatypes and it is humanly impossible to know which datatype require implicit and which require explicit conversion. Additionally there are cases when the conversion is not possible as well.
Microsoft have published a chart where the grid displays various conversion possibilities as well a quick guide.
Last week, I was attending SQLPASS 2012 and I had great fun attending the event. During the event long awaited SQL Serer 2012 Service Pack 1 was released. I am pretty excited with SP1 as new service packs are cumulative updates and upgrade all editions and service levels of SQL Server 2012 to SP1. This service pack contains SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) and Cumulative Update 2 (CU2).
The latest SP1 has many new and enhanced features. Here are a few for example:
Cross-Cluster Migration of AlwaysOn Availability Groups for OS Upgrade
Selective XML Index
DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS works with SELECT permission
New function returns statistics properties – sys.dm_db_stats_properties
SSMS Complete in Express
SlipStream Full Installation
Business Intelligence highlights with Office and SharePoint Server 2013
Management Object Support Added for Resource Governor DDL
Please note that the size of the service pack is near 1 GB.
Microsoft has recently released the updated to Windows Azure Training Kit. Earlier this month they have updated the kit and included quite a lot of things. Now the training kit contains 47 hands-on labs, 24 demos and 38 presentations. The best part is that the kit is now available to download in two different formats 1) Full Package (324.5 MB) and 2) Web Installer (2.4 MB). The full package enables you to download all of the hands-on labs and presentations to your local machine. The Web Installer allows you to select and download just the specific hands-on labs and presentations that you need.
This Windows Azure Training Kit contains Hands on Labs, Presentations and Videos and Demos. I encourage all of you to try this out as well. The Kit also contains details about Samples and Tools. The training kit is the most authoritative learning resource on Windows Azure.
Power View, a feature of SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers, and information workers. Microsoft has recently released very interesting whitepaper which covers a sample scenario that validates the connectivity of the Power View reports to both PowerPivot workbooks and tabular models. This white paper talks about following important concepts about Power View:
Understanding the hardware and software requirements and their download locations
Installing and configuring the required infrastructure when Power View and its data models are on the same computer and on different computer
Installing and configuring a computer used for client access to Power View reports, models, Sharepoint 2012 and Power View in a workgroup
Configuring single sign-on access for double-hop scenarios with and without Kerberos
This whitepaper talks about many interesting scenarios. It would be really interesting to know if you are using Power View in your production environment. If yes, would you please share your experience over here.
Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 is a free, embedded database that software developers can use for building ASP.NET websites and Windows desktop applications. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is the default database for Microsoft WebMatrix. For enhanced development and debugging capabilities, including designer support, Visual Studio can be used to develop ASP.NET web applications and websites using SQL Server Compact 4.0. Enabled to work in the medium or partial trust environments in the web servers, and can be easily deployed along with the website to the third party website hosting service providers. SQL Server CE 4.0 also provides stronger data security with the use of the SHA2 encryption algorithms for encrypting the databases. Latest version also supports T-SQL syntax enhancement by adding support for OFFSET and FETCH that can be used to write paging queries. Used with ADO.NET Entity Framework, SQL Server Compact now supports the columns that have server generated keys like identity, rowguid etc. and the code-first programming model. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is freely redistributable under a redistribution license agreement. SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 can be installed and work side by side on a desktop.
During an early career of mine as a database consultant – when I was dealing with SQL Server 2000, I often needed to collect various data related to SQL Server. My favorite tool to collect the data is PSSDIAG tool. It is a general purpose diagnostic collection utility that Microsoft Product Support Services uses to collect various logs and data files. It collects Performance Monitor logs, SQL Profiler traces, SQL Server blocking script output, Windows Event Logs, and SQLDIAG output. The data collected can be used by SQL Nexus tool which help you troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems. PSSDIAG is a wrapper around other data collection APIs and utilities, the performance impact of running PSSDIAG is generally equal to the impact of the traces that PSSDIAG has been configured to capture.
If you are using SQL Server 2000 – you need to seriously consider to upgrading it to SQL Server 2012.
If you are using SQL Server 2000 still today my very first recommendation to you is to upgrade to SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2000 is now 12 years old product and since then many new enhancements as well features which are relevant to current growth and progress in Informational Industry. Now is the time to catch up with the latest trends. Here is one more point for you to notice if this helps you consider to upgrade to the latest version. One can’t upgrade directly from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012. You need to first upgrade to either SQL Server 2005/2008/R2 and then further plan to upgrade to SQL Server 2012. There is no direct upgrade path for SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012. I strongly believe this is the time to upgrade to the latest version.
Well, also there is a rule that to let something continue if it is not broken and working fine. If you are following that rule and still using SQL Server 2000 I strongly suggest that you upgrade your SQL Server 2000 SP4 and update it with latest Security updates.
Here are two important SQL Server Security Updates.