THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY
360-Degree SQL Server Resource
February 19, 2004—DBAs' Future
1. SQL Server Perspectives
- Predicting the Future of the DBA
2. News and Views
- Import Access Reports to Reporting Services
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: Getting Information
- New Instant Poll: DBA Specialization
- Try a Sample Issue of Windows Scripting Solutions
- 5 Years Worth of SQL Server Content in One Place
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Patterns and Practices
- Tip: Stopping Profiler Traces
5. Events Central
- SQL Server Magazine Connections: Win a Harley
6. New and Improved
- Let End Users Generate Reports
- Communicate BI Information
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1. SQL Server Perspectives
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last week, I received an email about a SQL Server Magazine article I wrote in January 2002, "The Future of the DBA" (http://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=23240). In that article, I asserted that DBAs need to become experts in at least one or two narrowly defined areas to survive the changing times. I supported my belief in the need to specialize, then recommended four areas of specialization--business intelligence (BI), Data Transformation Services (DTS), programming, and ADO and ADO.NET. The reader who emailed me wants to know whether those areas of specialization are still valid.
After rereading the article to see what I was thinking 2 years ago, I was struck by how little has changed. Back then, I advised DBAs to "pick a specialty in which market demand outstrips the available supply of technical professionals, then become an expert in that specialty." The article's four sidebars explored the areas of specialization I mentioned earlier. And those four areas are still good targets for specialization. Interestingly, some of my arguments 2 years ago were based on the belief that the Yukon release of SQL Server was 12-18 months away from changing the SQL Server world. Today, Yukon is still a year away from making much of an impact.
I've preached enough about what I think is important for SQL Server professionals to consider in managing their careers. But I can get caught up in the hype and excitement of new products and buzzwords as much as anyone. This week, I'd like to turn the tables and hear your ideas. I want to know what you think the future holds for the SQL Server DBA. The abstract for my article 2 years ago asked, "What trends will affect your role in the SQL Server world? What areas of specialization will put you ahead of the pack?" Here's your chance to be the expert. What do you think will be most important over the next 1-2 years: Yukon, .NET, BI, XML, MySQL? Or maybe you believe that none of these technologies will be life altering and that a database developer or administrator's core skills don't change as often as technology does. Think about it, then send me an email. I'll share the most interesting insights and predictions with you in the weeks to come.
Sponsor: 360-Degree SQL Server Resource
Visit the SQL Server Magazine Web site and access a library of valuable SQL Server tools and information. Take advantage of the search box and navigation toolbars that connect you to new articles, active forums, archived articles, valuable tips, associated code, and more! The site features columns by such experts as Brian Moran, Itzik Ben-Gan, and Kimberly L. Tripp. In addition, you can also renew or subscribe to SQL Server Magazine and gain access rights to even more useful SQL Server content. Let this resource help save you some time. Click here to start experiencing the benefits:
2. News and Views
Microsoft released a step-by-step article that describes how to import existing Microsoft Access reports to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services by using Report Designer. When you import reports to Reporting Services, Report Designer converts each report to a Report Definition Language (RDL) file, then saves the reports in the report project. Remember, when you import reports from Access, you're importing all the reports in the database or project. You can't import a just one report. Read the Microsoft article "How to import reports from Microsoft Access to Reporting Services" at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "How do you prefer to get how-to or best-practices information from Microsoft?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 217 votes:
- 54% Informational Web sites
- 36% White papers
- 5% Web seminars
- 3% Live seminars
- 2% Consulting services
The next Instant Poll question is "What area of SQL Server specialization do you think is most important?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) business intelligence, 2) Data Transformation Services (DTS), 3) ADO and ADO.NET, 4) programming, or 5) none of the above.
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!
Subscribe to the SQL Server Magazine Master CD and gain access to ALL articles, code, tips, 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. Search by keyword, subject, author, or issue to find fast answers. Subscribe today!
The Patterns and Practices Library--a collection of books written by Microsoft Program Support Services (PSS) personnel, Microsoft consultants, and product team members--contains Microsoft's best practices and field-proven advice for implementing key technologies, from Active Directory planning to application architecture to coding examples. In his February SELECT TOP(X) column, "Patterns and Practices," Michael Otey shares his favorite database-centric guidebooks in Microsoft's Patterns and Practices Library. Read this article today at
SQL Server Magazine is migrating its forums to its new Web site. We're experiencing some problems moving the archived messages, but we aren't losing any messages. All the questions and answers you've posted will be restored as soon as possible. We'll keep you updated on the migration process. Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for the inconvenience.
by Brian Moran, email@example.com
Q. I'm running an SQL trace by calling SQL Server Profiler's system stored procedures directly. I tried using sp_trace_setstatus to stop the trace, but it didn't work. The trace running on the server still shows up in fn_trace_getinfo()'s output. How can I stop the trace?
A. SQL Server Books Online (BOL) documents most things well enough but does a poor job documenting Profiler and its related system stored procedures and functions. The entry for sp_trace_setstatus in BOL says that you must stop a trace before you can close it. However, BOL's explanation isn't particularly clear. The symptoms you describe suggest that you're stopping the trace but not closing it. To learn the correct commands for stopping and deleting a Profiler trace, see the complete answer to this question at
Send your technical questions to Brian Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Events Central
SQL Server Magazine Connections will be held April 18-21 along with the concurrently running Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and Visual Studio Connections conferences. Save $200--get access to all three conferences for one low price, and get a chance to win a Harley. Register online or call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204.
For a complete guide to Web and live events, see
6. New and Improved
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com)
LogiXML announced LGX Ad Hoc Report Builder 5.5, a browser-based application that lets end users create their own custom reports. The product lets administrators control data availability, set roles and rights, and create useable business objects that end users can understand. Then, users can use the wizard interface to select preset data objects and create the reports they need. LGX Ad Hoc Report Builder works with ODBC or OLE DB-compliant databases including SQL Server, MSDE, and Oracle and costs $7500 per server. For more information, contact LogiXML at 888-564-4965, 703-748-0020, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECS announced Strategy, a Web-based business-intelligence (BI) application that lets decision makers communicate strategic information. The product lets users create visual representations of strategic objectives, cause-and-effect relationships, key performance indicators (KPIs), and initiatives. Users can then drill down to access detailed information. Because Strategy runs on a SQL Server 2000 or 7.0 platform, it provides users with the advantages of a multi-dimensional database. The product uses Data Transformation Services (DTS) to enable integration with various data sources including worksheets and text files. Pricing for Strategy starts at $25,000 for 10 users. For more information, contact ECS at email@example.com.
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