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February 5, 2004—In this issue:
1. SQL SERVER PERSPECTIVES
- Get to Know Reporting Services
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Article Helps You Install Management Tools
- Article Shows How to Maintain Database Accuracy in Any Language
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: Jumping into Reporting Services
- New Instant Poll: Which OS Do You Use?
- SQL Server Opinions Needed
- Dig a Little Deeper into SQL Server
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: An Offer You Can't Refuse
- Hot Thread: Database Roles
- Tip: Evaluation Edition Is Closer to Enterprise Edition
- SQL Server Magazine Connections: Win a Harley-Davidson
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Make Faster, Smarter Business Decisions
- Manage Multiple Copies of Your Database
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
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1. SQL SERVER PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Microsoft released SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services to the public last week, and now, every SQL Server shop is wondering how the new product can help its business. SQL Server professionals need to gain a basic understanding of Reporting Services' features and architecture because a non-SQL Server person will ask you about Reporting Services' capabilities. There isn't a business entity in the world that doesn't do some kind of reporting. You might not be the person responsible for reporting in your organization right now, but as a SQL Server professional, you might become the person your coworkers come to for help because Reporting Services provides at least 85 percent of most competitive solutions' benefits.
Reporting Services is loaded with features for creating, managing, and delivering paper and Web-based reports. I covered Reporting Services in October in my commentary "Reporting Services Is the Future," available at http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=40545. If you're looking for more detail, you can go to Microsoft's Reporting Services home page at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/default.asp. Existing SQL Server users can order Reporting Services from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/howtobuy/retailfulfillment.asp, and MSDN Universal subscribers can download Reporting Services from a private subscriber area. Reporting Services is free for existing SQL Server users if you deploy it on the same machine as your SQL Server instance. I encourage you to read the FAQ at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/howtobuy/faq.asp for more information about licensing-agreement terms.
High-end reporting solutions can cost up to six figures to deploy, which is a substantial amount of money (even for Fortune 500 companies). Reporting Services might not provide all the features of the high-end reporting tools, but it does provide most of them—and the price is right. I'd be surprised if an organization ignored a free version of Reporting Services to drop $50,000 to $100,000 on a high-end product.
Only time will tell whether Reporting Services will see a wide-scale distribution, but it will have a significant effect on the reporting market. I have dozens of customers who use various reporting packages, including high- and low-end solutions. Every one of them plans to evaluate Reporting Services. Even if your organization decides not to deploy Reporting Services, the product will be part of your future as a SQL Server professional. Someone might even ask you to defend the decision to spend cash on a solution that you could have gotten for free.
To help me gauge Reporting Services' market acceptance, please tell me about your experiences with Reporting Services. Do you expect Reporting Services to make a big splash in the reporting market? Does Reporting Services lack features that prevent you from deploying it? Let me know what you think.
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2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
Microsoft released a step-by-step article that describes how to distribute and install SQL Distributed Management Objects (SQL-DMO) for SQL Server 2000. SQL-DMO is a dual-interface, in-process COM server that's implemented as a DLL and helps you programmatically manage SQL Server. When you create a SQL-DMO application, you can use any OLE Automation controller or any COM client development OS that uses C or C++. Read the Microsoft article "How to Distribute and How to Install SQL-DMO for SQL Server 2000" at
If your organization needs to store data in multiple languages in one database, then you know the importance of understanding collations to maintain the readability and accuracy of your data. A collation encodes the rules governing the proper use of characters for either a language, such as Greek or Polish, or an alphabet, such as Latin1_General (the Latin alphabet that Western European languages use). To find out what collation a server is currently using, you can run the sp_helpsort system stored procedure in SQL Server Query Analyzer. But what do you need to know to really manage collations? To help you, Microsoft released the article "How to transfer a database from one collation to another collation in SQL Server." The article defines collation and how to transfer a database from one collation to another in either SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 7.0. In addition, the article includes references to other Microsoft articles that provide detailed explanations of collations and how to work with them. You can read this article at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "Do you plan to use SQL Server Reporting Services?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 267 votes:
- 15% Yes, we're already using it
- 37% Yes, but we're trying the evaluation edition first
- 33% Maybe, but not right away
- 11% No, we use another reporting method
- 4% No, we don't produce reports
The next Instant Poll question is "What OS are you running SQL Server on?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) Windows Server 2003 2) Windows XP Professional, 3) Windows 2000 Server or Professional, 4) Windows NT Server or Workstation, or 5) Windows 9x or Me.
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SQL Server Reporting Services is one of the best late Christmas presents you'll ever receive. Reporting Services--an add-on for SQL Server 2000 that delivers report authoring, management, and delivery capabilities--fills the one big hole that still exists in SQL Server: the inability to generate reports for the database. Best of all, it's free for all existing SQL Server 2000 license holders. In his February editorial, "An Offer You Can't Refuse," Michael Otey says you can't ignore what Reporting Services is offering. Read this article today at
Cinderella wants to know how to copy a role from one database to another. A forum participant suggested that Cinderella could script the copy in Data Transformation Services by using the Transfer SQL Server Objects task, but such a script would copy the users along with the roles. Cinderella wants only the roles and doesn't want to have to delete unwanted users. Cinderella also wants to know how to copy the permissions along with the roles; can she do this even though the permissions might not match? Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Administration forum at
by Brian Moran, email@example.com
I've seen customers end up with inaccurate benchmarks by conducting tests on SQL Server Evaluation Edition (which is basically Enterprise Edition) when they plan to deploy Standard Edition. In the same vein, SQL Server Developer Edition is essentially Enterprise Edition with a few extra licensing restrictions, so performance could vary between queries running on Developer Edition versus those running on Standard Edition. Keep these distinctions in mind when you're working with different editions of SQL Server.
Send your technical questions to Brian Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SQL Server Magazine Connections will be held April 18-21 along with the concurrently running Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and Visual Studio Connections conferences. Save $200--get access to all three conferences for one low price, and get a chance to win a Harley-Davidson. Register online or call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204.
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com)
ProClarity announced ProClarity for Reporting Services, analytic software that's integrated with SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services. The software lets report authors create reports in Reporting Services without having to manually write complex MDX queries. ProClarity provides an intuitive UI through which authors can create OLAP data sets and queries, and authors can use the Reporting Services XML Report Definition Language (RDL) to publish reports. ProClarity also gives report authors the ability to create new OLAP data sets or edit existing data sets for current reports. Because the software is designed specifically for use with Reporting Services, businesses don't have to invest in third-party reporting software. For pricing and more information, contact ProClarity at 208-344-1630.
Best SoftTool announced SQLDBCompare 2.2, a schema comparison and synchronization tool that lets individuals and project teams manage multiple copies of the same database on SQL Server 2000. With SQLDBCompare, users can compare database structures and schemas for database objects such as tables, stored procedures, user-defined functions (UDFs), views, triggers, indexes, and constraints. Users can view the results at a high level or drill down to more detailed information. The tool is designed for use in organizations that have various database environments such as development, test, staging, and production or distributed SQL Server databases in which schema or code updates to each database can occur at different times. Pricing for SQLDBCompare 2.2 starts at $279 for a 2-user license, and a 14-day trial version is available for download. Contact Best SoftTool at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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7. CONTACT US
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