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 (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


Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, speak frequently at conferences, and write at SQLPerformance and MSSQLTips. In real life I am a father of two, an architect at Wayfair, and my pronouns are he/him.