Why TF3604?

I continue to be surprised at how few people in the SQL Server community “get” my username.

About a year ago, in mid-August 2015, I was trying to figure a Twitter username to use as a professional account. On a lark, I searched to see if “tf3604” was available, figuring that surely someone had already appropriated it. To my surprise it was available, so I grabbed it.

A few weeks passed before it even occurred to me to wonder if “tf3604.com” were available. Surely, surely that was in use somewhere, maybe even for non-SQL Server purposes. But nope, it was still out there. Even then, I hesitated for a day or two before buying the domain. That was September 17, 2015.

So why TF3604?

There are many undocumented commands and features in SQL Server that require trace flag 3604 to be enabled in order to produce useful output. For instance, DBCC PAGE will run fine but appear to do nothing without TF3604 turned on, but this trace flag tells SQL Server to route the output to the client. In SSMS, this output is then displayed on the Messages tab.

Virtually all of these undocumented commands and features that pair with TF3604 deal with SQL Server internals.

I am fascinated with SQL Server internals. To me, the name TF3604 relates to shining a light on these internals.

So here we are, a year after picking this username on a whim. And I still love the name.

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