Thursday, November 06, 2014

SQL Server Query Analyzer

Transact-SQL is best learned by experience. The view from the trenches is usually better than the one from the tower.

Choosing a SQL Editor
The first step on the road to Transact-SQL fluency is to pick a SQL entry and editing tool. You'll use this
facility to enter SQL commands, execute them, and view their results.

The Query Analyzer tool that's included with SQL Server is a respectable SQL entry facility. Those familiar with previous versions of SQL Server will remember this tool as ISQL/W. The new version resembles its predecessor in many ways but sports a slightly more modern interface.

a mere SQL entry facility. In addition to basic query entry and execution facilities, it provides a wealth of analysis and tuning info
The first order of business when you start Query Analyzer is to connect to the server, so make sure your server is running. Enter your username and password when prompted (if your server is newly installed, username sa defaults to an empty password) and select your server name. If Query Analyzer and SQL Server are running on the same machine, you can use"." (a period—with no quotes) or (local) (don't forget the parentheses) for the server name. The user interface of the tool is self-explanatory: You key T-SQL queries into the top pane of the window and view results in the bottom one.
The databases currently defined on your server are displayed in a combo-box on each window's toolbar. You can select one from the list to make it the active database for the queries you run in that window. Pressing Ctrl-E, F5, or Alt-X runs your query, while Ctrl-F5 checks it for syntax errors.
Hot Tip If you execute a query while a selection is active in the edit window, Query Analyzer will
execute the selection rather than the entire query. This is handy for executing queries in steps and
for quickly executing another command without opening a new window.
One of the features sorely missed in Query Analyzer is the Alt-F1 object help facility. In ISQL/W, you could select an object name in the edit window and press Alt-F1 to get help on it. For tables and views, this presented an abbreviated sp_help report. It was quite handy and saved many a trip to a new query window merely to list an object's columns.

If you're a command-line devotee, you may prefer the OSQL utility to Query Analyzer. OSQL is an ODBCbased command-line utility that ships with SQL Server. Like Query Analyzer, OSQL can be used to enter Transact-SQL statements and stored procedures to execute. Once you've entered a query, hit return to drop to a new line, then type GO and hit return again to run it (GO must be leftmost on the line). 

TSQL Tutorials...

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