If you have downloaded SQL Server 2017 and you want to install it but you are not too sure how to? Well, this is a guide will help you through the steps needed to install SQL Server 2017.
I will presume you have already downloaded SQL Server 2017 so the first thing to do after you have download SQL Server 2017 is to run the setup file.
You should see a screen like the above.
After the splash screen has finished loading, you will see several options that you can pick.
I will show you how to do a custom install of SQL Server so you can see the options that are available to you. Press the ‘Custom’ button then on the next screen press ‘Install.’
You should see a screen like this if anything needed downloading.
Once this is complete, it is now time to install SQL Server 2017.
If you click on ‘Planning’ option, you can navigate through all the options to see if your PC/laptop has the correct specifications to run SQL Server 2017. After you are satisfied that your PC/laptop will be able to run SQL Server 2017, click the Installation tab and Click “New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.”
On the Product Key screen press Next (Developer should be highlighted)
On the Licence Screen press Next, after you have read the terms and conditions (I bet you will not read the terms and conditions)
Check the box if you want the Microsoft Updates, it is a good idea to accept them.
Click next until you come to Install Rules and if you cannot click Next on this screen, fix any errors that it shows you.
On the feature selection screen, you have many options that you can select for features you want to install within SQL Server. The only one that you need to install is the database engine so select ‘Database Engine Services’ and press next.
On the Instance Configuration screen, you have two choices; you can pick Default Instance or Named Instance.
An Instance is the name of your SQL Server.
You will use Default Instance if this is going to be the first installation of a SQL Server.
You would use Named Instances if you wanted to install multiple SQL Servers on to the same PC/Laptop InstanceID is usually the name of your PC/Laptop if you have selected the Default Instance. If you choose Named Instance, then you can give the new installation a name. So if your PC is called ‘SELECTSQLSERVER’ and you wanted your SQL Server to have a special name like ‘STOCK’ then you would type in STOCK in the InstanceID.
I will show in a later blog on how you would connect to a named server and default server.
Click Next on the Instance Configuration. Server Configuration – Click Next Database Engine Configuration– Click Add Current User. You have two ways to connect to SQL Server. Windows Authentication or Mixed Mode. You will use Mixed Mode if you want to access SQL Server without a Windows Account. Click Next
On the Ready To Install screen, click install.
That is is, let me know in the commentsbelow if you have trouble installing SQL Server 2017.
Constraints in SQL Server play a big role in keeping data accurate in a database.
Within SQL Server there are several methods of doing this and one way is using constraints
• NOT NULL – Indicates that a column cannot store a NULL value
• UNIQUE – Ensures that each row for a column must have a unique value
• PRIMARY KEY – A combination of a NOT NULL and UNIQUE. Ensures that a column (or combination of two or more columns) have a unique identity which helps to find a particular record in a table more easily and quickly
• FOREIGN KEY – Ensure the referential integrity of the data in one table to match values in another table
• CHECK – Ensures that the value in a column meets a specific condition
• DEFAULT – Specifies a default value when specified none for this column
This is the code to assign a NOT NULL constraint to a Column. Column1 doesn’t allow NULLS, Column2 allows NULLS.
CREATE TABLE TestTable1
PKID int NOT NULL,
Column1 varchar(255) NOT NULL,
This is the code to assign UNIQUE constraint to a Column
CREATE TABLE TestTable2
PKID int NOT NULL UNIQUE,
Column1 varchar(255) NOT NULL,
This is the code to assign Primary Key constraint to a column
CREATE TABLE TestTable3
PKID int PRIMARY KEY,
Column1 varchar(255) NOT NULL,
If you assign a primary key to a column, it automatically gains a unique constraint. You can have many unique constraints on a table, but you can only have one primary key. Each table should have a primary key and primary keys cant have null values.
This is the code to assign a foreign key constraint to a column
CREATE TABLE TestTable4
P_Id int PRIMARY KEY,
PKID2 int NOT NULL,
Column1 int NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT FK_CON FOREIGN KEY (P_Id)
A foreign key constraint is used to make sure that data can’t be deleted if it matches data in another table.
This is the code to assign a CHECK constraint to a column
CREATE TABLE TestTable5
PKID int NOT NULL,
Column2 VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
CONSTRAINT chk_Column1 CHECK (Column1> 0 AND Column2=’Test’)
This makes sure that the value in Column1 is greater than 0 and Column2 contains the word ‘Test.’
This is the code to assign DEFAULT constraint to a column
CREATE TABLE TestTable6
PKID int NOT NULL,
Column2 VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL DEFAULT (‘Test’),
If a value is not entered in column2, the word ‘Test’ will be inserted.
CROSS APPLY vs INNER JOIN vs LEFT JOIN vs OUTER APPLY
So you want to improve your SQL skills and have come across some new operators like JOIN and APPLY and are wondering when you should use them.
In this blog, I will focus on the following operators in the simplest terms and show you how to use them.
CROSS APPLY and INNER JOIN are very similar and OUTER APPLY and LEFT JOIN are very similar.
In certain situations, you can write queries using CROSS APPLY or INNER JOIN and use OUTER APPLY and LEFT JOIN and they could bring back the exact results.
The only real difference is that CROSS APPLY and OUTER APPLY are better than LEFT and INNER JOIN when you are using a function, or you want to write an advanced SQL Command to bring back certain results
Run the following script in a SQL Server Environment to see these operators in action.
You can examine the script to see how they differ and you should be able to play around with the text to fully understand what is going on. create table Company (
Sometimes you read books on subjects about SQL Server and you just want to learn the basics, well here are the basics of SQL Server Functions
Functions can be Scalar or Table-valued Scalar returns one value and Table-valued functions (TVF) returns…well a table of results and this are usually found in the FROM clause of a statement.
Functions can be either Deterministic or Nondeterministic Deterministic = This means they return the same value any time they are called with a specific set of input values.
i.e. SELECT LEN(‘TEST) will always return 4
Nondeterministic = different results every time
i.e SELECT GETDATE()
Example code is taken from the MSDN website
The following example creates the user-defined function (Scalar) ISOweek. This function takes a date argument and calculates the ISO week number. For this function to calculate correctly, SET DATEFIRST 1 must be invoked before the function is called.
IF OBJECT_ID (N’dbo.ISOweek’, N’FN’) IS NOT NULL
DROP FUNCTION dbo.ISOweek;
CREATE FUNCTION dbo.ISOweek (@DATE datetime)
WITH EXECUTE AS CALLER
DECLARE @ISOweek int;
SET @ISOweek= DATEPART(wk,@DATE)+1
-DATEPART(wk,CAST(DATEPART(yy,@DATE) as CHAR(4))+’0104′);
–Special cases: Jan 1-3 may belong to the previous year
AS CHAR(4))+’12’+ CAST(24+DATEPART(DAY,@DATE) AS CHAR(2)))+1;
–Special case: Dec 29-31 may belong to the next year
IF ((DATEPART(mm,@DATE)=12) AND
SET DATEFIRST 1;
SELECT dbo.ISOweek(CONVERT(DATETIME,’12/26/2004′,101)) AS ‘ISO Week’;
The following example returns an inline table-valued function.
It returns three columns ProductID, Name and the aggregate of
year-to-date totals by the store as YTD Total for each product sold to the store.
IF OBJECT_ID (N’Sales.ufn_SalesByStore’, N’IF’) IS NOT NULL
DROP FUNCTION Sales.ufn_SalesByStore;
CREATE FUNCTION Sales.ufn_SalesByStore (@storeid int)
SELECT P.ProductID, P.Name, SUM(SD.LineTotal) AS ‘Total’
FROM Production.Product AS P
JOIN Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS SD ON SD.ProductID = P.ProductID
JOIN Sales.SalesOrderHeader AS SH ON SH.SalesOrderID = SD.SalesOrderID
JOIN Sales.Customer AS C ON SH.CustomerID = C.CustomerID
WHERE C.StoreID = @storeid
GROUP BY P.ProductID, P.Name
That is a quick review of SQL Functions, if you have any questions, just leave a comment below.
So you have come across a problem in a SQL Server query where you want to find out if a value is null and if it is, use another value. Which function should you use, ISNULL or COALESCE?
Well if you just want to do something simple and to evaluate the value to see if it’s NULL and use another value, then both commands would work if the other number is NOT NULL.
If you wanted to do something more advanced and compare a series of numbers and use the first number that is not null, then COALESCE is the function that you have to use.
Run the code into a SQL Server Environment to see how COALESCE works
ISNULL vs Coalese Code Example
SET NOCOUNT ON; GO USE master; IF EXISTS (SELECT name FROM sys.tables WHERE name = ‘wages’) DROP TABLE wages; GO CREATE TABLE wages ( emp_id tinyint identity, hourly_wage decimal NULL, salary decimal NULL, commission decimal NULL, num_sales tinyint NULL ); GO INSERT wages VALUES(10.00, NULL, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(20.00, NULL, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(30.00, NULL, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(40.00, NULL, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, 10000.00, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, 20000.00, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, 30000.00, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, 40000.00, NULL, NULL); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, NULL, 15000, 3); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, NULL, 25000, 2); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, NULL, 20000, 6); INSERT wages VALUES(NULL, NULL, 14000, 4); GO SET NOCOUNT OFF; GO SELECT CAST(COALESCE(hourly_wage * 10 * 10, salary, commission * num_sales) AS money) AS ‘Total Salary’ FROM wages;
There are some things to think about when using COALESCE, if you want to evaluate a series of numbers and all the values are NULL, at least one has to be a typed NULL
SELECT COALESCE(NULL, NULL);
will result in
Msg 4127, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
At least one of the arguments to COALESCE must be an
expression that is not the NULL constant.
but this will work
SELECT COALESCE(CAST(NULL AS INT), NULL); Using ISNULL does not error the code, so this will work SELECT ISNULL(NULL, NULL);
There are some minor differences between ISNULL and COALESCE and can act differently in different scenarios that you have to think about the outcome.
I hate when a database in SQL Server goes into Suspect mode.
If you a database administrator in SQL Server, one of the worst things that could happen to you is that you arrive at work one day and find out that one of your databases is in ‘Suspect’ mode in SQL Server.
What does Suspect mode mean, basically it means that your database is not working and you better hope you have a backup SQL Server. 🙂
You should always have a good backup and restore strategy in place for recovering from a Suspect database, but if you have not, there might be a temporary way of you turning on the database again to pull data out.
You should not use the below code as a way to recover then use the database because from my experience; your database is corrupted, (even if you run DBCC CHECKDB as it tells you everything is ok)
Recovering From Suspect Mode Code In SQL Server
EXEC sp_resetstatus <sql server database name>;
ALTER DATABASE <sql server database name> SET EMERGENCY
DBCC checkdb(<sql server database name>)
ALTER DATABASE <sql server database name> SET SINGLE_USER WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE
DBCC CheckDB (<sql server database name>, REPAIR_ALLOW_DATA_LOSS)
ALTER DATABASE <sql server database name> SET MULTI_USER
Once you have run this code SQL Server., you are freely available to have a look at your data. My suggestion is that you copy all of the data into another database and use the new database in the future. Moving the data may take some time, but it will be worth it in the end. If you use the Suspect database in the future, what could happen is that the Suspect database might become corrupted again and there will be no fix for it. Also if you continue to use the Suspect database, your backups also have hidden faults in there.
After you have moved your data to a new database, I would suggest you investigate why the database went into the ‘Suspect’ mode in the first place SQL Server.
This could have happened from a power failure or a corrupted hard drive, but you need to make sure you find the root-cause because it could happen again.
It’s still useful to know a DBCC command that you may need to perform on a server when your server is acting funny. Here are some common DBCC commands that you may need.
DBCC CHECKALLOC checks page usage and allocation in the database. Use this command if allocation errors are found for the database. If you run DBCC CHECKDB, you do not need to run DBCC CHECKALLOC, as DBCC CHECKDB includes the same checks (and more) that DBCC CHECKALLOC performs.
This command checks for consistency in and between system tables. This command is not executed within the DBCC CHECKDB command, so running this command weekly is recommended.
DBCC CHECKCONSTRAINTS alerts you to any CHECK or constraint violations.
Use it if you suspect that there are rows in your tables that do not meet the constraint or CHECK constraint rules.
A very important DBCC command, DBCC CHECKDB should run on your SQL Server instance on at least a weekly basis. Although each release of SQL Server reduces occurrences of integrity or allocation errors, they still do happen. DBCC CHECKDB includes the same checks as DBCC CHECKALLOC and DBCC CHECKTABLE. DBCC CHECKDB can be rough on concurrency, so be sure to run it at off-peak times.
DBCC CHECKTABLE is almost identical to DBCC CHECKDB, except that it is performed at the table level, not the database level. DBCC CHECKTABLE verifies index and data page links, index sort order, page pointers, index pointers, data page integrity, and page offsets. DBCC CHECKTABLE uses schema locks by default but can use the TABLOCK option to acquire a shared table lock. CHECKTABLE also performs object checking using parallelism by default (if on a multi-CPU system).
DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP works just like DBCC CHECKDB; only DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP checks the specified filegroup for allocation and structural issues. If you have a very large database (this term is relative, and higher-end systems may be more apt at performing well with multi-GB or TB systems), running DBCC CHECKDB may be time-prohibitive.
If your database is divided into user-defined filegroups, DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP will allow you to isolate your integrity checks, as well as stagger them over time.
DBCC CHECKIDENT returns the current identity value for the specified table and allows you to correct the identity value if necessary.
If your database allows modifications and has indexes, you should rebuild your indexes on a regular basis. The frequency of your index rebuilds depends on the level of database activity, and how quickly your database and indexes become fragmented. DBCC DBREINDEX allows you to rebuild one or all indexes for a table. Like DBCC CHECKDB, DBCC CHECKTABLE, DBCC CHECKALLOC, running DBREINDEX during peak activity times can significantly reduce concurrency.
Microsoft introduced the excellent DBCC INDEXDEFRAG statement beginning with SQL Server 2000. This DBCC command, unlike DBCC DBREINDEX, does not hold long-term locks on indexes. Use DBCC INDEXDEFRAG for indexes that are not very fragmented. Otherwise, the time this operation takes will be far longer than running DBCC DBREINDEX. In spite of its ability to run during peak periods, DBCC INDEXDEFRAG has had limited effectiveness compared to DBCC DBREINDEX (or drop/create index).
The DBCC INPUTBUFFER command is used to view the last statement sent by the client connection to SQL Server. When calling this DBCC command, you designate the SPID to examine. (SPID is the process ID, which you can get from viewing current activity in Enterprise Manager or executing sp_who. )
DBCC OPENTRAN is a Transact-SQL command that is used to view the oldest running transaction for the selected database. The DBCC command is very useful for troubleshooting orphaned connections (connections still open on the database but disconnected from the application or client), and identification of transactions missing a COMMIT or ROLLBACK. This command also returns the oldest distributed and undistributed replicated transactions, if any exist within the database. If there are no active transactions, no data will be returned. If you are having issues with your transaction log not truncating inactive portions, DBCC OPENTRAN can show if an open transaction may be causing it.
You may not use this too frequently. However, it is an interesting DBCC command to execute periodically, particularly when you suspect you have memory issues. DBCC PROCCACHE provides information about the size and usage of the SQL Server procedure cache.
The DBCC SHOWCONTIG command reveals the level of fragmentation for a specific table and its indices. This DBCC command is critical to determining if your table or index has internal or external fragmentation. Internal fragmentation concerns how full an 8K page is.
When a page is underutilised, more I/O operations may be necessary to fulfil a query request that if the page was full, or almost full.
External fragmentation concerns how contiguous the extents are. There are eight 8K pages per extent, making each extent 64K. Several extents can make up the data of a table or index. If the extents are not physically close to each other and are not in order, performance could diminish.
DBCC SHRINKDATABASE shrinks the data and logs files in your database.
Avoid executing this command during busy periods in production, as it has a negative impact on I/O and user concurrency. Also remember that you cannot shrink a database past the target percentage specified, shrink smaller than the model database, shrink a file past the original file creation size, or shrink a file size used in an ALTER DATABASE statement.
DBCC SHRINKFILE allows you to shrink the size of individual data and log files. (Use sp_helpfile to gather database file ids and sizes).
16. DBCC TRACEOFF, TRACEON, TRACESTATUS
Trace flags are used within SQL Server to enable or disable specific SQL Server instance characteristics temporarily. Traces are enabled using the DBCC TRACEON command and disabled using DBCC TRACEOFF. DBCC TRACESTATUS is used to displays the status of trace flags. You’ll most often see TRACEON used in conjunction with deadlock logging (providing more verbose error information).
Execute DBCC USEROPTIONS to see what user options are in effect for your specific user connection. This can be helpful if you are trying to determine if your current user options are inconsistent with the database options.
There comes a time when you have to rebuild all the indexes in a database on SQL Server, and you have to figure out a quick way of doing this. You can set up different jobs and routines to schedule the rebuild, but it is handy to have a script.
You have to rebuild indexes when you are the administrator of a database and realised it is going very slow after you have done some investigation, and you have found out that databases have not been build for a very long time (or never).
If you want a quick way to rebuild your indexes on SQL Server using a script, then use the script below.
This script will find all the indexes within a database and rebuild them. You can change the script if you like to add ONLINE rebuilding if you want your tables to be accessible through the rebuild. I have used this index rebuild many times to speed up the process of fixing performance related problem within a database when you know that there has not been a proper maintenance plan set up for the database.
This script on SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2016 and SQL Server 2017. I have tried this script on these editions and they work and probably will work on future editions.
I would try this script out in a development environment first just to make sure you are happy with the performance because it will have a performance hit on your server when this is running. It may also take a while to run the script as this is dependant on how big your tables are and how many indexes you have.
SQL Server Rebuilding Indexes Code
DECLARE @Database VARCHAR(255)
DECLARE @Table VARCHAR(255)
DECLARE @cmd NVARCHAR(500)
DECLARE @fillfactor INT
SET @fillfactor = 100
DECLARE DatabaseCursor CURSOR FOR
ORDER BY 1
FETCH NEXT FROM DatabaseCursor INTO @Database
WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
SET @cmd = 'DECLARE TableCursor CURSOR FOR SELECT ''['' + table_catalog + ''].['' + table_schema + ''].['' +
table_name + '']'' as tableName FROM [' + @Database + '].INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES
WHERE table_type = ''BASE TABLE'''
-- create table cursor
FETCH NEXT FROM TableCursor INTO @Table
WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
IF (@@MICROSOFTVERSION / POWER(2, 24) >= 9)
-- SQL 2005 or higher command
SET @cmd = 'ALTER INDEX ALL ON ' + @Table + ' REBUILD '
-- SQL 2000 command
--DBCC DBREINDEX(@Table,' ',@fillfactor)
FETCH NEXT FROM TableCursor INTO @Table
FETCH NEXT FROM DatabaseCursor INTO @Database
Why not try it and give it a go to see if it works for you?
Please leave a comment below if this script to rebuild your indexes work or what improvements you could do to it.
The Developer Edition is the same as the Enterprise Edition, but the only difference is that you can’t use the Developer Edition in a production environment.
Downloading SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition is still great if you want to learn about all the new features that are now in SQL Server 2017.
If you don’t know what SQL Server is, well SQL Server from Microsoft it is a software solution to store and analysis data using a variety of tools.
You will mainly use SQL Server Engine SQL Server Integration Services SQL Server Analysis Services
SQL Server Engine
This is where raw data is stored as information, and you can do a variety of tasks on this data to suit your needs.
SQL Server Integration Services
This tool is used to extract, transform and load information in a database or another storage locations
SQL Server Analysis Services
This is used for analysis information to try and find out patterns or summary information.
If you have never used SQL Server before, just download it and install it and try it out.
What features are you looking forward to in this Edition? Leave a comment below