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Editor's Note: What do you think of SQL Server Magazine's Web site?
Please take a few moments to fill out our online survey. Last February, we launched a new design for SQL Server Magazine's Web site. Now that you've used it for several months, we'd like your honest opinion about its effectiveness to you as a SQL Server professional. Now's your chance to officially sound off about the current design and make an impact on the next version. We appreciate your feedback! http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB223YPEAZA3D
December 9, 2004
2. News and Views
3. Reader Challenge
- Winners of the December Reader Challenge: A Dashboard Application - January Reader Challenge: Eliminating Recompilation
5. Peer to Peer
6. Events Central
7. New and Improved
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by Brian Moran, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, Microsoft released the second SQL Server 2005 Community Technical Preview (CTP). I wrote about the CTP program a few weeks ago (see "Technology Previews Deliver Pre-Beta 3 Peeks at SQL Server 2005" at http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/44291/44291.html ). Microsoft will release SQL Server 2005 CTP builds more frequently than it does for typical beta cycles, primarily to speed up the feedback cycle so that the company can incorporate as much user input as possible into SQL Server 2005's final release. SQL Server 2005 CTP 2 is now available to all Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers. Non-MSDN subscribers can't directly download or acquire the CTP builds, but your local Microsoft field office will probably be open to distributing the bits to customers who are interested in exploring SQL Server 2005—just use your usual channels for communicating with your local Microsoft sales representatives.
The second CTP includes several performance and quality fixes, 64-bit support for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and Integration Services (formerly Data Transformation Services—DTS), the ability to browse tables and view data directly from the Management Studio interface, a graphical view designer, enhancements to graphical Showplan support, and a new Job Activity Monitor UI in SQL Server Agent.
Microsoft has also released a Technical Preview for SQL Server Express Manager. This is a new, free, database-management tool built on the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Express Manager is designed to manage SQL Server 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE), and SQL Server 2005 Developer and Express Edition databases on both local and remote computers. This tool is a boon to MSDE users who, for the most part, have been relegated to using unlicensed copies of Enterprise Manager, buying third-party tools, or relying on the command line to manage MSDE.
The Express Manager CTP supports SQL Server 2000, but remember that using beta software in production environments isn't smart unless you carefully control and manage the software with support from Microsoft. You can find the Express Manager CTP download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8f92556a-6c3b-47d2-9929-ecdc5a4d25ae&DisplayLang=en .
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2. News & Views
"What do you expect your total base salary compensation to be in 2004?" Here are the results from the 309 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
"Are you participating in Microsoft's Community Technology Preview (CTP) program for SQL Server 2005?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://www.sqlmag.com ) and submit your vote for
3. Reader Challenge
Winners of the December Reader Challenge: A Dashboard Application by Umachandar Jayachandran, email@example.com
Congratulations to Dan Barrett and Anith Sen, an independent database consultant in Cordova, Tennessee. Dan won first prize of $100 for the best solution to the December Reader Challenge, "A Dashboard Application." Anith won second prize of $50. You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the December Reader Challenge at
Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the January Reader Challenge, "Eliminating Recompilation" (below). Submit your solution in an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 16. Umachandar Jayachandran, a SQL Server Magazine technical editor, will evaluate the responses. We'll announce the winner in an upcoming SQL Server Magazine UPDATE. The first-place winner will receive $100, and the second-place winner will receive $50.
Here's the challenge: Sam, a database architect for a company that auctions products online has a database hosted primarily on SQL Server 2000. The Web site for the auctions is transactional in nature. While investigating a performance problem, Sam notices lots of stored procedures performing various operations with temporary tables. By using SQL Server Profiler, Sam determines that several large stored procedures' performance problems are caused by excessive recompilations during execution. To see the kind of problem Sam's dealing with, download the sample stored procedure at http://list.windowsitpro.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eibm0McMHC0Kj40BNWF0A4 . You can observe the behavior in Sam's production environment by setting up a Profiler trace that has the following events:
SP:Starting RPC:Starting SP:StmtStarting SP:Recompile SP:Completed RPC:Complete Objects:Auto Stats
Observe the events during the sample stored procedure's first execution because the sample code is simple, so subsequent executions will use the cached plan. The recompilation of the stored procedure when it hits the SELECT statement mimics the behavior in the production system. Assuming that Sam wants to retain the temporary table logic and make minimal changes to the stored procedure, how can he reduce or eliminate the recompilation of the stored procedure for the SELECT statements that are accessing the temporary tables?
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5. Peer to Peer
Here are two examples of using foreign key constraints to improve performance. The first one works correctly, but the second (because it adds NOCHECK) returns incorrect results.
Read the rest of this tip today at
Unlike Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor, which was optimized for 64-bit processing at the expense of 32-bit compatibility, AMD's 64-bit Opteron and Intel's EM64T Xeon processors offer full 32-bit performance along with 64-bit compatibility. Both chips extend the design of the 32-bit x86 architecture to 64 bits, with the new 64-bit extensions generically called x86-64 or x64. Although these chips don't offer the scalability of the 64-bit Itanium, systems built around these chips are a major upgrade from today's 32-bit systems. The 64-bit wave is about to break. In his December editorial, "The 64-Bit Tidal Wave," Michael Otey says that if you're considering a SQL Server upgrade in the next year, one of these 64-bit platforms should be on your short list. Read this article today at http://list.windowsitpro.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eibm0McMHC0Kj40BNWI0A7
Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
Performance Difference: T-SQL vs. Stored Procedures
Job Hangs but Execute DTS Works—Help!
Cannot Shrink Log File
Storing Special Characters
Index on a Bit Column
ALERT: Are You Coding Secure Web Applications?
Learn why 70% of today's successful hacks involve Web Application attacks such as: SQL Injection, XSS, and Parameter Manipulation. All undetectable by Firewalls and IDS! Get the Top 10 Most Critical Code-Based Web Application Vulnerabilities:
6. Events Central
This year's summit will focus on exciting new features of the next release—SQL Server 2005. Summit features four tracks: Business Solutions, DBA, Developer-DBA, and Business Intelligence. Keynote delivered by Bill Baker, Microsoft General Manager of SQL Server. Call 1-877-MSEVENT or register online (reference event code: 1032256747) at
Sign up today for this free, 1-hour Web Seminar and learn how to ensure your SQL Server applications are always highly available. You'll also discover ways to best protect your mission-critical data and gain a better understanding of the associated metrics helping to quantify the value of your SQL Server-based application data. Register now:
See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events
7. New & Improved
by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com
NSI Software announced Double-Take 4.4, host-based data-replication and failover software that lets organizations recover data quickly from day-to-day downtime and disasters. New features in the latest release include new compression capabilities that allow on-the-fly changes of compression levels so that users can manually alter compression levels for different times of day; provide the ability to set compression levels for individual servers whose data won't benefit from compression; and automatically determine whether data will benefit from compression. In addition, Double-Take's management console lets administrators in large IT environments filter server views so that multiple administrators can manage selected servers. New email notifications let administrators receive crucial updates through PDAs, cell phones, and standard email clients. The product automatically checks the NSI Web site for upgrades and patches, then presents the new options for administrators to review and install at the same time as the primary software. Pricing for Double-Take 4.4 starts at $2495 per license. For more information, contact NSI Software at 888-674-9495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HiT Software announced Allora 4.0, software that facilitates bidirectional data-transformation between XML formats and relational databases. The latest release includes a wizard-driven code-generation tool that creates executable code to perform XML-to-RDB and RDB-to-XML transformations. In addition to mapping between XML schemas or DTDs and tables or SQL query results, the product offers mapping between XML documents and stored procedure parameters and result sets. Other additions include new lookup rules in the product's set of customization options and increased support for advanced features of XML schemas and database structures, including support for additional data types. The product supports 19 different database platforms, including SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, and MySQL. For pricing and other information, contact Hit Software at 408-345-4001 or email@example.com.
Innovartis announced DB Ghost 3.1, change-management software for SQL Server. The software lets you verify, report on, and automatically deploy changes to databases; compare databases or database schemas; build new databases; and upgrade databases even if they aren't on your network. New DB Ghost features in this release include multiple directories that you can choose for SQL objects to let the product work with any source-code organizational structure; the ability to switch off collation comparisons; the ability to enforce a column ordinal position; an enhanced UI; the ability to synchronize databases under all known conditions; and the ability to abort processing when a change process fails. A 30-day trial copy of DB Ghost 3.1, which includes free technical support, is available at http://www.innovartis.co.uk/evaluation.aspx . Pricing for DB Ghost starts at $795 for a single-machine license. For more information, contact Innovartis at 44(0) 208-241-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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