Microsoft recently released the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Resource Kit. Like the other Microsoft resource kits, this one includes a book as well as a set of samples and utilities. The resource kit is available separately or as a part of TechNet, but so far it isn't included in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). Here are the seven coolest tools I found in the resource kit. (All these tools are in the ToolsandSamples folder on the resource kit CD-ROM.)

7. USP Shut Down Database


You use the usp_shutdowndb stored procedure when you need to perform database maintenance while no users are connected to the database. This tool uses the Kill command to close all open user connections, then optionally executes a specified command.

6. Data Mining Visual Toolkit


ANGOSS Software supplies the resource kit's Data Mining Visual Toolkit tool. This tool contains a set of utilities that you can use to test data-mining scenarios.

5. Bulk Insert Image


The Bulk Insert Image (BII) tool is a commandlike utility that inserts binary data, such as image files, into a destination database. Bii.exe works like the bulk copy program (bcp). However, in image columns, the import file contains the name of an image file prefixed with an asterisk (*). The utility imports the image from the corresponding file rather than importing data directly from the import file.

4. Database Hammer


You can use the new Database Hammer tool to test various load conditions against your server. This utility generates a test table in the designated database, then runs a specified number of virtual clients to generate a database load.

3. Desktop SQL Server Configuration Tool


Although the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) provides a runtime version of the SQL Server database engine, MSDE doesn't come with tools that you need to perform administrative functions, such as creating new databases or performing backups and restores. The MSDE Administration tool provides a set of ADO, Data Access Object (DAO), and ODBCDirect functions that you can use from Microsoft Access to manage an MSDE database.

2. Database Generator


One of the handiest tools in the resource kit, the DBGen utility, also appeared in earlier versions of the resource kit. DBGen can quickly populate a sample database with test data and is a tremendous help in testing your applications against different database designs. The resource kit includes both a graphical and a command-line version of DBGen.

1. Database Management


The DBManagement tool provides a set of SQL scripts that you can use to monitor and manage various performance counters and database statistics for your SQL Server systems. The DBManagement tool includes a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that groups all the scripts under one handy interface.