Shortcuts & tips from an Impatient DBA
This series of short posts will demonstrate some lesser-known features, keyboard shortcuts, and other tips that make my day as a DBA more productive. None of these are groundbreaking super-secret features–they are the little things that I do as part of my daily work that make me more efficient.
You’ve written code that builds out a string. The most common reason I do it is when I’m writing dynamic SQL for my automation code. In fact, you’re probably already thinking of the code you wrote where you did something like this:
DECLARE @sql varchar(4000); SET @sql = 'SELECT Col001 FROM [table] '; SET @sql = @sql + ' WHERE 1=2;'; -- Concatenating @sql manually SELECT @sql;
I’ve been writing code like that for a decade….which is the problem. Ever since SQL Server 2008, I’ve been wasting precious keystrokes.
There’s a better way
SQL Server 2008 introduced an Add-Equals operator (+=) to T-SQL. Somehow, this hidden gem slipped past me. That whole “
@sql = @sql +” nonsense can be made a lot easier to read.
DECLARE @sql varchar(4000); SET @sql = 'SELECT Col001 FROM [table] '; SET @sql += ' WHERE 1=2;'; -- Concatenation operator SELECT @sql;
This is logically equivalent to the first version of the code, but I find it makes for more readable code. It just looks cleaner.
For those of us who are
lazy looking to maximize efficiency, this could save a whole lot of key strokes.
But wait, there’s more
DECLARE @shamwow int = 0; SET @shamwow += 1; SET @shamwow += 1; SELECT @shamwow AS ShamWow;
Yup, the Add-Equals operator works with both strings and numbers.
So the next time you talk yourself into writing a loop or a cursor, and you implement a counter, you can save some keystrokes. That makes it efficient, right?
DECLARE @count int = 3; PRINT 'Numbers less than 100 that are also multiples of three.' WHILE @count < 100 BEGIN PRINT @Count; SET @Count += 3; END;