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2004 Date Announced for SQL Server Magazine Connections
Bogged Down by Year-End Projects?
(below NEWS AND VIEWS)
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Because of the holidays, SQL Server Magazine UPDATE won't be published the next two weeks. Our next issue will be January 8. We'll see you in the New Year!
December 18, 2003--In this issue:
- Share PDC Sessions--Not Yukon Beta
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- SQL Server Makes Strong Showing in List of Largest Databases
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: DBA Activities
- New Instant Poll: Application-Development Activities
- Looking for a New SQL Server Resource?
- QL Server Tips Now Available in Real Time
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Better SQL Server Security
- Hot Thread: SQL Server Using Only One Processor
- Tip: Evaluating Enterprise Edition's Performance Value
5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENTS)
- DB Ghost
- A Grass-Roots Database Resource for You
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Automate SQL Comparison and Synchronization
- Simplify OLAP Cube Management
7. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have some new information about two topics that I've written about in SQL Server Magazine UPDATE recently. First, I encouraged you to capitalize on the valuable technical content from the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October by examining the free PowerPoint downloads or by purchasing the conference's full DVD set. Now, thanks to Microsoft, you can get full streaming media of all the PDC sessions for free. You don't see the speaker, but a full audio feed is available to go along with the PowerPoint slide decks. You'll find Microsoft .NET, SQL Server Yukon, and data architecture sessions among many others. I encourage you to take advantage of this free resource. You can access the streaming media at http://microsoft.sitestream.com/pdc2003.
Because I don't know how long Microsoft will make the PDC 2003 content available, I consider this a use-it-or-lose-it opportunity, especially if you're interested in particular sessions. You might also want to review the blogs that some PDC attendees have started for sessions they attended. You can view the blogs at http://pdcbloggers.net/tracks/architecture.category.
Second, I noted that Microsoft gave away more than 10,000 copies of the PDC beta version of SQL Server's Yukon release, which isn't available for download from Microsoft. I suggested that you borrow a copy of the beta from a colleague to get the bits. The beta was free and wasn't covered under a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), so that advice seemed reasonable. However, following that advice would violate the End User License Agreement (EULA) associated with the PDC Yukon beta. The EULA for this beta lets you make up to 25 copies of the software to share only with people on site within your company. The EULA doesn't give you the right to distribute the software to anyone else.
Although I wonder why Microsoft lifted the NDA on Yukon content for the PDC beta build and distributed the beta to more than 10,000 people without making it available for download, that's the situation. Microsoft has said it expects to release a public Yukon beta in the first half of 2004, and I'll let you know as soon as I hear exactly when the public beta will be available.
And with this commentary, which is my last for 2003, I'd like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
2004 DATE ANNOUNCED FOR SQL SERVER MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS
Save this date on your calendar. The spring 2004 SQL Server Magazine Connections conference and expo will be held April 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. Back by popular demand are the concurrently running events Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and Visual Studio Connections. Early registrants will receive access to all three conferences for one low price. Register now to secure your best discount. Information about conference sessions and speakers is already online. Visit us today on the Web or call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204 for more information.
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
SQL Server databases run the world's second largest workload for transaction processing across all platforms, according to the 2003 Winter Corporation TopTen survey. SQL Server came in second only to a legacy CA-IDMS mainframe system in the survey by the independent consulting firm, which focuses on database scalability and enterprise data management. SQL Server also runs the world's largest workload for both transaction processing and decision support on Windows, with 4010 transactions per second (tps) and 167 concurrent in-flight queries, respectively. And the database platform claims the ninth largest workload for decision support for all environments. Verizon Communications' 5.3TB transaction-processing database, running on SQL Server 2000, was the largest transaction-processing database on the Windows platform and sixth in size for all environments. The survey also found that SQL Server runs all the world's largest workloads on Windows and runs 6 of the top 10 largest workloads for transaction processing in all environments. You can find the TopTen survey at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "How much time do you spend on DBA activities?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 297 votes (deviations from 100 percent are due to a rounding error):
- 15% All of my time
- 18% Most of my time, but I also have other duties
- 25% Half of my time
- 39% Some of my time, but they aren't my primary focus
- 2% None
The next Instant Poll question is "How much time do you spend on application-development activities?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) All of my time, 2) Most of my time, but I also have other duties, 3) Half of my time, 4) Some of my time, but they aren't my primary focus, or 5) None.
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Security continues to be one of the hottest topics in IT. The Internet and protocols such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML have driven constant-connection computing to new levels. And as new technologies make your systems more accessible, the threat from viruses and intruders has never been greater. In his December SQL Seven column, "Better SQL Server Security," Michael Otey shares seven steps to setting up better security for your SQL Server systems. Read this article today at
Si-hulse's SQL Server 2000 system has two processors. The OS sees both processors, and SQL Server sees both on the configuration page, where he's configured the system to use all available processors. But Performance Monitor shows that SQL Server is using only one processor. Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Performance forum at
(contributed by Brian Moran, email@example.com)
Q. My company is considering upgrading from SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition. I assume that Enterprise Edition features better performance, but I haven't found any benchmarks for it. Can you tell me what performance improvements I can expect?
A. You probably won't see any performance differences in upgrading from SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition. Enterprise Edition is more scalable because it can use more than 2GB of memory and more than four processors, but the engine-level algorithms are basically the same for the two editions. In general, Enterprise Edition won't run faster than Standard Edition unless your hardware supports more than 2GB of memory and four processors, but there are three minor exceptions.
First, indexed views work on both Standard and Enterprise editions; however, when you reference the view indirectly, only Enterprise Edition knows how to use an indexed view instead of calling the base table. For example, say you have a table called MyTable with an indexed view called MyIndexedView. Enterprise Edition knows to use the view even when the query only references the base table. Although Standard Edition lets you name the indexed view directly in a query, the optimizer doesn't know how to use the view in a query plan if the query only references the base table. So, the performance benefits of using an indexed view in Standard or Enterprise editions of SQL Server are the same. However, Standard Edition requires that your users and application developers explicitly use the indexed view name in a query. Enterprise Edition might use the view even if you don't explicitly reference the view in your query. The optimizer is smart enough to know that the indexed view references base tables in this query and would be helpful for processing the current query. The optimizer will use the view even though it wasn't directly mentioned in the query, which means a DBA can add a view to the database after the fact as a tuning aid without having to change the existing application. Existing queries would begin using the view if the optimizer decided the view was helpful.
Second, you might get a small performance improvement if you run Enterprise Edition on four processors with hyper-threading enabled. Standard Edition doesn't run on more than four processors and can't tell the difference between the logical or physical processors that hyper-threading creates. Hyper-threading on a four-CPU machine creates eight logical processors, and Enterprise Edition can use all eight; Standard Edition can use only four.
Third, Enterprise Edition supports the parallel creation of indexes, which means that SQL Server uses a CREATE INDEX statement to create indexes in several concurrent, parallel steps. Parallel index creation can save a lot of time when you're adding an index on a large data set. In Standard Edition, index creation is a serial process. Enterprise Edition also supports many important features not in Standard Edition, such as clustering and log shipping, but these features don't offer compelling performance reasons to upgrade.
Send technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com)
Red Gate Software announced the SQL Comparison and Synchronization Toolkit (SQL Toolkit) 3.0, software that lets you create programs to schedule the comparison and synchronization of your SQL databases and automate installation, replication, and verification tasks. The SQL Toolkit also lets you include database comparison and synchronization functionality in the applications you create. Red Gate used Microsoft .NET to recode the latest release of the product, which is designed for use with Visual Studio .NET. The new release features improved Help files and tutorials and is significantly faster than previous versions. The SQL Toolkit works with SQL Server 2000 and 7.0. Pricing for single-user licenses starts at $890, and a free trial version is available. For more information about the product and other pricing options, contact Red Gate Software.
WINSIGHT announced XML Builder 2.0, a set of tools that let you automate management, deployment, and upgrades for entire OLAP databases or individual objects such as cubes, dimensions, calculated members, and roles. The tools include the MS Analysis Manager Wizard, which lets you generate an XML definition of a selected OLAP structure; the Command-line tool, which lets you launch Analysis Services modifications; the MS Data Transformation Services Custom Task, which lets you integrate XML Builder scripts into your own DTS packages; a retro-documentation feature, which lets you automatically generate HTML documentation of Analysis Services structures; and an extensible component that you can use with any COM-compliant language to integrate XML Builder into your applications. For pricing and more information, contact WINSIGHT.
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Contact Richard Resnick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-949-4007.
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