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January 8, 2004—In this issue:
1. SQL SERVER PERSPECTIVES
- Solutions for the Small and Medium-Sized Business
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: Application-Development Activities
- New Instant Poll: Small Business Server 2003
- 2004 Dates Announced for SQL Server Magazine Connections
- A Grass-Roots Database Resource for You
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: SQL Server and .NET: A Dynamic Duo
- Hot Thread: Specifying Dates in MDX
- Tip: SP3 vs. SP3a
5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT
- Dig a Little Deeper into SQL Server
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Encrypt Triggers, Views, and Procedures
- Match SQL Schemas
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. SQL SERVER PERSPECTIVES
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
According to Microsoft, there are probably more than 22 million small and medium-sized businesses in the United States. These businesses employ more than 50 percent of private workers and create more than 75 percent of U.S. jobs. Those numbers aren't small or medium by any definition, which explains why Microsoft plans to invest more than 10 billion dollars in research and development over the next five years to pursue the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market.
The recently released Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003) is available in two flavors. The Standard edition includes Windows 2003, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and costs $599 for a five-client license—additional Client Access Licenses (CALs) are $60 each. The Premium edition adds SQL Server, FrontPage authoring, and Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server to the package and costs $1,499 for a five-client license with additional CALs available for $100 each. These prices are significantly lower than what a business would pay if it purchased all the components separately. SBS 2003 requires at least a 300MHz processor, 256MB of RAM and 4GB of disk space—requirements similar to those of the previous release, SBS 2000. Microsoft recommends a 550MHz processor and 384MB of RAM for the Standard Edition and 512MB of RAM for the Premium Edition. Of course, SBS 2003 requires you to install the software on one machine, which limits scalability, but it's a small business server, so that limitation shouldn't be a problem. Typically, minimum recommendations are enough to get by, but barely. However, most target companies should easily be able to run the products on a single- or dual-processor machine if they add more memory to those minimum configurations.
I remember the early days of Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server and the first incarnations of SBS. Microsoft marketed the products included in the BackOffice suite as easy to use and integrate, but for all practical purposes, the products required separate installs. I haven't used SBS 2003, but all the reviews I've read rate the installation process favorably. Microsoft says the product's wizards let a small business get the entire package up and running in less than 15 minutes.
A small business's needs are different than the needs of larger organizations. Dedicated IT staffs are rare and dedicated technology specialists (e.g., someone who focuses solely on SQL Server) are almost unheard of. Small business IT professionals don't have the time or inclination to figure out how to make products work together and typically use only the features that are easy for them. Microsoft might be able to appeal to the SMB market if the company can offer a package that attracts the typical small-business jack-of-all-trades IT professional and can do it at an attractive price. However, Microsoft will need to cater to the educational needs of those do-it-all IT professionals. Microsoft has a technical resources page on the SQL Server Small and Medium Business home page, but none of the content is geared toward the special needs of an SMB professional.
Interestingly, Microsoft announced plans for solution "blueprints" to let Microsoft and partners sell turnkey SMB solutions that meet a particular need. I'm not aware of solutions that are shipping based on these blueprints right now, but it will be interesting to see what develops. Microsoft is branding this program "IT Solutions for Small and Medium Business," and the announcement might unleash a lot of creativity in the consulting and software-engineering world. I suspect we'll need a few years to decide whether the SMB movement is another way for marketers to package server technology or the beginning of a new way to serve the technology needs of the world's small businesses. To learn more about this topic, visit the SQL Server Small and Medium Business Resource Center at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/smb.
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2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "How much time do you spend on application-development activities?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 473 votes (deviations from 100 percent are due to a rounding error):
- 11% All of my time
- 35% Most of my time, but I also have other duties
- 19% Half of my time
- 26% Some of my time, but they aren't my primary focus
- 9% None
The next Instant Poll question is "Do you plan to run Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003)?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) Yes, we're already upgrading to the new version, 2) Yes, and we're first-time SBS users, 3) Yes, but later this year, or 4) No.
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The spring 2004 SQL Server Magazine Connections conference will be held April 18-21, 2004, in Orlando, Florida, along with concurrently running events Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and Visual Studio Connections. Register now for the best discount. Conference session and speaker information are already online, or call 203-268-3204 or 800-438-6720 for more information.
Visit SSWUG.org (SQL Server Worldwide User's Group) and get an immediacy of SQL Server support and information. By becoming a member, you'll have access to the latest news, tips, and security bulletins and get immediate responses to concerns with SQL Server, Oracle, and XML technologies. Click here today and view the benefits:
The Microsoft .NET Framework is becoming an integral part of SQL Server. But how easy is creating simple, everyday applications with this powerful pair? In his January focus article, "SQL Server and .NET: A Dynamic Duo," Rick Dobson presents a sample Web application, built with SQL Server and ASP.NET, that can quickly bring you up to speed. Read this article today at
Mesalem is having trouble specifying date ranges in MDX. He can't use a startdate:enddate expression because both the start date and the end date must be members of the Time dimension. In the Day level, he created a member property called The Date that contains the date he wants to use, and he includes this member property in expressions like the following:
("The Date") > startdate ) AND (\[MyTime\].CurrentMember.Properties
<p>However, Mesalem is still not getting the results he expects. How can he correct his MDX? Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's OLAP/Data Warehousing forum at<br>
<a href="/community/forums.aspx"> http://www.sqlmag.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=10&threadid=21896 </a></p>
Q. What are the differences between SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and SP3a?
A. Many customers remain confused about the differences between SP3 and SP3a. In particular, customers are unsure if they must apply SP3a to a server that has already been patched with SP3. The short answer is no; SP3 has the core of the security enhancements that make either service pack a crucial addition to every SQL Server currently running. For the complete answer to this question, see
Send your technical questions to Brian Moran at email@example.com.
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6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Activecrypt Software announced SQL Shield, a built-in tool for SQL Server 2000 and 7.0 that lets you encrypt triggers, views, and procedures. SQL Server's native encryption is vulnerable to many decryption tools that are available on the Internet. Using SQL Shield instead of native SQL Server encryption lets developers prevent viewing and copying of their applications' logic. The product lets administrators create reliable authentication mechanisms and safely include passwords in stored procedures, views, and triggers. A single-user copy of SQL Shield costs $99, and a site license costs $249. A free trial version is available. For more information, contact Activecrypt Software at email@example.com or
BerryWare announced SQLMatcher 2.0, a schema comparison and synchronization tool for SQL Server 2000, 7.0, 6.5 and Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE). The tool lets you compare SQL scripts, live databases, or any combination of scripts and databases, so that you can easily detect changes in remote databases or release-version scripts. The tool lets you compare database objects, not just text, so you can ignore irrelevant changes such as comment and whitespace differences in stored procedures. When you're synchronizing entire database schemas, SQLMatcher analyzes dependencies and ensures that the transformation occurs in the correct sequence. SQLMatcher 2.0 costs $99. For more information, contact BerryWare at firstname.lastname@example.org or
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