In This Issue:
As modern communication technologies push us 10 steps forward and 9 steps back, can Microsoft create a magic pill to manage those technologies? And can we find an effective storage solution to support the coming revolution?

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July 6, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Supporting the Unified Communications Revolution

2. SQL Server Watch

  • Get Guidance for SQL Server Everywhere CTP
  • Product Watch: myLittleTools.net and sqlSentry

3. Hot Articles

  • TIP: Using NewSequentialID Instead of NewID
  • SELECT TOP(X): Query Editor Shortcuts
  • In a Nutshell: It Depends On How You Define "Whining"

4. Events and Resources

  • Secure, Remote Access to Corporate Applications
  • Policies to Protect Your Assets and Data
  • Gain Control of Messaging Data
  • State-of-the-Art Scanning Engine

5. Featured White Paper

  • Achieve Compliance While Managing Threats

6. Announcements

  • Discounted Offer for the SQL Server Magazine Master CD
  • Get $80 Off the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Newsletter

7. Web Community

  • http://www.sqlmag.com

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1. Perspectives

Supporting the Unified Communications Revolution
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

In this column, I typically present my commentary and opinions about SQL Server and Microsoft data management in general. But lately, I've been spending a bit of time discussing Microsoft Office, spreadmart, and related topics that are clearly connected to data management, but aren't my usual meat-and-potatoes relational database discussions. I promise to get back to my "real" database roots soon, but this week, I can't help but opine about the intriguing ideas and products that are part of Microsoft's recently unveiled Unified Communications road map. As part of my discussion of Unified Communications, I also want to examine Microsoft's revised plans for WinFS, the long-awaited next generation Windows File System, which relies on core aspects of SQL Server. So in way, maybe this week's article really is about SQL Server.

First, let's take a look at the thoughts of Bill Gates, which he released to customers in a recent executive email titled "The Unified Communications Revolution" ( http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/execmail ).

"The irony is that rather than making it easier to reach people, the proliferation of disconnected communications devices often makes it more difficult and more time consuming. And in an age when business success increasingly depends on how quickly people can share information, this is a critical issue.

In the coming years, unified communications technologies will eliminate the barriers between the communications modes—email, voice, Web conferencing and more—that we use every day. They will enable us to close the gap between the devices we use to contact people when we need information and the applications and business processes where we use that information. The impact on productivity, creativity and collaboration will be profound."

You really should read the entire interesting, thought-provoking message. Of course, your first reaction might be like mine, along the lines of, "Wow, sounds like a great idea. But I'm not sure how easy or practical solving the problem of disparate communications will be." But heck, people used to laugh at the idea of a PC on every desktop. As modern communication technologies push us 10 steps forward and 9 steps back, maybe Microsoft can create a magic pill to manage those technologies. I also suggest you read the Microsoft Press Pass article and product road map at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jun06/06-25UCGRoadmapPR.mspx .

How does WinFS tie in? Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a DBA) to figure out that the communications strategy that Microsoft is outlining will create the potential need for vast, almost unimaginable amounts of storage. Much of the metadata could lend itself to traditional database solutions, but much of the unstructured voice and communications data will not. WinFS sure would be a clean way to think about solving the problem.

Alas, the further delays and repositioning of WinFS cause me to wonder whether Microsoft will ever get this technology to market in a timely manner. Microsoft seems to be positioning Microsoft Exchange and new technologies as the core data-storage engines behind the Unified Communications roadmap. WinFS might have been a great solution. But as you might already know, Microsoft recently announced that WinFS would be delayed again and will not ship as a standalone offering. Plans for a Beta 2 of WinFS have been cancelled. Microsoft is positioning this cancellation as "no big thing" and says that the more mature parts of WinFS are simply being added to the Katmai CTP (no announced dates for that yet). But the fact remains that this delay is a major setback for WinFS—and for the entire concept of creating file systems integrated with Windows that rely on core aspects of SQL Server.

For a more detailed Microsoft-based perspective about what the WinFS changes mean now and in the future, see Quentin Clark's blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/winfs/archive/2006/06/23/644706.aspx .


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2. SQL Server Watch

Get Guidance for SQL Server Everywhere CTP
On June 12, Microsoft released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition. SQL Server Everywhere is the new name of SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, and the CTP includes enhancements such as the elimination of the desktop restriction that exists in SQL Server Mobile. SQL Server Mobile is supported on devices and Tablet PCs and is partially supported on desktop computers. But on desktop computers, either Visual Studio 2005 or SQL Server 2005 must be installed to use the mobile edition. With SQL Server Everywhere, the restriction is removed so that users can develop and deploy applications independent of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. You can read complete details and download the CTP at
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=920700

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Web-Based Administration for SQL Server 2005
myLittleTools.net announced myLittleAdmin for SQL Server 2005, a Web-based management tool that lets you manage most objects of your databases and servers, including new objects such as snapshots, schemas, and credentials. The product's datagrid lets you edit and delete records while browsing your data, which can later be exported to XML or comma-separated value (CSV) formats. MyLittleAdmin also features helpful tools and wizards, including a New Query tool, Backup and Restore wizards, and a Generate INSERT wizard. A live demo is available at myLittleTools.net's Web site. Pricing for myLittleAdmin for SQL Server 2005 starts at $590 for a single-user license. For more information, contact myLittleTools.net at 719-576-0123 or 800-999-2734.
http://www.mylittletools.net

SQL Server Management for SMBs
sqlSentry announced that the core functionality of its Enterprise Edition is now available for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) in sqlSentry Standard Edition. The product lets you manage and optimize your SQL Server environments at a lower price point than the enterprise edition. Available features include visual scheduling with drag-and-drop support, comprehensive notifications, and schedule-performance monitoring for managing your schedule events. sqlSentry Standard Edition lets you monitor any number of SQL Servers and Windows Task Schedulers without installing or maintaining agents on each server. For more information, contact sqlSentry at 704-895-6241.
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3. Hot Articles

TIP: Using NewSequentialID Instead of NewID
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

SQL Server 2005 provides a new function called NewSequentialID that's similar to NewID(), a function that originated in SQL Server 2000 and is supported in SQL Server 2005. Both functions return a value of data type uniqueidentifier. Learn the benefits of each function—and when to use which one—by reading the complete tip at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/49960/49960.html

SELECT TOP(X): Query Editor Shortcuts
Query Editor is a new SQL Server 2005 management tool. Although the new tool uses many familiar Query Analyzer keyboard shortcuts, you'll find new ones as well. In his July SELECT TOP(X) column "Query Editor Shortcuts," Michael Otey gives you 10 of his favorite new shortcuts. Read this article today and post your comments at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/50158/sql_server_50158.html

In a Nutshell: It Depends On How You Define "Whining"
In this week's blog, Kevin Kline notices that many respected voices in the industry feel that Microsoft is trying to get us to drink from a firehose these days. It wasn't very long ago that SQL Server didn't have very many "moving parts" to master. But nowadays it's hard to master all of the new database-related technologies. What's the right balance between looking ahead and staying fresh in your skills versus becoming overloaded? Let Kevin know your strategy and your opinion today at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=53930&DisplayTab=Article


4. Events and Resources

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Hot Spot: Neverfail
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6. Announcements

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7. Web Community

 

Hot Threads
http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/default.aspx?forumid=10

Reader-to-Reader
http://www.sqlmag.com/Departments/DepartmentID/731/Reader%20to%20Reader.html

New Instant Poll
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In a Nutshell Blog:
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