T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly SQL Server blogging event. One of us sets a topic for the month’s event, and we all have a week in which to write a blog post that fits that topic. This month’s event is hosted by Amit Banerjee (blog|twitter), and he’s chosen the subject of “T-SQL Best Practices”.
Make Use of Free Reference Books
I would recommend that all T-SQL developers go to the Red-Gate bookstore (whose page is still not easily accessible…) and download and read (at least) the following:
- The Red-Gate Guide to SQL Server Team-Based Development, by Phil Factor, Grant Fritchey, Alex Kuznetsov, and Mladen Prajdić
- Defensive Database Programming, by Alex Kuznetsov
They’re available as free PDF ebooks, or you can buy paper copies from Amazon. I should probably add a disclaimer saying “other free ebooks are available”…
- Test your code. Don’t just test it in a small development environment, make sure you’ve got a production-scale QA or UAT environment in which to test as well.
- Return only the data you need – don’t use SELECT * unless you intend to use all fields; use a WHERE clause to filter down to just the records you intend to display
- Write your queries to make use of indexes.
- And please DOCUMENT YOUR SYSTEMS as well as your code. You have a Linked Server? Document it – why it’s there, how long you’ll need it, what it’s used by. Just remember, you might not be around in 5 years time when some poor sap has to migrate your lumbering behemoth onto a fresh platform.
Always code as if the person who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
EDIT: Found the original Usenet post by John F Woods on comp.lang.c++