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Unicode and Non-Unicode String Data Types in SQL Server Nov 19, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

SQL Server provides a number of data types that support all types of data that you may want to store. As you may have guessed, data type is an attribute that specifies the type of data that a column can store. It can be an integer, character string, monetary, date and time, and so on. One data type that causes some confusion among database designers and developers are those for storing character strings. A character string is a series of characters manipulated as a group. In the context of relational databases, character string data types are those which allow you to store either fixed-length (char) or variable-length data (varchar). Moreover, SQL Server splits its string types into two broad categories: Unicode and non-Unicode. These equate to nchar, nvarchar, and ntext for Unicode types and char, varchar/varchar (max) and text for non-Unicode. In today's blog, we'll compare the two categories to decide when to use one over the other.

The Purpose of WHERE 1=1 in SQL Statements Nov 8, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Have you ever seen a WHERE 1=1 condition in a SELECT query. I have, within many different queries and across many SQL engines. The condition obviously means WHERE TRUE, so it's just returning the same query result as it would without the WHERE clause. Also, since the query optimizer would almost certainly remove it, there's no impact on query execution time. So, what is the purpose of the WHERE 1=1? That is the question that we're going to answer here today!

What Is SQLite and How Does It Differ from MySQL? Nov 2, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

SQLite and MySQL are equally popular open source Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). Both are fast, cross-platform, robust, and feature-rich. Yet, beyond these similarities, the two databases are dissimilar in several important respects. Since you are probably more familiar with MySQL, this tutorial will list SQLite's most important features, as well as dissimilitudes to MySQL, all with the goal of steering you towards the product that will best suit your needs.

Null Values and the SQL Count() Function Oct 25, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Back in March of 2020, the The NULL Value and its Purpose in Relational Database Systems article presented the NULL value and its special meaning in relational databases. That article also described how to allow NULLs in your database tables and how to reference them in queries. In today's blog, we'll learn how to combine NULLs with the SQL Count() function to achieve a variety of objectives.

Understanding SQL Server CROSS APPLY and OUTER APPLY Queries - Part 2 Oct 19, 2021 by Robert Gravelle


Last blog introduced the APPLY operator and covered how it differs from regular JOINs. In today's follow-up, we'll compare the performance of APPLY to that of an INNER JOIN as well as learn how to use APPLY with table valued functions.

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