Thoughts on MongoDB from a SQL Server Dev

As someone with a background in SQL Server development dating back to 2000, the whole NoSQL jazz has been something that’s been on the radar for a while but never made it under the microscope so to speak. Partly because SQL Server is my comfort zone and there’s plenty more to still learn about that; partly because I’ve had my career mapped out in my head and NoSQL didn’t feature much in that vision; partly because until you have something real-world driving a push into a technology then you tend to have that technology remaining as a distant dot on the radar. [Read More]

OS CodePoint Data Geography Load Update

Following on from my previous post on loading the Ordnance Survey Code-Point data for GB post codes to SQL Server and converting to the GEOGRAPHY data type, I’ve made a few tweaks to the importer app that is up on GitHub: The schema of the SQL Server table generated has changed - postcodes are now split into 2 distinct columns: OutwardCode and InwardCode The importer now calculates a basic average for each postcode district (e. [Read More]

MongoDB - Does My Data Look Big In This?

You have an existing relational database containing x amount of data and you decide to migrate that data, for whatever reason, into MongoDB. You may have an pre-conceived belief that as your relational database is x GB in size, that after loading that data into MongoDB your NoSQL database size will be around about x GB too - after all, you’re loading exactly the same data from one to the other right? [Read More]

GB Post Code Geographic Data Load to SQL Server using .NET

Ordnance Survey now make available a number of mapping data/geographic datasets to download for free, allowing unrestricted use for commercial and non-commercial use. One of these is the Code-Point Open dataset, which gives a precise geographic location of each post code in Great Britain as a CSV file. This file contains the Easting and Northing coordinates for each postcode. You may want to convert these to Latitude/Longitude coordinates to then load into a GEOGRAPHY column in SQL Server (as of 2008) and do all kinds of spatial wizardry in the database. [Read More]

SqlBulkCopy to SQL Server in Parallel

In an earlier post last year, I blogged about high performance bulk loading to SQL Server from .NET using SqlBulkCopy. That post highlighted the performance gain that SqlBulkCopy gives over another batched insert approach using an SqlDataAdapter. But is it possible to squeeze more performance out? Oh yes. First, a quick recap. For optimal performance: load into a heap table (with no indexes - add any indexes you need AFTER you’ve loaded the data) [Read More]


Something I personally haven’t seen a lot of out there in the SQL Server world, is use of GROUPING SETS - an operator that can be applied in a GROUP BY clause. So what does it do? How would you use it? Take the AdventureWorks sample database as an example playground. Suppose you want to query the sales data to find the following: total sales for each product total sales for each product category total sales There’s a number of ways you could do this. [Read More]

Round up of 2010

2010 was my first year as a blogger, after finally pulling my finger out back in February. I learnt an early lesson in naming/tagging posts appropriately after my first search engine hits came in via the term “pull my finger”. Not exactly the kind of search term I was hoping to bring up my site - things have improved now so I’ve headed in the right direction with a focus on SQL Server and . [Read More]

SQLSoton UserGroup Jan 2011

After the success of the first ever SQL Server Southampton UserGroup this month, the next is planned for Wednesday 19th January 2011 with Christian Bolton (Blog| Twitter) doing a talk on “Exploring SQL Server’s Architecture”. Followed by SQL Supper - a chance to eat pizza and discuss anything SQL Server related. Got a niggle at work you’d like 2nd/3rd/nth opinions on? Perfect opportunity. Just want to network and have a casual chat? [Read More]

SQL Server Southampton UserGroup

Last night was the first SQL Server Southampton UserGroup (#sqlsoton for those on twitter) organised by Mark Pryce-Maher (Twitter | Blog). It’s a difficult job trying to get a local usergroup up and running especially when it’s difficult to reach out to local professionals and get a firm idea of who’s going to come, and so credit to Mark for making it happen. Cap’n, we have no power Despite projector/power lead problems (and there being a million and one kettles in the hired room, none with suitable lead! [Read More]

SQLBits 6 videos available

First tweet I say today was a great one - the SQLBits 6 videos are now available. Good news from Simon Sabin (Blog | Twitter) - thanks once again, and to the whole SQLBits team. If you were there, then no doubt you’re like me and keen to either catch the sessions you didn’t attend or re-watch some sessions you did attend. If you weren’t there, then even more reason to check them out (list of sessions). [Read More]