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November 4, 2004
2. News and Views
4. Peer to Peer
5. Events Central
6. New and Improved
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by Brian Moran, email@example.com
If you live in the United States, you likely had to remember to set your clocks back 1 hour last Sunday at 2 a.m. (except for those lucky folks in Arizona, most of Indiana, and Hawaii). By now, you've probably managed to change all your clocks—except that pesky one in your car dashboard—and enjoyed your extra hour of sleep. But did you know that SQL Server Agent also got an extra hour of sleep?
SQL Server MVP Ron Talmage shared with me an interesting tidbit about how the change from Daylight Saving Time (DST) affects SQL Server Agent on servers that have the DST switch set on. By Sunday at 2:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (ST), Ron had spent the past hour verifying that no SQL Server Agent jobs scheduled to run at 2 a.m.—none on his local server, none on his remote servers—had run. The reason is that at 1:59:59.999 DST, all remaining scheduled jobs had Next Run Dates and Times of 2 a.m. or greater. So when the server time changed from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m., no scheduled jobs ran for 1 hour. This break happens in the Northern Hemisphere only and will recur this spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
So, across the Northern Hemisphere, in time zones that "fell back" from DST to ST on October 31 and for SQL Servers whose server time is set to observe DST, all scheduled SQL Server Agent jobs stopped running for 1 hour Sunday. Put another way, in the United States, time zone by time zone Sunday, there was one time zone that had no scheduled SQL Server Agent jobs running during the hour starting at 2 a.m. DST. As 2 a.m. DST changed to 1 a.m. ST, in a sliding time scale from East Coast to West Coast, SQL Server Agent on DST servers didn't execute any scheduled jobs for an hour.
For fun, Ron stayed up late and manually forced a job run during the repeated hour. Although the run shows up in the job history, the execution of the job didn't change the Next Run Date/Time.
Did the time change affect any of your scheduled jobs? If so, you might have figured out the reason by now. And just to be safe, if you run jobs of any kind during the weekend, you might want to double-check that SQL Server Agent's extra hour of sleep didn't cause any problems, such as a missed backup, in your environment.
2. News & Views
Brussels SQL Server Day Draws 1007 Attendees
Brussels SQL Server Day, an event produced by SQL Server Magazine and the Windows IT Pro Custom Events Group, drew 1007 attendees from 20 countries to the Kinepolis cinema complex in Brussels last week. Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Intel were the main sponsors, and 12 additional vendors participated in the on-site Solutions Expo. Attendees packed two theaters in separate tracks for developers and DBAs. Keynote speakers were SQL Server Magazine contributing editor Itzik Ben-Gan and Microsoft MVP William Vaughn. Ben-Gan, Vaughn, and other Microsoft, HP, and Intel speakers addressed developing Reporting Services applications, troubleshooting SQL Server resource bottlenecks, deploying 64-bit SQL Server machines, and manipulating XML data in SQL Server 2000.
The day ended with cocktails, a question-and-answer panel led by Gert Drapers of the Microsoft SQL Server development group, and prize giveaways from various sponsors, including two Xboxes with games and copies of SQL Server 2000 with Reporting Services.
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4. Peer to Peer
Hot Tip: Remotely Installing a SQL Server Hotfix
by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Can I install a SQL Server hotfix via a remote desktop session from a Windows XP workstation, or do I need to be on the SQL Server system to install the hotfix?
Read the answer to this question today at
Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) solves some serious security problems but carries with it some connectivity issues for SQL Server users. XP SP2 is more than a set of bug fixes or a rollup of Microsoft's latest security patches. XP SP2 also adds many new features to XP and changes some of the system's default security settings. In his November editorial, "XP SP2 and SQL Server," Michael Otey walks through XP SP2's new features and their effects on SQL Server. Read this article today at
Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
Debugging .NET Code in a Compiled Assembly
Reporting Services Reports Inaccessible from Internet
Counting Query Cost
User Access to the Master Database
Testing for Fractions
DTS: Importing from Excel
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6. New & Improved
by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com
SoftArtisans announced the SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Edition of OfficeWriter, software that lets end users design, publish, and deliver Reporting Services and ASP.NET reports directly from Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. OfficeWriter creates RDL files, but unlike Reporting Services' default Excel output, Excel-based reports from OfficeWriter retain all Excel features including pivot tables, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, macros, advanced formulas, and charts. And without OfficeWriter, Reporting Services can't deliver reports in Word format. OfficeWriter-rendered documents preserve all of the Word features that the user's Word template contains. Through an integrated toolbar, users access a data source and insert data or text through merge fields and repeat blocks. Users can then save, preview, edit, and publish their reports to the Reporting Services server for distribution. The Reporting Services Edition of OfficeWriter is packaged with the Enterprise Edition of OfficeWriter 2.5, or you can purchase the product separately. Pricing for the product is per server CPU. For pricing details and other information, contact SoftArtisans at 877-763-8278.
Idera announced SQLsafe 1.1, backup-and-restore software designed for enterprise-scale SQL Server implementations. The product provides compressed, encrypted backup; automated multiserver backup management; a central repository of backup and restore information; and rapid enterprisewide deployment. SQLsafe includes advanced compression, disk writing, and multithreading technologies that increase backup speeds and SQL Server availability. The variable-compression technology reduces the size of backup output files by as much as 95 percent, resulting in reduced storage costs and simplified backup-and-recovery strategies for very large databases (VLDBs). And an enterprise console interface and DynamicDeployment technology lets you start your restore operation in seconds, eliminating time wasted hunting for backup files, restore software CD-ROMs, and license codes. SQLsafe costs $995 per SQL Server instance and is available alone or as part of Idera's SQLsuite Advanced Edition. For more information, contact Idera at 713-523-4433 or 877-464-3372.
Metamatica Software announced MetaReport 2.0 for Windows, a report-building tool that lets you use multiple data sources to create reports. Users who work in heterogeneous environments can access data in SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, dBase, Paradox, InterBase, and other database platforms for reporting purposes. And users can deliver reports in a variety of formats, including text, comma separated value (CSV) files, XLS files, HTML, and PDF. This flexibility means you can build a report with MetaReport and process it later in Excel or another application, put it on the Internet, email it to a colleague, or make it part of a presentation. You can save report templates and even lock them to prevent anyone else from altering them. A single copy of MetaReport costs $99.95, and a free evaluation copy is available on the company's Web site. For more information, contact Metamatica Software.
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