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January 12, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Fast Refresh: SQL Server 2005 BOL
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Microsoft Provides Resource Portal for Upgrading to SQL Server 2005
  • 3. News & Views

  • Microsoft Missed Vista Code-Complete Milestone, Plans for February CTP
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Your Primary Language
  • New Instant Poll: 2006 Employment Outlook
  • 4. Reader Challenge

  • January Reader Challenge: Deploying a Startup Parameter on All Servers
  • February Reader Challenge: Imposing Data Restrictions
  • 5. Events and Resources

  • EBOOK
  • WHITE PAPER
  • ESSENTIAL GUIDE
  • WEB SEMINAR
  • 6. Featured White Paper

  • Exchange Server 2003 High Availability
  • 7. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Rotating a SQL Server Table
  • Hot Article: Meet the Innovators!
  • In a Nutshell: Everybody Needs a Map
  • Hot Threads
  • 8. Announcements

  • Become a VIP Monthly Pass Subscriber
  • Celebrate the New Year with SQL Server Magazine
  • 9. New & Improved

  • Simplify XML Data Integration
  • Symantec Completes BindView Acquisition
  • Sponsor: Infommersion
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    1. Perspectives


  • Fast Refresh: SQL Server 2005 BOL

  • by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

    Although SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) isn't out yet (and no, I have no idea when it will be), you can already get a new-and-improved version of SQL Server 2005 Books Online (BOL) at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD54:7B3DA .You can download the updated BOL or view it directly from your www browser.

    The new BOL has a lot of great new content. The topic "New and Updated Books Online Topics" gives you a concise list of all the recent changes and makes it easy to see topics that are brand new as well as topics that have been modified in some way. Another convenient way to track down new content is to look for tags that indicate recent updates; new topics are marked with the tag "New: 5 December 2005," and updated topics are marked with "Updated: 5 December 2005." These tags appear directly in the subjects that have been changed. A handy feature for digesting the reasonably large number of new changes is the Change History Log, which shows up at the bottom of each entry that has had significant changes. I'm not sure what the official Microsoft answer is, but it seems that these change log is intended to be cumulative as new BOL releases are made into the future. The Change History Log summarizes new content and modifications to the existing topic, so you can quickly read up on new changes as the product matures over time.

    Although I can't cover the scope of all the new and updated content in this small space, the new BOL edition summarizes its most important changes:

  • Setup and upgrade instructions
  • Information about new features and backward compatibility
  • Conceptual descriptions of the technologies and features in SQL Server 2005
  • Procedural topics describing how to use the various features in SQL Server 2005
  • Tutorials that guide you through common tasks
  • Reference documentation for the graphical tools, command prompt utilities, programming languages, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that are supported by SQL Server 2005
  • Descriptions of the sample databases and applications included with SQL Server 2005
  • I've always been a geek, interested in decoding the mysteries of SQL Server by studying system tables and other related metadata sources, so one of the new topics that piqued my interest was a new FAQ about how to query the System Catalog to perform certain commonly requested tasks such as:

  • How do I find all the tables that do not have a clustered index in a specified database?
  • How do I find all the entities that belong to a specified schema?
  • How do I find all the tables that do not have a primary key?
  • How do I find all the tables that do not have an index?
  • How do I find all the tables that have identity columns?
  • How do I find the data types of the columns of a specified table?
  • How do I find the dependencies on a specified function?
  • How do I find all the tables that do not have a clustered index?
  • I think it's great that Microsoft is adding more practical to BOL. But I hope they don't take it too far, or people might want to stop reading magazines.


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    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch


    Microsoft Provides Resource Portal for Upgrading to SQL Server 2005
    If your company is planning for or evaluating an upgrade to SQL Server 2005, you can find a variety of resources and information at the Microsoft SQL Server TechCenter site. The site's theme for the month of January is "Upgrading to SQL Server 2005," and Microsoft has assembled a wealth of tools and resources to help you narrow your search for upgrade answers. The sites home page features links to tools, including the SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Advisor and the SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Handbook; articles, including links to specific SQL Server 2005 Books Online (BOL) topics; Webcasts; E-Learning courses; Virtual Labs; and community events. The site also features a list of SQL Server MVPs and their upcoming speaking engagements. You can access the portal site at
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD57:7B3DA


    Sponsor: Microsoft
    Learn how to leverage new features in SQL Server 2005 to greatly extend your existing backup and restore capabilities. Live Web Seminar: February 7, 2006
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD55:7B3DA


    3. News & Views


    Microsoft Missed Vista Code-Complete Milestone, Plans for February CTP
    by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com

    In early December 2005, Microsoft publicly announced that it planned to internally ship a code-complete version of Windows Vista by the end of 2005, setting the stage for a future code-complete Community Technology Preview (CTP) build that the company would issue to testers. However, sources in Redmond tell me that the company didn't reach this milestone, and Microsoft plans to ship a code-complete Windows Vista version internally by January 31, 2006, instead.

    For its part, Microsoft says that Windows Vista is still on schedule. "\[Corporate Vice President\] Amitabh \[Srivastava\] said in the November conference call that Microsoft would have the majority of features code-complete by the end of 2005 and integrated into the product in early 2006," a Microsoft representative told me. "The development team is right on track with that guidance."

    What's odd is that the next CTP--now due on February 17, according to my sources--will be based on a code branch that predates the code-complete version. This suggests that the next CTP might not be code-complete as previously expected, though it will likely include virtually all the features Microsoft intends to ship in Windows Vista. Microsoft confirmed today that the next CTP will be issued in February but didn't corroborate the February 17 date.

    As I write this, Microsoft is internally testing Windows Vista build 5293. This suggests that the next CTP build could be in the 5300 range, as Microsoft is currently expected to fork over the Windows Vista code base for the February CTP on January 23, 4 weeks before the ostensible February 17 ship date.

    Results of Previous Instant Poll: Your Primary Language
    "What is your primary development language?" Here are the results from the 205 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 16% Visual Basic 6.0
  • 33% Visual Basic .NET
  • 33% C#
  • 5% C++
  • 14% Java or another language
  • New Instant Poll: 2006 Employment Outlook
    "What's the employment outlook for IT jobs at your company in the coming year?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD67:7B3DA ) and submit your vote for

  • My company plans to add IT jobs
  • My company plans to maintain the current number of IT jobs
  • My company plans to cut IT jobs
  • My company has no IT jobs
  • 4. Reader Challenge


    January Reader Challenge Solution: Deploying a Startup Parameter on All Servers
    by Umachandar Jayachandran, challenge@sqlmag.com

    Congratulations to Dimitar Dimitrov a MCP, MCDBA, and MCAD of Hebrosbank Plovdiv, Bulgaria, who won first prize of $100 for the best solution to the January Reader Challenge, "Deploying a Startup Parameter on All Servers." Only one submitter met the expectations set by the problem for the January challenge. You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the January Reader Challenge at
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4F:7B3DA

    February Reader Challenge: Imposing Data Restrictions
    Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the February Reader Challenge, "Imposing Data Restrictions"(below). Submit your solution in an email message to challenge@sqlmag.com by January 19. 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:
    Arun is a database architect who designs database schemas for products that use SQL Server 2000 and 7.0. Arun is currently working on a schema for a product that lets end users configure field names. The product's schema table contains a column that stores a field name, and this field name is displayed in the product's UI. The table can be installed under any case-insensitive database collation supported by SQL Server. The schema of the table looks like this:

       CREATE TABLE meta_FieldNames ( fieldid int NOT NULL primary key,
       fieldname nvarchar(50) NOT NULL )

    As part of the schema design, Arun wants to allow only a mix of upper or lowercase alphabetical characters with no numbers, international alphabet characters (e.g, accent marks, tildes) or special characters in the field names. How can he impose this restriction on the "fieldname" column of the table?

    5. Events and Resources


  • EBOOK

  • Find out how fax technology can benefit your bottom line and improve business processes.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD51:7B3DA

  • WHITE PAPER

  • Evaluate the costs of losing information and learn what realtime information management means and how to accomplish it in your business.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4E:7B3DA

  • ESSENTIAL GUIDE

  • Learn the essentials about how consolidation and selected technology updates build an infrastructure that can handle change effectively.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD59:7B3DA

  • WEB SEMINAR

  • Get the tools, tips, and training that you need to avoid a messaging meltdown when an outage strikes. View this seminar today:
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD53:7B3DA

  • See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.

  • http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD62:7B3DA


    6. Featured White Paper


  • WHITE PAPER

  • Plan and implement reliable strategies to maintain highly available Exchange Server 2003 messaging systems.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD52:7B3DA


    7. Peer to Peer


  • Hot Tip: Rotating a SQL Server Table

  • by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, questions@sqlmag.com

    Q. One of my users has requested that I change the way I display the cost elements associated with a particular booking. Instead of merely listing the cost elements, this user would like me to produce a table that, in his opinion, provides a clearer breakdown of the booking requirements. The new table needs to show the total quantity of each cost element required at each rate and on each day. How can I use my current database tables to produce the display the user requires?

  • Read the answer to this question today at

  • http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD56:7B3DA

  • Hot Article: Meet the Innovators!

  • Daily, DBAs and developers wrestle with a multitude of challenges as they strive to keep data clean and transactions humming, construct queries that give users exactly the data they need, or write applications to improve business processes. We know that the database pros who are our readers have devised innovative solutions to meet such challenges. In the January issue of SQL Server Magazine, we honor three SQL Server Professionals who have created innovative solutions to problems they faced at work. Read about the solutions created by the winners of our 2005 SQL Server Magazine Innovator Awards today at
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD50:7B3DA

  • In a Nutshell: Everybody Needs a Map

  • In the December issue of SQL Server Magazine, reader's received a new SQL Server 2005 system view map. You can also download the map from Microsoft. In this week's blog "Everybody Needs a Map," Kevin Kline reflects on the incredible evolution of SQL Server and the necessity of using a map to navigate this complex product. Read the blog and let Kevin know your thoughts today at
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD58:7B3DA

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD5F:7B3DA

    SQL Server General Discussion: Active Directory LDAP Query
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4C:7B3DA
    T-SQL: Generating a Random Order Number (int)
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD49:7B3DA
    Administration: Buffer Latch Error
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4B:7B3DA
    Development: How to Concat from a Grid of Data
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4A:7B3DA
    SQL Server 2005 General Discussion: Upgrade Performance
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD48:7B3DA
    SQL Server 2000/7.0 General Discussion: Urgent--SQL Jobs
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD4D:7B3DA

    8. Announcements


  • Become a VIP Monthly Pass Subscriber

  • Sign up now and get a VIP Monthly Online Pass that includes online access to ALL the articles, tools, and helpful resources published in SQL Server Magazine, Windows IT Pro, and the Exchange and Outlook Administrator, Windows Scripting Solutions, and Windows IT Security newsletters. You'll also have 24 x 7 access to a database of more than 25,000 online articles that will give you all the answers you need, when you need them. BONUS--Includes the latest issue of Windows IT Pro each month. Sign up now for just $29.95 per month.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD5B:7B3DA

  • Celebrate the New Year with SQL Server Magazine

  • You won't want to miss any of SQL Server Magazine's upcoming 2006 issues. Subscribe now and discover the best ways to plan for a successful SQL Server 2005 upgrade, the value of integrating Visual Studio 2005, ways ADO.NET 2.0 solves your problems, the annual Top SQL Server Tips issue, and much more! You'll also gain exclusive access to the entire SQL Server Magazine online article database FREE and SAVE up to $40 off the full cover price. Subscribe today:
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD5C:7B3DA

    9. New & Improved


    by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

    Simplify XML Data Integration
    Stylus Studio announced the latest release of its XML IDE, Stylus Studio 2006 XML Enterprise Edition. The new release features updated support for both XQuery 1.0 and Extensible Style Language Transformations (XSLT) 2.0, both of which have integrated support for Stylus Studio 2006 XML Deployment Adapters. The Deployment Adapters are Java components that let you read and write, whether your data source is XML, relational, EDI, or legacy data. Additional features include Folding XML Code support and integrated support for the Saxon SA 8.6 processor. Pricing for Stylus Studio 2006 XML Enterprise Edition starts at $895 for a single-user license. You can develop the Deployment Adapters by using the product, but you can deploy them only by purchasing a deployment license, which starts at $1000 for a single processor. For more information, contact Stylus Studio at stylusstudio@stylusstudio.com or 781-280-4488.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD64:7B3DA

    Symantec Completes BindView Acquisition
    Symantec Corporation announced the completion of its acquisition of BindView Development Corporation. This partnership provides users with a choice of agentless or agent-based solutions that let them define, control, and sustain their compliance requirements. With Symantec and BindView together, users will have a solution from a single vendor that will offer policy and vulnerability management. For more information about Symantec's acquisition of BindView, contact Symantec at 408-517-8000 or BindView at 713-561-4000.
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1DD66:7B3DA

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  • SQL Server Magazine UPDATE is brought to you by SQL Server Magazine, the only magazine devoted to helping developers and DBAs master new and emerging SQL Server technologies and issues. Subscribe today.
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