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Important SQL Server Functions - Miscellaneous Functions May 24, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 4: Miscellaneous Functions

This last category of important SQL Server functions includes those that deal with nulls, conversion, and control flow. Far from leftovers, these functions are among some of the most useful you'll ever come across!


Anytime you select a column whose value is not mandatory, you're bound to encounter null values. That only makes sense, because null values represent absent or missing information. Trouble is, nulls can reek havoc when included in calculations as well as other operations that one might perform on column data.

Important SQL Server Functions - Date Functions May 14, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 3: Date Functions

After twenty years in IT, I can confirm that dates and times can be notoriously difficult to work with. Thankfully, modern relational databases like SQL Server provide a wealth of highly useful functions for this purpose. In today's blog, we'll explore some of the most popular ones.

Important SQL Server Functions - Numeric Functions May 11, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 2: Numeric Functions

Like most modern relational database offerings, SQL Server comes loaded with an impressive collection of built-in functions. While some functions are amazingly similar across the board, exact names and signatures may vary. Therefore, it's a good idea to brush up on the SQL Server specific implementations of common SQL function. In part 1 of this series, we explored string functions. In today's installment, we'll be moving on to numerical functions, a category that is highly useful in the generation of statistics and calculated values!

Important SQL Server Functions - String Utilities May 7, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Part 1: String Utilities

There are certain functions that seem to come up in every programming language. Although SQL differs from your typical procedural programming language like C# or Java in many ways, it too comes equipped with an impressive assortment of built-in functions. These may be applied to Char, Varchar, and Text data types. Each database vendor does not implement functions in exactly the same way, so it pays to familiarize yourself with functions that are specific to the database you work with. In this series, we'll be taking a look at a few important SQL functions, as implemented by SQL Server. Today's blog will tackle string functions, while subsequent installments will explore numerical, date functions, and more!

Iterate over Query Result Sets Using a Cursor May 4, 2021 by Robert Gravelle

Being a transactional programming language, SQL is designed to execute its work in an all-or-nothing capacity. Meanwhile, procedural programming languages such as C# and Java are often iterative in nature. As such, they tend to loop over the same code until the stack is diminished and fully processed. Cursors are a notable exception to SQL's transactional approach. Like WHILE loops, cursors allow programmers to process each row of a SELECT result set individually by iterating over them. While many SQL purists shun cursors out of disdain or fear, they have their place in database development and are well worth learning. To that end, today's blog will describe when and how to use cursors within your stored procedures.

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