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1. Developer .NET Perspectives

  • Even the Orange County Choppers Are Talking Up SQL Server 2005's Features
  • 2. Events and Resources

  • SQL Server 2005: Up & Running Roadshows Coming to Europe!
  • Upgrade to Analysis Services 2005
  • Microsoft ASP.NET Connections Conference
  • Scripting Doesn't Have to be Boring
  • DevWeek 2006 - Europe's Biggest Event for .NET Developers
  • 3. Featured White Paper

  • Protect and Ensure Your Data's Integrity
  • 4. Announcements

  • Want to Become a VIP Subscriber?
  • Holiday Special - Save up to $40 off SQL Server Magazine A
  • 5. New and Improved

  • Easily Search and Replace Text in Source Code

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    1. Developer .NET Perspectives


    by Bill Sheldon, bills@interknowlogy.com

    Even the Orange County Choppers Are Talking Up SQL Server 2005's Features
    I want to wrap up the year with a quick look at some more of the new and enhanced features in SQL Server 2005. But first, let me quickly tell you about an update. Last week, Microsoft released an update to the SQL Server 2005 documentation. If you've starting working with the database, you'll want to grab this update at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/downloads/books.mspx.

    Everyone knows that SQL Server 2005 includes the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and therefore all the new features must be based on .NET, right? Well actually, no. The fact is that T-SQL remains the language of choice for SQL Server. In the past, there were capabilities available in traditional programming languages that couldn't be reproduced using T-SQL. One of those capabilities was recursion. However, that has changed. T-SQL now offers recursion. For information about T-SQL recursion, check out this page about common table expressions: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms175972.aspx. For a look at many of the new T-SQL features, I recommend going to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189465.aspx. For a somewhat outdated tutorial on some of these features, download the paper at http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/a/b/cab2cb65-7cf0-4863-a11d-9790486309b9/sqlhol115%20-%20tsql%20enhancements.doc.

    T-SQL hasn't just been enhanced within the context of database queries. It also has been extended to work with many other SQL Server components. For example, another new feature in SQL Server 2005 is the Service Broker. The shortest conceptual description I can provide for the Service Broker is that it is Microsoft Message Queue Services (MSMQ) inside the database. The Service Broker provides an asynchronous programming model for database transactions managed from within the database. There are two modes for the Service Broker: internal and external. The internal mode uses T-SQL to provide access to SQL Server 2005 resources. To access the internal mode, SQL Server 2005 has several new T-SQL commands in the Data Manipulation Language (DML) extensions. The external mode provides access to resources outside your SQL Server machine and carries associated security risks. When you configure the Service Broker to access resources outside of your database, you run the risk that one of these resources could crash your server or communicate key data elements to an unwanted listener. To mitigate these risks, SQL Server 2005 supports both transport-level security (e.g., HTTP Secure--HTTPS) for messages and dialog/conversation security related to who the recipient is (e.g., client certificates). For more information about the Service Broker, check out the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Webcast at http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032284275 or a written summary at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms166104.aspx. For implementation tips, I recommend the pages linked from this Web site: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms171589(en-US,SQL.90).aspx. For a security overview, first read the Web page at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms166079.aspx, then click the "CREATE CERTIFICATE (Transact-SQL)" link.

    Another SQL Server component that has been enhanced is Notification Services. Similar to Reporting Services, Notification Services was initially a SQL Server 2000 add-on that has seen a major renovation in SQL Server 2005. The underlying concept behind Notification Services is that you can use SQL Server 2005 to trigger text messages. The most common use is triggering Short Message Service (SMS)-style messages. However, Notification Services' rich interface allows much more. You can trigger not only SMS-style text messages but also SMTP-based and even HTTP-based messages, such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messages to remote Web services. When you pair Notification Services with Service Broker, you have a very robust application framework in which all the underlying plumbing is provided by Microsoft. Although you'll find information about the Notification Services improvements in SQL Server 2005 Books Online (BOL), a more informative resource is the tutorial available at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms170337.aspx.

    Another area improved in SQL Server 2005 is replication. In the past, replication was something you essentially configured on the server and hoped it worked for more time than it took you to configure it. Don't get me wrong. Replication could work for extended periods--for one company, I built an enterprise replication program that ran for weeks, even months, at a time without problems--but I still didn't think of replication as a preferred solution.

    Fortunately, SQL Server 2005 provides greatly enhanced replication services. It's now possible to hook programmatically into replication and use HTTPS to tunnel replication through firewalls. In addition, the ability to carry out replication on a per-user basis has been simplified. In general, replication is becoming a feasible solution. For basic information about SQL Server 2005 replication, go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms151198(en-US,SQL.90).aspx. For developer-related information about replication, check out the following two links:
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms146869.aspx
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms152495.aspx

    The improvements in SQL Server 2005 replication come at an opportune time because two new factors are changing how replication will be used: smart devices and smart applications. Smart devices are meant to carry a minimum of data, and as powerful as the last version of SQL Server Mobile Edition was, the 2005 version opens a whole new vista for handheld devices. Similarly, more and more people are beginning to leverage smart applications. Accordingly, a robust replication model that perhaps leverages transactions loaded into, say, a Service Broker with follow-up notifications on acceptance of transactions would seem to provide a robust application infrastructure.

    Finally, for those of you who didn't make it to one of the recent launch events and are a fan of Orange County Choppers (OCC) on the Discovery Channel (and for the benefit of my 5-year old nephew Nikita whose favorite book is his OCC book), here's the link to the Orange County Choppers' launch video for SQL Server 2005: http://www.microsoft.com/winme/0511/25581/VBS_2005_OCC_GreatPlains_750k.asx. (The video requires Windows Media Player 10.) Paul Sr., Paulie, and Mikey do their best to talk up Microsoft's new accounting packages built on SQL Server 2005 and Great Plains 9.0. Have a happy holiday season.


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    2. Events and Resources


    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)

    SQL Server 2005: Up & Running Roadshows Coming to Europe!
    SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you put SQL Server 2005 into practice and learn how to use its new capabilities. Includes one-year PASS membership and subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now for London, UK, and Stockholm, Sweden, at
    http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqlservereurope/index.cfm?code=1214emailannc

    Upgrade to Analysis Services 2005
    Get the tips and tricks you'll need to upgrade to Analysis Services 2005, including possible upgrade and migration scenarios, preplanning steps, and tips on running the new Analysis Services migration wizard. Plus, you'll discover what steps are required after the migration process is complete and explore some of the new features of Analysis Services 2005.
    http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/seminars/analysisservices/?partnerref=1214emailannc

    Microsoft ASP.NET Connections Conference
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    DevWeek 2006 - Europe's Biggest Event for .NET Developers
    The 9th annual DevWeek conference takes place in London from 20-24 February, with dozens of technical sessions and workshops on Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, WCF, WPF, WinFS and ASP.NET 2.0, presented by world-class speakers like Jeff Prosise, Dino Esposito, and Ingo Rammer. Early bird deadline is 16 December.
    http://www.hypertracker.com/go/Bearpark/DevWeek2006PentonDotNetUpdate/

    3. Featured White Paper


    Protect and Ensure Your Data's Integrity
    With the heightened awareness around national security and protecting important human and physical assets, having solutions that also protect your data's integrity is extremely critical. In this free white paper, you'll learn important ways you can ensure the integrity of your application's data, particularly with intradependent fields like SQL Server and Oracle.
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    4. Announcements


    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)

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    Holiday Special - Save up to $40 off SQL Server Magazine
    You won't want to miss any of SQL Server Magazine's upcoming winter issues! Subscribe now and discover the best ways to plan for a successful SQL Server 2005 upgrade, the value of integrating Visual Studio 2005, ways ADO.NET 2.0 solves your problems, the annual Readers' Choice survey, and much more. You'll also gain exclusive access to the entire SQL Server Magazine online article database FREE, and you'll save up to $40 off the full cover price. Click here:
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    5. New and Improved


    (by Karen Bemowski, products@sqlmag.com)

    Easily Search and Replace Text in Source Code
    JGsoft released PowerGREP 3.2, a Windows grep tool that lets you quickly find files and information anywhere on your PC or network. You can search for words, phrases, and strings in all types of files, including text, binary, spreadsheet, PDF, compressed archive, and source code files. PowerGREP also lets you manipulate and replace text. Developers will appreciate PowerGREP's use of regular expressions when performing complex search and replace operations. You can apply any number of search terms, sequentially or concurrently. JGsoft has developed the Regular-Expressions.info Web site (http://www.regular-expressions.info), which includes a tutorial and examples of how to use regular expressions in .NET and other popular programming code. PowerGREP 3.2 costs $149 for a single-user license. Multi-user discounts are available. The free trial version comes with full documentation. For more information, contact JGsoft at support@powergrep.com.
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