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State Name and Abbreviation Lookup Table Script

This is a quick script which creates a table consisting of State Names and their corresponding Abbreviations. I use this table when doing basic data quality checking and also standardizing state designations.

CREATE TABLE dbo.StateLookup
(
StateID INT IDENTITY (1, 1),
StateName VARCHAR [...]

Stop Writing Visual FoxPro Reports... Today

Last week I saw a discussion on the LinkedIn Made2Manage Group about the Pros and Cons of using SSRS vs. VFP Reporting, and it amazes me that people are still arguing about it. So, I thought I’d reaffirm a stance that I’ve had for many years, which is VFP Reporting Must Die.

I’ve [...]

Opening SSRS Reports Automatically From Other Systems

Users typically love SQL Server Reporting Services Reports (SSRS), especially if they’re accustomed to more primitive tools such as Visual FoxPro. However, One of the biggest complaints I hear about SSRS is that users want to be able to launch it directly from their ERP, accounting, and other systems. A conventional way to do this [...]

Drawing a Blank. Dealing With Blank Values in SQL Server using NullIf and Coalesce

“Melodical Murray is a human musical instrument; he makes music by blowing his…blank” – Match Game

In the previous article I discussed the issues when working with Null-able fields in Joins and Where clauses. This article will deal with the problems of blank values.

What About Blanks?

Many systems forego the use of Null-able fields, but [...]

Ooh! Ooh! Pick Me!

Pick Me Mr. Kotter!

SQL Rally is a brand new event for this year. It’s kind of a hybrid between the PASS Summit and a SQL Saturday. It’s fairly low cost and being held May 11-13 in Orlando, Florida.

Anyway, the reason for this post is completely self serving. I really want to present at [...]

Planes, Trains, and.... Well Actually Just Automobiles.

Over the holidays and through the first week of this year, I took a journey back home to Michigan. Why did I drive you ask? Well, I wanted to take my Cockatoo Anakin with me. Sometime along the trip he decided that migrating was for the birds. We survived, but he was thrilled after we [...]

Database Views - Using PowerPivot with Problem Databases Part 2

In the previous post I mentioned the use of views to simplify querying your database in general and PowerPivot in particular.

What are Database Views?

Views are virtual tables, which you can create with a SQL statement. Some of the advantages of using views are:

Simplified Data Access – The view hides the data structure from [...]

SQL Saturday Dallas #56 Re-Cap

Ryan, Vic, and yours truly.

SQL Saturday #56 BI Edition went off without a hitch last Saturday. Those who read this blog, probably remember the awesome experience I had at my first SQL Saturday.

Once again, everything went wonderfully. Our event was scaled back this time which translated into fewer hassles. Microsoft and Artis [...]

Using User Defined Functions to Pre-Format Fields

Some DBAs would cringe at what I’m about to tell you, but I often use T-SQL to format my data prior to presenting it in a report. Many experts feel that data formatting should always be done in the presentation layer. There are a couple of reasons why I do this.

I re-use as much code [...]

BI Ethics

The ethics of business intelligence is a touchy subject that many people don’t want to talk about. However, more attention in the past several years has been given to this subject mostly due to ethics scandals at huge companies such as Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act came about because of such [...]

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