T-SQL Tuesday #151 – Coding Standards

Invitation and roundup from Mala Mahadevan.

My invite is about coding standards, or what I now call Linting Rules, for T-SQL. What are the T-SQL coding rules that are appropriate for where you work and what you do? If there are exceptions to those rules, state them too! If this is enough, read the blog party rules below and get started!!

  • Your post must be published on Tuesday June 14, 2022.
  • Your post must contain the T-SQL Tuesday logo (see above) and the image must link back to this blog post.
  • Trackbacks should work, but if not please put a link to your post in the comments section so everyone can see your contribution! (My comments are moderated so please don’t worry if yours doesn’t appear right away, I will make sure it does!)
  • If you are on twitter include the hash tag #tsql2sday – it helps with RT-s and visibility!!

More on why I picked this topic as below –

When I started out as a DBA two decades ago, I had a list of rules that I would carry with me into every job I went..these are things I look for in T-SQL code and try to enforce as standard. Some examples were casing rules, minimized usage of SELECT STAR, equating the right data types in columns, avoiding NOLOCK hint and so on. Standards ensure quality and consistency in code.

Standards differ for each firm, depending on what is appropriate for an environment..it is even possible to have varying standards in the same company, depending on the environment and what is appropriate for a database. This is an excellent article on what are the different components that comprise coding standards, and why we need them. I am also a big proponent of automated code checking for standards – there are lots of tools available for doing this – SQL Prompt, which is a personal favorite of mine, and many others as listed here.

Several tools currently do linting on many relational platforms, not just SQL Server. Almost all of them though, have rules that the author(s) think are best for the worlds they work in, and do not include other conditions which they have not encountered yet. A common example I like to use is unnamed primary keys on temporary tables. There is nothing inherently wrong with having an inline primary key constraint/index on a temporary table – but if you use Query Store, plan forcing on a plan that uses this temp table will not work simply because the constraint gets named differently each time. When I started to look for a linting tool for where I work – I ran into so many rules that were non-existent or not applicable to my environment with outside tools that I decided to write my own using ScriptDOM – a Microsoft-provided library that was created specifically for this purpose.

It would help greatly if we had a collection of rules that people use to pick from and enforce as appropriate for their environments. It will also help me to code some of these into ScriptDOM and put it out on GitHub, if the rule is one that ScriptDOM can find easily. So, re-stating the call for this month – What are the T-SQL coding rules that are appropriate for where you work and what you do? If there are exceptions to those rules, state them too!

T-SQL Tuesday #150 – Your First Technical Job

Invitation from Kenneth Fisher.

This month for TSQL Tuesday I’d like to hear about your first technical job(s). I know most DBAs don’t start out working with databases so tell us how you did start. I’m generally thinking of your first tech job, but if you had a job early in your career that wasn’t technical at all but still makes for a good story feel free to share! I can’t wait to hear about it.

T-SQL Tuesday #149 – Blog about T-SQL Advice you’d give to your younger self

Invitation and round up from Camila Henrique.

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blogothon where a host chooses one topic and bloggers around the world give their ideas about it. This month is my first time being the host and I’m so excited!

April’s theme: if you could give advice about T-SQL to your younger self, what would you say? I’m not defining any more specific sub-topics here, I’m opening the floor to hear ideas about your past experiences and what you wish you knew better back then.

T-SQL Tuesday #148 – Advice on Running a User Group

Invitation from Rie Merritt.

For this edition of T-SQL Tuesday, I’d like to ask everyone to write about all the various aspects of running a user group.  I’m not asking you to write a James Michener novel that starts at the beginning of time and includes everything a user group leader needs to know. Specifically, I’m asking people to pick one or two things and go deep on what works for you, what didn’t work for you and lessons learned.   Running a user group is a large umbrella of tasks and duties: be it in-person, virtual or hybrid.  My goal this month is to break that up into small bite sized pieces of knowledge for people.  There are so many directions you can go here: finding speakers, growing your membership, utilizing technology to make things easier, finding sponsors, finding a venue, picking a pattern to when you meet, etc.  The possibilities are almost endless!  

The Azure Data Community is building a How to run a user group wiki and we’d love to link to your post to offer new and old user group leaders some great resources to build and maintain a successful, healthy community.  

Special thanks to Steve Jones for running T-SQL Tuesday and finding a spot for me, thanks to Kenneth Fisher for being flexible with when he sponsors T-SQL Tuesday and finally to John MorehouseAnnette Allen and Josh Smith for all of the sweat equity they’ve already put into building the wiki.  

T-SQL Tuesday #147 Invitation – Upgrade Strategies

Invitation and wrap-up from Steve Jones

Planning for Upgrades

In my career, most of the time we don’t upgrade production databases very often. In most of my jobs, we’d change versions for new databases, but existing ones often lived on their original version. It’s how I got into a job where I was managing 4 different versions of SQL Server. These days I expect it’s common for many DBAs to have to deal with that many, or more, versions.

I do have customers these days that try to upgrade often, and limit the number of versions they work with. I have customers now that are on a mix of 2016-2019 only, some that might be working on 2014-2016 only, and I’ve run into a customer that only has SQL Server 2017. Of course, they have few databases and look to upgrade about every 5 years when mainstream support is running out for their edition.

This month I want you to write about how you look at SQL Server upgrades. A few things you might think about:

  • Why we wait to upgrade?
  • Strategies for testing an upgrade
  • Smoke tests or other ways to verify the upgrade worked
  • Moving to the cloud to avoid upgrades
  • Using compatibility levels to upgrade an instance by not a database.
  • Checklists of things to use in planning
  • The time it takes to upgrade your environment
  • What you evaluate in making a decision to upgrade or not?
  • Anything else

I don’t know when SQL Server 2022 will release, but certainly many of us will need to consider in 2023 whether we want to upgrade systems or not. Think about it and write about something that matters to you.

T-SQL Tuesday #146: Upending Preconceived Notions

Invitation and round-up from Andy Yun.

Welcome back to another edition of T-SQL Tuesday! I’m honored to be your host once again!

Theme to Kick off 2022

This month, I’d like to ask everyone to think about something you’ve learned, that subsequently changed your opinion/viewpoint/etc. on something. Maybe you’ve had a certain opinion, belief, or bias? Perhaps you’ve always thought something worked a certain way? Or you’ve always thought that a certain something (called “X”) was only good for “A”, only to later learn that it can help with “B”, and “C” as well. Regardless, you learned something and it totally upended and changed that preconceived notion you held previously.

When has this happened to you Andy?

Let me share an example. In my past as a T-SQL developer, I remember when I first learned about CTEs. I thought the world of them and started using them everywhere! However, there was one slight problem. I was under the mistaken impression that they pre-materialize each sub-query. And they do… in OTHER RDBMS’s. Whoops! After a few years, I learned that they don’t behave that way in SQL Server. Instead the query optimizer inlines the query in the CTE, making them functionally no different that a subquery. And well, let’s just say that that made me regret some of the coding decisions I’d made during my “CTEs-are-awesome” phase.