SQL Server 2022: a new realm of possibilities
As databases continue to expand and businesses gather more and more data, managing that data becomes an increasingly important task. Without the right tools, it can quickly become unmanageable.
With SQL Server 2022, Microsoft has expanded the capabilities of its database management system once again, introducing new functions and features, as well as enhancements to existing ones. In this article, we will explore the most important updates to SQL Server 2022 and how they can make a difference in your business.
The first feature that deserves our attention is resumable operations. This feature allows you to pause and resume long-running operations, such as online index creation and online primary key creation, with negligible impact on user activity.
The ALTER TABLE and ALTER INDEX syntax have been updated to apply resumable functionality to several operations. This means that, in the event of a failure, the operation can be resumed from where it left off rather than starting over.
Resumable Operations are a game-changer in the database management world, saving time and effort by making it easy to recover from unforeseen errors.
Another new feature in SQL Server 2022 is the AUTO_DROP option added to the CREATE STATISTICS and UPDATE STATISTICS syntax. This option automatically drops statistics that are no longer in use, cleaning up the database and making it easier to manage.
The option is available only when using the FULLSCAN update mode, but it can help you avoid cluttering the database with statistics that are no longer useful, improving performance and manageability.
SELECT WINDOW Clause
SQL server 2022 introduces a new clause: SELECT WINDOW. It allows you to define named windows that can be reused in the same query, instead of repeating the same definition multiple times.
Additionally, it allows for much cleaner code, minimizing the potential for errors. Named Windows improve readability and help avoid duplication of code.
IS NOT DISTINCT FROM Operator
In SQL Server 2022, the IS NOT DISTINCT FROM operator has been introduced. This operator is a shorthand alternative to the traditional ‘A = B or (A is NULL and B is NULL)’ syntax.
In other words, it considers NULL values to be equivalent to each other, which simplifies queries and avoids errors. This update enhances the efficiency of your queries, producing more accurate results with less code.
With the rise of JSON as a popular data format, SQL Server 2022 brings a set of new JSON functions to the table. The JSON_PATH_EXISTS function checks for the existence of a particular property in a JSON object, while the JSON_OBJECT function creates a new object with the specified properties.
The JSON_ARRAY function creates a new array and inserts values into it. This update makes it much easier to handle JSON data by providing a set of tools for validating, modifying, and creating the JSON objects.
APPROX_PERCENTILE_CONT() and APPROX_PERCENTILE_DISC()
Another feature introduced in SQL Server 2022 is the
APPROX_PERCENTILE_CONT() and APPROX_PERCENTILE_DISC() functions. These functions allow you to calculate approximate percentiles for a given set of values, without the need to sort them first.
They calculate average or discrete percentiles; the continuous version provides better accuracy than the discrete version. These functions help to avoid the performance hit caused by sorting a large dataset before calculating percentiles.
GREATEST() and LEAST() functions
The GREATEST() and LEAST() function introduced in SQL Server 2022 allow you to find the maximum or minimum value from a set of arguments, respectively. This feature eliminates the need to write complex case statements to achieve this result.
In addition to simplification, this feature enhances the readability of your code, making it easier for other developers to understand.
DATETRUNC() function introduced in SQL Server 2022 is a date-manipulation function that truncates a date to the specified precision. It returns a date after removing the time component, ensuring date comparisons will always work as expected.
This feature simplifies code and avoids confusion over dates.
Bit Manipulating Functions
SQL Server 2022 enables new bit manipulating functions such as LEFT_SHIFT(), RIGHT_SHIFT(), BIT_COUNT(), GET_BIT(), SET_BIT(). The LEFT_SHIFT() and RIGHT_SHIFT() functions left or right shift a value based on a given number of positions.
The BIT_COUNT() function returns the number of set bits in a given value, and the SET_BIT() and GET_BIT() functions allow you to set or retrieve a bit at a specified position. These functions help you perform complex binary operations, saving valuable coding time.
GENERATE_SERIES() Table Function
Lastly, SQL Server 2022 introduces the GENERATE_SERIES() function. This function enables you to generate a virtual table of sequential integer values between a start and end value, with an optional increment value.
This feature is quite useful when you need to generate a large set of numbers. The virtual tables created by this function can be used in queries alongside other tables, allowing for greater flexibility and analytical capabilities.
In addition to the new features, SQL Server 2022 also includes some enhancements to existing functionality. For example, conflict handling has been improved in peer-to-peer transactional replication, which reduces the likelihood of replication failures.
Additionally, the ISJSON() function now supports a type constraint, helping to validate the format of a JSON object. The STRING_SPLIT() function also introduced an ordinal column, which can aid in joining output.
SQL Server 2022 brings about several new functions and enhancements, including resumable operations, AUTO_DROP options, named windows, IS NOT DISTINCT FROM operators, JSON functions, new bit manipulating functions, and the GENERATE_SERIES() table function. These new features are intended to make creating and managing databases easier and more efficient.
They have been designed to assist developers in areas where they previously struggled and help them to work faster, smarter, and with greater accuracy. With these new features, Microsoft continues to improve the industry-standard database management system SQL Server, setting the standard for best practices in database management.
Learning Resources: Resources for Exploring SQL Basics, MS SQL Server History, and Window Functions
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a powerful database management language that has been under continuous development since its creation in the 1970s. Over the decades, SQL has evolved through many different versions, each with its own quirks and feature set.
One of the most popular and widely used versions of SQL is Microsoft’s MS SQL Server. Below, we explore a few different learning resources focused on SQL basics, MS SQL Server history, and window functions.
SQL Basics in MS SQL Server Course
One of the best places to start when learning SQL is
SQL Basics in MS SQL Server Course by LearnSQL.com. This course is geared toward beginners who have little or no experience with SQL.
The course covers fundamental topics such as creating and managing databases, querying data, and manipulating tables. The course includes both theoretical explanations and practical examples that allow students to work through SQL exercises in a safe, guided environment.
Upon completing this course, students will have a solid understanding of basic SQL syntax, the ability to retrieve data using SELECT statements, and how to join tables.
A Brief History of MS SQL Server
The journey of MS SQL Server began in the late 1980s as a research project at Microsoft by the authors of Sybase SQL Server (S. Jaisimha and Phil Neches).
In 1989, Microsoft partnered with Sybase to develop SQL Server in exchange for a more affordable pricing structure. Starting from 1992, Microsoft took over its development fully.
Fast forward to the present, MS SQL Server is now offered as an integrated package with several Microsoft products or available for standalone deployment. Microsoft SQL Server has gone through multiple versions, and has come a long way since its inception.
The history of MS SQL Server is an interesting one, and learning about the evolution of the software can provide valuable insight into the path it has taken to become the widely used database system it is today.
Window Functions in SQL Server
Another key feature in MS SQL Server is the window function. A window function is a calculation across a set of rows that are related to a single input row based on a window frame specification.
In addition, a window function enables partitioning and ordering the results of the calculation based on specified columns (often dates). Using this feature, developers can perform complex calculations with just a single statement.
Window functions are used often in business analyses, such as generating a running total or calculating the change between periods. Understanding the concept of window functions is an essential aspect of mastering SQL Server.
SQL from A to Z in MS SQL Server Course
SQL from A to Z in MS SQL Server Course is another excellent course offered by LearnSQL.com. As the name suggests, this course covers SQL concepts from A to Z, across snippets of the SQL language, from the basics to advanced concepts such as window functions, subqueries, and stored procedures.
This course is aimed at those who have some experience with SQL but are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the language. The course comprises practical exercises that are built to simulate real-world challenges and provide a more hands-on approach to learning.
Upon completing this course, students will have gained a wider knowledge base of common SQL functions, techniques, and syntax.
SQL Server 2022 has brought about some exciting new features that have simplified the database management process for developers, but it’s important to note that understanding SQL Server basics is foundational to using these features. By using resources such as SQL Basics Course in MS SQL Server,
A Brief History of MS SQL Server, and
Window Functions in SQL Server, developers can broaden their knowledge of database management concepts and learn how to use them effectively in coding practices.
Whether you are an experienced IT professional or a novice beginning on their journey into the world of databases, these resources can provide valuable insights that prove instrumental in working productively and efficiently with SQL Server. This article introduced some of the exciting new features of SQL Server 2022, including resumable operations, AUTO_DROP statistics, and JSON functions.
It also covered enhancements like improved conflict handling in peer-to-peer transactional replication and improvements to the ISJSON() function. The article then discussed a few different learning resources focusing on SQL basics, MS SQL Server history, and window functions.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional, these resources can provide valuable insights that are essential to understanding and managing SQL Server. The importance of continuous learning and keeping up to date with the latest features in the field of database management was emphasized throughout the article.