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  SQL Server Tips by Gama and Naughter

TEA encryption with TSQL


This first example will use two UDF's to encrypt and decrypt data: UDFencTEA and UDFdecTEA. They were written in TSQL and the code is not very legible because TSQL does not have unsigned integers and bit shift operators that the TEA algorithm uses. The workaround was to use a bigint to store the values, multiplication instead of shifting and AND masks to remove the overflow bits during the calculations.

The table will have one field, where to store the encrypted data:


CREATE TABLE tblCrypt(secret varchar(8000))


The insert trigger will encrypt data added to the table:


CREATE TRIGGER "tblCrypt_ITrig" ON tblCrypt




INSERT tblCrypt(secret)

SELECT dbo.UDFencTEA(secret, 'abc') FROM INSERTED


The update trigger will encrypt data changed in the table:


CREATE TRIGGER "tblCrypt_UTrig" ON tblCrypt




UPDATE tblCrypt SET secret= dbo.UDFencTEA(INSERTED.secret, 'abc') FROM INSERTED


A view will return the decrypted data:




SELECT dbo.UDFdecTEA(secret, 'abc') as secret

FROM  dbo.tblCrypt


This code will insert 10,000 records in a second table used for testing purposes:


CREATE TABLE tbl10k(secret varchar(8000))

DECLARE @counter int, @data varchar(8000)

SET @data=REPLICATE('a',8000)

SET @counter=1

WHILE @counter <=10000


  INSERT tbl10k(secret) VALUES(@data)

  SET @counter=@counter + 1



Each record will be 8000 characters long. The contents of this table will be copied to the first one and fire the trigger:


DECLARE @start datetime

SET @start=GETDATE()

INSERT tblcrypt(secret)

SELECT secret from tbl10k

SELECT 'time=',datediff(ms,@start, GETDATE())


The overhead of the UDF call plus the overhead of the Crypto API cause a small performance loss. There will be several rounds of encrypting blocks of data, which are extremely fast but the overhead mentioned before is high enough as to dwarf this gain. The insert trigger will encrypt the records, one at a time, running the slow TSQL calculations repeatedly.

The above book excerpt is from:

Super SQL Server Systems
Turbocharge Database Performance with C++ External Procedures

ISBN: 0-9761573-2-2
Joseph Gama, P. J. Naughter


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