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…


I’m a Microsoft MVP!

I received a notification e-mail earlier this morning that I’ve been selected as a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server!  I’m both surprised and honored by this distinction.  This is my first MVP award, so I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, but one thing is for certain – I’m in good company.  The SQL Server community just rocks….


2009 Goals in Review

Late last year, I blogged about some goals I had set for myself to accomplish during 2009.  No goal-setting session is complete until you spend some time reviewing your completion of, or progress toward, those goals.  To that end, I’ll address those goals and how well I did for each of them during the past 12 months. Presenting: I give…


The Numbers Don’t Lie… Except When They Do

There are few things more reassuring for a data professional than having clean, consistent data to back up critical business decisions.  The numbers don’t lie, or so they say.  But can the right data lead to wrong conclusions?  Sadly, yes, and I suspect that it happens more often than we’d like to admit. Recently, as part of a large hospital…


Electronic Health Records – What’s the Big Deal? (Part 3)

In the previous post in this series, I discussed the obstacles to implementing electronic health data systems.  Because of these obstacles, many providers are resistant to replacing their paper-based “databases” with true EHR systems.  But assuming the best case scenarios, that all healthcare providers and vendors convert from paper (or quasi-paper) to digital, that still  doesn’t fully solve the problem…


SQL PASS Summit 2009 – Parting Thoughts

So now that we’re 7 days removed from the end of the SQL PASS summit, I’ve finally managed to arrange my thoughts and put together some notes about an incredible week in Seattle.  This was only my 2nd summit, and the two experiences were vastly different (for my review of the 2005 summit, read “Don’t Be This Guy”). Just a…


SQL PASS Summit 2009 – Day 3

The day started off with the Quest Software breakfast presentation, to which I arrived late to find a standing-room-only crowd.  I left early to find a spot to sit – after yesterday’s interesting but much too long opening ceremony, I elected to catch up on blogging and attend the keynote virtually via Twitter. I attended Andy Leonard’s session entitled “Applied…


SQL PASS Summit 2009 – Day 2

Day two of the summit found me in the keynote, an interesting but much too long (2 hours) for comfort.  Among the most notable information was the confirmation that SQL Server 2008 R2 will definitely be released during the first half of next year, along with a couple of new SKUs for the product.  Also part of the presentation was…