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T-SQL: XML from SQL, Managing Escaped Characters

T-SQL contains within it a module which lets you generate XML data directly from SQL. No concatenating strings or building the XML layout by hand required!

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T-SQL: Formatting Numbers and Dates with FORMAT vs. CONVERT

Over the (relatively) long history of T-SQL and SQL Server, when we (as programmers) needed to format a date or a number inside our SQL we primarily had access to two commands:

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SSRS Tip: Referencing Values from Calculated Fields on a Report

Every so often we need to build a report with a number of complicated calculations that we need to perform at the detail, group or summary level in the report. Maybe we need to calculate some aggregates, then do calculations on the aggregates. Like creating percentage markers for sums of numbers, from multiple groups.

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SSRS Tip: Using wildcards in Report parameters

Searching and filtering free text data can be a problem due to human error. Typos, transposed characters and even data entry into the wrong field present a challenge when trying to report on the data. In a SQL query we can use LIKE and wildcards to try to work around these issues.

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SQL Tip: Improving the Speed of ALL

We recently undertook a project for a customer where we reviewed the top X reports (in terms of usage as logged in SSRS) for performance optimization. Some of their heavy hitters were tying up a lot of DR resources, and slowing things down for everyone.

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SQL Tip: Using SourceID in #Temp tables

Because SourceID is part of the primary key in virtually all MEDITECH Data Repository tables, it is good practice to include SourceID as the first column all indexes, include it in all joins and to identify SourceID in the WHERE clause of the query. In most cases this will cause SQL Server to use an index seek instead of an index scan and greatly improve performance.

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SQL Tip: Returning Significant Digits

From time to time in your work in SQL from the DR, you’ll wind up CAST-ing or CONVERT-ing a number into a string. If that number starts as a DECIMAL or NUMERIC with a scale (the number of places of accuracy to the right of the decimal point) then you will wind up with something like this:

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SSRS Tip: Adding A Tool to Clear the SSRS Data Cache

  • Ever change the logic in your query, confirm new data in SQL, run the report from SSRS… and get the old data?
  • Ever change the columns in your query, run the report from SSRS… and get a weird error – or just not get any data in the new column in the report, but you can see it in SQL?
  • Even if you click the Refresh button????
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SSRS: The Report Issues Link to Report Issues with a Report

Despite all our best efforts, occasionally – rarely – perhaps inconceivably – there are problems with reports or extracts we create for our end users.

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SQL: Finding the Smallest or Largest of a Fixed Set of Values

Recently while working a regulatory report I found myself faced with needing to identify the first (or earliest) of a set of dates. Each date came from a different possible order related to the patient visit, and I needed to chunk through 10 different JOIN-ed tables and get the one with the first / earliest date.

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