SQL Convert datetime to Salesforce date format

If anyone, as I, suffers the pain of generating SOQL to salesforce, here’s a little tip 🙂 If you have a datetime field, which you have to use in the SOQL, then convert it like so:


Then you get it in the format


As salesforce wants it 🙂

SSAS Tip -> Format seconds as HHHH:MM:SS

A common way of showing durations in SSAS, is to format them as HH:MM:SS. A common scenario is to store the durations in seconds. To display them in the HH:MM:SS format, first we have to convert the duration to hours, and then put on the format, like so


[Measures].[someMesureInSeconds]/86400,FORMAT_STRING = “HH:MM:SS”,…

However, this only works if the duration is less than 24 hours.

If it is more, then there is no out the box way to show it in the correct format. To get around that problem, you have to create a mearure as a string. First calc the hours, and then add the minutes and seconds formated as above, like so:

CSTR(INT([Measures].[LongDurationInSec]/(60*60))) + “:”
+ FORMAT(CDATE([Measures].[LongDurationInSec]/86400
– INT([Measures].[LongDurationInSec]/86400)), “mm:ss”)

SQL TIP ->Other uses of the SQL GO CMD

As most developers know, the SQL GO CMD signals the end of a batch of SQL statements.

However, another use of it, is to use it to execute a SQL statement multiple times. Just add a number after it. For instance:

GO 5

Which will execute the Select statement 5 times.
Or, something maybe more useful, create a table with integers from 1-5:

CREATE TABLE #numbers(number int)
GO --> Execute the first batch
INSERT INTO #numbers
VALUES((SELECT COALESCE(MAX(number),0) FROM #numbers) +1)
GO 5-->Do 5 times
SELECT * FROM #numbers

Which will give you the result:

Batch execution completed 5 times.
(5 row(s) affected)

Well, that was it. Another use of the go cmd. Have fun 🙂

SQL TIP -> Recursive CTEs

This morning I  had to do some recursive common table experessions. It is acctually relativly simple to do.

A common scenario:

We have a parent child relation in a selfreferencing table. That is common when we have an employee manager relationship or organisation relationship.

Let’s just look at  the  employee manager relationship.

Let’s create an example tmp table like so

CREATE TABLE #Employee (
EmployeeID  INT,
EmployeeName NVARCHAR(50),
ManagerID INT

And let’s insert some test data into the table

INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (1,'Mr. Manager',NULL)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (2,'Jensen',1)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (3,'Hansen',1)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (4,'Clausen',2)

Where, as you can see,  Mr. Manager is at the top, and Clausen is at the bottom.

We now want to use as recursive common table expression(CTE) to show what level a person is on, in the employee hierarchy.

To do that, we start with the highest level(Where managerID is Null). Then we do a union all with a select which is referencing it self, like so:

WITH EmployeeCTE (EmployeeID,EmployeeName, ManagerID , Level) AS
SELECT EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID, 0 AS Level
FROM #Employee WHERE
SELECT e.EmployeeID, e.EmployeeName,e.ManagerID, Level+1
FROM #Employee   e
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE  cte ON cte.EmployeeID=e.ManagerID

And the result can be seen below. This SQL shows what level an employee is on.

EmployeeID  EmployeeName ManagerID   Level
1           Mr. Manager NULL        0
2           Jensen      1           1
3           Hansen      1           1
4           Clausen     2           2

If we want to see an employees way to the top, we can select from the same CTE like so:

SELECT  lvl0.EmployeeName as lvl0Name,  lvl1.EmployeeName AS lvl1Name,      lvl2.EmployeeName AS lvl2Name FROM EmployeeCTE lvl2
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE lvl1 ON lvl1.EmployeeID=lvl2.ManagerID
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE lvl0 ON lvl0.EmployeeID=lvl1.ManagerID
WHERE lvl2.Level=2

And the result:

lvl0Name     lvl1Name     lvl2Name
Mr. Manager Jensen        Clausen

Now you know how to do recursive CTE 🙂

Have fun

Prepopulate a table with data in SSDT

The new database project in SSDT, is truly a great tool. It is not perfect thou, and one of its shortcomings, is that there is no out of the box way, to define some static/initial data in in a project, when you deploy it.

In all the projects I do, I always want to have some static data in the database. That could be meta data about the solution, customer type, product type etc.

Of course there is a workaround to this. One is to define the data in a post deployment script. To do that, right click your project and click “Add script”. Select the post deployment script.

To maintain data in a table, each time we deploy, we use a merge statement. I’ll use my stock table, that I created in a previous post. Then the SQL will look like this:

MERGE INTO [Stock] AS Target
('VWS','Vestas Wind System'),
('DANSKE', 'Danske Bank')
AS Source (StockSymbol, StockName)
ON Target.StockSymbol= Source.StockSymbol
-- update matched rows
--(If we don't want the application to update the rows)
UPDATE SET StockName = Source.StockName
-- insert new rows
INSERT (StockSymbol, StockName)
VALUES (StockSymbol, StockName)
-- delete rows that are in the target but not the source
--(If we don't want the application to insert data in our table)


Now, just right click your project, and click publish. And badabing, now you have data in your table.

A more pretty way, could be to put the merge statements into SP, and the call the SP’s from the post deployment script. Then the application could also reset the data with a call to a SP.

The conclusion: To prepopulate your solution with data, put the data into a merge statement, and put it into the post deployment script. This is a fine solution as long as you don’t have to many or to big datasets. Hopefully MS will come up with a better solution in the next version of SSDT.

Analysis services -> Clear Cache

Just a short note about analysis services and its cache 🙂

One of the reasons for analysis services fast respond time is its cahce. But what if you want to test a query without using the cache? Well, just use this XMLA Script:

<Batch xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2003/engine">
 <DatabaseID>Your Database Goes here </DatabaseID>
 <CubeID>And or cube id goes here</CubeID>

Also, if you do partial processing, the cache, can in some cases also be invalid. Therefore, after a partial processing, you also want to run the above XMLA script.

Change ”select top 1000” to ”Select top XXX”

In SQL server management studio, when you right click on a table, there is a shortcut to select top 1000 or edit top 200 rows. Se pic below.

It is an easy way, when you just want to see some of the data in a table, or if you want to edit some values in a small table. If you are using the 2 shortcuts you can change 1000 and 200 to values that make sense to you.

Click options->SQL Server Object Explorer. Then you get the options as shown in the pic below.

Change the values to your needs, and voila, now you have select top yyyy 🙂

Unboxing Azure part 1: The new Portal & how to create an Azure SQL database

Not so long ago, Microsoft(MS) announced a lot of new and cool features to their Azure platform at their event “Meet windows Azure”

There is no doubt that MS is expanding fast in the cloud, and with this blog series I will try to give a short overview of the business intelligence(BI) capabilities that are currently available in Azure.

The new Portal

MS have updated there portal, so that it is now primarily is using HTML5. It looks like this.

The new portal is intuitive and easy to use. One of the new exiting things is the virtual machines, where you for instance can create a windows server, and do the stuff that are not currently supported in other services in Azure. In the BI world, that could be installing a SQL server to use the SQL server agent to run SSIS packages or to host analysis services, since these services are not supported other places in Azure right now.

The new portal is still in “Preview”. I don’t know precisely what that means, but if there is something you are missing, you can go to the old Silverlight portal by clicking on the portal link in the top right corner.

SQL Azure

But first things first. When we are talking BI we have to start with a database. Click the SQL databases item, and click create database, and follow the instructions. For information regarding edition and pricing, read here

When you create a SQL azure database, it comes with a firewall that blocks all traffic. To get access to it, you need to open for the IP addresses that need to access it. In the new portal that is hard to find. Click “SQL databases”->”Servers”->Click on the server name-> Clik configure and add the IP addresses. While you’re developing, you can start by adding your own IP.

When you have done that, you can start designing your database. There is a management tool in Azure you can use. Just click the manage database link in the portal.

From the management tool you can design tables(See below), views and SP’s.

You can also create new databases and deploy databases from your database projects in Visual studio, which is the correct way to develop SQL databases. (I’ll cover that in a later blog post)

You can off course also logon to the database from management studio. Get the connection string from the portal, and type it in. See example below.

As before it is very limited what you can do from management studio. You can’t design anything with the designer. You have to do everything in SQL, and there is also something you can’t do with SQL either. (Again the correct way to develop database projects is to use the database project in visual studio.)

But to conclude on this first look. We have created a SQL database using the new portal. From what we have seen up until not, not so much have changed since the last version. How we can do SQL development have however changed, and I’ll cover that in the next blog post in the series.

Monitor the process of long running SQL queries like DBCC SHRINKDATABASE

When a query runs a little longer than I would expect, I sometimes starts to get nervous. Especially in the cases, where there is no status telling me when it will finish; Like for instance when I run a shrink database cmd.

You can get information about the queries running like this.

DatabaseName = db_name(R.database_id) , 
FROM sys.dm_exec_requests R 
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(R.sql_handle) T

Especially the percent_complete is nice.

Search text in SP

*Just as a note to myself*

I’ve just joined a big project with thousands of stored procedures. To get an overview of it, it would be nice if I could get the SP’s which inserted data in to table a, or update column b in table c etc.

That is easily done, like so:

FROM sys.procedures


FROM sys.procedures