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March 31, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • SQL Server 2005: Figuring Out the Features
  • 2. News & Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Database Users
  • New Instant Poll: Database Experience
  • 3. Events and Resources

  • Get Chapter 2 of "SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs"
  • Attend This Free Web Seminar for a Chance to Win a $1000 American Express Gift Check!
  • Discover All You Need to Know About 64-bit Computing in the Enterprise
  • 4. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Fn_virtualfilestats() Function Reports Reads and Writes
  • Hot Article: T-SQL Tiebreakers
  • Kevin Kline's "In a Nutshell" Blog: SearchSQLServer.com
  • Hot Threads
  • 5. Announcements

  • Reporting Services in SQL Server Magazine
  • Get Windows IT Pro at 44% Off!
  • 6. New & Improved

  • Use Workload Management to Enable SQL Server Consolidation
  • Get Intelligent Compression of SQL Server Backups
  • Sponsor: Free Performance Monitor for SQL Server from Idera
    Idera's SQLcheck provides real-time performance monitoring for SQL Server, plus your server's hardware and operating system. Version 2.0 features a secure screensaver, and a user interface design that enables easy visibility of diagnostic information from a distance. Get the information you need to efficiently manage your SQL Server environment. Download SQLcheck now!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6906:7B3DB

    1. Perspectives


    SQL Server 2005: Figuring Out the Features
        by Brian Moran, brian@sqlmag.com

    The release of SQL Server 2005 has seemed so close but yet so far away for so many years that it's easy to lose sight of the fact that SQL Server 2005 is finally (I hope ) just around the corner. If you're not planning to move to SQL Server 2005 right away, don't worry--we realize that a large percentage of the SQL Server community will be on SQL Server 2000 for years to come. But because SQL Server 2005 is the first major upgrade in years, many readers are ready and eager for information about it. I'll begin to share SQL Server 2005 topics more regularly over the next few months. This week, I want to point you to the Microsoft article "Expanding the SQL Server Product Line" at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6904:7B3DB . This article provides a high-level overview of planned features for different SQL Server editions: SQL Server Express, SQL Server Workgroup Edition, SQL Server Standard Edition, and SQL Server Enterprise Edition. The feature list in the article isn't particularly detailed, perhaps because decisions for all the feature-edition mixes haven't been finalized. However, I've learned about a few interesting features.

    I was most excited to learn that SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition will include Database Mirroring, the new technology that lets you have realtime mirroring of a database to another server. This type of high availability is different from SQL Server 2000 failover clustering, which is based on a shared-disk paradigm. I think it's great that at least some level of mirroring will exist in Standard Edition. I've always felt that Microsoft made a strategic error in keeping the most important high-availability features (e.g., log shipping, clustering) out of SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition. It's reasonable to reserve some advanced high-availability features strictly for Enterprise Edition. But it's also in Microsoft's best interest to ensure that customers have a reasonable level of high-availability support in the Standard Edition. Microsoft tells me that database mirroring in SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition will lack a few minor features. Specifically, the Standard Edition will include only one redo thread for the mirror, and mirroring must always operate in safe mode.

    However, I was disappointed to learn that Report Builder (which I wrote about in "SQL Server 2005 CTP3 Reporting Enhancements," http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6901:7B3DB ) is currently planned as an Enterprise Edition-only feature. Microsoft is pitching Report Builder as a tool that lets business-class end users build their own reports. It's a great tool, but regardless of how good it is, I don't see people spending the extra money for Enterprise Edition just to get an end-user report writer. I hope Microsoft will come to its senses before finalizing the SKU features. Check out the full Microsoft story for more details about the features planned for each edition.


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    2. News & Views


    Results of Previous Instant Poll: Database Users
    "How many database users do you support?" Here are the results from the 108 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 6% Fewer than 15
  • 37% 15 to 99
  • 27% 100 to 499
  • 27% 500 or more
  • 4% I don't support database users
  • New Instant Poll: Database Experience
    "What databases besides SQL Server do you have experience with?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6911:7B3DB ) and submit your vote for

  • Microsoft Access
  • Oracle
  • IBM DB2
  • Sybase
  • Other
  • 3. Events and Resources


  • Get Chapter 2 of "SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs"

  • Learn the key concepts that give Oracle DBAs a firm foundation in mapping Oracle database-management skills, knowledge, and experience to SQL Server database management. Chapter 2 of this free eBook discusses SQL Server management, including managing memory, processes, storage, sessions and transactions, and low-level structures (e.g., locks, latches). Download Chapter 2 now!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68F7:7B3DB

  • Attend This Free Web Seminar for a Chance to Win a $1000 American Express Gift Check!

  • Achieve high availability and plan for disaster recovery for Microsoft servers. In this Web seminar, discover what it takes to minimize the likelihood of downtime through reliability and resilience in a Microsoft server environment, that includes Exchange Server, SQL Server, File Server, IIS, and SharePoint. Sign up today!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68F6:7B3DB

  • Discover All You Need to Know About 64-bit Computing in the Enterprise
  • In this free Web seminar, industry guru Michael Otey explores the need for 64-bit computing and looks at the type of applications that can make the best use of it. He explains how the most important factor in the 64-bit platform is increased memory. Discover the best platform for high performance and learn how you can successfully differentiate, migrate, and manage between 32-bit and 64-bit technology. Register now!
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6900:7B3DB

  • See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.

  •      http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=690D:7B3DB

    4. Peer to Peer


  • Hot Tip: Fn_virtualfilestats() Function Reports Reads and Writes

  •     by Brian Moran, savvy@sqlmag.com

    Q. What do the number of reads and writes reported by the fn_virtualfilestats() systems function mean?

    Read the answer today at
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FF:7B3DB

  • Hot Article: T-SQL Tiebreakers
  • A tiebreaker is a rule used to determine precedence between candidates when there's a tie. For example, when soccer teams have the same number of points in the league, the one with the higher goal difference takes precedence. A tiebreaker in T-SQL is a rule that determines which row your query will return if multiple rows have the same values for a given set of attributes. In his April T-SQL Black Belt column "T-SQL Tiebreakers," Itzik Ben-Gan talks about how tiebreakers can make the difference between generally correct results and exactly the answer you need. Read this article today at
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FE:7B3DB

    In a Nutshell: SearchSQLServer.com
    In this week's blog "A New Online Resource: SearchSQLServer.com," Kevin Kline talks about TechTarget's new SQL Server online resource. If you've ever spent much time working with Oracle, Windows, or Exchange, you might be aware of TechTarget's sites SearchOracle.com, SearchWindows.com, and SearchExchange.com. Due to the tremendous growth SQL Server is seeing in the overall industry, TechTarget has decided to break SQL Server out of the SearchWindows.com Web site into its own independent resource: SearchSQLServer.com. The new site's mission is to serve the information needs of database developers, administrators, and managers working with Microsoft's flagship database enterprise server, including the upcoming SQL Server 2005 release. Do you think the market is too saturated with SQL Server Web sites or will you welcome another one? Let Kevin know what you think of TechTarget's new site today at
         http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6902:7B3DB

  • Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.

  •     http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6907:7B3DB

    Security: Login Audit Failure OSQL-32
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FD:7B3DB
    Performance: Scan Density vs. Scan Fragmentation
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68F8:7B3DB
    Administration: Log Shipping Advice
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FB:7B3DB
    T-SQL: BCP Error--Invalid Object Name
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FA:7B3DB
    DTS: How Do I Find Out Which DTS are Scheduled and Which Aren't?
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68F9:7B3DB
    Tools: Schema and Table Relationship Tool
    http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=68FC:7B3DB

    Hot Spot


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    5. Announcements


  • Reporting Services in SQL Server Magazine

  • Get SQL Server Magazine today and receive the Reporting Services poster in your April issue. You'll also receive free online access to the entire SQL Server Magazine article database--that's thousands of problem-solving solutions, expert tips, tricks, and the latest insider notes to help you get the most out of SQL Server. Sign up today:
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  • Get Windows IT Pro at 44% Off!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine is now Windows IT Pro! Act now to get an entire year for just $39.95--that's 44% off the cover price! Our March issue shows you what you need to know about Windows Server 2003 SP1, how to get the best out of your IT staff, and how to fight spyware. Plus, we review the top 10 features of Mozilla Firefox 1.0. This is a limited-time, risk-free offer, so click here now:
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6905:7B3DB

    6. New & Improved


        by Dawn Cyr, products@sqlmag.com

  • Praise a Product, Get a T-Shirt!

  • Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Tell us about it! If we print your story in the Hands On department, we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt. Send your product success story to handson@sqlmag.com.

  • Use Workload Management to Enable SQL Server Consolidation
  • Aurema announced ARMTech for SQL Server, a workload-management solution that enables SQL Server consolidation by delivering increased reliability, improved performance, higher system utilization, and in-depth management information. Workload management lets you prioritize the sharing of resources under one OS so that applications and users can get to the resources they need. The solution lets you run multiple applications on one server and better utilize the capabilities of every server; this strategy lets you get the most work out of your SQL Server environment and thus lower your overall costs. The ARMTech software becomes a "traffic cop"--a central repository for usage information on a machine that presents you with a wealth of information that you can use to effectively manage your server consolidation and maintain effective resource utilization. And by using the centralized management information and policy-enforcement capabilities of the solution, administrators can monitor usage and performance across a group of servers and quickly roll out policy changes--an essential requirement for efficiently managing consolidated deployments. Pricing for ARMTech for SQL Server starts at $795 per CPU for SQL Server Standard Edition and $1295 per CPU for SQL Server Enterprise Edition. For more information, contact Aurema at (408) 973-7894, (877) 428-7362, or info@aurema.com.
         http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6910:7B3DB

  • Get Intelligent Compression of SQL Server Backups

  • Idera announced SQLsafe 2.0, an enterprise backup-and-recovery solution that provides fast-compressed, secure backup, automated multi-server backup management, a central repository of backup-and-restore information, and rapid deployment. New in the latest release is Idera's IntelliCompress technology, a feature that continually samples the data to be backed up and automatically selects the best method from a library of more than 20 compression approaches to ensure optimized backup performance and storage utilization. The new release also features Service Level Agreement (SLA) reporting, which lets you use SQL Server Reporting Services to define and report on performance against SLAs for database backup. In addition, DBAs can now generate customizable scripts from existing SQL Server maintenance plans, which lets you quickly integrate SQLsafe into exisiting SQL Server backup infrastructures and extend native maintenance plan capabilities. Other new features include enhanced performance, a new Web console, native T-SQL support, and MSTF conversion. SQLsafe 2.0 will be generally available in the next 30 days and is priced at $995 per SQL Server instance. For more information, contact Idera at 713-523-4433, 877-464-3372, or info@idera.com.
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6912:7B3DB

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