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This example will revolve around the CustomerDetails.Customers table, making it possible to demonstrate how all of the different areas mentioned previously can affect the results displayed.
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1. Ensure that Query Editor is running and that you are within the ApressFinancial database. In the Query Editor pane, enter the following SQL code: SELECT * FROM CustomerDetails.Customers 2. Execute the code using Ctrl+E, F5, or the execute button on the toolbar. You should then see something like the results shown in Figure 8-19.
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Figure 8-19. Customers listing 3. This is a simple SELECT command returning all the columns and all the rows from the CustomerDetails. Customers table. Let s now take it to the next stage where specific column names will be defined in the query, which is a much cleaner solution. In this instance from the CustomerDetails.Customers table, we would like to return a customer s first name, last name, and the current account balances. This would mean naming CustomerFirstName, CustomerLastName, and ClearedBalance as the column names in the query. The code will read as follows: SELECT CustomerFirstName,CustomerLastName,ClearedBalance FROM CustomerDetails.Customers
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CHAPTER 8 WORKING WITH THE DATA
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4. Now execute this code, which will return the results shown in Figure 8-20. As you can see, not every column is returned.
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Figure 8-20. Specific columns returned 5. As you have seen from the examples so far, the column names, although well named from a design viewpoint, are not exactly suitable if we had to give this to a set of users. Using the same query as before, a couple of minor modifications are required to give the columns aliases. The first alias name is in quotes as it contains a space. Notice the last column also does not have AS specified because this keyword is optional. SELECT CustomerFirstName As 'First Name', CustomerLastName AS 'Surname', ClearedBalance Balance FROM CustomerDetails.Customers 6. Execute this and the displayed output changes much more friendly column names, as you see in Figure 8-21.
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Figure 8-21. Friendly column names The first SELECT statement demonstrates the fact that in most SQL Server instances, whether we use upper- or lowercase doesn t matter to our queries; however, some language installations are case sensitive. When installing SQL Server, if we chose a SQL collation sequence that was case sensitive, as denoted by CS within the suffix of the collation name, SQL_Latin1_General_Cp437_CS_AS, for instance, then the first SELECT query would generate an error. The collation sequence for SQL Server was chosen in 1 when we installed the application. Changing a collation sequence within SQL Server is a very difficult task that requires rebuilding parts of SQL Server, so this book won t move into that area.
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Tip It is strongly recommended, and considered best practice, that you use the correct casing when using
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queries. Not only does this avoid confusion, but it also means that if you do switch to a case-sensitive installation, then it will not be necessary to alter the query.
CHAPTER 8 WORKING WITH THE DATA
Moving back to the first query, this query will select all columns and all rows from the CustomerDetails. Customers table, ordered according to how the database sees it as you can see in Figure 8-21, it has quite plainly done this. Looking at the second and third query examples, the columns returned have been reduced to just three columns: the customer s first and last names and the cleared balance amounts. All the rows are still being returned. In the last example, notice that after two of the three columns, there is an AS keyword. This signifies that the following literal is to be used as the column heading; note that if we wish to use two words separated by spaces, we must surround these words by identifiers, whether they be quotation marks, as in our example, or square brackets. Now that the basics of the SELECT statement have been covered, we will next look at the methods within Query Editor to display output in different manners.