Building Blocks for High Performance SQL


High performance SQL requires meticulous attention to detail at every step of the process.  This session will share some of the standards and guidelines used by Plex Systems to ensure their SQL Servers run as efficiently as possible.  It will demonstrate why these decisions were made and when they would be appropriate to apply to your environments.

Speaker Bio:

Corey has been a Software Engineer at Plex Systems since 2008.  He has worked with SQL Server since version 2005 and is an MCITP for SQL Server 2008.  Corey is part of the Research department where his primary focus is on system performance.  He also leads the team responsible for establishing and maintaining the SQL Server Development standards and guidelines for Plex.

This meeting was sponsored by

PowerPoint Slides

Demo Scripts

LiveMeeting Recording


Avoid “Excel Hell” with T-SQL


One of the most used computer tools in the world is some form of a spreadsheet yet nothing will send people into a panic more quickly than telling them that you want to import spreadsheet data into SQL Server.  Spreadsheets are usually not in any format that would come close to being easily importable.  There are tools like SSIS that can do some of the basic parts of importing complex spreadsheets but the complex parts, such as departitioning groups of monthly columns, requires a script of some sort.  Without such a script, the import package would need to be modified each and every month to accommodate the additional month’s columns.  Then, there’s the problem of people adding new “categories” to the monthly partitions in the form of yet more columns causing the monthly partitions to have a different number of columns along with new column header names.  There’s also the problems with associated with merged cells and having the dates of each monthly partition spread across at least 2 rows for year and month because to do otherwise would make an ugly spreadsheet.
There is a way to make a lot of these spreadsheets in a self-correcting “set it and forget it” mode and you don’t need to know how to program in C#, Java, Perl, VB Script, PowerShell, or any of the other languages to solve these problems.  In fact, you don’t need SSIS to do this, either, although the methods explained in this session could be used in conjunction with SSIS.
This “Black Arts” session will show you how to do it all in T-SQL with some initial help of a now old friend, the ACE drivers.

Speaker Bio: Jeff Moden

Jeff Moden calls his “home away from home” where you’ll find 36,000 of his posts (as he says, “Some are actually useful” ;-) ) and 33 mostly 5 star articles on multiple T-SQL “Black Arts” subjects.  Jeff has the talent of being able to explain and demonstrate complex methods and techniques in a fashion where even beginners will understand and, yet, still keep the interest of advanced T-SQL programmers.  Jeff has been working with SQL Server since 1996, has been an SQL Server MVP since 2008, won the RedGate Exceptional DBA award in 2011, and coined the acronym of “RBAR”, which is pronounced “Ree-Bar” and is a Modenism for “Row By Agonizing Row” for anything tht loops in T-SQL.  Jeff also presented two sessions at PASS 2010, has spoken at many SQL Saturdays, several local and remote PASS Chapter meetings, and is a proud member of “SPID”, which is this PASS Chapter right here in good ol’ Detroit, Michigan.

Zeal Recruiting Services is this month's sponsor 248-885-8282.

Demo Scripts

Updating Statistics Affects Query Performance More Than You Think


Stop me if you've heard this one, "This query is slow, let's update statistics." But what does updating statistics *really* do to your query performance? And is it the right solution? While updating statistics may provide a short-term solution, it can bury the true root cause. If you’re not familiar with what happens to query plans when you update statistics, then don’t miss this session. We’ll set the stage with a review of what statistics are, how the optimizer uses them, and discuss the various ways you can update them. Then we’ll explore what happens to plans when you *do* update statistics, and you’ll see why that might not always be the right long-term solution.

Speaker Bio: Erin Stellato

Erin Stellato is a Principal Consultant with SQLskills and lives in Cleveland, OH. She has over 13 years of technology experience and has worked with SQL Server since 2003. Her areas of interest include internals, performance tuning, and high availability and disaster recovery. Erin is a SQL Server MVP and an active member of the SQL Server community. She is involved with the Ohio North SQL Server User Group and blogs at You can find her on Twitter at @ErinStellato.

LiveMeeting Recording (.wmv ~32 MB)