April 18, 2011 | SQL Server

Connect Digest : 2011-04-18

This week I decided to focus on a few suggestions revolving around automation and making certain tasks easier to script or deploy. The first one that came to mind was a recent request from Nicholas Cain (blog | twitter), asking for a SCHEMA_ONLY backup option – to make moving a database *without* the data a much easier process:

#660256 : Add SCHEMA_ONLY BACKUP option

A few years ago I asked for an easier way to generate DDL such as CREATE TABLE from existing objects. You can do this using the UI, or by querying against a whole slew of catalog views, but it is very cumbersome. Metadata discovery enhancements in Denali make some parts of this task easier, but not all of them.

#273934 : SP like sp_helptext to generate CREATE TABLE

A similar suggestion is this one from "SQLpro," who asks for a way to easily copy (not move) objects from one schema or database to another. This can be very handy if you want to test minor changes to a whole slew of objects in an isolated place.

#632689 : CREATE SCHEMA extension to copy objects form one schema to another

Next, Steve Jones (blog | twitter) asks for a way to initiate a full backup from a snapshot. This would allow you to later decide if you want to "start over" from the state at the time of the snapshot, or to restore elsewhere a very specific point of time in the database without having to deal with transaction logs and true point-in-time restore.

#533288 : Allow backup/restore Snapshot databases

And finally, one thing I certainly thought would make the list for Denali but didn't, was RegEx support. Currently it is quite a pain to implement RegEx – everyone has to deploy CLR to all of their servers, and everyone is writing their own RegEx methods with different functionality etc. It makes for a very disconnected development experience, especially for those of us working in different environments (some of which don't allow CLR). Simon Sabin (blog | twitter) and others argue that simply passing the buck to CLR is not a viable answer for all customers:

#261342 : Regex functionality in pattern matching

Here are some other requests for RegEx… and while I normally don't advocate duplicates because it just dilutes the votes, they're all still active, so it can't hurt to vote for ALL of them:

#289017 : Introduce more regular expressions functions to T-SQL

#296631 : Add built-in support for regular expressions in T-SQL

#361357 : Support POSIX-style regular expressions in T-SQL

#378520 : Regular Expression Replace function

#474722 : RegEx Column Property for Validation