Monday, July 7, 2014

Function dbo.StripUnwantedCharacters - Cleaning up unwanted ASCII characters

Having determined I had some unwanted NUL characters in my data (see ASCII Value Character Counts Procedure) I set out to remove them.

I tried permutations of LIKE and CHAR to find the character as well as REPLACE and CHARINDEX , all to no avail. Then I spotted this -

 0x0000 (char(0)) is an undefined character in Windows collations and cannot be included in CHARINDEX.

This was on the MSDN page for CHARINDEX

You can read the whole string character by character however and recreate it, removing those characters. This is what my function below does.


CREATE FUNCTION dbo.StripUnwantedCharacters (@InputString VARCHAR(MAX)) 
RETURNS VARCHAR(MAX)
AS 
BEGIN

DECLARE @OutputString varchar(MAX)
DECLARE @CurrentCharacterValue INT
DECLARE @Position INT

SET @OutputString = ''
SET @Position = 1

WHILE @Position < LEN(@InputString)+1
 BEGIN
 SET @CurrentCharacterValue = ASCII(SUBSTRING(@InputString, @Position, 1))

 IF @CurrentCharacterValue >= 9 -- Exclude Characters where ASCII value less that 9
  BEGIN
  SET @OutputString = @OutputString + CHAR(@CurrentCharacterValue)
  END

 SET @Position = @Position + 1
 END
RETURN @OutputString

END
GO

Code to use this procedure is as simple as ...

UPDATE tablename
SET cleandata = dbo.StripUnwantedCharacters(dirtydata)

Or too generate sql for all columns ...

SELECT 
'UPDATE [' + TABLE_SCHEMA + '].[' + TABLE_NAME + '] SET ' + COLUMN_NAME + ' = RTRIM(dbo.StripUnwantedCharacters(' + COLUMN_NAME + '))' 
 from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
 WHERE DATA_TYPE IN ('char','varchar')
GO

Sunday, July 6, 2014

ASCII Value Character Counts Procedure

I wrote this to determine the ASCII values being stored inside my data. It builds upon Determine ASCII Values of a string and produces a breakdown of all the ASCII values in a column.
To cut a long story short I had an issue where NUL characters (ASCII value 0) were stored and were producing unexpected results.

Code for the results table and procedure is here -

IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM sys.tables WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID('dbo.charactercount'))
 CREATE TABLE dbo.charactercount
 (
  [id] int identity(1,1)
 ,[table_schema] sysname
 ,[table_name] sysname
 ,[column_name] sysname
 ,[character] int
 ,[column_count] int
 )
GO

IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM sys.procedures WHERE name = 'charactercount_insert')
 DROP PROCEDURE dbo.charactercount_insert
GO
CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.charactercount_insert
(@table_schema sysname
,@table_name sysname
,@column_name sysname
,@sample_rows int = NULL)
AS
BEGIN
SET NOCOUNT ON
DECLARE @ColumnData table
(
UniqueRowID int IDENTITY (1, 1) Primary key NOT NULL ,
testeddata nvarchar(MAX)
)
DECLARE @sql NVARCHAR(MAX)
DECLARE @CurrentRow int  
DECLARE @TotalRows int  
DECLARE @Index INT
DECLARE @IntASCII INT
DECLARE @StatusMessage varchar (100)
DECLARE @currentdata NVARCHAR(MAX)
DECLARE @currentrowlength INT

IF @sample_rows IS NULL 
 SET @sql = 'SELECT [' + @column_name + '] FROM [' + @table_schema + '].[' + @table_name + ']'
ELSE
 SET @sql = 'SELECT TOP (' + CAST(@sample_rows AS VARCHAR(10)) + ') [' + @column_name + '] FROM [' + @table_schema + '].[' + @table_name + ']'
  
SET @StatusMessage = 'Fetching: [' + @column_name + '] FROM [' + @table_schema + '].[' + @table_name + ']'
RAISERROR (@StatusMessage , 10, 1) WITH NOWAIT 


INSERT INTO @ColumnData (testeddata)
EXEC(@sql)

SELECT @TotalRows = MAX(UniqueRowID) FROM @ColumnData

SET @StatusMessage = CAST(@TotalRows AS VARCHAR(20)) + ' rows fetched'
RAISERROR (@StatusMessage , 10, 1) WITH NOWAIT 

SELECT @CurrentRow = 1

SET @StatusMessage = 'Counting Characters'
RAISERROR (@StatusMessage , 10, 1) WITH NOWAIT 

 IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM tempdb..sysobjects WHERE name LIKE '#charactercount')  
    DROP TABLE #charactercount

 CREATE TABLE #charactercount
 (
  [id] int identity(1,1)
 ,[table_schema] sysname
 ,[table_name] sysname
 ,[column_name] sysname
 ,[character] int
 ,[column_count] int
 )

WHILE @CurrentRow <= @TotalRows  
 BEGIN   

 SET @Index = 1

 SELECT @currentdata = testeddata
 FROM @ColumnData
 WHERE [UniqueRowID] = @CurrentRow

 SELECT @currentrowlength = LEN(@currentdata)

 IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM tempdb..sysobjects WHERE name LIKE '#charactercount')  
    TRUNCATE TABLE #charactercount

 WHILE @Index < 1 +(@currentrowlength)
  BEGIN

  SELECT @IntASCII = ASCII(SUBSTRING(@currentdata, @Index, 1))
  FROM @ColumnData
  WHERE [UniqueRowID] = @CurrentRow

  INSERT INTO #charactercount
  (table_schema ,table_name ,column_name ,character,column_count )
  SELECT @table_schema AS Table_Schema
    ,@table_name AS Table_Name
    ,@column_name AS Column_Name
    ,@IntASCII AS [Character]
    ,1 AS Number 

  SET @Index = @Index + 1
  END

  -- At end of text, update the character count 
  MERGE [dbo].[charactercount] AS [Target]
  USING (SELECT table_schema AS Table_Schema
      ,table_name AS Table_Name
      ,column_name AS Column_Name
      ,character AS character
      ,SUM(column_count) AS Number
      FROM #charactercount
      GROUP BY table_schema, table_name, column_name,character) AS [Source]
  ON  Source.Table_Schema = Target.Table_Schema
  AND Source.Table_Name   = Target.Table_Name
  AND Source.Column_Name  = Target.Column_Name
  AND Source.character  = Target.Character
  WHEN MATCHED 
   THEN UPDATE SET [Target].[column_count] = [Target].[column_count] + Source.Number
  WHEN NOT MATCHED 
   THEN INSERT ([table_schema] 
      ,[table_name] 
      ,[column_name] 
      ,[character] 
      ,[column_count])
     VALUES
      (Source.table_schema
      ,Source.table_name 
      ,Source.column_name
      ,Source.Character
      ,Source.Number);

 SELECT @CurrentRow = @CurrentRow + 1  
  END


 END 
SET @StatusMessage = 'Done - Check dbo.charactercount table'
RAISERROR (@StatusMessage , 10, 1) WITH NOWAIT 
GO


Code to use this procedure is as follows ...
--Remember to clear down the results table before you run

TRUNCATE TABLE dbo.charactercount
GO


-- Provide the name of a column, like this
-- The final parameter is the number of rows to test.
EXEC charactercount_insert 'schemaname', 'tablename', 'columnname', 200
GO



-- View the data like this 
SELECT * FROM charactercount ORDER BY [character]
GO


-- Dynamically generate statements to interogate all columns, as follows

SELECT command = 'EXEC charactercount_insert ''' + TABLE_SCHEMA + ''',''' + TABLE_NAME+ ''',''' +  COLUMN_NAME + ''',200'
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS 
WHERE DATA_TYPE LIKE '%char%'

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stored Procedure Parameter Validation

This procedure isn't supposed to do anything. It's merely here as a reminder to validate your input parameters!
Here I'm using RAISERROR to return error code 18 and terminate the stored procedure...
18 is a Nonfatal Internal Error that allows you to return the message to the log.

CREATE PROCEDURE [tools].[dosomething]
(
     @databasename  varchar(200) 
    ,@recoverymodel             varchar(11)
 
)
AS

BEGIN

IF @recoverymodel NOT IN ('FULL','SIMPLE','BULK_LOGGED')
 BEGIN
     RAISERROR('Invalid parameter: @recoverymodel should be FULL, SIMPLE or BULK_LOGGED', 18, 0)
  RETURN
 END

-- Do stuff here...

END