Passing Multiple Values into a Variable

Passing multiple values into a variable is a little more difficult than it should be. In other languages you can use functions such as Lists or Arrays, but SQL makes it a bit more complicated. To show you what I mean, let’s look at an example.

First, let’s create a Demo table:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Demo](
[ID] [int] NULL,
[Name] [varchar](50) NULL,
[Address] [varchar](50) NULL,
[State] [varchar](50) NULL,
[Zip] [int] NULL
)

Next, populate it with some data:

INSERT INTO [dbo].[Demo]
VALUES (1, 'Brady', '123 Main Street', 'TN', 12345)

 

INSERT INTO [dbo].[Demo]
VALUES (2, 'Tommy', '124 Main Street', 'TN', 12345)

 

INSERT INTO [dbo].[Demo]
VALUES (3, 'Jonny', '125 Main Street', 'TN', 12345)

Now that we have some data, let’s try a query using variables. I want to define a variable on the column ID.

DECLARE @MultipleValue varchar(200)
SET @MultipleValue = '1,2'

SELECT * FROM Demo WHERE ID IN (@MultipleValue)

After running this query, I get 0 results and an error:

Msg 245, Level 16, State 1, Line 24
Conversion failed when converting the varchar value ‘1,2’ to data type int.

Why? I know the ID’s 1 and 2 are in the table, but SQL is looking at this variable as one string. So unless I have 1,2 in the same ID column, it will show 0 results.

One way to get around this is to use a UDF, user defined function. In this function, we’re going to convert the comma separated values (1,2) into a table, then query from that.

CREATE FUNCTION [dbo].[MultipleValues] (@InStr VARCHAR(MAX))
RETURNS @TempTable TABLE
(id int not null)
AS
BEGIN

SET @InStr = REPLACE(@InStr + ',', ',,', ',')
DECLARE @SP INT
DECLARE @VALUE VARCHAR(1000)
WHILE PATINDEX('%,%', @INSTR ) <> 0

BEGIN

SELECT @SP = PATINDEX('%,%',@INSTR)
SELECT @VALUE = LEFT(@INSTR , @SP - 1)
SELECT @INSTR = STUFF(@INSTR, 1, @SP, '')
INSERT INTO @TempTable(id) VALUES (@VALUE)
END
RETURN
END
GO

Now that we have a UDF, let’s use this in the query:

DECLARE @MultipleValue varchar(200)
SET @MultipleValue = '1,2'

SELECT * FROM Demo WHERE ID IN (SELECT * FROM dbo.MultipleValues(@MultipleValue))

Ta da!

We now have two results. ID 1 and 2:

Passing multiple values into a variable

SQL Server Index Properties in Management Studio

Understanding indexes and how they work can be complicated enough for a Jr. DBA, but throw in all the different options and properties and an index can soon be overwhelming. In this post, I’ll discuss the different options available when creating a basic index.

To create an index using SSMS, expand the tree for a table and right click on Indexes and select New Index: (This tip will not discuss the anatomy of an index, but will focus on the properties.)

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Index Properties

After choosing the index type, you will notice that there a few tabs on the left side that will define how your index will act. These tabs will differ between SSMS versions but basically have the same information. In this tip, we’ll be using SQL Server 2012 SSMS.

The first tab, General, is where you can set the index name, the key columns, and the included columns (if any). This tab also shows the table name and index type you selected:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Index Properties
The next tab, Options, is where you can view or modify the properties for the index:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Index Properties

Let’s go over each property.

Index Properties Options Page

We will begin with the options page.

Auto recompute statistics

This property defines whether or not you want SQL Server to automatically update the index statistics. Best practice is to leave this option set to True, otherwise you will have to manually update the statistics.

According to Microsoft, statistics are considered outdated when the following happens:

  • The table size has gone from 0 to >0 rows.
  • The number of rows in the table when the statistics were gathered was 500 or less, and the column modification counters (colmodctr) of the leading column of the statistics object has changed by more than 500 since then.
  • The table had more than 500 rows when the statistics were gathered, and the colmodctr of the leading column of the statistics object has changed by more than 500 + 20% of the number of rows in the table when the statistics were gathered.

Outdated statistics can lead to performance problems.

As the link above states, the statistics auto update is triggered by query optimization or by execution of a complied plan, and it involves only a subset of the columns referred to in the query.

Ignore duplicate values

This property specifies where a duplicate key value can be inserted into the column that is part the index. If set to “True”, SQL Server will issue a warning when an INSERT statement is about to create a duplicate key and will ignore the duplicate row. If this option is set to “False”, SQL Server will issue an error message and rolls back the INSERT statement.

Example:

In this example (AdventureWorks2012.Person.Person), I have a Non-clustered, unique index. My key column is rowguid.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Index Properties
I’ve set the Ignore duplicate values to “False”

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Index Properties

If I try to INSERT a duplicate value for rowguid, I get the following error:

Msg 2601, Level 14, State 1, Line 1 Cannot insert duplicate key row in object ‘Person.Person’ with unique index ‘AK_Person_rowguid’. The duplicate key value is (92c4279f-1207-48a3-8448-4636514eb7e2). The statement has been terminated.

If I change the Ignore duplicate values to “True” and try to INSERT a duplicate value for rowguid I get the following:

(0 row(s) affected)

As you can see, neither of these inserted the duplicate value because it was a UNIQUE index but one returned an error message and ended the statement while the other didn’t return an error. If I was inserting multiple records the first message would have rolled back the transaction while the second message would have inserted all the unique values and skipped over the unique record.

The default value for this option is “False” and can only be used on UNIQUE indexes.

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Removing Duplicates Rows with SSIS Sort Transformation

There are multiple ways to remove duplicate records in SQL Server. In this post, I’ll use the SSIS Sort Transformation to remove records and show you how easy it can be.

The SSIS Sort Transformation task is useful when you need to sort data into a certain sort order. You can compare it to the ORDER BY clause in a SELECT statement. Books Online explains it as:

“The Sort transformation sorts input data in ascending or descending order and copies the sorted data to the transformation output. You can apply multiple sorts to an input; each sort is identified by a numeral that determines the sort order. The column with the lowest number is sorted first, the sort column with the second lowest number is sorted next, and so on”

SSIS Sort Task in Action

First, open Visual Studio (or Business Intelligence Dev Studio if you’re using pre SQL Server 2012) and create an SSIS project. Next, we can go ahead and make a connection to our database. Right click Connection Managers in Solution Explorer and choose New Connection Manager:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow

Choose your Connection Manager type. In this example, we’ll use OLEDB. Next, configure the Connection Manager to point to your dataset. In this example, I’ll use localhost and my Dev database:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow
Test the connection and click OK. Next, drag a Data Flow task from the SSIS toolbox onto the design screen:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow

Right click the Data Flow task and choose Edit. You are now inside the data flow task. This is where all the action happens. Drag an OLEDB source task from the SSIS toolbox to the design screen:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow

Right click the OLEDB task and choose Edit. This screen is where we will define the connection manager we created earlier. Under OLEDB connection manager choose the connection you created. Leave data access mode as Table or view. Change the name of the table or the view to the table that has duplicate data that needs to be removed. In this example, I’ll use a table named Teams:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow

To preview the data click Preview. In my example, you can see I have duplicates in the Team, City and State columns:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow

Click OK to close the OLEDB Source task. Drag the Sort Transformation task onto the design screen. Connect the OLEDB Source task to the Sort task:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Sort Task Transformation Data Flow
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Power Query for Excel

In this post, I’ll discuss the prerequisites and how to install and enable Power Query (Data Explorer) and I’ll show you how to use this new feature.

Prerequisites:

  • Requires Microsoft Office 2010 SP1 or Microsoft Excel 2013 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Requires Windows Vista (with .Net 3.5 SP1 or greater), Windows Server 2008 (with .Net 3.5 SP1 or greater), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Installation:

Download and install the preview from Microsoft Download Center

Once the feature is installed open Excel and go to File, Options, Add-Ins. Select COM Add-Ins and click Go.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI
Check Microsoft “Data Explorer” Preview for Excel and click OK.
SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI
Once Data Explorer has been enabled, the tab will appear above the Office ribbon.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI

Now that we have Data Explorer installed and enabled we can get to the fun stuff.

To see a detailed list of each element you can visit Microsoft Data Explorer Help

If you click on the Data Explorer tab you will notice Get External Data. Just like Excel and PowerPivot, this is where our data source will come from. There are multiple data sources to choose from including websites, files, databases, Active Directory, and even Facebook. Yes….Facebook.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI

In this tip, I’ll show you examples of two data sources. We’ll pull data from a website and create a map report using PowerView and we’ll pull data from Facebook and make a report using PowerPivot.

Web Data Source

In the first example, I’ll pull table data from the web using Wikipedia. Choose “From Web” from the Get External Data section and use the following URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI

Click OK

In the Query Editor under Navigator, select Countries. This will display rank, country, population, date, % of world population and source. We can filter columns just like in Excel by selecting the header arrow and choosing the appropriate filter. In this example, we’ll filter Source to only includes records that are an official estimate.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel Data Explorer Power Query BI
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Microsoft’s new 3D data visualization BI product – Power Map

Microsoft has introduced a new BI product that will provide 3D data visualization using Bing Maps. This product is still in beta and is codenamed “GeoFlow” but should be out late 2013 or early 2014. This preview will allow you to plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create visual tours. It is a really cool product and I can’t wait to use it in a business atmosphere.

In this post, I’ll discuss the prerequisites and how to install “GeoFlow” and I’ll give an introduction on how to use this feature.

Prerequisites:

  • Requires Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus
  • Supports 32-bit or 64-bit machines
  • Requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2008R2 (requires .NET Framework 4.0)
  • Requires internet access

Installation

Download and install the preview from Microsoft Download Center (make sure Excel is closed while installing)

Open Excel and “Maps” will appear as a new item in the “Insert” tab of the Excel ribbon:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
Now that “GeoFlow is installed, we can begin using the new feature.

For this tip, I’m using the AdventureWorks2012 database and the result set from the following query imported into Excel:

  SELECT  
  OrderDate, 
  ShipDate, 
  AddressLine1, 
  City, 
  PostalCode, 
  StateProvinceCode
  FROM [AdventureWorks2012].[Sales].[SalesOrderHeader] soh
  JOIN [AdventureWorks2012].[Person].[Address] ps ON soh.ShipToAddressID = ps.AddressID
  JOIN [AdventureWorks2012].[Person].[StateProvince] psp ON psp.StateProvinceID = ps.StateProvinceID
  WHERE StateProvinceCode = 'CA'

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
Once you have the data in Excel, click on the “Insert” tab on the Office ribbon and click Map. You should now see the “GeoFlow” globe:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
There are a few tabs you can use right away in the ribbon bar. Under the “Map” item you can change Themes and add Map Labels. I like to enable the Map labels so I can see a more detailed version of the map. You can also zoom in and out and move the map using the arrows and +/- buttons in the bottom right corner of the map.SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
On the right side you see the “Layer” pane. This is where you will choose your geography visualizations. For this example Ill select “PostalCode” under the range section and since we know that this column stores zip codes we’ll map it to “Zip” under the Geography section:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI

Once the fields are selected, click Map It.

You might notice that 86 records were updated meaning that there are 86 unique zip codes in California and it placed a marker on each zip code:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
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Using the SSIS WMI Task to Gather System Information

Finding server information is vital when monitoring servers and is usually pretty easy to find on SQL Servers, however when monitoring web or app servers this may be a bit of a challenge when SQL querying is not at your disposal. This post will talk about the SSIS task “WMI Data Reader” and how it can help you monitor your non-SQL Servers.

First, a short introduction to WMI….

WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) is used for accessing management information in an enterprise environment. The ability to obtain management data from remote computers is what makes WMI useful. It provides a consistent approach to carrying out day-to-day management tasks with programming or scripting languages – MSDN

Some things you can do with WMI may include:

  • Rebooting a computer remotely
  • Get a list of applications installed on a local or remote computer
  • Find OS info such as the version of Windows and service pack levels
  • Query the event logs on a local or remote computer
  • Find system information such as Manufacturer and Model of a computer

As you can see, WMI is a very powerful tool and can be used locally or remotely.

There are tons of different metrics you can capture using WMI scripts, but for this example I’ll capture disk space information using the Win32_LogicalDisk class and insert it into a database table using a SSIS package.

First, let’s create our database table that will store our disk information:

CREATE TABLE DiskInfo
(
Drive varchar(4),
DriveSize numeric(18,2),
FreeSpace numeric(18,2),
[Date] Datetime Not NUll Default GetDate()
)

Once our table is created, we can create the SSIS package. Open BIDS or SSDT and create a new Integration Services project.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMI
From the SSIS toolbox, drag the WMI Data Reader Task into the Design view.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMI

Right click in the Connection Manager window and select New Connection and select WMI. Click Add:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMISQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMI
This will open the WMI Connection Manager Editor. Give the connection manager a name and description. If you are creating the package for a local computer then use \\localhost to connect. If you are creating the package for a remote server then use \\RemoteServer to connect. For this example, I’m connecting locally using Windows Authentication:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMI

Next we’ll need to right click on the WMI Data Reader Task and choose edit. Click the WMI Options tab. This tab is where we will need to input information such as the WMI connection string and the WMI query. For this example, I have used the following:

  • WMI connection – This is the connection we created in the previous step.
  • WqlQuerySourceType – Direct input
  • WqlQuerySource – Select Name, Size, FreeSpace From Win32_LogicalDisk Where DriveType = 3
  • OutputType – Data table
  • OverwriteDestination – Overwrite destination
  • DestinationType – File connection
  • Destination – New destination (see below)

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS WMI
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Building Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with PowerPivot

A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a graphical representation that displays progress against a predefined measure or business goal. KPIs make it easier for end users to evaluate the amount of progress without reading a bunch of data.

In this post, I’ll use AdventureWorksDW2012 sample data so you can follow along with me. The database can be downloaded here.

Let’s get started.

Enabling PowerPivot in Excel 2013

To enable PowerPivot, open Excel, go to File, Options, Add-Ins, select COM Add-ins and click Go. This will open up the COM Add-Ins dialog box. Click “Microsoft Office PowerPivot for Excel 2013” and hit OK. After successfully enabling PowerPivot, the tab should appear at the top of the Excel spreadsheet:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI

Importing Data

Open Excel, click the PowerPivot tab, Manage:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI
Upon clicking Manage, a new window should appear. From this window, you will import data. Click From Database and select From SQL Server:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI
Type in the Server Name, Authentication mode, and browse to the AdventureWorksDW2012 database:
SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPIClick Next, choose “Select from a list of tables and views to choose the data to import” and click Next. The next screen is where we will select our data to import. For this example, choose FactInternetSales and click “Select Related Tables”. The Select Related Tables button enables you to automatically select every table that is related to the source table selected:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI
After clicking Finish, the import will begin. Once the import finishes successfully you should be able to view all the tables separated into sheets:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI

Creating PivotTable

Before creating a KPI we will need to slice and dice our data into a PivotTable. To do this, click PivotTable on the ribbon bar and choose New Worksheet:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server PowerPivot KPI
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Restore SQL Server Databases using DateTime functions

If you take full backups using SQL Server maintenance plans and let SQL Server use the default naming convention, you have probably noticed that usually you’ll have file name in the format of “database name + backup + date + time + .bak”. For example, a backup from the master database may look like this: “master_backup_2012_10_02_220558_8601773.bak”.  It can be a challenge to script out automatic restores because the numbers on the end of the backup name constantly change. In this tip I will explain how to script out RESTORE DATABASE statements using DateTime functions.

Let’s say we have a folder full of backups like this:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Backup Restore Datetime Functions

Let’s say our boss wants us to restore Monday’s production backup (Alabama) every Friday afternoon to our development database (Tide). To accomplish this task, we can use the built-in SQL Server DateTime functions.

The below script will restore from the backup created on the first day of the current week.  I’ve added comments to explain the code.

-- Declare variables
DECLARE @backup nvarchar(200) 
DECLARE @datebegin datetime
DECLARE @dateend datetime

-- Initalize variables
-- Set @datebegin equal to the first day of the current week
SELECT @datebegin = DATEADD(wk,DATEDIFF(wk,0,GETDATE()),0)
-- Set @dateend equal to the second day of the current week 
SELECT @dateend = DATEADD(wk,DATEDIFF(wk,0,GETDATE()),1) 

-- Set @backup equal to query dependent on datebegin and dateend 
SELECT TOP 1 @backup = name + '.bak' 
FROM msdb..backupset 
WHERE database_name = 'Alabama' 
AND backup_start_date BETWEEN @datebegin AND @dateend 
AND type = 'D' -- D is for full backups
ORDER BY backup_start_date ASC 

USE [master]

-- Put DB in Single_User Mode
ALTER DATABASE [Tide] SET SINGLE_USER WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE 

-- Restore DB using query from @backup variable
RESTORE DATABASE [Tide] FROM  DISK = @backup WITH FILE = 1, NOUNLOAD, REPLACE, STATS = 5 
GO

Below is a table of useful DateTime functions that you can use for the @datebegin and @dateend variables.

Day SQL
Today SELECT GETDATE()
Yesterday SELECT DATEADD(d, -1, GETDATE())
First Day of Current Week SELECT DATEADD(wk, DATEDIFF(wk, 0, GETDATE()), 0)
Last Day of the Current Week SELECT DATEADD(wk, DATEDIFF(wk, 0, GETDATE()), 6)
First Day of the Current Month SELECT DATEADD(mm,DATEDIFF(mm,0,GETDATE()),0)
Last Day of the Current Month SELECT DATEADD(ms,- 3,DATEADD(mm,0,DATEADD(mm,DATEDIFF(mm,0,GETDATE())+1,0)))
First Day of the Current Year SELECT DATEADD(yy,DATEDIFF(yy,0,GETDATE()),0)
Last Day of the Current Year SELECT DATEADD(ms,-3,DATEADD(yy,0,DATEADD(yy,DATEDIFF(yy,0,GETDATE())+1,0)))

Another example may include where you need to take a backup from the first of the month of the production database and restore it weekly to the development database. In this situation you can edit the @datebegin and @dateend variables:

--Set @datebegin equal to the first day of the current month
SELECT @datebegin = DATEADD(mm,DATEDIFF(mm,0,GETDATE()),0) 

--Set @dateend equal to the second day of the current month
SELECT @dateend = SELECT DATEADD(mm,DATEDIFF(mm,0,GETDATE()),1)

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How to create and use Temp tables in SSIS

Creating temp tables in SSIS seems like a straight-forward process using the Execute SQL Task, however there are a couple of properties that must be changed. In this post, we’ll walk through creating a simple temp table in SSIS.

Creating Sample SSIS Package

First, I will drag an Execute SQL Task into my Design view and rename it Create Temp Table:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Temp Tables
Next, I will right click and edit and choose my connection and SQLStatement:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Temp Tables

IF OBJECT_ID('tempdb..##tmpTeams') IS NOT NULL
    DROP TABLE ##tmpTeams
    CREATE TABLE ##tmpTeams
    (
        Team VARCHAR(255),
        Mascot VARCHAR(255),
  State VARCHAR (2)
    )
    INSERT INTO ##tmpTeams VALUES
       ('Auburn', 'Tigers', 'AL'),
       ('Alabama', 'Crimson Tide', 'AL'),
       ('Mississippi', 'Rebels', 'MS'),
       ('Louisiana State', 'Tigers', 'LA'),
       ('Mississippi State', 'Bulldogs', 'MS'),
 ('Arkansas', 'Razorbacks', 'AR'),
 ('Texas A&M', 'Aggies', 'TX'),
 ('Georgia', 'Bulldogs', 'GA'),
 ('Tennessee', 'Volunteers', 'TN'),
 ('Vanderbilt', 'Commodores', 'TN'),
 ('Florida', 'Gators', 'FL'),
 ('South Carolina', 'Gamecocks', 'SC'),
 ('Missouri', 'Tigers', 'MO')

Next, I will drag a Data Flow task into my Design view, rename it Query and drag the precedence constraint between the two:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Temp Tables
For the Data Flow task we are going to query the temp table and export the results to a database table. Right click the Data Flow task and choose Edit. Drag a OLE DB Source and a OLE DB Destination task into the Design view.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Temp Tables

To avoid errors when configuring the OLE DB Source we need to create the temp table first using SSMS. In SSMS run the following statement to create a global temp table:

CREATE TABLE ##tmpTeams
    (
        Team VARCHAR(255),
        Mascot VARCHAR(255),
  State VARCHAR (2)
    )

Once the table has been created, let’s go back into our SSIS package. Right click OLE DB Source and choose Edit. Choose your data source and choose SQL command for the Data access mode dropdown. In the SQL command text we will need to create our SQL statement:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSIS Temp Tables

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Understanding Column Properties for a SQL Server Table

Designing a table can be a little complicated if you don’t have the correct knowledge of data types, relationships, and even column properties. In this post, I’ll go over the column properties and provide examples.

To create a new table using SSMS, expand the tree for a database and right click on Tables and select “New Table…” as shown below.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties
A new window will open and once you enter a Column Name and a Data Type you will see the appropriate Column Properties for that data type as shown below:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties

Note: Some properties only appear for certain data types

OK, let’s go over each property.


(Name)

Name, simply, is the name of the column. You can change the name of the column in the table design view or in the column properties.


Allow Nulls

Allow Nulls indicates whether or not the column will allow null values. If the column does not allow null values then some sort of data must be put into this record. You can change this value in the table design view by checking/unchecking the Allow Nulls box or from the column properties.


Data Type

Data type, like its name implies, is the type of data stored for the column. You can learn more about data types in this article. You can change the data type in the table design view or the column properties.


Default Value or Binding

The Default Value option will allow you to enter a default value in case a value is not specified in an insert statement. For example, let’s say we have three columns in a table named Demo (Column1, Column2, and Column3) and we put a value of 50 in the Default Value or Binding for Column2.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties

In the query below we are inserting data to Column1 and Column3, but nothing for Column2 so this will get the default value of 50.

INSERT INTO DEMO (Column1, Column3)
VALUES (1, ‘Brady Upton')

Our result set should be:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties
By creating a default value, this also creates a default constraint automatically as well as shown below:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties


Length

Length displays the number of characters for character-based data types. For example, nvarchar(50) has a length of 50. You can change the length in table design view or column properties.


Collation

Collation can be specified at the instance level, database level, and even down to the column level. This property displays the collating sequence that SQL Server applies to the column. To change the collation using column properties, click the ellipsis and choose the collation:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Table Column Properties

Computed Column Specification

Computed Column Specification displays information about a computed column. A computed column is a logical column that is not physically stored in the table unless the column is marked as Persisted (see Is Persisted below)

  • Formula: This field is where you can use formula’s. (See below for an example)
  • Is Persisted: This field indicates whether the results of the formula are stored in the database or are calculated each time the column is referenced

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