Product Reviews

RAC For SQL 2000

RAC stands for Relational Application Companion, and it's an innovative utility for SQL Server developers. It started life as a way to create Access-like crosstab queries in SQL Server, and has now expanded to handle a lot of extra functionality. Some of the things that RAC can do include:

- Crosstab queries
- Percentages in crosstabs
- Concatenate or split strings in flexible ways
- Interval partitioning in crosstabs
- Snaking column output

There's a lot more here. RAC is delivered as two pieces: a set of encrypted stored procedures for your server, and a client with a GUI that helps you fill in the parameters that the stored procedures expect. You can use the GUI to work with the RAC stored procedures until you're getting the output you expect, at which time you can capture the calls and use them in your own client application.

Because RAC is implemented entirely in T-SQL, there's obviously nothing here that you couldn't do yourself -- IF you're a T-SQL expert. If not, and you need crosstab style reporting from SQL Server without moving to Analysis Services, it's worth a look. The help file is a bit rocky, and the developer GUI could stand some improvements. But you can download a trial version from their web site to see whether the output is what you need. And that, after all, is what you buy this sort of product for.

[This review originally appeared in

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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