Index Defrag Script, v3.0

UPDATE: This script has been significantly updated. Please view the latest version at

I’ve just completed the latest version of my index defrag script! Here’s a brief list of the updates:

  • Fixed a bug with the LOB logic. In the previous version, after a LOB was encountered, all subsequent indexes would be reorganized.
  • Added support for stat rebuilds after the index defrag is complete (@rebuildStats)
  • Added an exclusion list table (dba_indexDefragExclusion) to support index scheduling
  • Modified logging to show which defrags are “in progress”; added columns to dba_indexDefragLog
  • Added support for the defrag of the model and msdb databases
  • Added @scanMode as a configurable parameter

So what can this index defrag script do? Well, for starters, you can:

  • Schedule it to run with the default settings; it works “right out of the box” with no additional configuration necessary
  • Run this one script from a centralized database for all databases on a server
  • Run this script for a specific database or table
  • Configure custom threshold limits and the point at which a rebuild should be performed (instead of a reorganize)
  • Defrag individual partitions
  • Log its actions and the duration of the defrag
  • Run in “commands only” mode (@executeSQL = 0, @printCommands = 1)
  • Customize performance parameters such as @maxDopRestriction and @defragDelay to minimize impact on the server
  • Schedule specific indexes to only be defragged on weekends, or every other day

To use this last option, you need to add a record to the dba_indexDefragExclusion table. I think all of the columns are pretty self-explanatory except the [exclusionMask] column. The way this works is each day of the week is assigned a value:
1=Sunday, 2=Monday, 4=Tuesday, 8=Wednesday, 16=Thursday, 32=Friday, 64=Saturday

Take a SUM of the values for the days that you want excluded. So if you want an index to only be defragged on weekends, you would add up Monday through Friday (2+4+8+16+32) and use a value of 62 for the exclusionMask column. For a little more information on how this works, check out my blog post on Bitwise Operations.

Please note: if you don’t insert any records into the dba_indexDefragExclusion table, by default all indexes will be defragged every run-time if they exceed the specified thresholds. This is normal behavior and may be perfectly fine in your environment. However, if the dba_indexDefragExclusion table does not exist, the script will fail.

I try to document each parameter within the code, so check the comments section in the script for a full list of parameters and what they do.

Special thanks to everyone who helped beta test this script! :)

Without further ado, the script:

/* Drop Table Scripts:
Drop Table dbo.dba_indexDefragLog;
Drop Table dbo.dba_indexDefragExclusion;
If Not Exists(Select [object_id] From sys.tables 
    Where [name] In (N'dba_indexDefragLog', 'dba_indexDefragExclusion'))
    Create Table dbo.dba_indexDefragLog
          indexDefrag_id    int identity(1,1)   Not Null
        , databaseID        int                 Not Null
        , databaseName      nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , objectID          int                 Not Null
        , objectName        nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , indexID           int                 Not Null
        , indexName         nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , partitionNumber   smallint            Not Null
        , fragmentation     float               Not Null
        , page_count        int                 Not Null
        , dateTimeStart     datetime            Not Null
        , dateTimeEnd       datetime            Null
        , durationSeconds   int                 Null
        Constraint PK_indexDefragLog 
            Primary Key Clustered (indexDefrag_id)
    Print 'dba_indexDefragLog Table Created';
    Create Table dbo.dba_indexDefragExclusion
          databaseID        int                 Not Null
        , databaseName      nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , objectID          int                 Not Null
        , objectName        nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , indexID           int                 Not Null
        , indexName         nvarchar(128)       Not Null
        , exclusionMask     int                 Not Null
            /* 1=Sunday, 2=Monday, 4=Tuesday, 8=Wednesday, 16=Thursday, 32=Friday, 64=Saturday */
        Constraint PK_indexDefragExclusion 
            Primary Key Clustered (databaseID, objectID, indexID)
    Print 'dba_indexDefragExclusion Table Created';
    RaisError('One or more tables already exist.  Please drop or rename before proceeding.', 16, 0);
If ObjectProperty(Object_ID('dbo.dba_indexDefrag_sp'), N'IsProcedure') = 1
    Drop Procedure dbo.dba_indexDefrag_sp;
    Print 'Procedure dba_indexDefrag_sp dropped';
Create Procedure dbo.dba_indexDefrag_sp
    /* Declare Parameters */
      @minFragmentation     float           = 5.0  
        /* in percent, will not defrag if fragmentation less than specified */
    , @rebuildThreshold     float           = 30.0  
        /* in percent, greater than @rebuildThreshold will result in rebuild instead of reorg */
    , @executeSQL           bit             = 1     
        /* 1 = execute; 0 = print command only */
    , @database             varchar(128)    = Null
        /* Option to specify a database name; null will return all */
    , @tableName            varchar(4000)   = Null  -- databaseName.schema.tableName
        /* Option to specify a table name; null will return all */
    , @scanMode             varchar(10)     = N'LIMITED'
        /* Options are LIMITED, SAMPLED, and DETAILED */
    , @onlineRebuild        bit             = 1     
        /* 1 = online rebuild; 0 = offline rebuild; only in Enterprise */
    , @maxDopRestriction    tinyint         = Null
        /* Option to restrict the number of processors for the operation; only in Enterprise */
    , @printCommands        bit             = 0     
        /* 1 = print commands; 0 = do not print commands */
    , @printFragmentation   bit             = 0
        /* 1 = print fragmentation prior to defrag; 
           0 = do not print */
    , @defragDelay          char(8)         = '00:00:05'
        /* time to wait between defrag commands */
    , @debugMode            bit             = 0
        /* display some useful comments to help determine if/where issues occur */
    , @rebuildStats         bit             = 1
        /* option to rebuild stats after completed index defrags */
    Name:       dba_indexDefrag_sp
    Author:     Michelle Ufford,
    Purpose:    Defrags all indexes for the current database
      @minFragmentation     defaulted to 10%, will not defrag if fragmentation 
                            is less than that
      @rebuildThreshold     defaulted to 30% as recommended by Microsoft in BOL;
                            greater than 30% will result in rebuild instead
      @executeSQL           1 = execute the SQL generated by this proc; 
                            0 = print command only
      @database             Optional, specify specific database name to defrag;
                            If not specified, all non-system databases will
                            be defragged.
      @tableName            Specify if you only want to defrag indexes for a 
                            specific table, format = databaseName.schema.tableName;
                            if not specified, all tables will be defragged.
      @scanMode             Specifies which scan mode to use to determine
                            fragmentation levels.  Options are:
                            LIMITED - scans the parent level; quickest mode,
                                      recommended for most cases.
                            SAMPLED - samples 1% of all data pages; if less than
                                      10k pages, performs a DETAILED scan.
                            DETAILED - scans all data pages.  Use great care with
                                       this mode, as it can cause performance issues.
      @onlineRebuild        1 = online rebuild; 
                            0 = offline rebuild
      @maxDopRestriction    Option to specify a processor limit for index rebuilds
      @printCommands        1 = print commands to screen; 
                            0 = do not print commands
      @printFragmentation   1 = print fragmentation to screen;
                            0 = do not print fragmentation
      @defragDelay          Time to wait between defrag commands; gives the
                            server a little time to catch up 
      @debugMode            1 = display debug comments; helps with troubleshooting
                            0 = do not display debug comments
      @rebuildStats         Affects only statistics that need to be rebuilt
                            1 = rebuild stats
                            0 = do not rebuild stats
    Called by:  SQL Agent Job or DBA
    Date        Initials	Version Description
    2007-12-18  MFU         1.0     Initial Release
    2008-10-17  MFU         1.1     Added @defragDelay, CIX_temp_indexDefragList
    2008-11-17  MFU         1.2     Added page_count to log table
                                    , added @printFragmentation option
    2009-03-17  MFU         2.0     Provided support for centralized execution
                                    , consolidated Enterprise & Standard versions
                                    , added @debugMode, @maxDopRestriction
                                    , modified LOB and partition logic  
    2009-06-18  MFU         3.0     Fixed bug in LOB logic, added @scanMode option
                                    , added support for stat rebuilds (@rebuildStats)
                                    , support model and msdb defrag
                                    , added columns to the dba_indexDefragLog table
                                    , modified logging to show "in progress" defrags
                                    , added defrag exclusion list (scheduling)
    Exec dbo.dba_indexDefrag_sp
          @executeSQL           = 0
        , @printCommands        = 1
        , @debugMode            = 1
        , @printFragmentation   = 1;
Set NoCount On;
Set XACT_Abort On;
Set Ansi_Padding On;
Set Ansi_Warnings On;
Set ArithAbort On;
Set Concat_Null_Yields_Null On;
Set Numeric_RoundAbort Off;
Set Quoted_Identifier On;
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('Undusting the cogs and starting up...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
    /* Declare our variables */
    Declare   @objectID             int
            , @databaseID           int
            , @databaseName         nvarchar(128)
            , @indexID              int
            , @partitionCount       bigint
            , @schemaName           nvarchar(128)
            , @objectName           nvarchar(128)
            , @indexName            nvarchar(128)
            , @partitionNumber      smallint
            , @fragmentation        float
            , @pageCount            int
            , @sqlCommand           nvarchar(4000)
            , @rebuildCommand       nvarchar(200)
            , @dateTimeStart        datetime
            , @dateTimeEnd          datetime
            , @containsLOB          bit
            , @editionCheck         bit
            , @debugMessage         varchar(128)
            , @updateSQL            nvarchar(4000)
            , @partitionSQL         nvarchar(4000)
            , @partitionSQL_Param   nvarchar(1000)
            , @LOB_SQL              nvarchar(4000)
            , @LOB_SQL_Param        nvarchar(1000)
            , @rebuildStatsID       int
            , @rebuildStatsSQL      nvarchar(1000)
            , @indexDefrag_id       int;
    /* Create our temporary tables */
    Create Table #indexDefragList
          databaseID        int
        , databaseName      nvarchar(128)
        , objectID          int
        , indexID           int
        , partitionNumber   smallint
        , fragmentation     float
        , page_count        int
        , defragStatus      bit
        , schemaName        nvarchar(128)   Null
        , objectName        nvarchar(128)   Null
        , indexName         nvarchar(128)   Null
    Create Table #databaseList
          databaseID        int
        , databaseName      varchar(128)
        , scanStatus        bit
        , statsStatus       bit
    Create Table #processor 
          [index]           int
        , Name              varchar(128)
        , Internal_Value    int
        , Character_Value   int
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('Beginning validation...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
    /* Just a little validation... */
    If @minFragmentation Not Between 0.00 And 100.0
        Set @minFragmentation = 10.0;
    If @rebuildThreshold Not Between 0.00 And 100.0
        Set @rebuildThreshold = 30.0;
    If @defragDelay Not Like '00:[0-5][0-9]:[0-5][0-9]'
        Set @defragDelay = '00:00:05';
    If @scanMode Not In ('LIMITED', 'SAMPLED', 'DETAILED')
        Set @scanMode = 'LIMITED';
    /* Make sure we're not exceeding the number of processors we have available */
    Insert Into #processor
    Execute xp_msver 'ProcessorCount';
    If @maxDopRestriction Is Not Null And @maxDopRestriction > (Select Internal_Value From #processor)
        Select @maxDopRestriction = Internal_Value
        From #processor;
    /* Check our server version; 1804890536 = Enterprise, 610778273 = Enterprise Evaluation, -2117995310 = Developer */
    If (Select ServerProperty('EditionID')) In (1804890536, 610778273, -2117995310) 
        Set @editionCheck = 1 -- supports online rebuilds
        Set @editionCheck = 0; -- does not support online rebuilds
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('Grabbing a list of our databases...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
    /* Retrieve the list of databases to investigate */
    Insert Into #databaseList
    Select database_id
        , name
        , 0 -- not scanned yet for fragmentation
        , 0 -- statistics not yet updated
    From sys.databases
    Where name = IsNull(@database, name)
        And [name] Not In ('master', 'tempdb')-- exclude system databases
        And [state] = 0; -- state must be ONLINE
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('Looping through our list of databases and checking for fragmentation...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
    /* Loop through our list of databases */
    While (Select Count(*) From #databaseList Where scanStatus = 0) > 0
        Select Top 1 @databaseID = databaseID
        From #databaseList
        Where scanStatus = 0;
        Select @debugMessage = '  working on ' + DB_Name(@databaseID) + '...';
        If @debugMode = 1
            RaisError(@debugMessage, 0, 42) With NoWait;
       /* Determine which indexes to defrag using our user-defined parameters */
        Insert Into #indexDefragList
              database_id As databaseID
            , QuoteName(DB_Name(database_id)) As 'databaseName'
            , [object_id] As objectID
            , index_id As indexID
            , partition_number As partitionNumber
            , avg_fragmentation_in_percent As fragmentation
            , page_count 
            , 0 As 'defragStatus' /* 0 = unprocessed, 1 = processed */
            , Null As 'schemaName'
            , Null As 'objectName'
            , Null As 'indexName'
        From sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats (@databaseID, Object_Id(@tableName), Null , Null, @scanMode)
        Where avg_fragmentation_in_percent >= @minFragmentation 
            And index_id > 0 -- ignore heaps
            And page_count > 8 -- ignore objects with less than 1 extent
            And index_level = 0 -- leaf-level nodes only, supports @scanMode
        Option (MaxDop 2);
        /* Keep track of which databases have already been scanned */
        Update #databaseList
        Set scanStatus = 1
        Where databaseID = @databaseID;
    Create Clustered Index CIX_temp_indexDefragList
        On #indexDefragList(databaseID, objectID, indexID, partitionNumber);
    /* Delete any indexes from our to-do that are also in our exclusion list for today */
    Delete idl
    From #indexDefragList As idl
    Join dbo.dba_indexDefragExclusion As ide
        On idl.databaseID = ide.databaseID
        And idl.objectID = ide.objectID
        And idl.indexID = ide.indexID
    Where exclusionMask & Power(2, DatePart(weekday, GetDate())-1) > 0;
    Select @debugMessage = 'Looping through our list... there''s ' + Cast(Count(*) As varchar(10)) + ' indexes to defrag!'
    From #indexDefragList;
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError(@debugMessage, 0, 42) With NoWait;
    /* Begin our loop for defragging */
    While (Select Count(*) From #indexDefragList Where defragStatus = 0) > 0
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Picking an index to beat into shape...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* Grab the most fragmented index first to defrag */
        Select Top 1 
              @objectID         = objectID
            , @indexID          = indexID
            , @databaseID       = databaseID
            , @databaseName     = databaseName
            , @fragmentation    = fragmentation
            , @partitionNumber  = partitionNumber
            , @pageCount        = page_count
        From #indexDefragList
        Where defragStatus = 0
        Order By fragmentation Desc;
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Looking up the specifics for our index...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* Look up index information */
        Select @updateSQL = N'Update idl
            Set schemaName = QuoteName(
                , objectName = QuoteName(
                , indexName = QuoteName(
            From #indexDefragList As idl
            Inner Join ' + @databaseName + '.sys.objects As o
                On idl.objectID = o.object_id
            Inner Join ' + @databaseName + '.sys.indexes As i
                On o.object_id = i.object_id
            Inner Join ' + @databaseName + '.sys.schemas As s
                On o.schema_id = s.schema_id
            Where o.object_id = ' + Cast(@objectID As varchar(10)) + '
                And i.index_id = ' + Cast(@indexID As varchar(10)) + '
                And i.type > 0
                And idl.databaseID = ' + Cast(@databaseID As varchar(10));
        Execute sp_executeSQL @updateSQL;
        /* Grab our object names */
        Select @objectName  = objectName
            , @schemaName   = schemaName
            , @indexName    = indexName
        From #indexDefragList
        Where objectID = @objectID
            And indexID = @indexID
            And databaseID = @databaseID;
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Grabbing the partition count...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* Determine if the index is partitioned */
        Select @partitionSQL = 'Select @partitionCount_OUT = Count(*)
                                    From ' + @databaseName + '.sys.partitions
                                    Where object_id = ' + Cast(@objectID As varchar(10)) + '
                                        And index_id = ' + Cast(@indexID As varchar(10)) + ';'
            , @partitionSQL_Param = '@partitionCount_OUT int OutPut';
        Execute sp_executeSQL @partitionSQL, @partitionSQL_Param, @partitionCount_OUT = @partitionCount OutPut;
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Seeing if there''s any LOBs to be handled...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* Determine if the table contains LOBs */
        Select @LOB_SQL = ' Select @containsLOB_OUT = Count(*)
                            From ' + @databaseName + '.sys.columns With (NoLock) 
                            Where [object_id] = ' + Cast(@objectID As varchar(10)) + '
                                And (system_type_id In (34, 35, 99)
                                        Or max_length = -1);'
                            /*  system_type_id --> 34 = image, 35 = text, 99 = ntext
                                max_length = -1 --> varbinary(max), varchar(max), nvarchar(max), xml */
                , @LOB_SQL_Param = '@containsLOB_OUT int OutPut';
        Execute sp_executeSQL @LOB_SQL, @LOB_SQL_Param, @containsLOB_OUT = @containsLOB OutPut;
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Building our SQL statements...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* If there's not a lot of fragmentation, or if we have a LOB, we should reorganize */
        If @fragmentation < @rebuildThreshold Or @containsLOB >= 1 Or @partitionCount > 1
            Set @sqlCommand = N'Alter Index ' + @indexName + N' On ' + @databaseName + N'.' 
                                + @schemaName + N'.' + @objectName + N' ReOrganize';
            /* If our index is partitioned, we should always reorganize */
            If @partitionCount > 1
                Set @sqlCommand = @sqlCommand + N' Partition = ' 
                                + Cast(@partitionNumber As nvarchar(10));
        /* If the index is heavily fragmented and doesn't contain any partitions or LOB's, rebuild it */
        If @fragmentation >= @rebuildThreshold And IsNull(@containsLOB, 0) != 1 And @partitionCount <= 1
            /* Set online rebuild options; requires Enterprise Edition */
            If @onlineRebuild = 1 And @editionCheck = 1 
                Set @rebuildCommand = N' Rebuild With (Online = On';
                Set @rebuildCommand = N' Rebuild With (Online = Off';
            /* Set processor restriction options; requires Enterprise Edition */
            If @maxDopRestriction Is Not Null And @editionCheck = 1
                Set @rebuildCommand = @rebuildCommand + N', MaxDop = ' + Cast(@maxDopRestriction As varchar(2)) + N')';
                Set @rebuildCommand = @rebuildCommand + N')';
            Set @sqlCommand = N'Alter Index ' + @indexName + N' On ' + @databaseName + N'.'
                            + @schemaName + N'.' + @objectName + @rebuildCommand;
        /* Are we executing the SQL?  If so, do it */
        If @executeSQL = 1
            If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Executing SQL statements...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
            /* Grab the time for logging purposes */
            Set @dateTimeStart  = GetDate();
            /* Log our actions */
            Insert Into dbo.dba_indexDefragLog
                , databaseName
                , objectID
                , objectName
                , indexID
                , indexName
                , partitionNumber
                , fragmentation
                , page_count
                , dateTimeStart
                , @databaseName
                , @objectID
                , @objectName
                , @indexID
                , @indexName
                , @partitionNumber
                , @fragmentation
                , @pageCount
                , @dateTimeStart;
            Set @indexDefrag_id = Scope_Identity();
            /* Execute our defrag! */
            Execute sp_executeSQL @sqlCommand;
            Set @dateTimeEnd  = GetDate();
            /* Update our log with our completion time */
            Update dbo.dba_indexDefragLog
            Set dateTimeEnd = @dateTimeEnd
                , durationSeconds = DateDiff(second, @dateTimeStart, @dateTimeEnd)
            Where indexDefrag_id = @indexDefrag_id;
            /* Just a little breather for the server */
            WaitFor Delay @defragDelay;
            /* Print if specified to do so */
            If @printCommands = 1
                Print N'Executed: ' + @sqlCommand;
        /* Looks like we're not executing, just printing the commands */
            If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Printing SQL statements...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
            If @printCommands = 1 Print IsNull(@sqlCommand, 'error!');
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Updating our index defrag status...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        /* Update our index defrag list so we know we've finished with that index */
        Update #indexDefragList
        Set defragStatus = 1
        Where databaseID       = @databaseID
          And objectID         = @objectID
          And indexID          = @indexID
          And partitionNumber  = @partitionNumber;
    /* Do we want to output our fragmentation results? */
    If @printFragmentation = 1
        If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('  Displaying fragmentation results...', 0, 42) With NoWait;
        Select databaseID
            , databaseName
            , objectID
            , objectName
            , indexID
            , indexName
            , fragmentation
            , page_count
        From #indexDefragList;
    /* Do we want to rebuild stats? */
    If @rebuildStats = 1
        While Exists(Select Top 1 * From #databaseList Where statsStatus = 0)
            /* Build our SQL statement to update stats */
            Select Top 1 @rebuildStatsSQL = 'Use [' + databaseName + ']; ' + 
                                            'Execute sp_updatestats;'
                    , @rebuildStatsID = databaseID
            From #databaseList
            Where statsStatus = 0;
            Set @debugMessage = 'Rebuilding Statistics: ' + @rebuildStatsSQL;
            If @debugMode = 1 RaisError(@debugMessage, 0, 42) With NoWait;
            /* Execute our stats update! */
            Execute sp_executesql @rebuildStatsSQL;
            /* Keep track of which databases have been updated */
            Update #databaseList 
            Set statsStatus = 1
            Where databaseID = @rebuildStatsID;
    /* When everything is said and done, make sure to get rid of our temp table */
    Drop Table #indexDefragList;
    Drop Table #databaseList;
    Drop Table #processor;
    If @debugMode = 1 RaisError('DONE!  Thank you for taking care of your indexes!  :)', 0, 42) With NoWait;
    Set NoCount Off;
    Return 0
Set Quoted_Identifier Off 
Set ANSI_Nulls On

Primary Key vs Unique Constraint

Recently, I encountered a table that needed to have the definition of a clustered index altered. It just so happens that the clustered index and the primary key were one and the same, a pretty common occurrence. However, when we went to modify the index, it failed.

The following entry in Books Online for CREATE INDEX explains why:

If the index enforces a PRIMARY KEY or UNIQUE constraint and the index definition is not altered in any way, the index is dropped and re-created preserving the existing constraint. However, if the index definition is altered the statement fails. To change the definition of a PRIMARY KEY or UNIQUE constraint, drop the constraint and add a constraint with the new definition.

Let’s test this, shall we?

/* Create a table with a clustered primary key */
Create Table dbo.myTable
      myID      int identity(1,1)   Not Null
    , myDate    smalldatetime       Not Null
    , myNumber  int                 Not Null
    Constraint CIX_myTable 
        Primary Key Clustered (myDate, myID)
/* Insert some data */
Insert Into myTable
Select '2009-01-01', 100 Union All
Select '2009-02-01', 200 Union All
Select '2009-01-05', 300;
/* Try to alter the index - FAIL */
Create Clustered Index CIX_myTable
    On myTable(myID, myDate, myNumber)
        With (Drop_Existing = On);
/* Drop the clustered primary key */
Alter Table dbo.myTable
    Drop Constraint CIX_myTable;
/* Add a unique clustered index */
Create Unique Clustered Index CIX_myTable 
    On myTable(myDate, myID);
/* Add a unique constraint */
Alter Table myTable
    Add Constraint Unique_myTable
        Unique (myDate);
/* Try to alter the index - SUCCESS */
Create Clustered Index CIX_myTable
    On myTable(myID, myDate, myNumber)
        With (Drop_Existing = On);
/* Add a primary key constraint */
Alter Table myTable
    Add Constraint PK_myTable
        Primary Key (myID, myDate);
/* Try to alter the index - SUCCESS */
Create Clustered Index CIX_myTable
    On myTable(myID, myDate)
        With (Drop_Existing = On);
/* Clean-Up */
Drop Table myTable;

The only instance that actually fails is the PRIMARY KEY constraint. The unique clustered index is able to be modified successfully, even when a unique constraint is applied to the table. So either I’m misunderstanding BOL, or BOL is mistaken. Either way, I’m then left with the following question: is there any reason to actually use a primary key when a unique index serves the same purpose and offers greater flexibility?

Questions, comments, and explanations are welcome. :)

SQL Rap Contest Results!

Wow! We ended up with 19 SQL rap submissions! The response was more than I could’ve hoped for. Parodies ranged from Coolio to Beyonce, Akon to home-spun rhymes, and everyone single one was awesome. Brent, Ward, and I have closely reviewed each and every submission. We laughed, and then we laughed some more, and now we’re ready to name a winner.

But first… did you know that is hiring? I’ve been working for this company for 2 years, and I *love* it. Truly. I can honestly say it’s the best place I’ve ever worked. If you’re looking for a challenging job and a great work environment, go take a look at some of the open positions at [/shameless plug]

And now… the winner of the 32GB iPod Touch, generously donated by for this silly little contest, is… Steve Jones! Steve’s rap, DBA’s Delight, is set to the tune of ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by The Sugarhill Gang and has so many SQL features dropped it’s almost educational. Almost.

THANK YOU to everyone who submitted a rap! Hopefully you had as much fun writing them as we had reading them. I’ll be following up in the next few days with a full listing of all SQL raps, once I figure out how to organize it! If you’ve posted it to your blog, please leave me a comment with the URL. And if for some reason, you don’t want me to post your submission, that’s okay too, just let me know.

Oh, what’s that? You want to see Steve’s winning entry NOW? Oh, if you insist…

DBA Delight” by Steve Jones
(This is set to the tune of “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. If you’re not familiar with the song, go to and search for it; it really adds to the whole experience!)

Now what you hear is not a parse
I’m rapping to the code
’cause me, my tweeps, and the devs
are gonna try to gen a load.
See I am the D-B-A
and I’d like to say hello
to the devs, the PMs, and the boss
that make me want to explode

But first I gotta, query, query
with intellisense and a brand new de-bug-ger
Say lock, don’t block,
with the hints to make those latches stop
Well so far you’ve seen me code, but I brought 2 men along
And next on the mic is dev Mike
C’mon Mike, show those keys

Check out the C-L-R, and the C-T-E,
and the rest is S-Q-L
you see I go by the link “Code-2-Supreme”
and now I’ll show you why
You see I know my keys
and identities, both char and I-N-T
I got primary and foreign keys
and DDs to back them up.
I got Assemblies, Partitioned entities
And a queue to make to grin
I’ve got a package I can integrate
to find that MAX or MIN!
Master PM, am you on?
It’s now your turn to spin a yarn

Well it’s locks and it’s blocks and it’s mis-matched socks
and the delays don’t stop until I take stock
I’m the PM you hate, when you’re late
I’ve Project and Excel
I’ve got every estimate that you made
Before this project went to hell!
So get to work, and get it done
Server, instance, database, too
I need them all up running, humming along
and returning results so true.
DBA, it’s on you
Show us what you gonna do!

I got a new quad core
sixty-four bit bits
and memory up to the rim
Gonna add some S-S-Ds for speed
and pile on the load for all my sims.
Got Agent jobs, A DR plan,
and procedures for every ‘ject
No access I don’t let you have
and auditing you won’t expect.
Clus-ter-ing, Log shipping,
mirroring across the land
I’ve got Queues in place, just in case
You break some fiber strands

Have you ever went over a friend’s shop to work
and the code just ain’t no good?
The cursors are slow, the procedures long
and a box you wouldn’t patch if you could!
So he asks what to do, to speed things up
and you sit stunned for a sec
The boss wants to help, a little consult
for some work without a spec.
Then you say, that’s it, I got to leave this place,
Don’t care what these people think
I’m just asking for trouble without benefits
and a database on the blink
So you bust out the door, hit the road
go back to your own job
check your server, see green lights
stop that head before it throbs
you text your friend two weeks later
to see how he has been
He says sorry about that job
but DBA, we’re still friends.

PASS Summit 2009

My abstract for PASS Summit 2009 was accepted! Woot! You may not be able to see it from where you’re sitting, but I’m doing the happy dance. :)

In case you missed my original post on my abstract submission, here’s what I’ll be presenting on:

Super Bowl, Super Load – A Look at Performance Tuning for VLDB’s

Few DBA’s have the opportunity to experience a real-life load test in their production environment. Michelle Ufford works for, a company that has experienced phenomenal success with its Super Bowl ads. These ads are designed to drive traffic to the company’s websites, which puts the database servers under high load. In her presentation, Michelle will explore the performance tuning techniques that have resulted in an 80% reduction in server response times and allowed her VLDB’s to reach rates of 27k transactions per second. Topics will include vertical and horizontal partitioning, bulk operations, table design, and indexing.

Do you read my blog? Do I read yours? Do we exchange weird messages on Twitter? Do you have free cookies? If you’re going to to the PASS Summit and answered “yes” to any of these questions, then I want to meet you! Make sure to say “hi” to me in Seattle. :)

Chainblogging: Deserted Islands Have WiFi?

Jason Massie tagged me in the latest round of ChainBlogging. This one was started by Tim Ford (SQLAgentMan) and asks:

So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work. Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island. Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wishlist of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?

Become a BI Jedi Master

I’ve mentioned before on Twitter that I’ve recently accepted a position on the BI team. So it stands to reason that one of my major goals now is to dig into BI. While I can muck my way through as a Padawan, I want to become a true BI Jedi Grand Master. This means not just learning the tools (i.e. BIDS), but learning how to best utilize BI to deliver fast, jaw-dropping BI results. This includes SSAS, MDX, data mining, and anything else BI-related. I want to be able to easily answer the how, what, why, and when. And did I mention I want it to be *fast*?

Service Broker

I’ve played around with this a little bit. For a while, I even toyed with the idea of rolling my own version of replication with Service Broker because of the inability to swap out partitions on a replicated table in SQL 2005. But I still haven’t had a good excuse to build and deploy Service Broker to production, so my experience and understanding is not as high as I’d like it to be.

Upgrade to SQL Server 2008

I’d like to upgrade a couple of our servers to SQL Server 2008 and immediately start applying some of the new functionality. I’d set up Resource Governor to help manage some of those pesky, run-away ad-hoc queries that users like to run. I’d start looking at opportunities to replace old indexes with sexy new filtered indexes, saving space and improving performance. And I’d like to see if MERGE really lives up to the hype in a production environment.

Clean Up My E-mail Inbox

This could take me a month alone. Seriously. Okay, maybe not seriously, but it could at least take a good week.

I’m tagging some of my favorite bloggers:

East Iowa SQL Saturday – Call for Speakers!

The Call for Speakers is now open for the East Iowa SQL Saturday! This is our first time hosting a SQL Saturday, and there’s a lot of excitement and interest from our local SQL Server folks. There’s some interest from local speakers, but we’ll probably also need to pull in speakers from outside of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to support the number of tracks and attendees we plan to have.

The event will be held on October 10th, 2009 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Special thanks to Russ Allen for his help with securing a location for us!

For those who are not in the immediate area but would be willing to travel, here’s some general travel times from major cities in the area:

  • Chicago – 3.5 hours
  • Omaha – 3.5 hours
  • Milwaukee – 4 hours
  • Kansas City – 4.5 hours
  • Minneapolis – 5 hours
  • St. Louis – 5 hours
  • Indianapolis – 6 hours
  • Columbus, OH – 9 hours (hint, hint, Jeremiah!)

So if you’re in the general area, please, PLEASE consider speaking at our SQL Saturday. Pretty please with sugar on top. :)

You can find out a little more information and submit sessions at our SQL Saturday website.

Random Number Generator in T-SQL

Ever need to generate a random number in T-SQL? I have, on a couple of different occasions. I’m pretty sure that there’s several different ways of doing this in T-SQL, but here’s what I use:

Declare @maxRandomValue tinyint = 100
	, @minRandomValue tinyint = 0;
Select Cast(((@maxRandomValue + 1) - @minRandomValue) 
	* Rand() + @minRandomValue As tinyint) As 'randomNumber';

This approach uses the RAND() function to generate a random seed; it also ensures that the value returned is between the specified min and max value. I’ve been using this method in one stored procedure that’s called a couple of hundred times per second, and it seems to perform pretty well.

What method do YOU use to generate a random number? Is it faster than this method?