SQL414: Advanced T-SQL Querying & Tuning for SQL Server 2005, 2008 & 2012

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Course Description
The course focuses on writing and tuning queries and programming with T-SQL in SQL Server 2008, 2012 and 2014. In this course you will learn the details and capabilities of T-SQL in the following areas: Logical Query Processing; Query Tuning (Internals and Index Tuning, including Columnstore Indexes, Temporary Tables, Sets vs. Cursors, Query Tuning with Query Revisions); Subqueries and Table Expressions (Derived Tables, CTEs, Views, Inline Table-Valued Functions), Recursive Queries, APPLY Operator, Joins and Set Operators; Aggregating, Pivoting and Windowing (including Ranking, Aggregate and Offset Window Functions); TOP and OFFSET-FETCH; Data Modification; Working with Date and Time; Programmable Objects (Dynamic SQL, User Defined Functions, Stored Procedures, Triggers, Transactions and Concurrency, Exception Handling); In-Memory OLTP.

Along the course you will learn how to use T-SQL to solve practical problems such as: Relational Division, Missing and Existing Ranges (Gaps and Islands), Separating Elements, Pivoting and Unpivoting, Ranking and Offset, Running Totals, Moving Averages, YTD, Custom Aggregations, Dynamic Analysis of Grouping Sets, TOP and OFFSET-FETCH Problems, Paging, Top N Per Group, Median, Data De-Duplication, Handling Sequences, Merging Data, Treatment of Temporal Intervals (Intersection, Max Concurrent, Packing), Dynamic Filtering, Migrating On-Disk to Memory Optimized Data, and more.
You will learn how to tune your queries, how to develop efficient routines including user defined functions, stored procedures and triggers, work in multi-user environments with transactions and isolation levels, and use dynamic SQL securely and efficiently.

The course provides a dedicated module focusing on query tuning. The module covers internals and index tuning, including coverage of Columnstore data, index access methods, temporary tables, set vs. cursors, and query tuning using query revisions. Moreover, query tuning is in the heart of this course and is incorporated in the different modules throughout the course.

With each querying/programming problem the discussions will revolve around logical aspects, set-based vs. procedural programming and optimization of the solutions.

The course workbook also contains a bonus self-study appendix on Graphs and Recursive queries. This appendix covers graphs, trees and hierarchies. It explains how to model and query such structures. It also covers the HIERARCHYID datatype.
This course was developed by Itzik Ben-Gan, a mentor and one of the founders of SolidQ, author of several books about T-SQL, a columnist in SQL Server Pro magazine, and a regular speaker in SQL Server related events.

This course is intended for:

  • T-SQL Programmers, DBAs, Architects, and Analysts
  • Those that need to write or review T-SQL code in SQL Server 2008, 2012 and 2014

Before attending this course, it is recommended that students have the following skills:

  • At least one year of T-SQL querying and programming experience in SQL Server

 Students should have successfully completed the following course or have equivalent experience:

  • SQL250: Transact-SQL for Developer


Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  • Understand logical query processing
  • Understand SQL Server’s internal data structures
  • Be able to analyze and tune query performance
  • Be able to analyze query execution plans
  • Be able to solve complex querying and programming problems
  • Think in terms of sets
  • Be able to compare set based and iterative solutions
  • Use window functions to improve your solutions
  • Handle date and time data including intervals
  • Describe performance problems related to use of user defined functions and possible workarounds
  • Understand execution plan caching and reuse
  • Understand transactions and concurrency aspects of database programming
  • Know how to handle hierarchical data and write recursive queries
  • Be able to migrate on-disk data to memory optimized data
  • Describe T-SQL enhancements in SQL Server 2008, 2012 and 2014


Module 01: Logical Query Processing

Logical Query Processing Order

Logical Query Processing Example

Phase Details


Module 02: Query Tuning
Internals and Index Tuning

Temporary Tables
Sets vs. Cursors
Query Tuning with Query Revisions

Module 03 – Multi-Table Queries
Subqueries and Table Expressions
APPLY Operator
Set Operators

LAB 03

Module 04: Grouping, Pivoting and Windowing
Window Functions
Pivoting and Unpivoting Data
Custom Aggregations
Grouping Sets

LAB 04

Module 05: TOP and OFFSET-FETCH
Top N Per Group

LAB 05

Module 06: Data Modification
Inserting Data
Deleting Data
Updating Data

Merging Data
The OUTPUT Clause

LAB 06

Module 07 – Working with Date and Time
Date and Time Datatypes
Date and Time Functions
Date and Time Challenges
Date and Time Querying Problems

LAB 07

Module 08: Programmable Objects
Dynamic SQL
User Defined Functions
Stored Procedures
Transactions and Concurrency
Exception Handling

LAB 08

Module 09: In-Memory OLTP
Intro to In-Memory OLTP
Memory Optimized Tables and Indexes
Natively Compiled Procedures
Transaction Semantics

LAB 09

Appendix A: Graphs and Recursive Queries (Bonus Self-Study Material)
Graphs, Described
Materialized Paths
Using the HIERARCHYID datatype
Nested Sets
Nested Iterations
Recursive Queries



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