Quick T-SQL Window Function Articles

Even after six years, I am still presenting at user groups and SQL Saturdays on T-SQL windowing functions. I have found that many data professionals haven’t heard about these great functions. Lots of folks are using ROW_NUMBER, but most haven’t heard about LAG, for example. I recently decided to write a couple of articles for Simple-Talk to give a quick introduction.

The first article, Introduction to T-SQL Window Functions, describes each type of function along with an example or two of each. The second article, T-SQL Window Functions and Performance, tells you what you need to know to get good performance when using these functions.

To learn even more, take a look at my book or my Pluralsight course. These functions simplify many types of queries. If you are writing queries for SQL Server databases, the window function feature is worth checking out!


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SQL in the City Streamed: The June 2018 Edition

NOTE: This post first appeared on Simple-Talk.

I often joke that I wish cloning was perfected so that I could be two places at once. Sometimes, it is hard to decide which opportunity is more important, for example, my niece’s graduation party ended on up the same day as a concert with my favourite band. My ticket included a meet and greet pass. (Sorry, Katie, I chose the concert, but I did send you a nice card and check.)

A couple of months ago, our manager informed the team when the next SQL in the City broadcast would be, the 20th of June. Oops, I have the biggest holiday trip of my life planned that week, a trip I have been planning and saving towards for five years. Along with my husband, our kids and their families, I will travel to one of the hottest spots on earth right now, The Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, that is where Mount Kilauea has been erupting for several weeks.

Thanks to modern technology, I don’t have to be in Cambridge on the day of the SQL in the City broadcast. I made a trip to the UK in May to record my session so that I can experience my vacation trip without worrying about my job. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy my presentation even though it is not live like the rest of the day.

Each SQL in the City broadcast has a theme. This time, the theme is Compliant Database DevOps. This is an important topic as companies around the world make sure they are compliant with the GDPR. Understanding the GDPR and other regulations is important for database professionals, especially database administrators who are really the caretakers of data in most companies. My session demonstrates how monitoring can help DBAs with compliance. I see monitoring divided into four areas: resources, configuration, maintenance, and performance. Aspects of data protection are baked into all of them.

This event is a great way to learn more about ways to protect data, such as creating a catalogue of servers, databases, and tables that contain sensitive information and providing clones of production databases for developers with all sensitive information masked. You’ll also learn how your team can be more efficient when writing T-SQL Code.

While on vacation, I’ll miss seeing my fellow MVPs Grant Fritchey (@gfritchey) and Steve Jones (@way0utwest) that week, but you don’t have to miss out. Register today!

Posted in Database Administration, Life in IT, Security, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T-SQL Tuesday: Giving back to the community


This month’s T-SQL Tuesday from Riley Major (b|t) asks us to figure out a way to give back to the community and then write about it. I’m going to go with the option to write about how and why I got started since I am already heavily involved with the community.

My first involvement with community was in 2004 at PASS Summit. At that conference, I attended two sessions that would change my life forever. One was about volunteering for PASS, and the other was titled something like ‘How to make a name for yourself’ – basically how to become well known in the community and possibly become an MVP. I decided to volunteer for PASS and signed up before leaving Orlando. I was also about to complete my master’s degree, so I knew I would have some extra free time which I could fill with writing articles. It took me two months to get that first article written and published to SQLServerCentral, but I was hooked.

Initially, I didn’t think about volunteering and writing as ways to give back exactly. I was just looking for interesting things to do. I really didn’t think about the fact that my efforts would help people all over the world learn more about SQL Server. I also didn’t realize that so many opportunities would open up for me or that I would make so many friends in the community.

If I have to narrow down what I’m most proud of, I’d have to mention two things. The first is my book Beginning T-SQL, now in its 3rd edition. The second is teaching in the CoderGirl program for LaunchCode. I have been teaching T-SQL and SSRS to women who want to make career changes as well as developing the curriculum for this class. I’m hoping that the curriculum can be used by LaunchCode in other cities around the country. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.

By giving back to the community, be that writing, presenting, teaching, or leading a user group, I’m making a difference in the world. My life has been enriched beyond my wildest dreams. I highly recommend taking the initial step by writing that first blog post, speaking at your local group, or just reaching out to some of us for advice on how to get started. You’ll be glad you did!

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