A Comprehensive Tool for Developing High-Performance SQL Code

by Mar 23, 2020

Writing SQL code is something that database professionals are called upon to do regularly. The practice comes into play when developing new databases or applications as well as in optimization efforts made on existing systems. Interacting with SQL code is an iterative process that is essential throughout the lifetime of a database application.

Two objectives that a database team strives to accomplish are to construct SQL code that performs well and to increase their productivity. These two goals are related in that creating better SQL statements during initial attempts will enable the team to attend to other issues going forward for a gain in overall productivity. Methods that can streamline the coding process are also warmly welcomed by most database teams. Everyone likes tools or techniques that make their jobs easier.

General Tips for Developing High-Performance SQL Code

Here are several tips that should be kept in mind when designing a database and considering how the code should be written.

Plan for high data volume and concurrency – Poorly coded databases can work fine during testing when data volume and concurrent sessions are kept to a minimum. Once the system is put in production, it can be overwhelmed by the amount of data it is expected to handle or run into problems of mixing data from concurrent sessions.

Implement data purging processes – Maintaining the minimal data resources required for the database and applications to function has multiple benefits including reduced storage demand, shortened backup and restore times, and faster response time.

Format and comment your code – Well formatted and commented code are essential components that need to be followed for all but the smallest projects. Revisiting your code or having another developer make updates is extremely difficult without comments and formatting to increase its ability to be readily understood.

Select datatypes carefully – The datatypes you choose can have a dramatic impact on the amount of storage required and the performance of your database applications. The wrong datatypes may necessitate conversions that negatively affect the speed of your systems and the overhead in processing power they consume.

Specific Tactics for Optimized Code

Many optimization methods can be used when you are structuring your SQL code. Some of the things you can do to write better code include the following suggestions.

  • Avoid using SELECT * to reduce resource consumption and increase data security.
  • Filter data at the data tier with the WHERE clause.
  • Sort data at the presentation layer using the ORDER BY clause.
  • Avoid COUNT(*), as it will return NULL values as part of the count.
  • Use indexes carefully.

These are just some of the ways that you can write code that will result in higher-performing databases and applications.

Rapid SQL Improves Productivity and Code Performance

Using IDERA’s Rapid SQL can result in significant productivity gains and better performing SQL code. It can be used with a wide range of database platforms including Microsoft SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Sybase, and IBM Db2. The tool allows teams to collaborate with version control and shared code repositories.

The productivity of your database team is increased by the ability to interact with these diverse platforms from a single interface. There’s no need to switch between tools when working on different platforms, which adds up to a considerable time saving over a day. Mastering one interface is preferable to learning several different products and eliminates simple errors introduced by using multiple solutions.

There are many features of this SQL development platform that contribute to the development of high performing code. Some of these features include:

  • An SQL IDE that provides a development environment offering realtime flagging of inefficient SQL statements and validates the syntax for correctness.

  • Visual Query Building tools enable the creation of complex SQL statements by pointing and clicking.

  • The SQL Debugger makes it easy to find errors in stored procedures and functions.

All told, Rapid SQL can offer productivity and performance gains for your database team. It is part of IDERA’s DB PowerStudio suite of performance-enhancing development tools. They offer a great set of tools for organizations challenged with supporting and developing applications on multiple database platforms.