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April 15 , 2004—In this issue:
1. SQL Server Perspectives
- Top Best Practice? Learning Best Practices
2. News and Views
- ARTech Case Study: Easing Development for SQL Server CE
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: Authentication
- New Instant Poll: Do You Subscribe?
- Try a Sample Issue of Windows Scripting Solutions
- On the Go? SQL Server Magazine Has a Portable Resource!
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Best Practices Analyzer
- Hot Thread: Intra-Query Parallelism Error
- Tip: SQL Server 2000 and Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
5. Events Central
- SQL Web Seminar—Maximizing Application Performance with SQL Server
- SQL Web Seminar—Tactics for Protecting Microsoft SQL Server
6. New and Improved
- Select Individual Records for Migration
- Get Free MSDE Management Tools
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1. SQL Server Perspectives
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor)
For several years, I've bemoaned the lack of best practices available from Microsoft and other vendors. Whether or not vendors believe they have a responsibility to provide such information to their customers, helping make customers successful is unquestionably in a vendor's best interest. Best practices achieve that goal. I've used this space to tell you about the Microsoft Patterns and Practices Web site more than once, but the small number of customers who seem to be aware of it constantly disappoints me. So I'm getting back on my soapbox this week. The Patterns and Practices Web site is a valiant attempt by Microsoft to share best practices with its customers.
In SQL Server Magazine's February issue, Michael Otey describes his five favorite database-centric guidebooks from the Patterns and Practices Library. You can read about his top picks in "Patterns and Practices". Sandy Kahund, group product manager with the Microsoft Platform Application Guidance group, told me more about Patterns and Practices. "At Microsoft, we've built some powerful products, but understanding how to use them correctly often makes the difference between a successful deployment and a troublesome project," he noted. "Patterns and Practices is Microsoft's way of providing guidance and reusable assets that help customers not only go faster, but do it smarter."
Microsoft's Patterns and Practices Web site will need to continually change and grow as best practices evolve, but I think the Web site has made tremendous progress since I started using it more than 2 years ago. Microsoft has provided more and more content over time and is delivering the information through different media, creating a critical mass of useful best practices. You'll still find gaps in the content, but Microsoft is constantly adding new information. As I noted, Microsoft presents the material in a variety of ways—online books, bound books from Microsoft Press, and Webcasts—that make the information accessible to matter what your learning style. The Patterns and Practices Web site is an important resource for SQL Server professionals to integrate into their educational and research and development time.
Patterns and Practices is also launching a conference series. The international Patterns and Practices Summit showcases Microsoft's official patterns and practices for developers, designers, and solutions architects who need to learn how to integrate architectural design patterns and procedures with .NET technology. This model breaks from that of traditional conferences in which each session has little, if any, relation to other sessions and too many sessions focus on explaining how to use features rather than how to build solutions across multiple product sets. Besides the conference and print materials, Microsoft also presents a weekly series of Webcasts called Patterns & Practices Live, conducted by professionals from the Patterns and Practices team. "These 1-hour interactive sessions create a great opportunity to establish a dialogue with our customers to continually improve our guidance," Kahund said. I like the multimedium format for distributing these best practices, and I encourage you to find the delivery vehicle that best meets your needs.
I shouldn't have to tell you why best practices are important. Building IT solutions today is hard, and each product generation makes mastering even a single product harder. Can you maintain world-class expertise in all the products necessary to build a comprehensive solution? Probably not. Most product education and documentation from vendors tend to be feature-centric—you can find out how to twist the knobs, but not in the best order and not how to put the whole IT solution together in the best way. Theoretically, that's exactly what a best practices-centric approach to sharing technology information should do—tell you how to put the puzzle together so everything fits. Perhaps the most important best practice of all is taking the time to learn best practices and incorporate them into your daily routines.
Sponsor: SQL Web Seminar—SQL Server Backup and Recovery
Data availability is crucial for business service, so it's important to have the processes and technology in place to reduce the risk of data outages and make for quick recoveries. Attend a free, one-hour Web seminar on April 29, sponsored by BMC Software. You'll learn relevant and executable SQL Server Backup and Recovery best practices that work to minimize the impact of database outages and protect those business services that are dependent on data. Register today and get a free SQL-BackTrack License:
2. News and Views
Thinking about developing applications with SQL Server CE? You might be interested in a solution from ARTech. ARTech, which offers developer tools for knowledge-based database projects and application development, wanted to enhance the capabilities of its rapid application development (RAD) tool, DeKlarit. To DeKlarit, an add-on to Visual Studio .NET, ARTech added support for SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition databases and Windows Forms for the .NET Compact Framework. ARTech's tool generates the business-logic layer for a Compact Framework application, implements typed databases for the .NET Compact Framework, then auto-generates the user interface by creating Windows Forms. To see how DeKlarit facilitates SQL Server CE development, read the Microsoft case study "Code Generator Eases Development for SQL Server CE, .NET Compact Framework Forms" at:
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "What type of authentication do you use in your SQL Server environment?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 312 votes:
- 54% SQL Server and Windows authentication (mixed)
- 12% SQL Server authentication
- 10% Windows authentication
- 22% Both, for different situations
- 2% I'm not sure
The next Instant Poll question is "Do you subscribe to SQL Server Magazine?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) yes, 2) no, but I plan to, 3) not personally, but I read a pass-around copy at work, or 4) no.
Windows Scripting Solutions is the monthly newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that shows you how to automate time-consuming, administrative tasks by using our simple downloadable code and scripting techniques. Sign up for a sample issue right now, and find out how you can save both time and money. Click here!
Introducing version 8 of the SQL Server Magazine Master CD. Subscribe today and get portable, high-speed access to all articles, code, tips, tricks, and expertise published in SQL Server Magazine and T-SQL Solutions. The CD features articles by such experts as Brian Moran and Kimberly L. Tripp. Subscribe now:
Microsoft left many SQL Server features undocumented so that the product developers could freely change those features in later releases or even service packs. This article is the first in a series exploring some undocumented features and back doors that T-SQL programmers can use. Beware, undocumented features can change without warning, and Microsoft won't help you if undocumented features don't work the way you expect them to. In his February T-SQL Black Belt column, "T-SQL Back Doors," Itzik Ben-Gan provides some keys that open hidden back doors to special T-SQL objects. Read this article today at:
If you're a new SQL Server administrator or a part-time DBA who isn't familiar with SQL Server, you'll find Microsoft's new administration tool, the SQL Server 2000 Best Practices Analyzer, invaluable. The Best Practices Analyzer uses a rule reference to check for implementation of common best practices, most relating to usage and administration. The rules include more that 70 best practices and guidelines that Microsoft provides for managing and operating your system. You can also define your own set of best-practice rules. In his April SELECT TOP(X) column, "Best Practices Analyzer," Michael Otey shares his seven favorite rules that the Best Practices Analyzer checks for. Read this article today at:
Anapaula has a query that works in one database but doesn't work in another database that has the same structure and exists on the same server. The error that anapaula gets is "(8650) Intra-query parallelism caused your server command (process ID #58) to deadlock. Rerun the query without intra-query parallelism by using the query hint option (maxdop 1)." Have you received this error before? Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Development forum at:
by Brian Moran
Q. I get an error message when I try to install SQL Server 2000 on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. How can I install SQL Server on this OS version?
A. Windows Server 2003's Web Edition doesn't support SQL Server 2000 Standard and Enterprise editions. This restriction is a conscious licensing decision by Microsoft. You need to upgrade to Standard or Enterprise editions of Windows Server 2003 or run your database on another server. Alternatively, you can legally run Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. Scalability issues with MSDE and the lack of management tools might make this an unattractive solution, but it works and is legal.
Send your technical questions to Brian Moran at email@example.com.
5. Events Central
For a complete guide to Web and live events, see http://www.winnetmag.com/events
Over the past 18 months, Microsoft and VERITAS have collected and analyzed the most common performance-related SQL Server problems that customers encounter. Attend a free, interactive Web seminar on April 27, which will articulate these performance problems, describe their impact, and demonstrate how they can be solved. Register today!
Microsoft SQL Server is used to power some of the most crucial information applications, so it's important to protect it from outside forces (e.g., weather, user error, system outage). Register now for a free, 1-hour Web seminar on May 4 and learn about the solutions associated with protecting SQL Server. Click here for details:
6. New and Improved
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Red Gate Software announced SQL Bundle 3.15, a collection of the most recent releases of Red Gate's comparison and synchronization tools. In the latest release, SQL Compare 3.15 fixes problems with dependency information within databases. The software automatically scripts dependencies in the correct order even if SQL metadata in the sysdepends table is broken, which means you can recover data when dependencies are lost or corrupted. SQL Data Compare 3.35 enables selective data migration; the tool lets you select individual records for synchronization during a migration. The latest release of SQL Data Compare also includes new options for disabling triggers, keys, and indexes during migration. The tools in SQL Bundle 3.15 work with SQL Server 7.0 and later releases. Pricing starts at $350 for single users. For a free trial version and information about volume discounts, contact Red Gate Software at 866-733-4283 or email@example.com.
White Bear Consulting announced a new free personal edition of MSDE Manager, a set of management tools for working with Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MDSE). The tools let you edit and execute SQL scripts; list, create, and drop logins; change passwords and update server and database roles; list, create, drop, restore, attach, and detach databases; list, create, and drop database roles and modify their memberships; and list, schedule, and drop automated backup jobs or T-SQL statements. You can download the free personal edition of MSDE Manager or a 30-day trial version of MSDE Manager ActiveX or .NET user controls at http://www.whitebearconsulting.com/utilities.htm . Pricing for licensed copies of the utility start at $42 for a single-server license. For more information and other pricing, contact White Bear Consulting at 61-7-3889-7558 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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