SQL Server Features Discovery Report

Dave Mason SQL Server Features Discovery Report

I don't need to validate SQL Server installations on a regular basis. When the need arises, my preference is to run the SQL Server features discovery report. Further, I prefer to run it from the command line. After looking up command line parameters one too many times, I decided to script it out.


New For SQL Server 2017: T-SQL Function CONCAT_WS

Dave Mason SQL Server 2017 TSQL CONCAT_WS

In the last post, I looked at a new T-SQL function for SQL Server 2017. Let's continue down that path and look at CONCAT_WS(), which is also new for SQL Server 2017. Here's the definition of the function from Microsoft Docs:


New For SQL Server 2017: T-SQL Function TRIM

Dave Mason SQL Server 2017 TSQL TRIM

There's a new T-SQL function for SQL Server 2017 named TRIM(). If you're familiar with LTRIM() and/or RTRIM(), you can probably guess what it does. Here's the definition of the TRIM() function from Microsoft Docs:


STRING_AGG Return Types

Dave Mason SQL Server STRING_AGG

I had a chance to use the STRING_AGG function recently, or so I thought. Since I couldn't use it for "real world" work, I decided to give it a test drive on my own. My initial thought was to do some performance testing and blog about that, but I ran into an interesting problem that I'll discuss here for now.

I started by populating a table with some "string" data:


Formatting Dates with CONVERT

Dave Mason - SQL Server CONVERT

Displaying dates and times with different formats in TSQL is a task I run into quite a bit. I used to visit this page so many times, I'm surprised it doesn't have a "Welcome back, Dave!" banner on it at the top.


Installing SSRS 2017

Dave Mason SQL Server SSRS 2017

Back in 2017 before SQL Server 2017 reached its GA release, I wrote a post about installing multiple instances of SSRS on the same host. I used SQL Server 2017 RC2 to do my testing and provide some screen shots. But by the time the GA release of SQL 2017 arrived, the SSRS installation was decoupled from the main SQL Server installation package (much like SSMS 2017). I'd gotten a few questions and comments in the post asking about the "new" SSRS 2017 installation. I'll try to address that here, based on some brief installation testing.


T-SQL Tuesday #98: Technical Challenges

Dave Mason T-SQL Tuesday

For T-SQL Tuesday #98, Arun Sirpal (b|t) asks us to write about a time when we faced a technical challenge that we overcame. Thanks for asking, Arun!


Generating Random Passwords In Bulk

Idera Software hosted another SQL Chat on Twitter yesterday. One of the questions that came up was about security:


2017 Year End Review

Another year of blogging has come and gone. Thank you to everyone that's dropped by! For many other technical bloggers, one post per week is a common goal. After a few years, I'm pretty sure I won't hit that target, at least not for the duration of a year. For 2017 I managed to write 42 posts. Averaging more than 3 posts per month for a year is pretty good, I'd say.


Thoughts On Technical Interviews

For a long time, I have wanted to share my experiences with technical interviews, but the time never seemed right. Until now. A few months back I left a company where I was a full time employee. There have been many interviews since then that pushed me to write this post. Although I have been on the other side of the table as an interviewer many times, and I think I have a healthy understanding of what it's like from both perspectives, much of this is born out of my recent experiences as a candidate. Interviewing can be an emotional (and frustrating) process. I hope my thoughts presented here are received as sensible and reasoned.