When you're looking for SQL Server-related add-ons and resources, you can find updates, tools and utilities, code samples, product documentation, and SQL Server technologies on the SQL Server home page (http://www.microsoft.com/sql). But most people don't realize that the bulk of Microsoft's SQL Server downloads aren't there but are on the general downloads site (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads). To display the 270 posted SQL Server downloads, choose SQL Server from the download page's Product/Technology drop-down menu. You'll see all the publicly available downloads that are directly or indirectly related to SQL Server. Here are the five most interesting SQL Server downloads available from the Microsoft downloads page.

Reporting Services Evaluation Edition


SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services lets you develop and deploy reports by using SQL Server and other ODBC- and OLE DB-compliant databases. Unfortunately, the full version of Reporting Services is available only on CD—you can't download it from the Web. However, if you want to learn more about Reporting Services, you can download and test the 120-day evaluation version.

Stress-Test and Performance-Analysis Tools


This download provides two command-line tools, Read80Trace and OSTRESS. Read80Trace processes trace files that SQL Server 2000 generates and yields performance data in either RML files or a database. OSTRESS runs queries against a SQL Server system to test the system's I/O performance.

SQLH2


The SQL Server Health and History (SQLH2) tool collects and stores information about installed SQL Server instances—the services each instance is using, server configuration settings, and server-uptime and performance-counter statistics. SQLH2 Reports is a related download that provides a set of Reporting Services reports for SQLH2 information.

XM December CTP


The new SQL Server 2005 Express Manager (XM) is a lightweight management tool for Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) and SQL Server 2005 Express. XM lets you create and browse databases and database objects, includes a query editor and command-prompt execution functionality, can manage SQL Server 2000 systems, and like SQL Server Enterprise Manager, functions in an always-connected mode.

SQL Server 2005 Express December CTP


SQL Server 2005 Express isn't a full version of SQL Server, but it previews some of the most important features coming in SQL Server 2005, including Common Language Runtime (CLR) integration, the new XML data type, SQL Management Objects (SMO), and support for new T-SQL enhancements. However, it doesn't include SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS), Reporting Services, SQL Server 2000 Notification Services, or SQL Server 2005 Service Broker.