We often get asked if we have experience with Microsoft SQL Server. The answer is a resounding YES. While we are also experts in PostgreSQL and MySQL systems, and build more systems in those technologies, Delta’s experience with Microsoft SQL Server goes back the furthest. Delta Systems Group has been building and maintaining systems powered by Microsoft SQL Server since at least 1997. Or to put that in SQL: SELECT * FROM Experience WHERE date_created >= ‘1997-01-01 00:00:00’; Ok, that was a little too geeky.
Delta’s Database Philosophy
- We nurture a culture wherein correctly designed databases are the foundation upon which all good apps are built. This goes for all database driven systems be it Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or MySQL.
- Where possible, we don’t let clients delete data, we just mark it inactive. This has saved time, money, and jobs.
- All our tables contain at least four fields: id, date_created, date_updated, and updated_by_user_id. We can share many a war story on how these fields have saved the day time and again.
- We are intolerant of orphaned data and enforce referential integrity at every turn.
- Table relationships and strong data typing are the norm (We don’t let something like a birthdate be stored as a string).
- We loathe slow queries and are very good at optimizing tables, indexes, server settings, and query structuring to speed things along.
- We’re big proponents of noun-based table naming and properly named fields so future programmers don’t have to guess as to what is stored where.
- We’re well-versed in triggers, views, indexes, foreign-keys, calculated fields, stored procedures, user defined functions, maintenance plans, data cubing services, reporting services, as well as the differences between SQL, T-SQL, PL/SQL, and pgSQL.
Some Microsoft SQL Server-Based Client Examples
- We built a system for Job Point that handles all of their client tracking. HIPAA compliance needed to be maintained. The system has been online for 9 years and houses dozens of tables.
- We built a system for the SUCCESS project which was a Federally funded 5 year grant administered by Job Point. HIPAA compliance needed to be maintained. The system was successfully used by many people including low-vision and blind users. The Microsoft SQL Server based system successfully communicated and shared data with a Lotus Notes server at the Missouri Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education, Vocational Rehabilitation Division. The grant project was equally divided between 10 States, only 5 of which met the requirements to receive funding all the way to the end. We were proud to be recognized as the dominant leader of all the States’ efforts with having built the most complete system first (18 months faster than anyone else) that served thousands of consumers and provided automated, detailed reports to the Feds to show exactly how the system served Missouri’s citizens.
- Boone Hospital had us build reports for their Microsoft SQL Server system. Sensitive patient records were involved.
- Columbia Orthopedic Group had us build reports and database update forms for their Microsoft SQL Server system. Sensitive patient records were involved.
- The State of Missouri asked us to serve on a committee to help develop a standard for data communication as well as a list of baseline database fields that could be shared between a dozen different agencies at the State level. We got an award. Pictures were taken.
- We’re expanding upon a system used by the MizzouRec Complex to manage facility bookings, security, and the memberships of their 34,000 members. We’re integrating data from that system directly into WordPress.
- We’re trusted by the MU registrar’s office to handle student data and have built scripts that pull said data from their systems nightly to ensure the MizzouRec membership database is up to date (a feat never before attained). Additionally, we helped to build APIs for the MU Registrar’s office so that we could pull class description and room/teacher assignments dynamically into http://journalism.missouri.edu (which we also built and host)
- We’ve built multiple systems for Shelter Insurance, most notably the system that handles all the billing and tracking of all their marketing initiatives.
- Over the past 7 years, we’ve built, maintained and expanded a revolutionary and industry-changing system for Agents National Title Insurance based on SQL server that needed real-time replication between geographically separate data centers that needed nightly backups and could never go down. Hundreds of thousands of title insurance policies and closing protection letters have been generated so far representing millions of dollars of revenue and insuring well over $35 Billion in property in several States. We just retired the SQL Server based system on July 1, 2013 and are proud to say that server and database did not go down once. Ever. The new system we built is powered by PostgreSQL and we built data transformation services that allowed us to migrate and adjust the data from the legacy Microsoft SQL Server using scripts that took over 27 hours to run. The transition went perfectly and it was business as usual in the new system on Monday morning.