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Two more tools for your bag of T-SQL tricks

Have you ever been writing a new view and had the need to use an ORDER BY only to be greeted by an error message when you go to create the view. Never fear, there is a solution. ORDER BY can only be used in views, inline functions, derived tables, sub-queries, and common table expressions if the keywords TOP or FOR XML are used. Thus we can either use TOP or FOR XML to get our solution. We will on talk about the TOP Keyword today and save FOR XML for another time.
TOP allows you to select the first ‘n’ records returned from a select. Consider the following table of s

Adding CROSS APPLY to your bag of T-SQL tricks

Recently I found myself stuck on a problem while constructing a query for a stored procedure. Like any other developer when I get stuck I start looking through my “bag of tricks” to see if I can find something that will help me solve this problem, but this time I came up empty handed. That’s when I started reading and learned about the APPLY operator, mainly CROSS apply. Many of you may be well versed with this operator already but if you are not, it may come in handy sometime in the future.
According to MSDN the APPLY operator allows you to invoke a table-valued function for each row returned by an out table expression of a query. The table-valued function acts as the right input and the outer table expression acts as the left input. The right input is evaluated…

Intro into Behind the Scenes Managed Code with InfoPath

InfoPath is a great tool for creating simple and complex forms that can be easily managed and utilized. It is designed in such a way to try to make the process easy for non-programmers so that anyone can use the software to implement a form. This sometimes causes problems when you want to do a more complex task. I will give an example in this post and then give a little background on the tools we can use to solve these problems.
Say you want to populate a repeating section of the form using data from a database, and the contents of this repeating section will be determined by the selection from a drop down. I know what you’re thinking… this can be done solely with the tools from InfoPath. So here is the clincher, the data source you want to…

The Queue Manager solution to the Healthcare business

From my limited experience working for a client in the Health Care business I saw the magnitude of positive change the right solution can have on a problem. In the health care business it is often the case that patient information needs to be managed in such a way that it is easy to organize and manipulate patient data, by many different people. In a lot of cases a lot of this work and organization is done manually, whether it is a manual process on a computer or whether it is still done on physical paper. These manual solutions obviously slow down the workflow and add a level of complexity to organization that can be greatly simplified with a conceptually simple solution, The Queue Manager.
The Queue Manager, as you may have assessed from its name is comprised of a simple…

InfoPath, SharePoint and Outlook woes

InfoPath is a great tool already provided in the office suite since the 2003 edition. It allows you to relatively easily create data entry forms. They can be created from scratch, derived from a database or web service, they can be sent via email, published to SharePoint, used as a browser based form amongst many other possibilities in between. It would be a good tool to consider whenever you are using data entry forms in a workflow because it provides the tools needed to keep track of all the data collected and provides the avenues in which to propagate the Forms and then record the collected data for later use. In my brief experience with InfoPath I have run into a few quirks that it embodies and I wanted to share them so that others can learn from what I…