Alpha Split in SSIS, Redux

So I’ve discovered another benefit of being a technical blogger.  Not only do you get some kudos when you write something that helps someone else, but if you offer up a less-than-optimal solution, you’ll get some suggestions on how it can be done better.  I’ve had my share of the former, but earlier this week I experienced the latter. Last…


User Group Leaders: Who Are Your Members?

At the MVP Summit last week, I was talking with fellow Dallas-area tweep Sean McCown about our local SQL Server user group membership.  I think our group is unique because of its sheer size; we typically have between 70 and 90 people at our monthly meetings, with a mailing list that goes out to between 600 and 800 people.  So…


Dude, Your Fly Is Open

Way back during my days as a retail clerk, I had a customer who had a, um, clothing malfunction.  The store was very busy one afternoon, and as he approached me to ask a question, it was readily apparent that his barn door was left open.  As discreetly as I could, I leaned in and whispered to him that he…


The PASS Acquisition of SQL Saturday

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the SQL Saturday franchise was voluntarily transferred to PASS.  This change of ownership could be a good thing for SQL Saturday, but I do have some questions and concerns. Let me say for starters that the SQL Saturday franchise is near and dear to me, since it was one of the…


A New Season (A Networking Success Story)

I’d like to share a networking success story.  Last year, I blogged about my experience at the PASS Summit of 2005, where I was essentially a wallflower and didn’t really do any networking.  Since then, I’ve realized its importance and have embraced professional networking as a key component in a successful career. Ever since then I have carried through on…


SSIS Alpha Splits using the CODEPOINT() Function

A relatively common requirement in ETL processing is to break records into disparate outputs based on an alphabetical split on a range of letters.  A practical example of this would be a work queue for collections staff based on last name; records would be pulled from a common source and then separated into multiple outputs based on a the Customer…


Three Things

So for the latest database geek meme, Paul Randal started this thing off and tagged Tom LaRock, who enlisted Grant Fritchey, who finally tagged me. This one simply asks, “What 3 things or events brought you to where you are today?” The Eyes Barely a year out of high school, I was working full time in retail and occasionally attending…


LEFT(), or Left Out?

So the question came up earlier today about the RIGHT() and LEFT() functions in the SSIS expression language.  Like the Transact-SQL functions, one might assume that these functions would exist in SSIS expression language to snatch a specified subset of a string.  That assumption would be only half right. Don’t go digging for a LEFT() function in the expression language,…


Goals for 2010

So I’d planned to already have this done and published before the new year rolled around, but life got in the way…  and I mean that in a good way!  I’ve said this before but it bears mentioning again that creating and sharing a list of goals helps to serve as a reminder and a means of accountability for meeting…


Board Election for the North Texas SQL Server User Group

The new year is less than 24 hours old and I’ve already been blessed with two different honors.  I shared earlier this morning that I received word of my selection as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP for 2010.  Just four hours later, I was notified that I have been elected to the board of the North Texas SQL Server User…