SQL Server

  • Using Stored Procedure as a Power BI Source (with parameters)

    Using a SQL Server stored procedure as a source in Power BI We might be most familiar with using a view as the source to our PBI datasets, a series of views creating a series of tables. This can be great but when handling more complex view queries with lookups, you might find yourself with a severely long refresh and even an error. This is where a stored procedure is required – this gives you more control layer by layer in the source query.…

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  • TRY_CAST Arithmetic Overflow Error

    TRY_CAST() Arithmetic Overflow Error – How? It is expected that at some point you will receive some bad data – such as the wrong range, form or data type. Sometimes you receive valid data but the result of a calculation is when it goes wrong, a simple multiplication takes your data from good to bad, the difference between your cube processing and not processing, the difference between your clients receiving vital data and not receiving…

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  • Exporting to a CSV file from SSMS – Simple BCP Method

    Export table contents to a CSV file from SQL Server  It may be useful to export a tables contents to a CSV file for some exploratory analysis, to feed an ETL and much more. This can be done with some simple SQL commands that exist as a stored procedure, SQL agent job or just a one off piece of code. The export can be the whole table or filtered results but one thing to keep in mind is the number of rows and result size as it may become…

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  • @@ROWCOUNT in Synapse Dedicated SQL Pool

    If you’ve been working with dedicated SQL pools in Synapse, you may have noticed that the SQL Server system variable @@RowCount is not supported. I will show you a workaround in synapse to get the same information. First, use the query label option to give your query an identifier that you can use to track it: SELECT * FROM Dim.Date OPTION (LABEL = ‘MyQuery’) You can then use DMVs to find your query using the specified label…

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  • #This vs @That – Should I use a Table Variable or a Temporary Table?

    When working with SQL Server, it’s not uncommon to need to store data in a temporary table or table variable. While both options can be used to accomplish the same goal, there are differences between the two that can affect performance and the ability to write efficient code. Let’s explore the differences between table variables and temporary tables, and when to use each one. @Table Variables Table variables are declared using the…

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  • Linked Server with Unique Identifier Issue

    There is currently an issue with Linked Servers when querying and filtering by a guid (uniqueidentifier). If you query a Synapse SQL pool from your on-prem SQL server, for example, and attempt to filter the results using a uniqueidentifier column, you will get the following error message: Msg 103010, Level 16, State 1, Line 1 Parse error at line: 1, column: 408: Incorrect syntax near ‘guid’. Msg 110811, Level 16, State 1, Line 1…

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  • SQL Server Agent Gantt Chart in Power BI

    In this blog post, I walk-through how to use a Power BI template file I have created that displays a Gantt chart which shows which SQL Server Agent Jobs have run and when. The purpose of the chart is to identify when jobs are overlapping and taking server resource off each other. If two or more resource intensive jobs overlap, it’s a good idea to schedule them at different times if possible. To use the template file, input the server name.…

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  • What are SQL Server Index Fragmentation and Index Fill Factor?

    What is index fragmentation and how does it occur? It is important to know that SQL Server data is stored in data pages, with each page holding 8KB of data. There are two types of fragmentation, both are a result of these pages not being used as efficiently as possible. When you UPDATE or INSERT data on a page that is already full, SQL Server creates a new page. The information from the original page will be split 50/50 with half being added to…

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  • Query Store Forced Plan Failures

    Query Store is a fantastic feature of both SQL Server and Azure SQL DB. It allows you to monitor how queries execute against the database which is invaluable for troubleshooting performance issues. More than that though, it gives you the option to force an erratic query to use a particular execution plan, this helps avoid queries from running with inefficient plans and provides predictability and stability on the server. Here we can see an…

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  • The SQL Query Alias Conundrum – Order of Execution

    So, you have just written a query, hit execute and you have encountered an error: Invalid column name ‘[column name]‘. The column you’ve used in your WHERE clause cannot be identified by its alias. You’ve defined it at the top of the query and used it fine previously as your ORDER BY condition, so why can’t the engine recognise it? If you’ve ever written a SQL query, this should look familiar: SELECT DISTINCT FROM JOIN ON…

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