In This Issue:
Last week, Microsoft announced the SQL Server 2005 SP2 CTP. Check out the preview and learn about the new SQL Server enhancements coming your way.

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October 12, 2006

Editor's Note:
Next Thursday, we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. SQL Server Magazine UPDATE will take a holiday that day, too, so look for the next edition coming your way on Thursday, November 30.

1. Perspectives

  • What’s New for You in SP2?

2. SQL Server Watch

  • Product Milestones Benefit Information Workers, IT Pros and Developers
  • Focus: SQL Server Management Tools: Where Do I Find It in SQL Server 2005?
  • Product Watch: Confio Software and SQL Sentry

3. Hot Articles

  • Reader to Reader: Handy CLR Functions That You Can Call from T-SQL Code
  • Editorial: Itanium’s Comeback
  • In a Nutshell: New Book on Reporting Services
  • Hot Threads: Tool Time and Administration

4. Events and Resources

  • Consolidating Events on a Centralized Server
  • Digging for Buried Treasure to Recover Data
  • Learn the Basics of Linux and Windows Interoperability
  • Incorporate Virtual Machines into Your Disaster Recovery Plan

5. Featured White Paper

  • Disaster Recovery Isn't Just a Theory

6. Reader Challenge

  • November Reader Challenge Solution: Parse and Insert Data from Uploaded Image Files
  • December Reader Challenge: Improve T-SQL to Prevent Deadlocks

7. Announcements

  • SharePoint Pro Online—LIVE!
  • Save $40 on SQL Server Magazine
  • Make Your Mark on the IT Community!

8. Web Community

  • http://www.sqlmag.com

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1. Perspectives

What’s New for You in SP2?
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

Last week, Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition Release Candidate 1 (RC1), and a Community Technology Preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2). It was a busy week. I’ve discussed the implications of the 2007 Office release on the SQL Server world a number of times, and I’ll be revisiting this topic in the near future now that the 2007 Office system is available. I’ll also be discussing SQL Server Compact Edition in an upcoming editorial. But this week, let’s chat about the SQL Server 2005 SP2 CTP.

You can download the CTP from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp.mspx. What do you do with a CTP? Microsoft advises and encourages customers to experiment with the CTP in a way that lets them provide feedback that Microsoft can incorporate into the final SP2 release. Should you use this CTP in production? I hope you know the answer is no. Microsoft further clarifies with this advice: “As with all CTPs, we do not advise putting them into production because Microsoft does not provide support for these pre-release versions. However, we do recommend that customers download the CTPs, use them in a test environment and provide feedback so we can improve the final release. The exceptions are the customers in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP). Microsoft provides additional support to these customers to find out how the bits run in a real world environment.”

What are some of the most significant enhancements in SP2? Make sure to check out the Microsoft Web site for complete details, but some of the most significant enhancements include:

  • support for the pending release of Windows Vista
  • data-mining add-ins for the 2007 Office system
  • Oracle support in Report Builder, which lets you use Report Builder directly on top of Oracle data sources
  • SQL Server Reporting Services support for Hyperion
  • a new type of data compression, implemented by means of a new data type called varDecimal, which has practical performance-enhancement implications for such implementations as large data warehouses and SAP environments
  • numerous manageability enhancements that include maintenance plans, management reports, and a new-and-improved copy-database wizard
  • the addition of management reports for SQL Server Express and new support that lets SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition manage SQL Server Compact Edition databases

When will the final bits for SP2 become available? Microsoft says that SQL Server 2005 SP2 should be released after the launch of Windows Vista, which is still on track for delivery in the first quarter of 2007. Enjoy.


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2. SQL Server Watch

Product Milestones Benefit Information Workers, IT Pros and Developers
Yesterday at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Community Summit in Seattle, Microsoft Senior Vice President of Server Applications Paul Flessner delivered a keynote address that highlighted several product milestones related to Microsoft’s data platform. Flessner particularly noted the availability of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for SQL Server 2005, which delivers key updates including data compression, increased business intelligence (BI) functionality, manageability enhancements, support for Windows Vista, optimization for the 2007 Office system, and security updates relating to Common Criteria. Flessner explained that customers have given Microsoft feedback that they want security assurances, so the company is pursuing Common Criteria certification on the Enterprise Edition of both SQL Server 2005 SP1 and SP2. Common Criteria evaluation is a procurement requirement of many governments and a preference for several industries and customers.

Flessner also announced the Release Candidate (RC) of SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition, a new offering for essential relational database functionality in a compact footprint. SQL Server Compact Edition (formerly dubbed SQL Server Everywhere Edition) lets developers and administrators use their existing skills and be immediately productive while building and supporting the next generation of applications.

A major announcement for the database developers in the crowd was the release to manufacture (RTM) date for Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (Team Data), which has been set for November 30, 2006. Team Data provides a foundation for change management, development, testing, and deployment of databases through integrated functionality that lets database developers and administrators be more productive, reduce risk, and improve quality.

In addition, Flessner highlighted plans to provide process guidance for database professionals included in the Microsoft Solutions Framework. This process guidance demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making the database professional a full-fledged participant in the application lifecycle.

You can download the SQL Server 2005 SP2 CTP at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp.mspx , download SQL Server Compact Edition RC1 at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=85e0c3ce-3fa1-453a-8ce9-af6ca20946c3&displaylang=en, and get more information about Team Data at httphttp://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/teamsystem/aa718807.aspx.

Focus: SQL Server Management Tools: Where Do I Find It in SQL Server 2005?
Lost in the maze of new SQL Server 2005 features and interfaces? Here’s how to find some of your favorite tools.

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Identify Bottlenecks in SQL Server or Oracle Databases
Confio Software announced Ignite for SQL Server, a performance-monitoring tool for SQL Server 2005 and 2000 databases that works alongside its current Ignite for Oracle solution to provide a common platform to monitor databases on both platforms. Ignite for SQL Server uses a wait-time-based approach, which measures the time impact of bottlenecks inside the database and correlates them with the end-user application service. This analysis helps to instantly identify the exact SQL and database process that's creating the most delay for end users. Ignite Alerts provide advance notice of accumulating bottlenecks on screen or through email, cell phone, or pager messages. Ignite for SQL Server is also agentless, letting you capture performance data without installing agents on production systems. For more information, contact Confio Software at 303-938-8282 or 866-266-3461 or visit http://www.confio.com.

Manage SQL Server and Oracle Scheduled Events
SQL Sentry announced that SQL Sentry Event Manager, which helps DBAs manage scheduled events, now supports Oracle, letting you manage SQL Server, Windows Task Scheduler, and Oracle in the same platform. Event Manager for Oracle Enterprise Edition (EE) functionality includes visual schedule management, performance monitoring, alerting and response actions, graphical reporting, and advanced chaining. Event Manager automates a logical workflow between SQL Server and Oracle, and the product’s interface provides insight over all scheduled database events, regardless of platform. For more information, contact SQL Sentry at 704-895-6241 or sales@sqlsentry.net or visit http://www.sqlsentry.net.


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3. Hot Articles

Reader to Reader: Handy CLR Functions That You Can Call from T-SQL Code
Send your SQL Server code, comments, discoveries, and solutions to r2r@sqlmag.com.

Here are 17 string-manipulation functions written in Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++ that you can call from T-SQL code. Read this article today at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/50251/50251.html.

Read the answer to this question today.

Editorial: Itanium’s Comeback
Despite media rumors, Intel's Itanium is still alive and well. Find out how its high-end power will save it from demise. Read this article today and post your comments at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/93546/93546.html.

In a Nutshell: New Book on Reporting Services
In this week’s blog, Kevin Kline recommends a new Reporting Services book that’s full of useful example code and case studies. Read this week’s entry and post your own thoughts today at http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/94179/sql_server_blog_94179.html.

Hot Threads:


4. Events and Resources

The Event log (for Windows systems) and Syslog (for UNIX/Linux systems) contain a wealth of information. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about the processes, challenges, and benefits of consolidating events on a centralized server, and you’ll identify the 50 critical events that should be monitored in your enterprise. Live Web seminar: Wednesday, December 13.

When disaster strikes, do you feel like you're digging for buried treasure to recover your data? Test your disaster recovery skills, and you could win! Each week we'll give away a USB flash drive to one lucky treasure hunter. You'll also be entered to win the full treasure chest, including Bose headphones! Test your skills now!

Learn the basics of Linux and Windows interoperability, and find out more about how to use Linux and open-source tools such as Samba and pam_ldap with Microsoft tools such as IdMU, MSNFS, and SUA. Register today for this free seminar with industry expert Dustin Puryear, and get access to three additional seminars discussing virtualization, single sign-on, and database replication. Find out more today! Live event: Thursday, December 14.

Incorporate Virtual Machines into Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Join us for a free Web seminar to learn how incorporating virtual machines into your disaster recovery plan can reduce your TCO by 50 percent or more, reduce hardware cost, and simplify management. Find out more from industry leaders at VMware and CA XOsoft. Available now!

Bonus: Register for any Web seminar—live or on-demand—during the month of November, and you could win a PS3! View a full list of eligible seminars at http://www.windowsitpro.com/events/Index.cfm?Filter=webSeminars&fID=1.

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5. Featured White Paper

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6. Reader Challenge

November Reader Challenge Solution: Parse and Insert Data from Uploaded Image Files
by Umachandar Jayachandran, challenge@sqlmag.com

There were no winners for the November Reader Challenge, "Parse and Insert Data from Uploaded Image Files." You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the November Reader Challenge at http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/94285/sql_server_94285.html.

December Reader Challenge
Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the December Reader Challenge, "Improve T-SQL to Prevent Deadlocks" (below). Submit your solution in an email message to challenge@sqlmag.com by November 22. 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:
Manoj is a database developer for a company that develops business applications that use SQL Server 2000 as a database server. In Manoj's environment, the database that the applications use contains a table that stores sequential numbers used by various features. The table stores the name of the sequence and the next number. The schema of the table is shown in the following code:

USE tempdb
GO
CREATE TABLE dbo.Sequences ( SeqName varchar(30) NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
NextNum bigint NOT NULL DEFAULT 0)
INSERT INTO dbo.Sequences (SeqName, NextNum) VALUES( 'Sequence #1',
DEFAULT )
INSERT INTO dbo.Sequences (SeqName, NextNum) VALUES( 'Sequence #2',
DEFAULT )
INSERT INTO dbo.Sequences (SeqName, NextNum) VALUES( 'Sequence #3',
DEFAULT )
GO

The database also contains a GetNextSeqNum stored procedure, which the applications use to get the next number in a particular sequence. The stored procedure is shown in the following code:

USE tempdb
GO
CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.GetNextSeqNum (@SeqName varchar(30), @NextNum
bigint = NULL OUTPUT)
AS
BEGIN
    BEGIN TRANSACTION
    SET @NextNum = (SELECT NextNum FROM dbo.Sequences WHERE SeqName =
@SeqName)
    UPDATE dbo.Sequences
    SET NextNum = NextNum + 1
    WHERE SeqName = @SeqName
    COMMIT TRANSACTION
END
GO

When Manoj tests the stored procedure with concurrent SQL Server connections, he notices that some of the calls encounter deadlocks and fail. Modify the stored procedure logic to help Manoj resolve the deadlock problem.


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6. Announcements

SharePoint Pro Online—LIVE!
A premier virtual event for developers and administrators of Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies brought to you by MSD2D and the Windows IT Media Community. This event will demonstrate, showcase and exhibit the premier companies in the SharePoint market. The conference will bring industry experts to the desktops of attendees, educating them on various SharePoint topics. TO REGISTER: http://events.unisfair.com/rt/sharepoint?code=mix.

Save $40 on SQL Server Magazine
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Make Your Mark on the IT Community!
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7. Web Community

 


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