Introducing a new Google Chrome Extension which adds a one-click link to the "What’s on topic?" help page for every Stack Exchange site.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

So, what can I ask about on Stack Overflow? Is it okay to ask for help with a homework project?! For help with debugging my code? If not those, then what does make an okay question? And what makes a really good question? (Does it have to include code?)

If you think you know the answers to those, then what about SQL programming questions? Can I ask those on Or should it be Or both?!

Or what if I'm into Open Source software? There’s, that looks good… but what if I’m interested in close relatives of open…

In this article I’ll introduce a new, lightweight, free open-source tool for SQL Server data comparison and updates, and I’ll explain how it works.

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Unsplash


If you find yourself needing to compare and merge table data between instances of SQL Server from time to time, this article will show you that it's not that hard to roll your own general purpose utility to deal with this, using dynamic SQL. And to make things even easier, I've also made the finished code available as a new, lightweight, free, open source, pure-SQL, SQL Server data comparison and reconciliation tool, now up on GitHub and NuGet. 😊

This article is about comparing data and not about comparing database schemas: it’s about checking whether data rows have been added…

I explain how Mighty, following Rob Conery’s Massive, implements a great answer to Sam Saffron's “annoying INSERT problem” that Saffron didn't consider.

In a widely linked article, from a few years ago now, Sam Saffron asks what to do about ‘that annoying INSERT problem’ in micro-ORMs.

His question still applies.

When you take a user object and use it to create an INSERT statement for a database, you have to deal with two problems: auto-incrementing primary keys, and database column defaults.

All databases have some method specifically designed to get back the latest primary key value used in an INSERT, such as:

on SQL Server, or:

on Oracle.

Harder, and the problem Sam Saffron’s article was particularly concerned with, are…

Based on, and highly compatible with, Massive

There have been articles for years presenting yet another new .NET data access layer or micro-ORM and then drily asking, “Do we need yet another new .NET data access layer?”

So do we? Still? Really?

I believe we do, and this is the story of how I’ve come to put a new one — or rather, a re-write and update to one of the best — on the open-source ‘market’ (well it’s free, but you see what I mean!).

Just Quickly, What is a Micro-ORM?

A micro-ORM is a very lightweight object-relational mapping tool.

It should convert the output of SQL calls into objects in your…

Here are some pointers accumulated from having contributed – often successfully, but occasionally less so – to several open source software projects over the past few years.

I've programmed for several (actually, many…!) years, now, but I've only started working on open-source software software relatively recently.

Here are a few pointers gathered from those recent experiences.

This article focuses on the GitHub Issue/Fork/Pull Request workflow, but most of what I say should be applicable elsewhere.

If you're new to the goodies of open source then it might seem like it, but it's NOT your project!

Just because you're allowed to offer changes to a project, and to take your own copy to do whatever the license allows (which might be, but isn’t always, whatever you want), that doesn't mean it's your project.

Mike Beaton

Author of Mighty micro-ORM for .NET Core, SQL & web API developer, some time computer game 3D graphics lead programmer.

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