Monthly Archives: December 2013

EOMONTH() – End of the month – SQL Server 2012

So how do we calculate the last date of the month which is 4 months from now?

SQL Server 2012 presents EOMONTH() function. Let us understand this function with an example.

DECLARE @MyDate datetime
as LastDayOfTheMonth

So what do we find from the 2 outputs. Well it gives me the last date of the 4th month from the current month i.e. 4 months from now would be April and the last date of April is 30th. The second output gives the last date of 4 months previous i.e August. This function would be very handy in calculations where the last date of the month is a critical factor. Previously to achieve this we would have to do a bit of manipulation.

Pagination – Using OFFSET and FETCH in SQL Server 2012

OFFSET and FETCH are two new clauses introduced in SQL Server 2012 that allows us to extract a portion of rows from the result set. When we need to display a large result set to the user, the best way of going about it is to split them .i.e use pagination. In SQL Server 2012, we can achieve pagination by using the ‘OFFSET’ and ‘FETCH’ commands. Let us understand this with an example:

USE AdventureWorks2012
SELECT pp.ProductId,PP.Name,pp.ProductNumber,
FROM Production.Product PP
ORDER BY pp.productid

The query returns 504 rows as depicted above. So what do i do if i need to fetch only a portion of the above rows?

Enter OFFSET and FETCH. How? let us understand this with an example

USE AdventureWorks2012
SELECT PP.ProductID,PP.Name,pp.ProductNumber,
FROM Production.Product PP
ORDER BY pp.ProductID

OandF2Here, the OFFSET tells the query to ignore the first 100 rows and then return only the following 10 rows. This is very easy to use and a quick way to return just a portion of records.
Few Limitations of the OFFSET and FETCH clause as stated in msdn:
a) ORDER BY is mandatory to use OFFSET and FETCH clause.
b) OFFSET clause is mandatory with FETCH. You can never use, ORDER BY … FETCH.
c) TOP cannot be combined with OFFSET and FETCH in the same query expression.
d) The OFFSET/FETCH row count expression can be any arithmetic, constant, or parameter expression that will return an integer value. The row count expression does not support scalar sub-queries.

TRY_PARSE – Conversion function in SQL Server 2012

In this article I will discuss about the TRY_PARSE function in SQL Server 2012. Conversion functions helps us avoid errors when dealing with different data types. Let us understand TRY_PARSE with an example.

SELECT TRY_PARSE ('12-18-2013' AS datetime) AS Alpha
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013' AS decimal) AS Beta
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013.00' AS decimal) AS Gamma
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('2013.0000' AS float) AS Theta
SELECT TRY_PARSE ('Arsenal' AS float) AS Delta

The TRY_PARSE() function can convert any string value to a Numeric or Date/Time format. If the passed string value cannot be converted to Numeric or Date/Time format, it will result to a NULL.

Lets have a look at the output of the above
TP2In the above case it would not convert ‘Arsenal’ to a date time or Numeric value and hence it results in NULL output. TRY_PARSE function is not a native SQL SERVER function, instead it is a CLR dependent function.

IIF – The InLine conditional Statement in SQL Server 2012

IIF is a new inline conditional statement in SQL Server. We can pass an expression that can be evaluated to either true or false to the function and it returns one value for true and another one for false.

Let us understand this with an example:

DECLARE @MyTeam nvarchar(40) = 'Manchester United'
DECLARE @YourTeam nvarchar(40) = 'Arsenal'
SELECT IIF (@MyTeam = @YourTeam, 'True Devils',
'False Gooners') AS YouAre

The output of the above as below. In this we have passed two different values.
IIF1Now let us pass two same values and see how this works:

DECLARE @MyTeam nvarchar(40) = 'Manchester United'
DECLARE @YourTeam nvarchar(40) = 'Manchester United'
SELECT IIF (@MyTeam = @YourTeam, 'True Devils',
'False Gooners') AS YouAre

IIF is very useful where a straightforward comparison has to be made without writing case statements.

How to use ‘WITH RESULT SETS’ in SQL Server 2012

In SQL Server 2012, the execute statement has been enhanced with an option called ‘WITH RESULT SETS‘. So let us understand what this does.

This option enables us to change the column names and data types of the returning result set from the stored procedure. Let us understand this with an example.

Create a new stored procedure

USE AdventureWorks2012
CREATE PROC Usp_products
SELECT ProductID,Name,ProductNumber FROM Production.Product

Let us now execute the above procedure and see the outcome
withresultset1Now let us use this new option and change the name of the columns and their data types while the procedure returns the output at run time.

EXEC Usp_products
SerialNumber varchar(15),
Name1 varchar(30),
ProductNumber1 varchar(30)

withresultset2So this is how we can use this option to tweak the output set to different data types and column names from an stored procedure.

Resources in a SQL Server Failover Cluster

In this article I will discuss about the resources that are part of a SQL Server failover cluster.

A SQL Server failover cluster instance consists of 2 kinds of resources.

1)Local Resources: Local resources are those components that are installed on each possible owner node. They remain on that node and do not move over during a failover.
2)The shared resources: Those resources that fail over between the owner nodes.

Let us now go through the resources that are part of a resource group in a SQL Server failover cluster.
a) SQL Server Database Engine\Agent service : The database engine and SQL Server agent resources are always part of any SQL Server failover cluster’s resource group where the database engine has been installed. If SQL server analysis service is installed, then it will be a part of the resource group. From an availability and performance perspective it is better if both are installed on separate resource groups.

b) IP Address and Network name: The IP address and network name component ensures an interface that clients can use to connect to the SQL Server instance  irrespective of the fact that which node is currently serving the cluster. During a failover event,  the network name and IP addresses is registered to redirect to the new node that is serving the SQL Server failover cluster instance. To the clients that are connecting to the SQL Server, this is a absolutely transparent process.

c) Shared disks:A SQL Server shared disk contains all of the system and user data including databases, logs for the SQL Server failover cluster instance. When a failover occurs, the disks are mounted on the new node. When SQL Server instance is started on the new node, it goes through recovery as part of the SQL Server startup and maintains access to the same database files that existed when it was running on the previous node.The shared disks are the single point of failure for a failover cluster instance. Windows Server and SQL Server failover clustering provides redundancy for machines, operating systems, and SQL Server binaries, but requires reliable storage to assure availability of the shared storage.

Format() function in SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2012 introduces this new function called FORMAT which returns a value in the specified format and also can optionally apply a regional format. This function relies on the .NET Framework.

In this article we will explore this function and see how it can be implemented.

FORMAT() accepts 3 parameters. The first parameter is the VALUE parameter where we pass on the date value or a numeric value. The second parameter is the .NET Framework format string. The format parameter is case sensitive. The third parameter is the culture. This can be any culture supported by the .NET Framework.

Let us now explore this function with some examples:
1) Display the date using Bengali Culture

DECLARE @date DATETIME = '12/04/2013';
SELECT FORMAT ( @date, 'MMMM dddd dd yyyy', 'Bn-IN' )
 AS DateInBangla;

format12) Display the date using Tamil Culture

DECLARE @date DATETIME = '12/04/2013';
SELECT FORMAT ( @date, 'MMMM dddd dd yyyy', 'Ta-IN' ) AS

format23) Display an amount into different currency structures

SELECT FORMAT(100, 'C', 'en-GB') AS Pounds,
FORMAT(100, 'C', 'en-US') AS Dollars,
FORMAT(100, 'C', 'es-ES') AS Euro,
FORMAT(100, 'C', 'en-IN') AS Rs;

format34) Display current date time in US format

SELECT FORMAT(GETDATE(), N'"Time now is "dddd MMMM dd, yyyy', 'en-US')
AS USTimeStamp;

format4For more details on this function please refer to this msdn link.

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