The importance of backups

I have been selected to present a second session for the PASS Summit in November this year. I wrote a few weeks ago about the Linux Learning Path and being a part of that, so I was certainly not expecting this. My second topic is about backing up, testing, and restoring SQL Server backups if
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The free SQL to Excel Export tool

Earlier this month I released a new, free tool to export SQL Server query data to Excel files without needing Excel. It also installs stored procedures and runs them, if that’s what you desire. Go ahead and play with it. I’ll wait. There was some positive interest on Twitter, for which I am very grateful, and
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEDIFF() and DATEDIFF_BIG()

Last time we looked at adding or subtracting date parts using the DATEADD() T-SQL system function. This week we see how to calculate the difference between two date-time values using DATEDIFF() and DATEDIFF_BIG(). The syntax for both functions is identical:

The only functional difference between them is that the DATEDIFF_BIG() returns values as a
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEADD()

We are now in the home stretch of the long-running series about dates and times in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. This week we look at one of my favourite T-SQL functions when it comes to dates and times: DATEADD(). Syntax As with similar functions, DATEADD can do arithmetic on dates as well as
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Create a slipstream installer for SQL Server on Windows

Since the release of SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 in April 2009, it has been possible to install SQL Server with media that includes the latest patches, whether they be Service Packs (for SQL Server 2016 and prior), Cumulative Updates, and even hotfixes. There was the hint of a promise with the new servicing
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: AT TIME ZONE

Continuing the series on dates and times in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database, this week we look at the hint AT TIME ZONE. In Azure SQL Database, the regional settings of the database are set to UTC by default. It is also advisable to store dates and times in UTC format on our on-premises
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Update your production servers and stop making excuses about it

Folks, we all like to make sure we’re doing our level best to make things work smoothly. So why am I staring at someone’s server that has never been updated since it was first set up almost three years ago? Do better, so that I don’t have to yell at you. Seriously. When we ignore
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATENAME()

Last time we looked at DATEPART(). This post is all about the DATENAME() function. So many similarities There are many similarities between DATEPART and DATENAME. Where DATEPART returns the date or time part as an integer, DATENAME returns the part as a character string. This DATENAME function also takes two parameters: the date or time
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: DATEPART()

In my previous posts in this series we’ve seen reference to Transact-SQL (T-SQL) functions that are used to get the specific part of a date and/or time (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, etc.). This week we’ll go through one of them and see how it works. Introducing DATEPART, a built-in function that takes two
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Dates and Times in SQL Server: the problem with DATETIME

Recently I wrote a post about date and time functions you should never use, which contained an opinion I’ve expressed previously that some people have disagreed with, namely that DATETIME is a terrible data type which you should not be using in new development. The motivation for this position is that a better data type exists. As
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