SQLBits Early Bird has been extended

SQLBits is not around to make moeny, its here to build
the SQL Community. What that means is that when start to cover our costs then
there is no point in charging people more. We've reached that point and so what
we've done is push back the end of the early bird to the end of October.

This means that if you need a little longer to convince your bos you should
go to the best SQL Server conference around then you now have 4 more weeks.

I look forward to seeing you all there and hope you can convince your boss
its well worth your while. It must be the best value training you can get for
SQL Server.

Oh and if you can't get your Boss to open his wallet then don't forget it's
still free to come on the Saturday.

Don’t forget the early bird ends on Wednesday – SQLBits

If you are umming and ahhing about registering for
SQLBits. Get in quick as the early bird ends on Wednesday.

If you are going to the Data Management Conference today then I will see you
there and if you are lucky ther migth be some interesting giveaways with regards
to SQLBits. So come and see us, I think a group of us will be in an "Ask the
experts" type area.

Oh and don't forget to get your pictures for the SQLBits mugshot competition.
We will be deciding on the winner at our committee meeting tonight (Tuesday).
There have been some great entries so far.

Early bird discount for SQLBits ends on Wednesday

Just a gentle reminder that if you are considering
coming to SQLBits then you need to register and pay by next Wednesday in order
to get the £100 early bird discount.

Don't forget that if you book 6 places on the full conference then you get a
20% discount.

The numbers are looking good so it will be another great

Also don't forget the Mug Shot competition for a chance to win a free ticket
and accomodation for the whol conference. The entries are building up, but there
is still a great chance to win.

SQLBits Hotel price reduction

If you've been considering going to SQLBits and looked
at hotel prices for teh Celtic Manor. You might have found the Thursday or
Friday night cheaper using laterooms etc. The Hotel have kindly agreed to match
the price on these sites as long as tehy have allocation left. Whats more if
you've already booked and said you are coming to SQLBits then your room price
should have been reduced.

So now you can get a superior double inc breakfast on Thursday and
Friday for only £99.

There should be quite a few of us staying in the Hotel so I look forward to
seeing you there.

This price will only be available whilst they have allocation so get in

Q&A from the query tuning webcast

The following are the questions asked
following the query tuning webcast I did with Kevin Kline

If you have any further questions please let me know.

Hue Holleran
Asked: Shouldn't the
_primary_ objective be to minimise _overall_ server load, ie. reducing logical
reads is the most important thing from stats io (followed by CPU from stats
time) ?

Simon Sabin Answered : Yes you are correct CPU is also important
and SET STATISTICS TIME can provide that. Also sys.dm_exec_requests can also
provide the CPU used per request

Neesha Kanji Asked: Could you also save
a subquery result set in a temp table and join that on the main query? Would the
query be just as quick?

Simon Sabin Answered: Sometimes, however including the join in the
query gives the optimiser the option to flatten the query and possibly save
reading data multiple times. Often writing as a derived table can be a better
solution. Using the temp table can often aid developing the code as its easier
to test each section. BUT that doesn't mean you should split up all your queries
as that removes the benefits of doing SET based processing.

Phil Pinto Asked: Recommend a
performance book, please

Simon Sabin Answered: Personally you need to understand the
internals to be able to understand performance. And so the Internals books are
good. I learnt using a book from Ken Henderson many years ago so its worth
trying his book

Kevin Kline (Qsft) Answered: I also like Kalen Delaney's internals book.
If I could only own one SQL Server book, it'd be hers. Itzik Ben-Gan's T-SQL
books are also excellent.

Phil Pinto Asked: Thanks for book
recommended. Indexes are useful but can be a maintenance overhead if only a very
infrequent used query.

Kevin Kline (Qsft) Answered: KK> I also like Kalen Delaney's internal
book – in fact, if I could only own one book, Inside SQL Server would be the

*** Baker Asked: database query in SSMS
(previously QA) allows one do obtain ESTIMATED Query Plan (i.e. Ctrl-L). The
question is does the ACTUAL QP always follow that "compile-time" decision
strategy, or may it deviate (eg the SET STATISTICS IO ON which is actual after
the statement completion)? For example the DEC RdB database (now subsumed into
Oracle) would dynamically review several strategies : perhaps pick a simple
FAST-FORWARD approach, but might switch to a more complex strategy after some
pause (ie jettison the FF workinprogress)

Simon Sabin Answered: The only different between compile and
execution time is the parallelism. The engine might decide to remove parallelism
and run a non parallel query

Richard Asked: 2008 SSMS suggests
missing indexes in Query Plans, regardless of version it is looking

Simon Sabin Answered: Very good point. Its also worth noting that
just because a missing index warning doesn't come up doesn't mean that there
isn't a better index option available

Andy Irving Asked: it's only automatic
use of indexed views which is EE only, in standard you have to use NOEXPAND

Simon Sabin Answered: Very true, often even in EE you need to use
NOEXPAND because the indexed view isn't considered until late on in the query
optimisation phase

*** Baker Asked: please highlight diff
between temp table and temp table variable. can you index a table variable? what
about PK (implied CI) perhaps #temp better than @temp for certain cases ?

Simon Sabin Answered: temp table and table variables use the same
structure and are stored in tempdb. Table variables are not in memory
structures. Depending on the load of the server either may be held in memory and
both are stored on disk. Temp tables don’t have statistics which means that if
you join to them you can result in poor query plans. Temp tables do have
statistics but that itself can cause problems as it can cause recompilations of
your code. You are correct that you cannot create indexes on a table variable,
however you can indirectly create them by creating primary key and unique
constraints. You can create indexes on temp tables. I generally say that table
variables are great for small rows or where you are only going to be scanning
from the table variable.

Session Voting Open for SQLBits V

If you are registered on the site you can now vote on the
sessions you want to see at the next SQLBits.

Click here to make your vote

ts vital that you vote so that you get the sessions. If you don't we've no
idea it you would prefer index tuning or piano tuning.

So please spend some time looking for the sessions you really want to see. If
you are coming on Friday and Saturday its even more important you vote as we
have some scope to repeat sessions if they are very popular.

So get voting

Open letter to all SQL Server Widows

Dear SQL Server

As a partner of a SQL
Server Professional, I am sure you may be aware of the quirkily named
SQLBits conferences organized in various parts of the country twice each year.
Your partner may have disappeared for a weekend and returned enthused and eager
to try out the many new things he has learnt, all SQL Server related
unfortunately. Up to now this may have been a bit of a chore having to put up
with them going on about this, but now that doesn’t have to be the

The next SQLBits
conference, cunningly called “SQLBits goes West” will be at the luxury Golf and
Spa resort, the Celtic Manor. Perfect for a relaxing weekend

If your partner books
before the 30th September they will save up to £200 on the registration fee.
That’s £200 that you could use on one of the
Experience days
 provided by the resort. You could just choose
your own combination from the range of therapies, massages, holistic treatments
on offer; including the Rasul Mud Ritual, Dry Floatation and Hydrotherapy,
Facials, Manicures and Pedicures.

So make sure they signs
up at
www.sqlbits.com so you can get treated to the relaxing
weekend you are entitled to at one of the top Health Spas in the


SQLBits Committee