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March 4, 2004—In this issue:
1. SQL Server Perspectives
- Web Site Gets Makeover
2. News and Views
- Microsoft Launches BizTalk Server 2004
- Fixing Unexpected Deletions in SQL Server 2000
- New Service Pack for SQLXML 3.0
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server Magazine Web Site
- New Instant Poll: Annual Revenue
- New SQL Web Seminar—Reporting Services Tips and Tricks
- 5 Years' Worth of SQL Server Magazine Content
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: 23 Business Intelligence Tips
- Hot Thread: SQL Mail for DTS Script
- Tip: No Datetime Primary Keys, Please
5. Events Central
- SQL Server Magazine Connections: Win a Harley
- Meta-Data/DAMA Conference, Los Angeles, May 2-6
6. New and Improved
- Interactively Access Data in Reporting Services
- Ensure Secure Transactions
Sponsor: Get 116 SQL Server Tips
If you are like most SQL Server professionals, you appreciate advice that saves time. SQL Server Magazine offers helpful SQL Server expertise, article archives, endless code listings, valuable tips and an easy-to-use Web site that takes the word "timesaving" to an entirely different level. Serving as just one example, our March 2004 issue provides 116 tips for SQL Server developers, administrators, and business intelligence architects. Each issue is packed with useful information that can be incorporated into your everyday work life. Subscribe today and experience the benefits of having a go-to SQL Server resource.
1. SQL Server Perspectives
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor)
Many SQL Server Magazine UPDATE readers regularly visit the SQL Server Magazine Web site to access free content, get information that's free to registered users, and read the premium content available only to subscribers of the print magazine. To make it easier for you to find the information you're looking for, we recently rolled out a major reorganization and redesign of the Web site.
The SQL Server Magazine Web site has been reintegrated into the Windows & .NET Magazine network of Web sites. This change makes it easier for readers to search across content from multiple sources. For example, SQL Server Magazine readers now have much easier access to content about the Windows OS, Exchange Server, Web administration, Active Directory, and dozens of other topics that sister publications cover in-depth. When you go to http://www.sqlmag.com, you'll be directed to a URL that will include the winnetmag.com domain, but rest assured that you're still getting access to all the existing SQL Server content you've known and loved—along with a wealth of additional information. The new design also features easy-to-find publication archives, improved article pages that let you easily comment on articles and download code, better search results organization, better advanced search functionality, a simplified topic list, a spotlight on our expert authors, and a consistent look and feel. And just in the past week, we've changed the search function so that it defaults to the SQL Server Magazine site and gives you SQL Server specific results. You can read more about the new site's enhancements and let the editors know how the new site works for you at http://www.winnetmag.com/sqlserver/article/articleid/41743/sqlserver_41743.html.
The site also features an easier logon. You need to reregister at the site, even if you're a longtime user and subscriber to the print magazine. We've finally eliminated the numerical reader ID and replaced it with a logon name that you choose. That logon will give you access to all sites in the Windows & .NET network. Adopting Microsoft Passport would help readers like me who have to manage access to many Web sites, but having a real user name I can remember is a welcome improvement.
In addition to the hard-core SQL Server administration information that the magazine and Web site have provided for the past 5 years, you'll see more emphasis on SQL Server development and business intelligence (BI) content. I just returned from the 2004 SQL Server Magazine editorial conference, and I promise you'll see a great mix of content across each of these areas. You'll also see lots of new and unique content on the Web site. Some content will be free to all visitors, some will be available for free to registered users, and some will be available only to readers who've paid for a print subscription. New Web-exclusive content will include columns by Microsoft's Richard Waymire and SQL Server MVP Itzik Ben-Gan from Solid Quality Learning. Richard, a senior member of the Microsoft development team, will be writing about SQL Server security topics. And Itzik, who writes the magazine's monthly T-SQL Black Belt column, will be adding a Web-only column about SQL Server Yukon's T-SQL enhancements.
We hope these changes will make SQL Server Magazine's Web site a more valuable resource for you!
2. News and Views
This week, Microsoft launched Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004, the third major version of the company's business-process automation and interoperability server product that adds scalability improvements, better developer tools, and access to a wider range of third-party server products. BizTalk Server 2004 solutions now run on the Windows .NET Framework, and Microsoft is touting a range of companies that have already deployed the product in live environments.
Indeed, Microsoft says that early adopters are a key to BizTalk Server 2004's success. "Our early adopters have seen rapid time to value from their BizTalk Server 2004 solutions, and we are excited about delivering these same results to more customers today," Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the E-Business Servers Group, said. One such early adopter, the Virgin Group, uses BizTalk Server 2004 to reduce inventory loss in its multinational Virgin Megastores retail establishments; like many large companies, Virgin runs multiple disparate systems, often in remote locations.
So what's new in BizTalk Server 2004? This release includes a more scalable process-management engine that lets the product work effectively in even the largest corporate environments. Programmers can get up to speed more quickly by using the BizTalk Server 2004 developer tools that are now integrated into Visual Studio .NET 2003. For managers, a new Health and Activity Tracking (HAT) feature provides live monitoring capabilities. And a new Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) feature lets executives and knowledge workers track business processes by using familiar tools such as Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003.
Unlike most Microsoft products, BizTalk Server is designed to work specifically with the heterogeneous server products that large enterprises employ, so it's compatible with today's most common server applications, including those from Ariba, PeopleSoft, and SAP. BizTalk Server 2004 uses XML-based software adapters to make this integration possible.
When you run a distributed query that uses a four-part name to delete or to update rows on a linked server table in a SQL Server 2000 database, the rows in the linked server table that don't satisfy the join condition are also deleted. This problem might occur if the DELETE or UPDATE statement in the distributed query involves a join and uses non-ANSI syntax. A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but read the Microsoft article, "FIX: Unexpected rows are deleted when you run a distributed query to delete or to update a linked server table" before you apply the hotfix. If you aren't severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next SQL Server 2000 service pack that contains this hotfix. Read the article at
Microsoft released SQLXML 3.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2), which includes fixes for IDENTITY propagation for XML bulk load and NULL support for Web services. SQLXML enables XML support for SQL Server databases and lets developers bridge the gap between XML and relational data. You can create an XML view of your existing relational data and work with it as if it were an XML file. SQLXML also lets you build Web services with SQL Server 2000, build Web sites to publish data from SQL Server, query relational databases by using XPath, update relational data as if it were XML, load XML into SQL Server, and query SQL Server through URLs, OLE DB or ADO, or .NET managed classes. SP2 is available for download at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "What is your favorite part of the SQL Server Magazine Web site?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 89 votes:
- 47% Article archives
- 39% Forums
- 7% Search
- 6% News
- 1% Event calendar and other resources
The next Instant Poll question is "What is your organization's total annual revenue?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) less than $100 million, 2) $100 million to $200 million, 3) more than $200 million but less than $500 million, or 4) more than $500 million.
The key to getting the most out of Reporting Services is learning the tips and tricks. SQL Server Magazine invites you to attend a free Reporting Services Web seminar designed specifically for SQL Server professionals. This live, online event will be presented March 17. Register today!
Introducing version 8 of the SQL Server Magazine Master CD. Gain access to all articles, code, tips, and expertise published in SQL Server Magazine and T-SQL Solutions. The CD-ROM 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!
SQL Server's BI tools let the right people ask the right questions at the right time. In our March focus article, "23 Business Intelligence Tips," we collected some of our best BI tips from the past 5 years. From basic OLAP solutions to complex multidimensional data modeling techniques, these tips are loaded with information that can give your organization a competitive edge. Read them all today at
And find the Web-exclusive supplement, "13 Bonus BI Tips," at
Lixiay created a Data Transformation Services (DTS) package that will run manually from his account administrator's desktop. Lixiay wants SQL Server 7.0 to send a mail once the administrator has run the batch file from his or her workstation so that he'll know when the DTS job is executed. Lixiay has already installed Outlook 2000 on the server and configured the profile but doesn't know where to save and schedule the xp_sendmail job. How can Lixiay use xp_sendmail to implement his job and send an email when the job has run successfully? Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Administration forum at
(contributed by Brian Moran)
Q. I work on a payroll-management database and suggested to the development team that I use a datetime column as a table's primary key. Team members told me not to do this, but when I pressed for a reason, no one could provide a good answer. Why shouldn't I use a datetime column as a primary key?
A. I agree with your development team. In general, you should avoid using datetime as a primary key. First, datetime is an 8-byte data type, and narrow keys tend to be more efficient and faster than wider keys. If your table is going to be very large, a smaller integer-based data type, such as the 4-byte int or the 2-byte smallint, might be a better fit. Second, and much more important, datetime is accurate only to one three-hundredths of a second, or 3.33 milliseconds (ms). By definition, primary key columns must be unique, and you can't ensure that you'll have unique values in a datetime column. Your business rules might say that entering multiple records within 3.33ms of one another is impossible, but I think that making that assumption is dangerous. Business rules and technical assumptions can always change.
5. Events Central
For a complete guide to Web and live events, see
The SQL Server Magazine Connections conference will be held April 18-21 with concurrently running events Microsoft ASP.NET Connections and Visual Studio Connections. Save $200, receive access to all three conferences for one low price, and get a chance to win a Harley. Register online or call 203-268-3204 or 800-438-6720.
40 case studies outlining strategies of companies that have implemented successful data management projects. Over 120 speakers in all, covering meta data, enterprise architecture, data and process modeling, unstructured data, business rules, data integration, XML, business intelligence, data warehousing, information stewardship, and more. Keynote Speaker Chris Date.
6. New and Improved
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com)
SPSS announced that the latest version of its Web-based OLAP solution, OLAP Hub, supports SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services. OLAP Hub lets users perform sophisticated analyses of large amounts of data, and Reporting Services lets users access relevant information through a variety of channels, including email, intranets, portals, and application-specific repositories. Integration of the two technologies lets users work with any Reporting Services report and convert it to an interactive OLAP Hub view, providing ad hoc navigation and drill-down capabilities through one interface. For pricing and other information, contact SPSS at 800-543-2185, 312-651-3000, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JNetDirect announced JSecureConnect, a Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) driver that provides secure and firewall tunneling JDBC to a variety of databases, including SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, IBM DB2, and MySQL. The product provides secure JDBC access over SSL and HTTPS protocols and firewall tunneling over HTTP and HTTPS protocols. You can also configure the product for operation with your Web server. The driver is a pure Java product and operates on any Java-enabled platform. JSecureConnect costs $625 for a GroupServer license and $1750 for a BusinessServer license. Contact JNetDirect at 800-995-8534, 571-203-7275, or email@example.com.
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