Monthly Archives: March 2013

Forgotten SQL Server Functions – VARP, SOUNDEX and NTILE

This article is ideally suited to SQL Server developers and those data professionals wishing to know more about SQL Server functions, and wanting to get a greater understanding of which functions are available and how they can help improve the efficiency and facility of SQL routines. Using system functions can help remove unwanted inefficiencies in code, such as loops, nested loops and string-based field manipulation. The functions available in SQL Server can tie in well with business logic, enabling the developer to write better-suited algorithms to support business requirements.

Adding clocks when working globally

Since Windows Vista, Windows users have had the ability to add clocks. I’m in the U.S. Central time zone and have no problem thinking about scheduling meetings with people in the Eastern and Pacific time zones. Hyderabad is a different matter because of the half hour. London is easy except right now when the U.S. is on Daylight time and the U.K. is not. You can add two clocks using the Additional Clocks tab in Date and Time . Figure 1. Additional Clocks tab. Figure 2. Mouseover after adding clocks….(read more)

Why We Write #2 – An Interview With Mark Vaillancourt

My second guest is Mark Vaillancourt (whose last name makes me very happy for the copy and paste feature), who is an Information Management consultant working for Digineer , and is a Regional Mentor for PASS in Canada. Mark is also a speaker at SQL Saturday events, as well as the SQL PASS Business Analytics conference in 2013 . Mark has been blogging regularly since early 2009 on his website ( ), and interestingly, has degrees in English and Theater, two degrees that almost always…(read more)

Comparison of Queries Written in T-SQL and SQL Server MDX

Beginning to learn and comprehend SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) MDX queries can be difficult after one has spent years writing queries in T-SQL. When trying to write SQL Server MDX queries, oftentimes I would think to myself, “How would I write this query in T-SQL?”. In this tip we look at examples of queries written in T-SQL and MDX.

Updates: Autoruns v11.5, Du (Disk Usage) v1.5, Procdump v5.14, Procmon v3.04, Ru (Registry Usage) v1.0

Autoruns v11.5: This update to Autoruns, a utility for managing autostarting applications and components, now reports the image timestamp of executables and the last-modified timestamp of other file types and autostart locations to help with forensic analysis. The jump-to-entry feature is also improved to navigate directly to files rather than their parent directory.

Disk Usage (Du) v1.5: Du, a command-line utility for reporting the disk space consumed by directories and their files, has expanded CSV output that includes file and directory counts, as well as an option for tab-delimiting, which is a format more convenient for import into Excel than comma-delimited.

ProcDump v5.14: This release of Procdump, a command-line utility that enables the capture of process dumps based on numerous trigger types including on-demand, doesn’t report process exceptions unless the exception trigger is specified.

Process Monitor v3.04: Procmon, a power system activity monitor, now includes support for new Windows 8 file information query types and fixes a bug in the tooltip handling.

Registry Usage (RU) v1.0: Ru (Registry Usage) is a new command-line utility that reports the size, value and subkey counts of registry keys. Like its Sysinternals Du (Disk Usage) counterpart, Ru can help you find the keys that contribute to registry bloat.

SQL Server Analysis Services Period over Period Variance Analysis

Often when working with OLAP cubes, the main “access” point will be an Excel pivot table. While utilizing OLAP cubes, end users will frequently want to compare two values from different periods in order to quantify some variance analysis processes; however the creation of calculations within OLAP based Excel pivot tables is not allowed. �In this tip we look at the functionality that is available to make these comparisons.