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SQL419: Advanced T-SQL Querying, Programming and Tuning for SQL Server 2012 – 2019


  • 5 Days
  • Taught by MVP Itzik Ben-Gan
  • Master Query Tuning
  • This class can also be attended online with RemoteLive™
  • Replay recordings not included due to content licensing

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Course Description

Developed in-house by SolidQ, the Advanced T-SQL course focuses on writing and tuning queries and programming with T-SQL in SQL Server 2012 – 2019 and in Azure SQL Database. In this course you will learn the details and capabilities of T-SQL in the following areas: Logical Query Processing; Query Tuning (Internals and Index Tuning, including Columnstore Indexes, Batch Processing, Query Store, Cardinality Estimations, Temporary Tables, Sets vs. Cursors, Query Tuning with Query Revisions); Subqueries and Table Expressions (Derived Tables, CTEs, Views, Inline Table-Valued Functions), Recursive Queries, APPLY Operator, Joins and Set Operators; Aggregating, Pivoting and Windowing (including Aggregate, Ranking and Offset Window Functions), Custom Aggregates and STRING_AGG; TOP and OFFSET-FETCH; Data Modification; Working with Date and Time (including System-Versioned Temporal Tables); Programmable Objects (Dynamic SQL, User Defined Functions, Stored Procedures, Triggers, Transactions and Concurrency, Exception Handling); In-Memory OLTP.

Along the course you will learn how to use T-SQL to solve practical problems such as: Relational Division, Missing and Existing Ranges (Gaps and Islands), Separating Elements, Pivoting and Unpivoting, Ranking and Offset, Running Totals, Moving Averages, YTD, Custom Aggregations, TOP and OFFSET-FETCH Problems, Paging, Top N Per Group, Median, Data De-Duplication, Handling Sequences, Merging Data, Treatment of Temporal Intervals (Intersection, Max Concurrent, Packing), Dynamic Search Condition (aka Dynamic Filtering), Migrating On-Disk to Memory Optimized Data, and more.

You will learn how to tune your queries, how to develop efficient routines including user defined functions, stored procedures and triggers, work in multi-user environments with transactions and isolation levels, and use dynamic SQL securely and efficiently.

The course provides a dedicated module focusing on query tuning. The module covers internals and index tuning, including coverage of Columnstore data, batch processing, index access methods, cardinality estimations, query store, temporary tables, set vs. cursors, and query tuning using query revisions. Moreover, query tuning is in the heart of this course and is incorporated in the different modules throughout the course.

With each querying/programming task the discussions will revolve around logical aspects, set-based vs. iterative/procedural programming and optimization of the solutions.

The course workbook also contains a bonus self-study appendix on Graphs and Recursive queries. This appendix covers graphs, trees and hierarchies. It explains how to model and query such structures. It also covers the HIERARCHYID datatype, and the SQL Graph feature.

Course Materials

Each student will receive:

  • A course Workbook
  • A digital copy of Itzik Ben-Gan’s award-winning book T-SQL Querying (MSPress)
  • A copy of the course’s source code


This course was developed by Itzik Ben-Gan, a mentor and one of the founders of SolidQ, author of award winning books about T-SQL, a columnist in sqlperformance.com, a Microsoft Data Platform MVP since 1999, and a regular speaker in SQL Server related events.



Module 01: Logical Query Processing

  • Logical Query Processing Order
  • Logical Query Processing Example
  • Phase Details

Module 02: Query Tuning

  • Internals and Index Tuning
  • Cardinality Estimations
  • Temporary Tables
  • Sets vs. Cursors
  • Query Tuning with Query Revisions


Module 03 - Multi-Table Queries

  • Subqueries, Table Expressions and Recursive Queries
  • APPLY Operator
  • Joins
  • Set Operators

LAB 03


Module 04: Grouping, Pivoting and Windowing

  • Window Functions
  • Pivoting and Unpivoting Data
  • Custom Aggregations
  • Grouping Sets (self-study unit)

LAB 04


Module 05: TOP and OFFSET-FETCH

  • TOP
  • Top N Per Group

LAB 05


Module 06: Data Modification

  • Inserting Data
  • Sequences
  • Deleting Data
  • Updating Data
  • Merging Data
  • The OUTPUT Clause

LAB 06


Module 07 - Working with Date and Time

  • Date and Time Datatypes
  • Date and Time Functions
  • Date and Time Challenges
  • System-Versioned Temporal Tables
  • Date and Time Querying Tasks

LAB 07


Module 08: Programmable Objects

  • Dynamic SQL
  • User Defined Functions
  • Stored Procedures
  • Triggers
  • Transactions and Concurrency
  • Exception Handling

LAB 08


Module 09: In-Memory OLTP

  • Intro to In-Memory OLTP
  • Architecture
  • Memory Optimized Tables and Indexes
  • Natively Compiled Modules
  • Transaction Semantics

LAB 09


Appendix A: Graphs and Recursive Queries (Bonus Self-Study Material)

  • Graphs, Described
  • Materialized Paths
    • Custom
    • Using the HIERARCHYID datatype
  • Nested Sets
  • Nested Iterations
    • Loops
    • Recursive Queries
  • SQL Graph




This course is intended for:

  • T-SQL Developers, DBAs, BI Specialists, Data Scientists, Architects, and Analysts
  • Those that need to write or review T-SQL code in SQL Server 2012 – 2019 and Azure SQL Database

Before attending this course, it is recommended that students have the following skills:

  • At least one year of T-SQL querying and programming experience in SQL Server or Azure SQL Database
What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  • Understand logical query processing
  • Understand SQL Server’s internal data structures
  • Be able to analyze and tune query performance
  • Be able to analyze query execution plans
  • Understand cardinality estimations
  • Be able to solve complex querying and programming tasks
  • Think in terms of sets
  • Be able to compare set based and iterative solutions
  • Use window functions to improve your solutions
  • Handle date and time data including intervals
  • Create system-versioned temporal tables
  • Describe performance problems related to use of user defined functions and possible workarounds
  • Understand compilations, recompilations, plan caching and reuse
  • Understand transactions and concurrency aspects of database programming
  • Know how to handle hierarchical data and write recursive queries
  • Be able to migrate on-disk data to memory optimized data
  • Describe T-SQL enhancements in SQL Server 2012 – 2019
Student Comments (5)
Comments about enhancing the Courseware
"No changes necessary."
March 13, 2020 | SQL419 Student
Comments about the Instructor
"I have had many great instructors at Interface. Itzik Ben Gan was even better. His knowledge of the subject transcended even this very advanced class."
March 13, 2020 | SQL419 Student
Comments about the Instructor
"Outstanding class"
March 13, 2020 | SQL419 Student
Comments about the Instructor
"Itzik is an outstanding instructor and very knowledgeable."
March 13, 2020 | SQL419 Student
Comments about the Instructor
"The instructor was very knowledge and packed the class with so much information, I will be learning for months to come."
March 13, 2020 | SQL419 Student