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T-SQL Quirk: Using NOT IN With NULL Values

There is a little quirk in T-SQL with NULLs when using the NOT IN qualifier.  I use the term “quirk” loosely here because the behavior is exactly as intended, though it may not be obvious.  The following query shows a trivial example: At first glance, one might think that we’ll see returned the row for the Chevy MINIVAN.  However, when…


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A little fun with SSIS expression language

The SSIS expression language is a powerful yet enigmatic entity.  Once you get used to its syntax – which is part C#, part T-SQL and part *WTH?!?* – it’s actually somewhat fun to use.  However, one thing it is lacking (as far as I can tell – correct me if I’ve missed something) is the ability to use an IF…ELSE…


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SQL Saturday Jacksonville

I just wrapped up a high-octane day of SQL Server community education at SQL Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida. This event, the third thus far in a series of training opportunities for SQL Server professionals, is loosely based on the Code Camp model and is billed as a community event. I enjoy these kind of events, having attended several Code Camps…


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Gotta love the Information Age

First it was CNN 24×7.  Next the Internet brought us live information from around the globe. Now this…  real-time pizza tracking…


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SQL Saturday

I’ve just received notice that I will be a presenter at the upcoming SQL Saturday event in Jacksonville, Florida. I’ll be speaking about the SQL SMO object namespace and how this powerful set of classes can be used to administer SQL Server instances programmatically. I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I’ve not had much experience delivering presentations to those outside…


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We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge Weekend

This weekend, I had the unique opportunity to donate some time to a worthwhile charity organization. Through the efforts of the Dallas-area .NET user group community (and specifically, Toi Wright), Microsoft, BravoTech and a number of other vendors, the first annual We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge was born in a flurry of activity over the last three days. This event…


On the Importance of Documentation…

It seems that I keep inheriting old systems that provide a singular, albeit mission critical, function to their owners. In the majority of these cases, I have encountered numerous small applications that were designed to run in a standalone environment to solve a very narrow problem or set of problems. The person who supports the application – which is very…


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Passed 70-431

After putting it off for six months, I finally took – and passed – 70-431 yesterday. I know, I’m probably one of the last ones on board, but I’m kind of a geek and I don’t want to sit for an exam until I’m really ready. I’ve failed two MS exams and after each failure I was bummed out for…


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Working in solitude

If you’ve spent much time at all reading Steve Jones’s blog posts and SSC editorials, you quickly glean that he finds working in solitude to be an interesting challenge. I’m sure that others could tell a similar story, but I had not experienced this for myself until recently. An upcoming renovation has forced me out of my permanent office and…


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Gartner Developer Conference

It’s been quite a week at the Gartner Application Development and Integration conference here in Nashville. I’ve never been to a development-focused event that was so abstract and theoretical; in fact, I don’t think I saw a single line of code during the entire conference. My time here started on Sunday afternoon; my flight arrived nearly on time at just…