Making Sense of MSDN

Last year Joel (of JoelOnSoftware.com) wrote an article that had a little blurb on the “MSDN Way” of doing things.  That basically amounted to always using the newest, fanciest tools to solve a problem.  Why use VB6 and SQL Server when you can use C#, SharePoint, BizTalk, XML, Web Services and SQL Server to accomplish the exact same thing.  I chuckled at that but basically agreed with his characterization of MSDN.  I'm still a big fan of the magazine though.  Tomorrow's C#, SharePoint, etc. is today's VB6 and SQL Server.  It's a great place to get a handle on what's coming.


Their latest article on using the CLR in SQL Server left me cold though.  It describes a way to return the top 3 results per category.  Really it left me very, very frustrated that Microsoft would even suggest using the CLR in this situation.  Especially since they added some T-SQL features to do exactly what the article is describing.  So I thought I'd post an alternate solution.  Let me know which approach you like better.