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April 25, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • SQL Server CE 2.0 Might Foster the Killer App

2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
  • New Instant Poll: Database Testing Strategy

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Get Realtime Training with Kalen Delaney
  • Microsoft TechEd 2002 Europe

4. RESOURCES

  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: "Little" Design Mistakes
  • Hot Thread: Troubleshooting ADO Behavior
  • Tip: Prevent Escalating Locks

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Compress and Encrypt Database Backups
  • Edit and Manage Data

6. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY

  • SQL SERVER CE 2.0 MIGHT FOSTER THE KILLER APP
    (contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, brianm@sqlmag.com)

  • I'm embarrassed to admit that I own a Pocket PC but rarely use it. I hang my head in shame at conferences when true uber-geeks whip out their expandable keyboards like the gunslingers of yesteryear and start typing away, while I pull out paper and pen to take notes. Oh, the shame! I'm not yet a member of the handheld borg, but I'm smart enough to recognize that resistance is futile. I have no doubt that mobile computing devices will become pervasive in the same way that ATM cards penetrated our lives a decade ago and mobile phones are changing our communication habits today. It's simply a question of when, not if.

    I'm not trying to make an evangelical argument about the future of Palm and Pocket PC mobile devices. Microsoft, Palm, and other to-be-announced vendors will all play significant roles in the mobile computing market. But I do want to call your attention to Microsoft's recent announcement of the beta program for SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition 2.0 because I think this program will accelerate the use of Pocket PCs and other mobile devices, making them a pervasive part of SQL Server administrators' lives.

    I don't use my Pocket PC for several reasons, one of the biggest of which is the lack of a killer application I just can't live without. A killer app will likely arise as more people start writing applications for mobile devices, which would happen if more people used their Pocket PCs, which would happen if they had a killer app—a classic chicken-or-the-egg scenario.

    Microsoft representatives told me some exciting news about Microsoft's new .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server CE 2.0 that will encourage the development of killer apps for mobile devices. Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Compact Framework will make building applications for a mobile device easier than ever. The .NET Compact Framework, a subset of the full .NET Framework that's intended for mobile devices, will let developers build .NET applications with Visual Studio .NET and seamlessly deploy the applications on a mobile device.

    Almost any application needs a data store, and SQL Server CE 2.0 offers a platform that makes deploying mobile versions of SQL Server easy. SQL Server CE 2.0 will support a new .NET managed provider for SQL Server CE that developers can use to write one code base, then port the application to a mobile device. In addition to the new managed provider, Microsoft representatives say that SQL Server CE 2.0 will offer several engine-level enhancements, including more advanced support for parameterized queries and intrinsic functions, and will increase the number of indexes that a table allows.

    Aside from the business productivity benefits it brings, mobile database computing is an interesting option to consider if you're a SQL Server professional looking for a high-growth area to specialize in. If you're interested in using SQL Server CE 2.0 to develop applications, consider nominating yourself for the SQL Server CE 2.0 beta program. Spots in the beta program are limited; you can apply for the program at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/betanominations.asp

    This program addresses the SQL Server CE 2.0 beta for the eMbedded Visual Tools, which include eMbedded Visual Basic 3.0, eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0, and eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0. The beta program includes the necessary server-side components to do synchronization with both SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 7.0. Support for Smart Device Extensions and the .NET Compact Framework will be available to beta-program participants from a separate public beta forum at the MSDN Web site.


    2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS INSTANT POLL: MICROSOFT BASELINE SECURITY ANALYZER

  • The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you investigated Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 347 votes:
    • 19% Yes, and I'm using it
    • 7% Yes, but I'm not using it yet
    • 12% No, but I plan to soon
    • 4% No, I'm not interested in it
    • 58% What is the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer?

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: DATABASE TESTING STRATEGY

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Are you happy with your company's testing strategy to ensure smooth rollouts?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and submit for your vote for 1) Yes, our testing strategy ensures smooth rollouts, 2) Somewhat, but our testing strategy needs some improvement, 3) No, our testing strategy needs much improvement, or 4) Don't know or doesn't apply.
    http://www.sqlmag.com

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    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • GET REALTIME TRAINING WITH KALEN DELANEY!

  • Fine-tune your SQL Server performance at the next Webinar taught by noted SQL Server author and Microsoft MVP Kalen Delaney. Examine the basic icons shown in SQL Server query plans, study complex queries, and explore basic ideas for improving your query performance. Register today for "Reading Query Plans," scheduled for Thursday, May 9, at 1:00 P.M. EDT. For more information, go to
    http://secure.duke.com/nt/sqlmag/webinar/index.cfm?code=&pc=kdei322dsu

  • MICROSOFT TECHED 2002 EUROPE

  • If you're a technical developer or IT professional dedicated to developing, maintaining, and managing cutting-edge solutions, the hands-on technical training you will get at Microsoft TechEd 2002 Europe is definitely for you. Don't miss out on the early-bird discount for Microsoft's premier technical education event by registering now! For more detailed information, please visit
    http://www.microsoft.com/europe/teched/win2k

    4. RESOURCES

  • WHAT'S NEW IN SQL SERVER MAGAZINE: "LITTLE" DESIGN MISTAKES

  • Thorough testing is a prerequisite to a successful database rollout. Michael Otey, senior technical editor of SQL Server Magazine, provides tips for avoiding database application rollout problems in "'Little' Design Mistakes," which appears in the May 2002 issue of SQL Server Magazine and is available online at the following URL:
    http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=24561

  • HOT THREAD: TROUBLESHOOTING ADO BEHAVIOR

  • Cameron is using ADO and SQLOLEDB to connect to a SQL Server database. He has discovered that ADO is replicating some simple SELECT queries and wrapping them in SETFMTONLY ON and SETFMTONLY OFF statements, resulting in excessive queries to the server, which decreases performance. Offer your advice and read other users' suggestions on the SQL Server Magazine forums at the following URL:
    http://www.sqlmag.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=5&threadid=5806

  • TIP: PREVENT ESCALATING LOCKS

  • (contributed by the SQL Server MVPs)

    Q. How can I prevent SQL Server from escalating locks?

    A. SQL Server uses locks to maintain transactional integrity and consistency within a database. SQL Server supports several types of locks of differing granularities. For example, a row lock is a fine-grained lock; a page lock is a coarser lock. SQL Server escalates locks from a large number of fine-grained locks to fewer coarse-grained locks, which reduces system overhead but might result in unforeseen blocking within an application.

    Escalation occurs automatically when the number of locks exceeds the lock-escalation threshold. This threshold is an internal setting designed to protect system resources. No configuration option exists for this threshold, but you can disable lock escalation if you start SQL Server with the undocumented trace flag 1211. Be warned that if you disable lock escalation, the responsibility for managing the system resources is on you. If SQL Server runs out of memory, for example, the system can crash. A better approach is to execute shorter transactions if row-level locks are absolutely needed.

    Send your technical questions to questions@sqlmag.com.

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED


    (contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, products@sqlmag.com)

  • COMPRESS AND ENCRYPT DATABASE BACKUPS

  • DBAssociates released SQLLiteSpeed, a backup and restore utility that can encrypt and compress data during backup. SQLLiteSpeed features 128-bit encryption and full password protection. The product lets you restrict database restores to a specific machine or operator. Contact DBAssociates at info@dbassociates.com.au.
    http://www.dbassociates.com.au

  • EDIT AND MANAGE DATA

  • TheDevShop released DbQwikEdit 2.1, a program that connects to any database through ADO and ODBC to let you edit and manage data. DbQwikEdit performs data editing, data exporting, and data migration. The program lets you move data between tables, merge database tables, and perform table synchronization. DbQwikEdit Pro costs $79, and DbQwikEdit Lite is $39. Contact TheDevShop at sales@thedevshop.com.
    http://www.dbqwikedit.com

    6. CONTACT US


    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — brianm@sqlmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — mcrockett@sqlmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.sqlmag.com/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@sqlmag.com
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      Customer Support — sqlupdate@sqlmag.com
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