Tag Archives: SQL Server 2012

SQL Server – Integration Service – How To Extract Images From a SQL Server Table To a Folder Using SSIS

In this article we will go through how we can extract images from a table in SQL Server and copy it on a folder. To achieve this we need to use SQL Server Integration Service. Let’s go over the process step by step.

Step 1: Create a new SSIS project in BIDS

Step 2: Drag and drop the Data Flow Task from the SSIS Toolbox to the design surface


Step 3: Go to the Data Flow tab. Drag and Drop the following on the design surface.


Step 4: Right click on the connection manager area and create a new OLEDB connection. We will create a connection for the AdventureWorks2012 database and the Production.Photo table.




Step 5. Use the following command to select the data from the table

declare @Ipath varchar(100)= 'C:\document\'
SELECT [ThumbNailPhoto],
@Ipath+[ThumbnailPhotoFileName] AS Imagepath
FROM [AdventureWorks2012].[Production].[ProductPhoto]




Step 6. Double click on the export column transformation editor and select the following values



Step 7. Build the package and execute. You should find all the images in the selected folder



SQL Server 2012 – How to change the collation of SQL Server.

In this article we will see how we can change the collation of a SQL Server post installation. To achieve this we need to rebuild the master database. While rebuilding the master database, the process gives an option to change the collation. Let us understand the process step by step and change the collation of an already installed SQL Server.

Step 1: Take a backup of all your system databases and user databases.

Step 2: Script out all Logins.

In this example we will change the collation fromSQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AI’ to ‘SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS’


Step 3: Stop the SQL Server Service.



Step 4: Via Command prompt locate to the Binn directory of the SQL Server


Step 5: Run the below command

sqlservr -m -T4022 -T3659  -s”INST2012_1″  -q”SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS”

[-m] Single User Mode
[-T] Trace flag turned on at startup
[-s] SQL Server Instance Name
[-q] New Collation


Step 6: Restart SQL Server and check the collation


Using TIMEFROMPARTS() – SQL Server 2012

This new function in SQL server 2012 helps in converting time parts to time. The syntax of this function is as follows

TIMEFROMPARTS ( hour, minute, seconds, fractions, precision )

The range of the parameters for TIMEFROMPARTS is as follows :
Hour -> 0-23.
Minutes -> 0-59.
Seconds -> 0-59.
Fractions -> 0-9999999.
Precision -> 0-7.

Let us understand this with an example.

DECLARE @hour INT, @min INT,@Sec INT,@frac INT;
SET @hour = 13
SET @min = 24
SET @Sec = 22
SET @frac = 45
SELECT TIMEFROMPARTS(@hour,@min,@Sec,@frac,2)


This function requires a valid value for the Hour,Minute, Seconds, Fractions, Precision parameters. If any invalid value is passed then this function will return an error. If a Null value is passed on for the Precision parameter then it generates an error. For other parameters if a Null is passed then the output is also Null.

For example in the below code we pass an invalid value for the Hour parameter


Now lets see what happens when we pass a Null value to the Fraction parameter

If we fail to pass any one of the parameters then the following error message is returned.

TRY_CONVERT function in SQL Server 2012

TRY_CONVERT is one of the new conversion function introduced in SQL SERVER 2012. It returns a value converted to the specified data type if the conversion succeeds. Otherwise,it returns returns NULL value when it fails to convert to a requested data type. TRY_CONVERT function raises an exception if we try to an convert expression to a type which is not explicitly permitted

The syntax for TRY_CONVERT is as follows

TRY_CONVERT ( data_type [ ( length ) ], expression [, style ] )

Let us now implement this function and see how it works with different examples

SELECT TRY_CONVERT(xml, 'Manchester United')
SELECT TRY_CONVERT(DATETIME, '02/18/2014 05:30',111)

The output of the above as follows

Now let us see examples where this function might fail or throw an exception


And the output is

SELECT TRY_CONVERT(DATETIME, '22/18/2014 05:30',111)

And the output is
TryCon3The first error is self explanatory. The second code gives an output of NULL because the date is an invalid date.

Now the question is how is TRY_CONVERT different from CONVERT function?

Lets understand with this example


TryCon4CONVERT will give an error message stating the conversion failed.

AS 'Result'

TryCon5TRY_CONVERT will give a NULL.


CHOOSE – SQL Server 2012

In this article we will understand this new logical function named CHOOSE in SQL Server 2012.

So here is how the syntax of CHOOSE looks like

 CHOOSE ( index, val_1, val_2 [, val_n ] )

Now let us use this in the below code and understand the output.

declare @MyFavouriteClub as int = 5
SELECT choose(@MyFavouriteClub, 'Arsenal', 'Chelsea',
'Liverpool', 'Everton', 'Manchester United',
'Sunderland', 'Fulham')

Now lets see the output of the above
choose1So what the function does is pulls out the 5th value from the data set and dispalys as a result set. CHOOSE works like an index into an array, where the array contains values or arguments. The index value\argument determines which of the containing values will be returned. If no match is found then a NULL is returned.

PERCENT_RANK function in SQL Server 2012

PERCENT_RANK is a new function introduced in SQL Server 2012. The function calculates the relative rank of a row within a subset of rows or in simpler terms  it shows the percentage of values that are less than or equal to the current value.

The syntax for the function is as follows

 OVER ( [ partition_by_clause ] order_by_clause )

Let us quickly implement PERCENT_RANK and understand how it works.

Use the following code to create a database with values in it.

USE [Master]
IF EXISTS(SELECT name FROM sys.databases
[ProductId] int,
[SalesQty] int,
[Year] int

Now lets use the PERCENT_RANK function on the above database created and view the outcome. We will use the following code below.

SELECT ProductId,SalesQty,Year,
AS PercentRank
WHERE productid = 30;

The outcome would be as below. The column PercentRank shows the percent of values that are less or equal to the current value of the SalesQty column. The first row in any set has a PERCENT_RANK of 0. That’s how it has been designed by default. In the result set 0.1 denotes 10 percent while 1 denotes 100 percent.

LAG and LEAD functions in SQL Server 2012

LAG() and LEAD() are two of the new analytical functions that has been introduced in SQL Server 2012. These functions helps in accessing a value from a  previous row (lag) and subsequent row (lead) in the same result set without joining the result set to itself . Let us quickly understand this with an example.

Let us create a database for the same and insert some values. Use the following code to achieve the same on a SQL Server 2012 instance

USE [Master]
IF EXISTS(SELECT name FROM sys.databases
WHERE name = 'LagAndLeadDemo')
USE LagAndLeadDemo
[ProductId] int,
[SalesQty] int,
[Year] int
insert into LagLead

Now let us implement LAG with following query

select [ProductId], [SalesQty], Year,
LAG([SalesQty]) OVER
(ORDER BY Year) as SalesQtyLastYear
from LagLead
where [ProductId] = 10
order by Year;

ll2Now if we observe the data of the column ‘SalesQtylastYear’ then we will find that it reflects the value that belongs to the previous row of the SalesQty column.

Now let us implement Lead with the following query

select [ProductId], [SalesQty],
LAG([SalesQty]) OVER
(ORDER BY Year) as SalesQtyLastYear,
Lead([SalesQty]) OVER
(ORDER BY Year) as SalesQtyNextYear
from LagLead
where [ProductId] = 10
order by Year;

ll3What we observe now is that the data of the column ‘SalesQtylastYear’ reflects the next value that belongs to the SalesQty column.

So in a nutshell this is what LAG and LEAD does. Fetches the previous row and next row values respectively. Let us now calculate the difference between last years sales quantity and current year’s sales quantity

select [ProductId], [SalesQty], Year,
LAG([SalesQty]) OVER (ORDER BY Year)
as LastYearRevenue,
[SalesQty] - LAG([SalesQty]) OVER (ORDER BY Year)
as SalesQtyChange
from LagLead
where [ProductId] = 20
order by Year;


Implementing user-defined Server Roles in SQL Server 2012

In SQL Server 2012 you can now create an user-defined server role and configure server level permissions for it. In previous versions this was not possible. If we had to delegate someone with administrative tasks we had no choice but to assign more rights and access than required. With SQL Server 2012, user-defined server roles can be created and configured with specific permissions for specific set of DBA’s.

Let us understand with an example how we can create an user defined server role.
Step 1: Right click on Server roles and select ‘New Server Role
udr1Step 2-> As the dialog box opens, type in a server role name -> set the owner to a preferred login. In our case we would choose sa.
udr2Step 3 -> Choose an option\s from Securables window. In our case we chose Servers. Under servers you will find the name of the server. Select the option. Below in the permissions window select the following as shown in the snapshot.
udr3Step 4 -> Click on OK. You will find the new server role under the server roles in SSMS
udr4Step 5 -> Now let us add a login to this new role. Right click on the ServerRole1 -> Click on Properties -> On the members tab click on Add
udr5udr6Step 6 -> Add a login that you want a to give membership to this role. Click on OK.
udr7So now you have successfully given a particular login few administrative rights that is required rather than granting it a privilege like sysadmin.However, one limitation of the user-defined server roles is that they cannot be granted permission on database level securables. Below is the script for the entire action we did.

USE [master]
use [master]
use [master]
use [master]
ADD MEMBER [testdb]

Extended Events in SQL Server 2012 – Part 1

In SQL Server 2008, Microsoft introduced a feature called Extended Events. Extended Events helped in collecting and analyzing event driven data about the SQL Server instance. Extended Events introduced lesser load than trace or profiler events on the server. But in SQL Server 2008 there was no GUI that allowed direct communication with the events. Complex T-SQL had to be written to fetch the information which was returned in xml format.

In SQL Server 2012, MS has introduced a GUI in the Management Studio (SSMS)  that allows working with Extended Events and viewing event related data a much simpler process. In this article we will understand and see step by step how we can create and manage Extended events via the GUI that is built in the SSMS.

Step 1: Connect to SQL Server 2012 instance -> Open Management Tab -> Open Extended Events -> Right Click on Sessions -> New Session
Step 2 -> In the new session dialog box type in a name of the session. In this case we will use ‘Session1’. For now we will not choose any template.

Step 3 -> Click on Events tab -> On the below window you will find many Events listed from which we need to pick an event or multiple events that we want to capture. Once selected we need to click on the button to add it. For this article we will use the Events
a) query_post_execution_showplan and b) sql_statement_completed
EE3AEE4Step 4 -> Click on Data Storage -> Here you specify how you can capture data so you can view it later. Here we will save it as Event File. Mention the path where we would save the file -> Click on OK.
EE5Step 5 -> Go to management studio -> Under sessions you will find New session listed. It would be in a stopped state as this is the default behavior. Right Click on the session and click on ‘Start Session
EE6EE7EE8Step 6 -> Now right click on the created session and select ‘Watch Live Data’. If there is no activity on the instance you will not see any data.
EE9EE10Step 7 -> Let us fire few queries on the AdventureWorks2012 database and watch the window. Following are queries that we would run on the database for testing. After running the queries go back and open the ‘Watch Live Data’ window again. Click on the Event data and observe the below.

USE AdventureWorks2012
SELECT * FROM Production.Product pp
WHERE pp.ProductID > 40
SELECT * FROM Production.BillOfMaterials Pb
WHERE pb.BillOfMaterialsID > 100

EE11EE12EE13In this article we have seen how we can start a new event trace from SSMS. In my next article we will explore more into the new GUI feature that MS has added to SQL Server 2012.

Data page restore from the SSMS UI in SQL Server 2012

How about a UI that lets you restore data pages in SQL Server? Well that’s exactly what we have in SQL Server 2012. The UI allows you to select the pages from the backup to restore rather than restoring the entire database.

Here are the steps how we can restore a data page in SQL Server 2012

Step 1:dp1Step 2: Once you click on Check database pages you will have list of pages that are corrupt. Click on Add. Choose the correct backup set and click on OK. The corrupt data page\s will be restored.

Timeline – Point in time recovery with SQL Server 2012

How about a nice GUI that lets you select the time to which you want to restore all your available backups in sequence in one go. A TIMELINE of restoration points. That would be fantastic and that is what SQL server 2012 has introduced. Point in time recovery via the TIMELINE feature. Let us understand this feature with an example.

I have created a database called MyDB which I will restore to a point in time. I have kept the DB in full recovery mode. The following backups have been taken.
1) 1 full backup
2) 1 Diff backup
3) 5 t-log backups
Snapshot of the backups
tl2Now lets recover this database to a point in time from the available backup via TIMELINE option.
Step 1: Right click on the database -> Tasks-> restore -> database
tl3Step 2: select device. Give a new name to the restored DB
tl4Step 3: Click on the add button and select all the backup files
tl5Step 4: Click on ok and you will see the below screen. Observe the option restore to
tl6tl7Step 5: Lets click on TIMELINE button and this is what you will see
tl8Step 6: Select the option -> Specific date and time. Once you do that you will be able to move the scroll bar to any time highlighted in green. In tis case i have moved it to 6:02:03 PM. This is the time i would like to have my DB restored to. Click on OK.
tl9Once you click on OK, you will find the below screen with the required backup only. Also observe that a tail log backup will also be taken.
tl10Step 7: Click on options tab. We will go with restore with recovery. Click on OK
tl11tl12Once you click on OK you will find the db restored with recovery to the name given above

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.

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.

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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