Tag Archive: CLR

Last night I had the opportunity to do my first community presentation, at the SQL Server in the Evening event, hosted by Gavin Payne and Justin Langford from Coeo. Thanks to both of you for the opportunity to present.

The session I presented was a 15 minute ‘Newcomers’ slot on SQL Server and the CLR. I think the session went well, and I had some positive feedback.

The slides from the session are available here: SQL Server and CLR Session Slides

Having been sitting on the fence for a while, I’m finally leaping off, and presenting at some community events. Following a false start with SQLBits (I submitted, but wasn’t voted in, and given the number of attendees I’m a little relieved about that!), I’ll be presenting at the following events over the next couple of months.

Hope to see you there!

24th April (Tues) – SQL Server in the Evening (6:30-6:50) – First Timers Slot (http://sqlserverfaq.com/events/392/Sessions-including-SQL-Server-Parallel-Data-Warehouse-at-the-sixth-SQL-Server-community-event-615pm-April-24th-Reading-Berkshire.aspx)

I’ll talk about using the CLR within SQL Server, why and when it should be used and then how.

25th April (Weds) – DevEvening (http://www.devevening.co.uk/)

26th May (Sat)– DDD Southwest (http://dddsouthwest.com/)
NOTE: This session isn’t confirmed yet, and is still reliant on being voted in. You can vote by going to the DDD Southwest site, linked above! )

Both DevEvening and DDD Southwest will be the same session, summarised below:

Going Native with SQL Server 2012 and C++

I’ll be going through the delights of creating a module to interact with SQL Server 2012, a function in T-SQL (briefly), then using C# to create a SQL CLR module, and then looking into the performance gains by making a C++ application querying the SQL Native Client (ODBC). All three sections will do the same job, and we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of each.

We’ll cover the following:

  • T-SQL, SQL CLR (C#)
  • SQL Server Native Client
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Performance Opportunities
  • How to use it to connect to SQL Server from C++
  • How to query a database
  • Comparison between T-SQL, SQL CLR & C++ solutions

Slides and follow-up articles will be coming soon.

I’ve recently been looking at optimising a data load that I’m working on, and have got a quite a nice example of how the performance can be improved significantly by creating a CLR object.

To do this, I created a set of data (which is downloadable from here, is approx. 3mb and is extractable using 7-Zip ) which has approx. 200k records in it. The file has two columns (pipe delimited), which are a row id, and a set of events in a string (in the format “1,2,3,4,5”). Each string has a variable number of events in it (between 1 and 75), which looks something like this.


What I’m wanting to do is split this out, to have an Event Id, Sequence_Number and Event with the EventList above being split over multiple records, and a Sequence number showing the position of the event code in the list. Sounds straightforward.


I’m effectively looking for a quick way to generate this data.

T-SQL – Custom_Split

A custom script to split the table was created, looking like this:

create function [dbo].[Split] 

    @string nvarchar(4000), 
    @delimiter nvarchar(10) 

returns @table table 

    [Value] nvarchar(4000) 

    declare @nextString nvarchar(4000) 
    declare @pos int, @nextPos int 
    set @nextString = '' 
    set @string = @string + @delimiter 
    set @pos = charindex(@delimiter, @string) 
    set @nextPos = 1 
    while (@pos <> 0) 
        set @nextString = substring(@string, 1, @pos - 1) 
        insert into @table 
        set @string = substring(@string, @pos + len(@delimiter), len(@string)) 
        set @nextPos = @pos 
        set @pos = charindex(@delimiter, @string) 
-- This code was taken from here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/314824/t-sql-opposite-to-string-concatenation-how-to-split-string-into-multiple-recor/314833#314833

This was executed in Management Studio, with this script:

   IDENTITY (int, 1, 1) as SequenceNo,
   Value as Event
   INTO dbo.SQL_Events   
      FROM dbo.LargeFile
   CROSS  APPLY  dbo.split(dbo.LargeFile.EventList, ‘,’) AS t
   ORDER  BY dbo.LargeFile.EventId

Running this generated a table with 9.8 million rows and took 6 minutes 8 seconds, so handling approx. 26.6k records a second.

CLR – SplitEvents

To split the EventList in a CLR object, I did the following in Visual Studio 2010.

1. Choose the .NET framework, CLR Project


2. Right click the project when it’s created, and choose ‘Add –> Stored Procedure’.

In the body of the class, I used the following code:

using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Server;public partial class StoredProcedures
    public static void CLR_Split()
        // Put your code here
         char[] delimiters = new char[] { ‘,’, ‘-‘ };

        using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(“Context Connection=true”))
            using (SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand(“SELECT EventId, EventList FROM LargeFile”, conn))
                SqlPipe pipe = SqlContext.Pipe;
                SqlMetaData[] cols = new SqlMetaData[3];
                cols[0] = new SqlMetaData(“EventId”, SqlDbType.Int);
                cols[1] = new SqlMetaData(“Sequence_No”, SqlDbType.Int);
                cols[2] = new SqlMetaData(“Event”, SqlDbType.Int);

                using (SqlDataReader reader = cmd.ExecuteReader())
                    int iRow = 0;
                    if (reader.HasRows)
                        SqlDataRecord rec = new SqlDataRecord(cols);
                        while (reader.Read())
                            int iCTIQueueId = Convert.ToInt32(reader[0]);
                            string sIncoming = reader[1].ToString();
                            if (sIncoming.Length > 0)
                                string[] sSplit = sIncoming.Split(delimiters);
                                int iSplitCount = 1;
                                foreach (string s in sSplit)
                                        int iSplitVal = Convert.ToInt32(s);
                                        rec.SetSqlInt32(0, iCTIQueueId);
                                        rec.SetSqlInt32(1, iSplitCount);
                                        rec.SetSqlInt32(2, iSplitVal);
                                    catch (Exception)


Having compiled and deployed this to SQL Server, it could be run using this :

INSERT INTO CLR_Events (EventId, Sequence_No, Event)

This process created the 9.8 million rows in approx. 2 minutes 59 seconds, so handling approx. 54.7k records a second


So, having run these two processes, you can see that the CLR process is much faster.

Process Time Taken Rec / Sec
T-SQL Stored Procedure 6 minutes 8 sec 26.6k
CLR Procedure 2 minutes 59 sec 54.7k


When running these tests, I was running SQL Server 2008 R2, on a i5-430m laptop, with 4Gb RAM.

The database had plenty of space pre-allocated to it, so there was no performance hit based on growing the database.