This Issue Sponsored By
This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, who offer products and services that might interest you. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for SQL Server Magazine UPDATE.

Free Disaster Recovery Toolkit for the SQL DBA

Consolidate Your SQL Server Infrastructure

The new Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System

Readers' Choice for Scheduling and Notifications


September 1, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • No Need to Rush to the CLR

2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Exclusive: Latest Windows Vista, Longhorn Server, WinFS, SQL Server 2005 Timelines Revealed

3. News & Views

  • Give Us Your Two Cents -- You Could Win $100!
  • MSDN Subscribers Will Get Early Access to SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: How's Your Work Week?
  • New Instant Poll: Using SQL Server Express

4. Events and Resources

  • Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe
  • SQL Server Magazine Connections Fall 2005
  • Discover SQL Server 2005 for the Enterprise -- Are You Prepared?
  • Avoid The 5 Major Compliance Pitfalls
  • Register Now for the 2005 PASS Community Summit

5. Featured White Paper

  • The Impact of Disk Defragmentation

6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Hardware and Software Resources for Analysis Services
  • Hot Article: The SQL Server Steamroller
  • In a Nutshell: Change Tracking in SQL Server Books
  • Hot Threads

7. Announcements

  • 2005 Heartland Developers Conference -- Register Today!
  • Monthly Online Pass = Quick SQL Server Answers!

8. New & Improved

  • Get Enterprise Job Management for SQL Server
  • Generate Data for Testing and Quality Assurance
  • Learn New ASP.NET 2.0 Features

Sponsor: Free Disaster Recovery Toolkit for the SQL DBA
Written by SQL Server expert Brian Knight, this handy, "how-to" toolkit contains comprehensive first-hand advice and scripts for SQL Server DBAs that need to build and implement a successful disaster recovery plan. With his tips and quips, Brian walks the DBA through real-world scenarios using an easy, step-by-step approach. And as part of the download, you'll receive four scripts, which will greatly speed your recovery time!

1. Perspectives

  • No Need to Rush to the CLR
  •     by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

    It's been close to a year since I last wrote a doom-and-gloom editorial about the pending release of SQL Server 2005's Common Language Runtime (CLR), commonly called the SQLCLR. I decided to get back up on my soapbox one last time before the release to manufacturing (RTM) of SQL Server 2005 later this fall.

    Let me start by saying that I think the SQLCLR is a wonderful addition to SQL Server and is unquestionably one of SQL Server 2005's most significant features. The CLR provides a way to craft elegant solutions to application and database problems that you can't easily handle on the Web layer or through T-SQL.

    Even so, you shouldn't always do a thing just because you can. My primary concerns about the CLR involve performance tuning, which is where I spend most of my billable time these days. Today, most corporate IT shops (and most consulting companies) have relatively few people who are skilled in the art of diagnosing and solving database performance problems. That's not good or bad; it's just fact that I've encountered while working with a few dozen customers around the country. Many developers still don't even really grasp the fundamental fact that set-based operations are generally orders of magnitude more efficient than row-by-row operations.

    Today, writing database-server code requires at least a rudimentary knowledge of T-SQL and some understanding of database principles in general. A knowledge mismatch between the .NET world and the database world often prevents .NET experts with zero database skills from writing lots of server code. But the SQLCLR removes that impediment. .NET developers will be able to write incredibly elegant solutions--as well as utterly hideous solutions. Arguably that's not much of a change from today's situation. But currently, at least one person wearing the DBA hat in an organization understands T-SQL and performance tuning and can help fix the worst of the inefficient procedures. Alas, for the first few months after SQL Server 2005 ships, and probably much longer, DBAs simply won't be up to speed on .NET code deployed in the SQLCLR and will have limited ability to troubleshoot it.

    Microsoft has wisely turned off the CLR in SQL Server 2005 in accordance with its comprehensive "off by default" policy, which is designed to present a small attack surface to potential intruders. So here's my advice: Get excited about the SQLCLR. Use it wisely to create really cool solutions. Take advantage of its capabilities, especially if you're in a shop blessed with SQL Server performance experts who are skilled with .NET. But don't rush to use the SQLCLR just because you can. Much of the server-side code you'll write for SQL Server 2005 will still be T-SQL, and that won't change in the immediate future. And if you're a DBA, don't be afraid to push back at development teams clamoring to enable the SQLCLR if you don't feel comfortable supporting it right away.


    Consolidate Your SQL Server Infrastructure
    Shared data clustering is the breakthrough consolidation solution for Microsoft Windows servers. In this free white paper, learn how shared data clustering technology can reduce capital expenditures by at least 50%, improve management efficiency, reduce operational expenses, ensure high availability across all SQL Server instances, and more! Find out how you can reduce the overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for SQL Server cluster deployments by as much as 60% over three years!


    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

    Exclusive: Latest Windows Vista, Longhorn Server, WinFS, SQL Server 2005 Timelines Revealed

    by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com

Windows Vista

Despite rumors to the contrary, but in keeping with the schedule I first published on the SuperSite for Windows months ago, Microsoft is planning to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 in late 2005, not in early 2006. According to internal documentation I recently reviewed, Vista Beta 2 is scheduled to be "feature complete" by September 29, 2005. Then, Vista Beta 2 will enter lockdown mode between October and November 9, 2005. After that date, Vista Beta 2 will be in escrow and will ship on December 7, 2005, about 3 weeks later than the last schedule I obtained stated.

Longhorn Server

Except for the release to manufacturing (RTM) date, all the Vista dates apply to Longhorn Server as well. But once we reach summer 2006, Longhorn Server will fork from the Vista client release schedule. We'll see an RC2 release of Longhorn Server on October 18, 2006, and the RTM release on January 10, 2007, according to the latest documentation. That's a much earlier release date than previously anticipated.

WinFS

Microsoft surprised a lot of people by shipping WinFS Beta 1 yesterday (see story below), and as it turns out, the project is suddenly well ahead of schedule. I've seen two contradictory schedules for WinFS. In the more recent schedule, WinFS Beta 1 will be followed by at least one Community Technology Preview (CTP) release, which is currently due February 15, 2006. Then, on May 1, 2006, Microsoft will release WinFS Beta 2. Beta 3 is currently scheduled for November 15, 2006, with a Beta 3 Refresh release expected in April 2007. WinFS is currently scheduled for RTM in third quarter 2007, well after Longhorn Server.

SQL Server 2005

SQL Server 2005 will ship within months. On September 13, 2005, the first day of the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005, Microsoft will announce that SQL Server 2005 has hit the RC1 milestone, and the company will place the code into escrow in anticipation of the final release. The English language version of SQL Server 2005 is currently expected to RTM on October 14, 2005, about 3 weeks before its public launch. Other language versions will ship in December 2006 and January 2007.

  • Improved solutions for operations (model applications and validate their intended environments).
  • Functions that check your code for security issues and coding errors.
  • Collaboration among all members of your software team (including architects, developers, testers, and operations managers).
  • Customization of with over 450 supplemental products from over 190 partners.

Discover the new Visual Studio 2005 Team System. Communicate. Collaborate. Create.

Get the free Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta

3. News & Views

Give Us Your Two Cents -- You Could Win $100!

SQL Server Magazine's second annual salary survey, which profiles the careers, salaries, and job satisfaction of SQL Server professionals, is available online, and we need your help. We want to find out all about you and your job: what kind of work you do, how much you make (and how that figure compares to your peers!), what challenges you face, and what makes you satisfied in your job. When you complete the survey (which should take about 15 minutes), we'll enter you in a drawing for one of five $100 American Express gift certificates. Look for the survey results in our December issue.

MSDN Subscribers Will Get Early Access to SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005

    by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com

Results of Previous Instant Poll: How's Your Work Week?

"How many hours do you work in a typical week?" Here are the results from the 140 votes:

  • 25%   Up to 40 hours
  • 55%   41 to 50 hours
  • 15%   51 to 60 hours
  •  1%   61 to 70 hours
  •  4%   More than 70 hours

New Instant Poll: Using SQL Server Express

"What would you use SQL Server Express for?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=12972:285886 ) and submit your vote for

  • Keeping track of collections such as entertainment media (CDs, DVDs, etc.)
  • Small business database
  • Teaching/learning database principles
  • Other
  • I have no use for SQL Server Express

4. Events and Resources

Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe

Back by popular demand -- Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005! SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a one-year membership to PASS and one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine.

SQL Server Magazine Connections Fall 2005

Celebrate the release of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 at SQL Server Magazine Connections, November 7-10, in Las Vegas. Every attendee will go home with a fully licensed copy of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition with 1 CAL AND Visual Studio 2005 Professional. Call 203-268-3204 or 800-438-6720 for details.

Discover SQL Server 2005 for the Enterprise -- Are You Prepared?

In this free, half-day event you'll learn how the top new features of SQL Server 2005 will help you create and manage large-scale, mission-critical, enterprise database applications -- and make your job easier. Find out how to leverage SQL Server 2005's new capabilities to best support your business initiatives.

Avoid The 5 Major Compliance Pitfalls

Based on real-world examples, this Web seminar will help C-level executives as well as IT directors and managers avoid common mistakes and give their organization a head start in ensuring a successful compliance implementation. Register today and find out how you can avoid the mistakes of others, improve IT security, and reduce the cost of continually maintaining and demonstrating compliance.

Register Now for the 2005 PASS Community Summit

The 2005 PASS Community Summit, September 27-30 in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas, is your final chance to get in-depth information about Microsoft SQL Server 2005 prior to its upcoming official launch. Register today for the LARGEST user-driven SQL Server educational event!

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

The Impact of Disk Defragmentation

Nearly every IT professional has a fragmentation horror story in which fragmentation severely degraded performance and made a disk unusable. In this free white paper, learn what impact fragmentation has on users and system activities and discover how quickly fragmentation accumulates as a result of these activities. Plus, get the recommendations you need to manage the frequency of fragmentation across your infrastructure.

Hot Tip: Hardware and Software Resources for Analysis Services

     by Carl Rabeler, carl@solidqualitylearning.com

Hot Article: The SQL Server Steamroller

In sharp contrast to most of Microsoft and the computer industry in general, SQL Server posted double-digit growth numbers for Q3 2005. Even more impressive is the fact that this marked the eleventh straight quarter that SQL Server achieved double-digit revenue growth. In his September editorial "The SQL Server Steamroller," Michael Otey explores the forces behind SQL Server's phenomenal growth rate.

Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.

Hot Spot

Readers' Choice for Scheduling and Notifications

SQL Server Magazine Readers honor sqlSentry as the Best Job Automation and Scheduling Tool and the Best Alerting/Notification Software. Try it now, and see how you can significantly reduce the time spent on daily operational tasks. See why Brian Knight, SQL Server MVP says, "You never know how you lived without sqlSentry."
 

2005 Heartland Developers Conference -- Register Today!

2 days, 16 sessions. We're selling out fast for the 2005 HDC, in Cedar Rapids, IA, October 13th & 14th. A $75 registration fee includes all sessions, lunches, snack breaks, the Developer Lounge, and two networking parties. See national speakers Rob Howard, Rocky Lhotka, Andrew Troelson, and more. Register at
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=12970:285886

Monthly Online Pass = Quick SQL Server Answers!

Sign up today for your Monthly Online Pass and get 24 x 7 access to the entire online SQL Server Magazine article database, including exclusive subscriber-only content. That's a database of over 2500 SQL Server articles to help you get all the answers you need, when you need them.

Share Your Story and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Tell us how your favorite product solved a SQL Server problem for you, and if we print your submission in the magazine's Hands On department we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt.

Get Enterprise Job Management for SQL Server

Idera announced SQLschedule 2.0, job-management and scheduling software designed to meet the needs of enterprise SQL Server implementations. The software provides a central console that gives you multi-server job management, scheduling, task chaining, alerting, reporting, and schedule-optimization capabilities. Enhanced features in the new release include a Microsoft Outlook-style interface, customized event views, integration with Idera SQLsafe backup and recovery, external scheduler support, and advanced task chaining. SQLschedule 2.0 costs $995 per SQL Server instance, including all components, and a 30-day trial version is available for download. For more information, contact Idera at 877-464-3372, 713-523-4433, or info@idera.com.

Generate Data for Testing and Quality Assurance

DTM Soft announced DTM Data Generator, software that quickly, automatically generates data for large-scale database testing and quality assurance. The software creates realistic test data, saving database developers countless hours. One of the most valuable features of the new release is its ability to recognize foreign keys. The program also comes with a Rules Wizard, which lets database developers and DBAs generate vast amounts of data, specifying parameters for each table and setting the order in which tables appear. In addition, the software recognizes check constraints for common DBMSs such as SQL Server and takes them into account when creating the test data. A data pack that the software creates can contain multiple tables, each with its own rules, value range, and parameters. And the software can create SQL statements for any operation. Pricing for DTM Data Generator starts at $145 for a single-user license. A free demonstration copy is available for download, and a time-limited trial version is available on request. For more information, contact DTM Soft at support@sqledit.com.

Learn New ASP.NET 2.0 Features

Murach Books announced "Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader's Guide, C# Edition," a book written specifically for experienced ASP.NET developers who use C#. The text gives an overview of the most significant new features in ASP.NET 2.0 and explains how to use them. Then, the book presents details about each new feature, including Microsoft Access, SQL Server, and XML data sources; the GridView, DetailView, and FormView controls; object data sources that allow binding to custom business objects; login and site navigation controls; profiles; the MultiView and Wizard controls; themes; Web parts for building portals; and tools for configuring and deploying new applications. For a complete table of contents or other information, contact Murach Books at 800-221-5528 or murachbooks@murach.com.