In This Issue:
Google's recent announcement of its OneBox for Enterprise raises lots of questions for database folks who believe the database is the best place to run all your applications. What if we're wrong and search is really where it's at?

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April 27, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Enterprise-Class Data Management—from Google?

2. News & Views

  • Hotfix Addresses SQL Server 2005 Access-Violation Error Message
  • Workaround Corrects Slow INSERT Operation
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: What is BI?
  • New Instant Poll: UPDATE's Best Parts
  • Bonus Instant Poll: Summer Vacation

3. Events and Resources

  • What You Should Do Before an Email Outage Occurs
  • Spam Fighting and Email Security for the 21st Century
  • Benefits of Server Virtualization
  • DR Lessons Learned from Katrina and Rita

4. Featured White Paper

  • Filtering the Spectrum of Internet Threats

5. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Merry Go Round Scans
  • Hot Article: Query Data Samples in a Table
  • In a Nutshell: An Insider's View of Microsoft
  • Hot Threads

6. Announcements

  • Exclusive Spring Savings
  • Save 44% On the Windows Scripting Solutions

7. New & Improved

  • Model, Create, and Maintain Databases
  • Anticipate User and Management Issues

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1. Perspectives

Enterprise-Class Data Management—from Google?
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

It's not often that the business section of the Washington Post (my local newspaper) provides an interesting topic for my opinion column. However, recent articles about Google's ventures into business-centric search avenues have gotten me asking a lot of "what if" questions. In one of the snippets that got me thinking, the Washington Post announced, "Google introduced software that lets business users scour for information in programs including Oracle, Cisco Systems, and Salesforce.com." Cognos was also included in the list of companies participating in the partnership.

Hmm. That sounds like a database front end in some ways.

Here's another snippet: "During the most recent financial quarter, Google spread its Web empire to include an online video store, a financial news Web site, various programs for Google Mobile and a site that delivers a collection of free software from other companies. It introduced Google Calendar just last week, and it recently purchased a word-processing software company and upgraded its email and chat software."

Hmm. That sounds like a growing collection of the pieces that an end user might expect to see as the core of their desktop experience.

I did a bit more reading and came across an article in Red Herring, "Google Boosts Business Search" (http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=16549&hed=Google+Boosts+Business+Search+§or=Industries&subsector=Computing), which describes how the newly announced Google OneBox for Enterprise appliance will help customers perform secure searches on all of their company data by using the standard Google interface. The article quotes Paul Hulford, senior product marketing manager at Cognos, who touts the benefits of letting users get their data by performing a simple Google-style search instead of using business-intelligence, sales-force automation, and inventory-management applications. The article goes on to quote Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google's enterprise business, who emphasizes how much money companies spend on such applications. "Search really has the potential to become the unifying element to any application," says Girouard.

Google plans to sell the OneBox for Enterprise appliance to customers for a fixed license cost and will open up the product's development interfaces to let developers, systems integrators, and software vendors create their own modules.

Wow. That sounds like a pretty slick environment for front-ending a wide array of applications. Microsoft has made great strides in SQL Server 2005 Full Text Search, but Google it ain't.

I know that Google has amassed a huge lead in the search space, ahead of Microsoft and Yahoo, its primary competitors. And I remember people saying (as they still do) "The browser is an application and will replace the desktop as we know it." I also remember Oracle trying to convince people a few years back that the database was the correct place to run everything, including your email. But what if everyone was wrong and search is really where it's at?

Sure, I know there will always be applications that will never lend themselves to a search paradigm. But a vast number of corporate systems boil down to being nothing more than a way to find, present, and visualize data stored somewhere in the enterprise. I wouldn't be surprised if initial versions of OneBox For Enterprise will be more fluff than meat. But OneBox is certainly an intriguing idea that could have profound implications for corporations if Google can make it work and get broad-spectrum buy-in from major ISVs, integrators, and the independent software development community.


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2. News & Views

Hotfix Addresses SQL Server 2005 Access-Violation Error Message
Have you been stumped by an access-violation error after running a SELECT query in SQL Server 2005? Microsoft has announced a hotfix for the error that occurs only when all of the following conditions are present: The SELECT query must contain a reference to a user-defined function (UDF), the UDF references a table variable, the query contains a second table-variable reference, and a recompile event occurs during the query execution. Microsoft will support the hotfix for only those systems experiencing this specific problem. If you aren't severely hampered by this problem, you might want to wait until the hotfix has undergone further testing and is released with the next SQL Server 2005 service pack. If your situation meets these conditions and you want an immediate fix, check out the information in the Microsoft article "FIX: You may receive an access violation error message when you run a SELECT query in SQL Server 2005" at
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28792:1036D

Workaround Corrects Slow INSERT Operation
Microsoft recently announced a workaround for an INSERT operation bug. You may experience slow performance when using INSERT to enter many rows into an empty table containing a full-text index in SQL Server 2005. If this problem sounds familiar, you might also have noticed the row insertion speed decreases with an increase in the number of rows. You can blame an incorrect execution plan for this. With an empty table, the Clustered Index Scan execution plan is used instead of the Clustered Index Seek execution plan. In this scenario, the increase in the table size is not accounted for with the SQL Server query optimizer, resulting in a performance slow-down.

If this description fits your situation, you can use one of the three following workarounds:

  • Separate the rows into more batches to present fewer rows to the INSERT operation.
  • Set the full-text index for Change Tracking to Manual. However, you will have to remember to start or schedule the Change Tracking property manually to apply changes.
  • Wait until you complete the INSERT operation before you build the full-text index.

To learn more about this workaround, see Microsoft Bug Report 412873 (SQLBUDT), "The INSERT operation is very slow when you try to insert many rows into a table that contains a full-text index" at
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28791:1036D

Results of Previous Instant Poll: What is BI?
"To me, business intelligence is...?" Here are the results from the 61 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 5% Getting information to high-level executives who plan our business strategy
  • 0% Getting information to sales staff so that they can improve our sales
  • 11% Setting up automated reporting so that business users can get reports without bugging IT
  • 70% All of the above
  • 13% An oxymoron

New Instant Poll: UPDATE's Best Parts
"What part of SQL Server Magazine UPDATE is most valuable to you?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28799:1036D ) and submit your vote for:

  • I always read the commentary.
  • The links to online articles are helpful.
  • I like the monthly Reader Challenge puzzle.
  • I'm always interested in product information.
  • I like the info about events and resources.
  • Nothing particular—I just skim for anything that catches my eye.

Bonus Instant Poll: Summer Vacation
Our sister publication, Windows IT Pro, wants to know what our readers are doing this summer. What are your summer vacation plans? Please visit the Windows IT Pro home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28793:1036D ) and submit your vote for:

  • Taking 1 week
  • Taking 2 weeks
  • Taking 3 weeks
  • Not taking any time off
  • Taking my work to the beach

3. Events and Resources

How do you ensure that your email system isn't vulnerable to a messaging meltdown? In this Web seminar, Exchange guru Paul Robichaux tells you what you should do before you have an outage to increase your chances of coming out of it smelling like roses.
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28787:1036D

Learn the best ways to manage your email security (and fight spam) using a variety of solutions and tips.
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Expert Ben Smith describes the benefits of using server virtualization to make computers more efficient. Download this exclusive podcast today!
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Make sure that your DR systems are up to the challenge of a real natural disaster by learning from messaging survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Live Event: Tuesday, May 2
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See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.
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4. Featured White Paper

Examine the risks of allowing unwanted or offensive content into your network and learn about the technologies and methodologies to defend against inappropriate content, spyware, IM, and P2P.
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28782:1036D


5. Peer to Peer

Hot Tip:
Merry Go Round Scans

by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

Q: Our developers use SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition for testing, and we also use the Developer Edition for our stress-testing boxes. We often see significantly different performance for some queries when we roll out an application to production on the Standard Edition. What could be causing the variance?
A: Read the answer to this question today at
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2878B:1036D

Hot Article:
Query Data Samples in a Table

SQL Server 2005 introduces a new TABLESAMPLE clause that lets you query a random sample of data from a table (either an exact number of rows or a percentage of rows), instead of querying the entire table's data. In his April T-SQL 2005 column "Query Data Samples in a Table," Itzik Ben-Gan explains the benefits of using this clause and demonstrates how you can use new SQL Server 2005 features such as TABLESAMPLE with databases based on earlier versions of SQL Server. Read this article today and post your comments at
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2878C:1036D

In a Nutshell:
An Insider's View of Microsoft

In his blog, Kevin Kline links to a fellow blogger's site and encourages you to read the raging debate about the quality of Microsoft leadership. Read the blog today and let Kevin know your opinion at
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2878D:1036D

Hot Threads:
Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28790:1036D

  • Administration: Replication
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2877F:1036D
  • OLAP/Data Warehousing: Analysis Manager Error
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28780:1036D
  • Database Design: Questions About Imaging
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28781:1036D
  • SQL Server 2005 Management Tools: SQL Server 2005 Agent Configuration Problems
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2877E:1036D

Hot Spot
The Starter PKI Program

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6. Announcements

Exclusive Spring Savings
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Save 44% On the Windows Scripting Solutions
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7. New & Improved


by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Model, Create, and Maintain Databases
Datanamic announced DeZign for Databases 4, a database design and modeling tool. A new built-in utility lets you compare two different data model versions, then export the differences to an HTML file. DeZign for Databases features configurable HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word reports, letting you configure the elements to include when you generate your data-model reports. The product also features integrated reverse-engineering support. For more information, contact Datanamic.
http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=28798:1036D

Anticipate User and Management Issues
Heroix announced upgrades to its agentless performance-monitoring and reporting software, Longitude 3. A new feature, Event Correlation, lets you detect situations unique to your business, customize notifications, and make the best use of your existing staff without needing to learn a scripting language. Enhanced service-level agreement (SLA) monitoring, reporting, and events show performance from a business perspective and help you anticipate user and management issues. Longitude also features email notification, SNMP trap notification, and automated corrective actions. You can manage all actions or notifications through a single interface. For more information, contact Heroix at info@heroix.com, sales@heroix.com, 617-527-1550, or 800-229-6500
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