You may have heard by now that Microsoft has released a new version of the SQL Server 2005 Books On-Line (BOL).  You should absolutely have this version in your toolkit.  Get it at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=331B2:7B5CC.  Also note that this version incorporates the once separate content of SQL Server 2005 Express.  And as I've mentioned in a separate blog entry, there's a new version of the SQL Server 2005 Samples and Sample Databases that support BOL. The download is available at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=331A7:7B5CC.

On a separate note, SQL Server Magazine has opened its 2006 SQL Server Magazine Innovators Contest.  The contest is for SQL Server users using SQL Server to solve interesting problems and offer innovative solutions to the challenges of true business and scientific applications.   The prize is excellent!  Grand-prize winners will receive airfare and a conference pass to SQL Server Magazine Connections in Las Vegas, November 6-9, 2006 and a write up in the January 2007 issue of SQL Server Magazine. I wish I could enter this contents.  Details are at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=331BC:7B5CC.  Oh, and remember the deadline is September 1st.

We get by with a little help from our friends, so participate in this year's SQL Server Magazine Industry Salary Survey.  The more of us that answer, the more complete and reliable the results will be. The survey takes about 10 minutes and puts you in the running for one of five $100 American Express gift certificates. Take the survey at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=331B8:7B5CC and the results will be published in the December edition of SQL Server Magazine.

Finally, please consider attending this year's PASS Community Summit in November.  We're tracking record-breaking attendance already.  So I encourage you to get registered soon.  We have over 130 sessions dedicated to all things SQL Server with more MVPs, more authors, more Microsoft team members, more smart users, and more industry reknown speakers in attendance to help you learn the best tips and techniques for SQL Server 2005 and 2000.  Plus, you'll network with the industry's largest concentration of hardworking SQL Server users like yourself.  Check out all the details at http://www.sqlpass.org.

Cheers,

-Kevin