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==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, who offer products and services that might interest you. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for SQL Server Magazine UPDATE.

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=================================

December 5, 2005

1. Commentary

    The Fast Track to Learning SQL Server

2. SQL Server Express Jump Start

    Finding Installed MSDE Instances

3. Check It Out

    Microsoft Encourages Using Microsoft Express Products

4. From the Community

    Reader Discoveries

5. Events and Resources

    Get the Most from Reporting Services
    SOXCon 2005
    Exchange High Availability Planning
    Get the Tools, Tips, and Training That You Need to Avoid a Messaging Meltdown When an Outage Strikes
    SQL Server Magazine Connections Spring 2006

6. Featured White Papers

    Download a White Paper – You Could Win an iPod Nano

7. New Products

    Teach Yourself SQL

8. Announcements

    Want to Become a VIP Subscriber?
    Save up to $40 Off SQL Server Magazine

==== Sponsor: Quest Software ====

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1. ==== Commentary ====

The Fast Track to Learning SQL Server

    by Michael Otey, mikeo@teca.com

One question that people often ask me is, "What's the best way to learn about SQL Server and database technology in general?" Without a doubt, for someone who wants to learn about SQL Server, a great place to begin is to use Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. Microsoft lets you download SQL Server Express Edition and distribute it with your software or application for free. This pricing scheme makes SQL Server Express Edition a really cost-effective choice--especially for students who can’t afford to shell out hundreds of dollars for a learning tool.

Although SQL Server Express Edition might not have as many features as the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise editions, it's a relational database that anyone can use to build personal and business applications. SQL Server Express Edition uses the same core database engine that the more expensive (and feature-packed) SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server Enterprise editions use. SQL Server Express supports the same data types--including the new XML and varbinary (max)--that other SQL products support. And after Microsoft releases SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE), all the SQL Server products will include this full-featured graphical management tool that lets you create and manage SQL databases. You can download the SSMSE community technology preview--CTP--for free from the Microsoft Web site at

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;907716

Be aware that the CTP version of SSMSE has fewer features than the version that ships with the other editions of SQL Server 2005 does.

Finally, if you download SQL Server Express Edition and the CTP of SSMSE to your platform, you can learn about SQL Server and its core database technology for a price point that can’t be beat. All the skills you learn while using SQL Server Express Edition or SSMSE are equally transferable to the other products in the SQL Server family. Moving from SSMSE to SQL Server Management Studio requires very little effort.

If you're learning about databases, you also need to learn about database applications. A great way to start learning about building custom database applications is by investigating the Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions. The Visual Studio Express Editions family consists of Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, Visual C# Express Edition, Visual C++ Express Edition, Visual J# Express, and Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition. All these products come with the core Visual Studio 2005 IDE, and you can use any of them to build database applications that can connect to SQL Server Express.

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2. ==== SQL Server Express Jump Start ====

Finding Installed MSDE Instances

    by Michael Otey, mikeo@teca.com

If you’re planning to upgrade from SQL Server 7.0 (powered by Microsoft Data Engine—MSDE) to SQL Server 2005, one important task you’ll need to undertake is finding installed MSDE instances so that you can upgrade them. (You might want to upgrade a single instance or a selection of instances.) In most cases, only a single default MSDE instance will be installed, but as many as 16 different instances of MSDE can be installed on one system. One way to find installed MSDE instances is to look in the system registry. To begin, start regedit and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\InstalledInstances subkey. Regedit lists all installed MSDE instances under this registry key. If you find the MSSQLSERVER value for the subkey, the MSDE default instance is installed on the system.

3. ==== Check It Out ====

Product Highlight: Microsoft Encourages Using Microsoft Express Products

Free is a great price. Microsoft has always planned to provide SQL Server Express for free, but that hasn't been the plan for the other members of the Visual Studio Express Editions. Microsoft’s starter set of development tools, the Visual Studio Express Editions (i.e., Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition, Visual C# Express Edition, Visual C++ Express Edition, Visual J# Express Edition, Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition) originally were to sell for $49 each. However, to encourage users to begin using Visual Studio Express Editions on the release to manufacturing (RTM) date of November 7, 2005, Microsoft decided to let users download the entire line of Visual Studio Express Editions free for 1 year. The offer ends November 6, 2006. You can find the Visual Studio Express Editions at:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/

4. ==== From the Community ====

Reader Discoveries: Share your SQL Server discoveries, comments, problems, solutions, and experiences with products and reach out to other SQL Server Magazine readers. Email you contributions (400 words or less) to r2r@sqlmag.com. Please include you phone number. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your submission, you'll get $50!

5. ==== Events and Resources ====

Get the Most from Reporting Services

In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about innovative ways to extend your reports, reporting from XML-based data, delivering reports with the new Report Viewer, supercharging reports with SQL Server 2005 CLR stored procedures, and more! Register today:
http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/reportingservices/?parterref=1123emailannc

SOXCon 2005 - December 7, 2005 - 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST

The first and only Internet conference and vendor exhibition focused exclusively on the systems, processes, management methodologies, and best practices that comprise the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Management market. Register here and view the full day's agenda. Sign up today at:
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Web Seminar - Exchange High Availability Planning

Learn what type of planning is right for you. Register today:
http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/exchange/?partnerref=1207emailannc

Web Seminar - Get the Tools, Tips, and Training That You Need to Avoid a Messaging Meltdown When an Outage Strikes

Register today at:
http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/messaging/?partnerref=1207emailannc

SQL Server Magazine Connections Spring 2006 - April 2-5, 2006, Orlando, Florida

Don’t miss the premier event for Microsoft developers and DBAs. Gain productivity, enhance your development skills, and give your company the competitive edge! Register by January 9 and receive one free hotel night at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort. Call 203-268-3204 or 800-438-6720.
http://www.devconnections.com

6. ==== Featured White Paper ====

Download a White Paper - You Could Win an iPod Nano

Get your free copy today at
http://www.windowsitpro.com/whitepapers/

**** Hot Spot ****

Shavlik--Maximizing Network Security Against Spyware and Other Threats

Installing Spyware usually exploits an underlying security vulnerability in your OS. You can remove spyware, but if you don't patch the underlying vulnerability, you don't solve the real problem. When you leave your systems open to reinfestation, you risk surging bandwidth consumption, system instability, overwhelmed Help desk personnel, lost user productivity, and other consequences. Unauthorized applications can even result in noncompliance with regulatory requirements. This free white paper addresses how you can manage both the threats and vulnerabilities from one console as a comprehensive security solution.
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7. ==== New Products ====

Teach Yourself SQL

    by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

O’Reilly released "Learning SQL," an introductory guide for getting up to speed with SQL. The book by Alan Beaulieu is for anyone writing applications, performing database administration, and generating reports. The book shows you how to collect and return related information from many tables at once, take a set-oriented approach to working with data, embed conditional logic into SQL statements, use CASE expressions to write queries within queries, and employ SQL's built-in functions to transform and reinterpret data. Beaulieu sticks to standard SQL syntax so that you can apply your knowledge to multiple databases. "Learning SQL" costs $34.95. For more information, contact O’Reilly at 800-998-9938 or 707-827-7000.
http://www.oreilly.com

8. ==== Announcements ====

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SQL Server Express UPDATE is brought to you by SQL Server Magazine, the only magazine devoted to helping developers and DBAs master new and emerging SQL Server technologies and issues. Subscribe today.
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