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(Below COMMENTARY)

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September 19, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • SQL Server Scores Without Distributed Partitioned Views

2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • What About Yukon?
  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer Available
  • MCAD--Put Your .NET Skills to the Test
  • MSDN Launches XML Web Services Developer Center
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Subscribing to Microsoft Security Bulletin
  • New Instant Poll: Guidance from Microsoft

3. ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Head Back to School Online with SSMU!
  • Are You Wasting Time Searching for SQL Server Answers?

4. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENTS)

  • Lumigent Technologies
  • SQL Server Magazine LIVE!

5. RESOURCE

  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Shaken And Stirred
  • Hot Thread: Using INDEXDEFRAG for All Indexes
  • Tip: Take a Peek at Information Schema Views

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Send Data to Wireless Devices
  • Understand How Your Application Interacts with the Database

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY

  • SQL SERVER SCORES WITHOUT DISTRIBUTED PARTITIONED VIEWS

  • (contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, brianm@sqlmag.comm)

    On September 9, Microsoft posted an impressive 64-bit Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC-C) benchmark score that will affect the way many people view SQL Server as an enterprise-class database. Microsoft achieved a nonclustered transactions per minute (tpmC) score of 308,620 and a price per tpmC of $14.96. (You can view testing details and the other top TPC-C scores at http://www.tpc.org.) Although it didn't shatter any existing world records, this is one of Microsoft's most important benchmark scores.

    Microsoft has held the world's fastest TPC-C scores for more than a year, but to achieve these scores, the company used distributed partitioned views to create a federated database. I'm not going to explore the pros and cons of Microsoft-based federated databases this week, but for better or worse, few real-world customers build solutions that use federated distributed partitioned views. So, past Microsoft clustered systems that recorded the top TPC-C scores don't match the way most customers build and deploy their solutions. Although I believe that scale-out architectures will eventually win the scalability battle, most people conquer performance problems by scaling up on single-node SMP database machines.

    Microsoft has had a hard time convincing some enterprise-class customers that single-node SQL Server boxes can compete effectively on pure performance with UNIX databases. Have you also harbored that thought? Microsoft's newest TPC-C score might make you reconsider your position. SQL Server performance discussions inevitably come around to comparisons with Oracle, so let's look at how SQL Server and Oracle TPC-C test scores compare. Oracle's top TPC-C nonclustered score comes in 48 percent faster than SQL Server's at 423,414 tpmC and has a price per tpmC of $15.64. However, testers achieved the most recent SQL Server score by using a beta version of SQL Server 2000 64-bit (code-named Liberty) running on a beta release of Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003, Datacenter Edition. SQL Server 64-bit scores will undoubtedly improve after final versions of the products ship. In addition, SQL Server used only 32 processors, whereas Oracle chewed up 64. Historically, Oracle hasn't been more efficient than SQL Server--it just ran on bigger boxes. It's interesting to note that the best Oracle score achieves 6615 tpmC per processor, whereas SQL Server's best score cranks out 9644 tpmC for each processor. How did I get these numbers? I simply divided the real tpmC score by the numbers of processors in each system. Although these numbers aren't official TPC results, they do demonstrate the per-processor efficiency of SQL Server and Wintel. And the comparison tells you that SQL Server and Windows scale effectively and that SQL Server performed more efficiently per processor than Oracle in these latest TPC-C benchmarks.

    If you've been running your business on SQL Server, you know that Microsoft continues to push the limits of high-end scalability and that Windows-based platforms continue to close the hardware gap with UNIX as SQL Server scales up to 64-bit processing and Wintel boxes support more and faster processors. Microsoft's new capabilities in the 64-bit database and hardware space produce top-end database performance. Think SQL Server can't handle the performance needs of your business? You owe it to yourself, and your wallet, to reconsider.


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    2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • WHAT ABOUT YUKON?

  • (contributed by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

    Microsoft Group Vice President Jim Allchin verified the timeline for Longhorn, the next version of Windows, during his keynote address at Windows Server DevCon on September 6 in Seattle. Allchin said that Microsoft will deliver the far-reaching Windows version in desktop and server editions in 2005.

    But Longhorn can't happen until the SQL Server-based file system work is ready. Microsoft is developing that technology as part of Yukon, the next major SQL Server release, which Allchin said is due in late 2003 or early 2004 (actually, he said "fiscal 2004," which runs from July 1, 2003, until June 30, 2004).

    Again, given the company's history, I think the first half of 2004 is probably a more reasonable estimate. Microsoft will use the Yukon technology to unify its many storage schemes, including the aforementioned Windows file system, Active Directory (AD), Exchange 2000 Server, and, of course, its many database products. Expect a Yukon beta in early 2003.

  • MICROSOFT BASELINE SECURITY ANALYZER AVAILABLE
  • Microsoft's new Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is now available at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;\[LN\];Q320454. The site provides information about and a link to download the security tool. This tool centrally scans Windows-based computers for common security misconfigurations. MBSA, which runs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP, can scan for missing hotfixes and security vulnerabilities on XP-, Win2K-, and Windows NT 4.0-based computers. For each computer that it scans, MBSA generates a report detailing security holes in Windows, SQL Server, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). The tool includes a GUI and a command-line interface.

    MBSA can scan SQL Server 7.0; SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1), SP2, and SP3; and all editions of SQL Server 2000 SP1. The tool checks for vulnerabilities on the first (default) instance of SQL Server that it finds on the computer. If MBSA doesn't find a default instance, it checks the first named instance that it finds. Microsoft says that a future version of the tool might support scanning multiple versions of SQL Server.

  • MCAD--PUT YOUR .NET SKILLS TO THE TEST

  • Microsoft announced its first .NET certification, the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) for Microsoft .NET credential. The MCAD certification recognizes professional developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and XML Web services to build applications. The new credential can help you develop your .NET skills and demonstrate .NET expertise to employers, peers, and customers. Training courses and books are available on the Microsoft Training and Certification Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/mcad.

  • MSDN LAUNCHES XML WEB SERVICES DEVELOPER CENTER

  • As part of a series of Developer Centers that provide a centralized source for tools, information, and resources, MSDN has rolled out the XML Web Services Developer Center. The Center, at http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices, provides a place for developers to learn about, build, and keep current with the quickly-evolving world of Web services.

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS INSTANT POLL: SUBSCRIBING TO MICROSOFT SECURITY BULLETIN

  • The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you subscribe to Microsoft's Security Bulletin service?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 217 votes:
       - 64% Yes
       - 13% No, but I plan to
       - 23% No, and I don't plan to

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: GUIDANCE FROM MICROSOFT

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    The next Instant Poll question is, "How do you prefer to get how-to or best-practices information from Microsoft?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and submit your vote for 1) Informational Web sites (e.g., Developer Centers), 2) White papers, 3) Web seminars, 4) Live seminars, or 5) Consulting services
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    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS


    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine and its partners)

  • HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL ONLINE WITH SSMU!

  • SQL Server Magazine University is your virtual classroom. Microsoft Certified Trainers teach practical SQL Server skills and prepare you for your certification exam. The 24 x 7 access to our Virtual Computer Lab lets you learn new applications on your own schedule. Register by September 20 to guarantee the arrival of your courseware before the class starts.
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    5. RESOURCES

  • WHAT'S NEW IN SQL SERVER MAGAZINE: SHAKEN AND STIRRED

  • According to Gartner Dataquest, a shake-up in the database market has yielded a new database champ: IBM. But SQL Server recorded the largest increase in revenue from new licenses, and industry watchers expect SQL Server to stay on this roll. In "Shaken and Stirred," Michael Otey tells you why. This article appears in the September 2002 issue of SQL Server Magazine and is available online at
    http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25851

  • HOT THREAD: USING INDEXDEFRAG FOR ALL INDEXES

  • Lemonhead wants to know whether you can run DBCC INDEXDEFRAG for all indexes on a table at once or whether you have to programmatically run the command for each index? Offer your advice and read other users' suggestions on the SQL Server Magazine forums at the following URL:
    http://www.sqlmag.com/Forums/messageview.cfm?catid=3&threadid=8677

  • TIP: TAKE A PEEK AT INFORMATION SCHEMA VIEWS

  • (contributed by Brian Moran, brianm@sqlmag.com)

    Microsoft stresses that writing queries directly against system tables is a bad idea. Microsoft reserves the right to change the underlying definition of system tables, so the correct and safest way to query system data is through a system function, a stored procedure, or one of the ANSI-standard information schema views.

    Information schema views are handy, and I use them all the time. However, sometimes I want to see how the information schema views get their information, so I peek under the covers. The information schema views are visible in the master database, just as any other view is.

    Reading Microsoft-supplied stored procedures is a great way to learn undocumented tips and cool T-SQL coding tricks. And reading the information schema views is a great way to learn about the inner workings of SQL Server. This exercise might not be quite as exciting as the newest Tom Clancy novel, but it will give you something to do with your free time-as if DBAs have any free time.

    Send your technical questions to savvy@sqlmag.com.

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED


    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@sqlmag.com)

  • SEND DATA TO WIRELESS DEVICES

  • MobileSys announced the MobileSys Network Delivery Channel (NDC), a free download for MobileSys Network customers that lets you add wireless connectivity to solutions you develop using SQL Server 2000 Notification Services. The MobileSys NDC, combined with the MobileSys Network, adds a wireless messaging component so that users can send notification messages to any wireless device. The MobileSys NDC uses Short Message Service (SMS) protocols to reach the mobile user. The MobileSys Network connects enterprises and application service providers (ASPs) with their employees, customers, and partners. For questions, contact MobileSys at 650-623-3700.
    http://www.mobilesys.com

  • UNDERSTAND HOW YOUR APPLICATION INTERACTS WITH THE DATABASE

  • Compuware announced DevPartnerDB 4.1 for Microsoft SQL Server, an application development tool for building, debugging, and monitoring stored procedures. To better understand how your application interacts with the database, you can perform proactive debugging of T-SQL. DevPartnerDB also uses XML support and implementation to give you a smooth transition to SQL Server 2000. The tool lets you control program execution and modify program variables. DevPartnerDB supports SQL Server 2000 and 7.0 and costs $800. Contact Compuware at 248-737-7300.
    http://www.compuware.com

    7. CONTACT US


    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — brianm@sqlmag.com
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      (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
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    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@sqlmag.com
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      Customer Support — sqlupdate@sqlmag.com
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