Don’t forget about SQL Server Magazine Connections April 2-5 in sunny Orlando, Florida. The timing of the Spring SQL Server Connections show this year is unique because it’s the first major SQL Server conference held in the United States since SQL Server 2005 release to manufacturing (RTM) last fall. And what timing, now that the SQL Server community has had an opportunity to begin building up a body of knowledge about using SQL Server 2005 in production systems.

There have been many conferences and events with significant amounts of SQL Server 2005 content over the years. However, there’s a difference between discussing new features before a product has been released and describing lessons learned from real-world scenarios. In addition, there’s a big difference between learning about SQL Server 2005 months before you can use it and learning about it while your organization is determining their upgrade plans.

My interactions with SQL Server customers around the world have led me to conclude that a large percentage of users have been "kicking the tires" of SQL Server 2005 during the pilot programs and are starting to get serious about rolling out SQL Server 2005 for production. For these users, the timing of SQL Server Magazine Connections this April couldn’t be better; it marks six months since SQL Server 2005 was released. Granted, six months isn’t long to distill SQL Server professional experiences into "best practices," but I expect (and I planned it so I know) that the spring conference will be a great way to learn a tremendous amount about SQL Server 2005 in a short time.

The conference will have more than fifteen top SQL Server experts presenting over 40 sessions about SQL Server 2005. This will be a great learning opportunity, especially if you have a SQL Server 2005 deployment in your immediate future and you don’t have a lot of practical experience with the product. SQL Server Magazine Connections is co-located with three other Connections events that offer a range of Microsoft development-oriented sessions about Visual Studio 2005, ASP.NET, and SharePoint Services. If you register for one of the conferences, you can attend sessions in any of the four conferences. You can read more about the conferences at
      www.sqlconnections.com

Of course, if you miss Connections this spring, Microsoft TechEd is just around the corner in June, followed by another round of major US-based SQL Server conferences this fall. So you do have options. However, if you’re hungry for SQL Server 2005 knowledge, it’s not too late to register and plan your trip to sunny Orlando.


Increase Database-Modeling Functionality

CHARONWARE announced CASE Studio 2.23, a data-modeling tool that lets you create entity relationship diagrams (ERDs), automatically generate scripts, reverse-engineer existing databases, and generate HTML or Rich Text Format (RTF) reports. The product now provides full support for PostgreSQL 8.1 and Extended Systems Advantage Database Server 8. CASE Studio also supports a number of other databases including the following: Oracle, SQL Server 2005, MySQL, IBM DB2, Firebird, and Microsoft Access 2000. For more information on CHARONWARE CASE Studio 2.23, contact CHARONWARE at support@casestudio.com.
      http://www.casestudio.com

Drill-Down for Immediate Problem Remediation

Quest Software announced Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise, a performance-monitoring tool that provides real-time data analysis of your SQL Server performance and provides visibility across multiple instances of SQL Server. The product's UI provides graphical flows of data between your SQL Server components; icons that display SQL Server statistics and metrics; and drill-down capabilities for faster problem remediation. Pricing for Quest Software Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise starts at $2160. For more information, contact Quest Software at 949-754-8000.
      http://www.quest.com