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1. SQL Server Perspectives

  • SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 Finally Arrives
  • 2. News and Views

  • Microsoft Article Shows How to Establish and Enforce Connections
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Nested Views
  • New Instant Poll: T-SQL Debugger
  • 3. Announcements

  • Free SQL Server Performance Tips and Articles
  • Introducing the VIP Site Now With SQL Server Content
  • 4. Resources

  • What's New at sqlmag.com: Dynamic Pivoting
  • Hot Thread: Migrating a Database
  • Tip: Page Life Expectancy a Reliable Indicator of SQL Server Memory Pressure
  • 5. Events Central

  • New SQL Server Web Seminar: High Availability
  • Does IT Matter?
  • 6. New and Improved

  • Use Your ETL Tool to Deliver Information
  • Help Non-Technical End Users Access Data

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    1. SQL Server Perspectives

  • SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 Finally Arrives

  • by Brian Moran, brian@sqlmag.com

    Microsoft released SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 to all Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers on Monday. Unfortunately, Beta 2 isn't publicly available for download from the Microsoft Web site, but I expect to see Microsoft field engineers passing out Beta 2 at customer sites. I think it's silly that Microsoft hasn't made Beta 2 available for full public download. I don't condone breaking licensing agreements, and I don't intend to hand out copies of Beta 2 to unauthorized customers, but realistically, once a beta is widely distributed as Beta 2 inevitably will begetting a copy becomes an easy task for anyone who wants one. Individuals who wouldn't consider giving away commercial software are often unconcerned about the license agreement terms for beta software that's available for free. Again, I'm not condoning this behavior. I simply acknowledge that the bits will be passed around. SQL Server 2005 has already been delayed for years. I think it would be nice if Microsoft made it possible for all interested SQL Server users to acquire Beta 2 freely and easily.

    Are you a DBA? You should already care about SQL Server 2005, even though Microsoft doesn't plan to release it for close to a year. SQL Server 2005 will include fundamental changes. You expect any new release of a relational database management system (RDBMS) to have new and exciting enhancements, but many of the major changes in SQL Server 2005such as native support for rich XML data types and integration of the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) within the engine will be revolutionary from the DBA's perspective. I think the changes will be good for SQL Server and SQL Server professionals, but it's still important to remember that "the old guard" usually meets with an unpleasant end during a revolution. Traditional DBAs need to continually upgrade their skills to stay competitive in a SQL Server world that's increasing tool and engine support for developers and other IT professionals whose skills cross traditional boundaries, not just the DBAs.

    These ideas shouldn't be new to you. I've written about the effect that SQL Server 2005 will have on traditional DBAs many times. And countless other people have shared their opinions about this topic in countless media outlets. However, SQL Server 2005's delay has made some DBAs complacent. Some DBAs might be thinking they have an infinite amount of time to prepare. However, learning enough about the CLR to keep up with your developers (who will inevitably write inefficient server side code) won't happen overnight. Now is the time to begin learning all you can about SQL Server 2005 so that you're not blindsided by the major changes that will be part of this release.

    A few weeks ago, I told you that the SQL Server 2005 Express Technical Preview is available for public download now at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/express . SQL Server Express is essentially the SQL Server 2005 version of Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE). The Express edition won't have all the features of the full product, but most of the core engine will be the same and of course, the CLR and XML enhancements are included. The SQL Server Express Technical Preview is a great way for you to get immediate access to SQL Server 2005 technology and SQL Server 2005 Books Online (BOL) if you're not fortunate enough to have a legal means of accessing SQL Server 2005 Beta 2.

    I won't spend all my time over the next year talking about SQL Server 2005, though it's easy for talking heads like myself to get wrapped up in the next big thing. I will remember that you have businesses and databases to run on existing technology. But I'll still do my best to nudge you in the right direction to ensure you're ready for SQL Server 2005 when the time comes.


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    2. News and Views


  • Microsoft Article Shows How to Establish and Enforce Connections

  • Microsoft has released an article that tells you how to establish and enforce encrypted multiprotocol connections in SQL Server 2000. When you connect to an instance of SQL Server 2000, you can use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption or multiprotocol encryption to encrypt the data that's transmitted between the server computer and the client computer. The Microsoft article describes how to enable multiprotocol encryption for all the client connections, for a specific client, over a firewall, over TCP/IP, and over named pipes. To learn more, read the Microsoft article "How to establish and enforce encrypted multiprotocol connections in SQL Server 2000" at
        http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=841695

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Nested Views
  • The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "Do you use nested views?" Here are the results (+/ 1 percent) from the 147 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 14%   Yes
  • 22%   Yes, under controlled circumstances
  • 8%    Yes, but I plan to be more cautious
  • 55%   No, they're too problematic
  • New Instant Poll: T-SQL Debugger
  • The next Instant Poll question is "Do you use SQL Server 2000's Query Analyzer T-SQL debugger?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) yes, regularly, 2) yes, sometimes, 3) yes, but infrequently, 4) no, but I plan to use it, or 5) no, and I don't plan to use it.
        http://www.sqlmag.com

    3. Announcements


  • Free SQL Server Performance Tips and Articles
  • Get hundreds of free tips and articles about SQL Server performance tuning and clustering. And get quick and accurate answers to your performance and clusterrelated questions in our forum. All from the SQL Server performance authority: SQLServerPerformance.Com.
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BKEZ0Aq

  • Introducing the VIP Site Now With SQL Server Content
  • The Windows & .NET Magazine Network VIP Web site/Super CD subscription has it all. This all-inclusive package not only provides online article access to all network publications, a print subscription to Windows & .NET Magazine, and exclusive access to our bannerfree VIP Web site, but it also now includes SQL Server Magazine content. Subscribe today!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BKEa0Ax

    4. Resources


  • What's New at sqlmag.com: Dynamic Pivoting
  • When you need to pivot data and you already know what result columns you want to generate, you can use static queries with SQL Server 2005's new PIVOT() operator. When you don't know which attributes you're going to use to generate the result columns or how many attributes there are, you have to use dynamic execution. In his August T-SQL 2005 column, "Dynamic Pivoting," Itzik BenGan discusses a scenario in which you don't know the result column list ahead of time, demonstrates some dynamic T-SQL code that returns the desired result, and shows you how to use the PIVOT() operator to concatenate strings. Read this article today at
        http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=43140

  • Hot Thread: Migrating a Database
  • Paulveld needs to migrate 7GB of data that's in a SQL Server 7.0 database on Windows 2000 Server to a SQL Server 2000 database on Windows 2003 Server. The messaging environment constantly updates the database for audit and reporting purposes, so minimal downtime is a must. What's the best way for Paulveld to migrate his data while maintaining database availability? Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Replication forum at
        http://www.winnetmag.com/sqlserver/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=1742&threadid=123869

  • Tip: Page Life Expectancy a Reliable Indicator of SQL Server Memory Pressure

  • by Brian Moran, savvy@sqlmag.com

    Have you ever checked out the page life expectancy counter in Performance Monitor's Buffer Manager object? SQL Server Books Online (BOL) says the page life expectancy value is the "number of seconds a page will stay in the buffer pool without references." So, a buffer that has a 300 second page life expectancy will keep any given page in memory in the buffer pool for 5 minutes before the buffer pool flushes the page to disk unless a process references the page.

    This counter can be helpful in determining whether you have a memory problem, giving you a reasonably accurate view of whether your server has memory pressure. According to Microsoft, 300 seconds is the minimum target for page life expectancy. If the buffer pool flushes your pages in less than 300 seconds, you probably have a memory problem. Looking at this value is particularly handy when your page life expectancy is significantly higher or lower than 300 seconds. For example, a customer recently asked me, "Do we need more memory?" I monitored the page life expectancy value for the customer's system, and the value didn't fall below 3000 seconds. That's quantifiable proof that more memory wouldn't help performance. Other customers have an average page life expectancy between 10 and 50 seconds, and they wonder why their servers are slow.

    I often see organizations that have plenty of memory add more memory without realizing that it likely won't improve performance much, if at all. If you have a low page life expectancy, simply adding more memory isn't the cure. Memory pressure is a result of such problems as inefficient query plans. For example, a customer that had a page life expectancy in the 50 second range also had SELECT queries performing more than 1.5 million logical reads on its servers. Do the math that's almost 11.5GB of logical reads on a server that had 700MB of memory. The server might have needed more memory, but by using judicious indexing, we reduced the logical reads for the query in question to about 10.

    Memory pressure doesn't mean you need to add more physical memory it means you don't have enough memory for your workload. You could add enough memory to fix problems such as a single query performing 1.5 million logical reads. But a high page life expectancy value will assure you that adding more memory won't add performance value.

    5. Events Central


    For a complete guide to Web and live events, see
        http://www.winnetmag.com/events

  • New SQL Server Web Seminar: High Availability

  • Discover solutions that minimize the likelihood of downtime in your SQL Server implementation and help to ensure continuous SQL Server application availability. SQL Server Magazine invites you to attend a free, interactive Web seminar designed specifically for SQL Server professionals. This live, online event will be presented on August 19, 2004. Register today it's free!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BJ5R0AR

  • Does IT Matter?
  • One of the liveliest debates in executive circles and at leading business schools today stems from the article "IT Doesn't Matter" by Nicholas Carr. Join the discussion with the author and SAS Senior VP Jim Davis in a video streamed Webcast sponsored by SAS on August 25. Register today.
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BJwQ0AW

    6. New and Improved


    by Dawn Cyr, products@sqlmag.com

  • Use Your ETL Tool to Deliver Information
  • Datawatch announced Monarch Data Pump 7.0 (MDP7), software that combines the data conversion capabilities of an extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tool with enterprise information delivery capabilities. MDP7 uses Datawatch's Report Mining engine to mine and transform data from a variety of existing report output files trusted and audited reports as well as data residing in databases, spreadsheets, and other sources to create and deliver new customized data views that meet endusers' needs. You can then upload the customized data views to your SQL Server databases and save the views in various formats including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and templates and Microsoft Access files. You can deliver reports and files by using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) news feeds or email, or you can save the reports and files to your system's folders. The latest release of the product features automatic transformation of existing reports into a variety of formats including .xls, .mdb, and .csv without programming; faster uploading capabilities; automatic table creation; and task-scheduling and job-logging capabilities. Monarch Data Pump 7.0 pricing starts at $7995 per server. For more information and other pricing, contact Datawatch at 978-441-2200, 800-445-3311, or sales@datawatch.com.
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BKEb0Ay

  • Help NonTechnical End Users Access Data
  • Ariacom announced Ariacom Business Reports 3.1, a database-reporting tool for non-technical end users. Instead of burdening IT staff with requests for data and reports, your organization's managers and decision makers can create their own easy-to-understand reports without technical knowledge or database experience. Users can create, update, and manage reports by using common business terms and simple logic, then share, print, fax, or email the reports to others who require the information. The product also includes a Report Scheduler and Web Report Server that let users schedule reports and publish them to the Internet. The software works with any SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, or MySQL database that uses an ODBC driver. Pricing for Ariacom Business Reports 3.1 starts at $150. For more information or a free, time-limited trial version, contact Ariacom at brcontact@ariacom.com.
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/egtW0FgQMn0BRZ0BKEc0Az


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