How to monitor and force stop SSIS packages

When we are working with SSIS, we may need to know the SSIS operation status or force stop some process.

To quickly check the processing status or message from the SQL Server Management Studio, you just need to expand the Integration Services node, under SSISDB find out your package and [Right click] your package, and then click [Reports] -> [All Executions]. A new window will open with all the execution information

You can check catalog.operations and catalog.operation_messages in the SSISDB database for the detailed operation types and emssages as well.

To Force Stop the execution from the SQL Server Management Studio, you just need to expand the Integration Services node, right-click SSISDB, and then click Active Operations. A new window will open with a Stop button where you can cancel a specific operation (a SSIS package that is executing)

You also can this via T-SQL by calling the stored procedure catalog.stop_operation passing the operation ID as a parameter.

EXEC SSISDB.catalog.stop_operation @operation_id =  468232

You can use following script to retrieve current running packages in SSIS.Catalog

SELECT * FROM SSISDB.catalog.executions WHERE end_time IS NULL

T-SQL count work days between two dates

SET @StartDate = ‘2022/08/01’
SET @EndDate = ‘2022/08/25’

(DATEDIFF(dd, @StartDate, @EndDate) + 1)
-(DATEDIFF(wk, @StartDate, @EndDate) * 2)
-(CASE WHEN DATENAME(dw, @StartDate) = ‘Sunday’ THEN 1 ELSE 0 END)
-(CASE WHEN DATENAME(dw, @EndDate) = ‘Saturday’ THEN 1 ELSE 0 END)

SQL script delete duplicate rows in the table

In the data world, duplicated data is a very common issue. It may duplicated for few fields or even worse you have more then two identical rows in the table and there is no way to distinguish those rows. So how to clean those duplicated data?

DELETE Duplicate Records Using TOP

Since SQL Server 2005 we can use the TOP command when we issue the delete, such as the following.

CREATE TABLE dbo.duplicateTest (
	[id] [INT] NULL,
	[name] [VARCHAR](100) 

INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES (1, 'a')
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES (1, 'a')
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES (1, 'a')
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES (2, 'b')
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES (3, 'c')

DECLARE @id int
WHILE EXISTS (SELECT COUNT(id) FROM dbo.duplicateTest  GROUP BY id HAVING COUNT(id) > 1 ) 
	SELECT TOP 1  @id = id
	FROM dbo.duplicateTest
	HAVING COUNT(id) > 1 

	DELETE TOP(1) FROM dbo.duplicateTest WHERE id =@id 

So as you can see using the top in while loop we can remove multiple duplicated records even you are not sure which id is duplicated.

DELETE Duplicate Records Using CTE

another way we can use to remove duplicated records is by using CTE.

TRUNCATE TABLE dbo.duplicateTest
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES(1, 'Bob') 
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES(2, 'Dave') 
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES(3, 'Karen') 
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES(1, 'Bob')
INSERT INTO dbo.duplicateTest VALUES(1, 'Bob')	

WITH cte1
AS (
   FROM dbo.duplicateTest 
DELETE FROM cte1 WHERE rank1 > 1

What is the difference between Clustered and Non-Clustered Indexes in SQL Server?

Index is used to speed-up query performance in SQL Server. It is similar to book or dictionary indexes. In the book, if you are looking for some particular chapter, you can looking the index and get the page number of the chapter then go directly to that page. Without index, it will take long time for you to find the desired chapter.

The similar logic for the database index. Well-designed indexes can reduce disk I/O operations and consume fewer system resources therefore improving query performance. In SQL Server table can have two types of indexes:

  • Clustered Indexes
    Clustered index is as same as dictionary where the data is arranged by alphabetical order. The order clustered indexes stored the table or view data rows in the table is the order of key values order. Each table can have 1 clustered indexes only, because it can have one kind of order in the same. In SQL Server, the primary key constraint automatically creates a clustered index on that particular column.

    Example of clustered index

gender VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
DOB datetime NOT NULL,
total_score INT NOT NULL,

The primary key of column ‘id’ will become clustered index automatically. You use system procedure “sp_helpindex” to see the indexes of the table.

USE schooldb
EXECUTE sp_helpindex student

Another way to view table indexes is by going to “Object Explorer-> Databases-> Database_Name-> Tables-> Table_Name -> Indexes”.

Non-clustered Indexes
Non-Clustered Index is similar to the index of textbook. The index of textbook listed the chapter name and related page number, you can directly go to the page by using the page number of the chapter if you are looking for some particular one.

The data and index are stored in different place. Therefore you can have multiple non-clustered index for each table, all the index will point to the same storage place.

To create a new clustered Index, execute the following script:

use schooldb
ON student(gender ASC, total_score DESC)


differences between clustered and non-clustered indexes.

  1. Can only have one clustered index per table. However, We can create multiple non-clustered indexes on the same table.
  2. Clustered indexes only sort tables. Therefore, they do not consume extra storage. Non-clustered indexes are stored in a separate place from the actual table claiming more storage space.
  3. Clustered indexes are faster than non-clustered indexes since they don’t involve any extra lookup step.
  4. In clustered index, the clustered key defines order of data within table. In non-clustered index, the index key defines the order of data in the index only.

SQL : Finding rows that have changed in Table with CHECKSUM, BINARY_CHECKSUM, HASHBYTES

CHECKSUM function returns the checksum value computed over a table row, or over an expression list.

BINARY_CHECKSUM returns the binary checksum value computed over a row of a table or over a list of expressions.

HASHBYTES returns the MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA, SHA1, or SHA2 hash of its input in SQL Server.For SQL Server 2014 (12.x) and earlier, allowed input values are limited to 8000 bytes. Beginning with SQL Server 2016 (13.x), all algorithms other than SHA2_256, and SHA2_512 are deprecated.

BINARY_CHECKSUM and CHECKSUM return different values for the string data types, where locale can cause strings with different representation to compare as equal. 

However, CHECKSUM and BINARY_CHECKSUM  cannot is not guaranteed the values in the expression list is changed. It’s better to use HASHBYTES instead. 


If we have an incoming row of data (let’s say @column1, @column2, @column3, @column4) and I want to know if the incoming values match the ones already in the table and update the table only if they are different, what’s the best way to do that/

You might think that’s easy and you’d just add a WHERE clause to your UPDATE like:

Where Column1 = @column1
and Column2 = @column2
and Column3 = @column3
and Column4 = @column4

If you have large number of columns then you can imagine what this looks like. In addition, you may need to handle the the NULL value if column are nullable like this:

( ISNULL(Column1,'') = ISNULL(@column1,'')

The easier way to do this is by adding one more column that represents a checksum or hash value for all the columns then just compare that one field. The remain question is about which checksum or hashing function to use. Based on the information I mentioned in the above, the checksum and binary_checsum cannot guarantee the result is correct. Therefore hashbytes is the better options to do this job.

CONCAT(@column1, '|',
@column2, '|',
@column3, '|',
@column4,'|' ))

Tips: add a separator ‘|’ character between columns to allow for empty strings


SCOPE_IDENTITY, IDENT_CURRENT, and @@IDENTITY are similar functions because they return values that are inserted into identity columns. However, the scope and session on which last is defined in each of these functions differ:

  • IDENT_CURRENT is not limited by scope and session; it is limited to a specified table. It returns the last identity value generated for a specific table in any session and any scope.
  • @@IDENTITY returns the last identity value generated for any table in the current session, across all scopes.
  • SCOPE_IDENTITY returns the last identity value generated for any table in the current session and the current scope.

Failed statements and transactions can change the current identity for a table and create gaps in the identity column values. The identity value is never rolled back even though the transaction that tried to insert the value into the table is not committed. For example, if an INSERT statement fails because of an IGNORE_DUP_KEY violation, the current identity value for the table is still incremented.


The following example shows the different identity values that are returned by IDENT_CURRENT@@IDENTITY, and SCOPE_IDENTITY

USE test;
–End of trigger definition

–IDs empty.

–ID is empty.

–Do the following in Session 1
/*Returns the value 100. This was inserted by the trigger.*/

/* Returns the value 1. This was inserted by the
INSERT statement two statements before this query.*/

/* Returns value inserted into t7, that is in the trigger.*/

/* Returns value inserted into t6. This was the INSERT statement four statements before this query.*/

— Do the following in Session 2.
/* Returns NULL because there has been no INSERT action up to this point in this session.*/

/* Returns NULL because there has been no INSERT action up to this point in this scope in this session.*/

/* Returns the last value inserted into t7.*/

Working with existing Git Repository

When you join to a new team or new project, they may have a existing Git repository already. For start working, instead of set up Git repository from the scratch, you just need to copy the remote repository to local and create a new branch for yourself work. Git refers the copying a repository as ‘cloning’. When you clone a repository, you create a connection between the remote git server (we are using Gitlab in this article) and you local system.

Step 1. Clone your repository to your local system

  1. Navigate to your local repository directory
    cd "your local repo folder"
  2. From the Gitlab website, go to current repository page and go the clone address by click the ‘Clone’ button’
  3. clone report to local
    git clone "remote repo address"
  4. Configure your Git username/email
    git config --global "FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME"
    git config --global ""

Create a branch where you can add/change the code that you aren’t ready to commit. When you are ready to release those changes to all, you can merge the changes into your main repository and then delete the no-longer-needed branch.

Step 2. Create a branch

It’s important to understand that branches are just pointers to commits. When you create a branch, all Git needs to do is create a new pointer—it doesn’t create a whole new set of files or folders. Before you begin, your repository looks like this:

git branch future-plans 

This command creates a branch but does not switch you to that branch, so your repository looks something like this:

The repository history remains unchanged. All you get is a new pointer to the current branch. To begin working on the new branch, you have to check out the branch you want to use.

Step 2. Checkout branch

git checkout future-plans

Now that you’ve checked out the new branch, your Git workflow looks something like this:

Step 3. Change and save your code

once you saved your changes, you can check the branch status by run

git status 

Step 4. Stage your file

Step 5. Commit your change

git commit -m "commit messages"

Step 3. Upload local repository to remote repository

The git push command is used to upload local repository content to a remote repository. Pushing is how you transfer commits from your local repository to a remote repo.

git push

Step 3. Create merge request

The git merge command lets you take the independent branch which created by git branch (at step 3)and integrate them into the main branch. But as you working in a team, normally you cannot merge your branch to other branch directly, you need to submit a merge request to do this.


The ISNULL function and the COALESCE expression have a similar purpose but ISNULL can have two parameters only, COALESCE can have multiple input.

Both are checking the parameters in order and returns the current value of the first expression that initially doesn’t evaluate to NULL.

SELECT ISNULL(hourly_wage * 40 * 52, salary) AS income
FROM dbo.wages

SELECT COALESCE(hourly_wage * 40 * 52, salary, commission) AS income
FROM dbo.wages

The NULLIF function returns a NULL value if the two parameters are equal. for instance, we could use NULLIF if we wanted to return NULLs whenever the field equal giving value:

SELECT NULLIF(4,4) AS Same, NULLIF(5,7) AS Different;

SQL Placeholder and Composite Format String

The msg_str argument in RAISERROR (Transact-SQL) described the structure of message string and the use of parameters in the string. It’s very useful if we want to build dynamic text or string with multiple parameters. In this article, we are listed variety of format sample.

Conversion specifications format

% [[flag] [width] [. precision] [{h | l}]] type


Is a code that determines the spacing and justification of the substituted value.

CodePrefix or justificationDescription
– (minus)Left-justifiedLeft-justify the argument value within the given field width.
+ (plus)Sign prefixPreface the argument value with a plus (+) or minus (-) if the value is of a signed type.
0 (zero)Zero paddingPreface the output with zeros until the minimum width is reached. When 0 and the minus sign (-) appear, 0 is ignored.
# (number)0x prefix for hexadecimal type of x or XWhen used with the o, x, or X format, the number sign (#) flag prefaces any nonzero value with 0, 0x, or 0X, respectively. When d, i, or u are prefaced by the number sign (#) flag, the flag is ignored.
‘ ‘ (blank)Space paddingPreface the output value with blank spaces if the value is signed and positive. This is ignored when included with the plus sign (+) flag.


Is an integer that defines the minimum width for the field into which the argument value is placed. If the length of the argument value is equal to or longer than width, the value is printed with no padding. If the value is shorter than width, the value is padded to the length specified in width.

An asterisk (*) means that the width is specified by the associated argument in the argument list, which must be an integer value.


Is the maximum number of characters taken from the argument value for string values. For example, if a string has five characters and precision is 3, only the first three characters of the string value are used.

For integer values, precision is the minimum number of digits printed.

An asterisk (*) means that the precision is specified by the associated argument in the argument list, which must be an integer value.

{h | l} type

Is used with character types d, i, o, s, x, X, or u, and creates shortint (h) or longint (l) values.

Type specificationRepresents
d or iSigned integer
oUnsigned octal
uUnsigned integer
x or XUnsigned hexadecimal


string format

SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Hello %5.3s!’, ‘TEST12345678’);

number format

SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Signed int %i, %d %i, %d, %+i, %+d, %+i, %+d’, 5, -5, 50, -50, -11, -11, 11, 11);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Signed int with up to 3 leading zeros %03i’, 5);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Signed int with up to 20 leading zeros %020i’, 5);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Signed int with leading zero 0 %020i’, -55);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Bigint %I64d’, 3000000000);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Unsigned int %u, %u’, 50, -50);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Unsigned octal %o, %o’, 50, -50);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Unsigned hexadecimal %x, %X, %X, %X, %x’, 11, 11, -11, 50, -50);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Unsigned octal with prefix: %#o, %#o’, 50, -50);
SELECT FORMATMESSAGE(‘Unsigned hexadecimal with prefix: %#x, %#X, %#X, %X, %x’, 11, 11, -11, 50, -50);

How to set up mail notification for SQL Server job failures

When we set up SQL Server Job, its is a very common requirement ‘need to get email notification once Job is failed’. It’s not difficult, just need few clicks in SQL Server Management Studio to implement this requirement.

Overview Steps

  1. Configure Database Mail.
  2. Set up SQL Server Agent Alert System .
  3. Create an Operator.
  4. Set up SQL Server job notifications

Configuring Database Mail

Open SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), expand Management and right-click on Database Mail and then click Configure Database Mail.

SQL Server Management Studio
Database Mail Configuration Wizard

Select “Set up Database Mail by performing the following tasks” and Click Next.

Click Yes and then click Next if mail hasn’t been configured yet.

Give the New Profile a name and then click Add.

create new profile

Fill in the correct SMTP information as below

click Next

New Profile

Check the option to make the new profile Public. If the profile isn’t set to Public

Manage Profile Security

Review the System Parameters , please keep the default settings if your are not sure how to adjust them. Click Next and Finish the Mail set up.

Configure system parameters

You should see that each Action was completed and has a Status of Success. Click Close.

Configuration Complete Test

Set up SQL Server Agent Alert System

Right-click SQL Server Agent and select Properties.

SQL Server Agent Properties

Click on Alert System

· Under Mail session, select the option to Enable mail profile. Ensure the correct Mail profile is selected.

· Under Token replacement, enable Replace tokens for all job responses to alerts.

Click OK. Restart the SQL Server Agent service.

Create an Operator

Under the SQL Server Agent, right-click Operators and select New Operator…

SQL Server Agent Operator

Type in the recipient email address in the E-mail name and click OK.

Set up SQL Server job notifications

Expand SQL Server Agent and click on Jobs. Find the job you want to change, right click it and select Properties.

Under Select a page, select Notifications. Enable the first option, E-mail. Then select the Operator we just created and change the job to email When the job fails. Click OK.