Letters, June 2002

Editor's Note: SQL Server Magazine welcomes feedback about the magazine. Send your comments to [email protected] Please include your full name, email address, and daytime phone number with your letter. We edit all letters and replies for style, length, and clarity.

Quality and Quantity

I couldn't agree more with Michael Otey's Editorial: "'Little' Design Mistakes" (May 2002, InstantDoc ID 24561), which encouraged designers to "think big" when designing and testing their SQL Server database applications. Having worked with customers whose databases have grown a terabyte, I can't overemphasize the importance of using realistic amounts of data to test your applications. But using quality data is also important in the testing process. My company, for example, produces software for the brokerage industry. We need to work with large quantities of data that make sense for the software we test, so we wrote an application that uploads trades into our development databases. I'd love to know how other organizations have automated the generation of large sets of quality test data.

To share your ideas for generating test data that's realistic in size and content, send an email message (400 words or fewer) to SQL Server Magazine's Reader to Reader department at [email protected] If we publish your submission, you'll receive $50!

Always More to Learn

I'd like to compliment Morris Lewis on his article "Feng Shui and Database Design" (March 2002, InstantDoc ID 23707). As a data architect and senior SQL Server DBA contractor, I deal with these data-flow design situations regularly and appreciate the reminder about locking behavior. The more I learn, the more I realize how much more I need to learn—and remember! I've put this article in my "bag of tricks" so that I can easily return to this insightful information when I need to.

Through Profiler's Eyes

I appreciated Brian Moran's SQL Server Perspectives column "Use Profiler to Find the Answers" (SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, April 4, 2002, InstantDoc ID 24699), which talked about using SQL Server Profiler to watch how SQL Server administrator tools query the database to return useful information. I usually read Books Online (BOL) or examine the various system tables or schema views to find what I need. I wouldn't have thought to use Profiler this way. Tips like this one are why I never miss Moran's column.

A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty—namely, the sp_CrossTab stored procedure in Itzik Ben-Gan's T-SQL Black Belt column "Dynamic Crosstab Queries" (November 2000, InstantDoc ID 15608)—is a joy forever! Thanks for providing this stored procedure. It's a brilliant solution for generating a crosstab view for any table.

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