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May 20, 2004—In this issue:
1. SQL Server Perspectives
- Do You Know MySQL?
2. News and Views
- Best of TechEd Awards Finalists
- Microsoft Provides Workaround for Debugging Problem
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: TPC-C Scores
- New Instant Poll: SQL Server Releases
- Have You Created an Innovative SQL Server Solution?
- SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Get in the Loop with CTEs
- What's New at winnetmag.com: Pump Up SQL Server 2000
- Hot Thread: Updating Statistics
- Tip: Lost in Translation?
5. Events Central
- SQL Web Seminar--Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions
- New Web Seminar--SQL Server Yukon CLR for the DBA
6. New and Improved
- Replicate Data in Realtime
- Provide Users with Integrated BI
- Learn to Use ADO.NET for Database Processing
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1. SQL Server Perspectives
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, email@example.com)
I'm undertaking a research project. I want to understand the effects that MySQL and other open-source databases are having and might have in the future on the mainstream database market--SQL Server in particular. I've been cynical about the idea that MySQL can aggressively compete with high-end, enterprise-class databases. But recently, I realized that I was someone that cynics made fun of a few years ago when I proclaimed that SQL Server could compete with high-end, enterprise-class databases. MySQL had serious limitations in the early years, and still does. However, some major independent software vendors (ISVs) have invested heavily in MySQL, and MySQL has made more progress than SQL Server in the shared-nothing, scale-out arena.
Lately, more and more customers are asking whether MySQL can bring any value to their organizations. Unfortunately, finding customers who are working with both SQL Server and MySQL can be difficult. Many organizations use both Oracle and SQL Server or IBM DB2 and SQL Server, and Unix and Microsoft customers mix more freely in the enterprise these days. But Microsoft customers and open-source customers don't blend as often in today's corporate environment. In addition, most SQL Server experts (myself included) don't know much about MySQL, and I suspect most MySQL experts don't know much about SQL Server.
So, I need your help. Do you use SQL Server and MySQL? Do you lean more toward either the Microsoft or the open-source camp? I need a few brave souls who use both SQL Server and MySQL and who are reasonably knowledgeable about both products to engage in email, and perhaps phone, conversations with me. Many of my customers have been trying to learn about MySQL, and probably many of you would like to know more about the open-source database platform. So, drop me a line--I'd love to hear from you. Whatever I learn through this research and reader-discussion process, I'll share with you in future columns so that you can make better decisions about whether MySQL or another open-source system has any place in your organization.
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2. News and Views
Windows & .NET Magazine and SQL Server Magazine are pleased to announce the finalists of the Best of TechEd 2004 Awards in conjunction with TechEd 2004, which will be held May 23-28 in San Diego. Judging will occur during the TechEd exhibitor hall hours on May 24 and 25. The field included more than 260 entries in 10 categories. The Best of TechEd 2004 Awards judges, who are technical editors for Windows & .NET Magazine and SQL Server Magazine, will choose the winners during TechEd 2004. Windows & .NET Magazine and SQL Server Magazine will announce the winners at a private awards ceremony on May 26 and publicly announce the winners on May 27 at 12:30 p.m. at the Windows & .NET Magazine booth #625 at TechEd 2004. See the list of finalists for the Best of TechEd Awards at
When your application closes its data connection, the connection to the computer that's running SQL Server might not be completely closed. If the connection-pooling feature is enabled, the connection is held in a pool so that the connection can be reused if the application tries to reopen the connection later. However, when a connection is re-established through connection pooling, SQL debugging isn't re-enabled. If you enable the connection-pooling feature for the SQL Server database connection that your application uses and your application uses a reopened connection from the connection pool, you might not be able to debug a SQL Server stored procedure more than one time from the native code or from the managed .NET Framework code. To find out how to work around this problem, read the Microsoft article "You cannot debug a SQL Server stored procedure more than one time while debugging managed .NET Framework code in Visual Studio .NET" at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "Do you pay attention to public benchmarks and TPC-C scores?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 103 votes:
- 32% Yes, I find them valuable
- 27% Yes, but I don't find them valuable
- 9% No, but I plan to
- 32% No, I don't think they're valuable
The next Instant Poll question is "Which SQL Server releases is your organization running?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0, 2) SQL Server 7.0, 3) SQL Server 7.0 and 2000, 4) SQL Server 2000, or 5) other.
Sponsor: Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services LoadFest
Don't miss the Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) 2000 Reporting Services LoadFest Event in your area. Join with your peers to load a 120-day evaluation copy of SQL Server Reporting Services on your own server. SQL Server specialists will provide you with instructor-led training on installing and configuring your server, plus hands-on training covering the product's main features. See how easy it is to start using SQL Server Reporting Services. Register today for only $50—a $400 value.
If so, you qualify to enter this awards program. Announcing the 3rd annual SQL Server Magazine Innovator Awards. The grand-prize winner will win a free trip to the 2004 SQL Server Magazine Connections conference in Las Vegas and a special trophy. Fill out an entry form today to get the recognition you deserve. Click here:
SqlJunkies is your online community resource for original tutorial and how-to articles for developing applications with SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005; peer-to-peer help and networking through discussion forums and newsgroups; technology tips and pointers from expert bloggers; and the latest in SQL Server-related events and news.
Common table expressions (CTEs) are an exciting new SQL Server 2005 T-SQL feature. CTEs come in two forms: non-recursive and recursive. The real power of CTEs lies in their recursive manipulation of data. CTEs let you write short, efficient, ANSI-compliant code to manipulate hierarchies. In his May T-SQL Black Belt column, "Get in the Loop with CTEs," Itzik Ben-Gan discusses non-recursive CTEs and recursive CTEs in single-parent (tree) scenarios. Read this article today at
SQL Server 2000 is a feature-laden platform that can scale from small-business and department-level implementations all the way to the highest levels of the enterprise. Although SQL Server 2000 provides great built-in functionality, it also benefits from a strong third-party add-on market that enhances the product's Return on Investment (ROI) by extending its capabilities and making it easier to manage. In his May Windows & .NET Magazine article "Pump Up SQL Server 2000," Michael Otey describes areas in which third-party add-ons enhance SQL Server. He also provides an overview of some of these products' important characteristics. The article covers management, performance monitoring, database design, JDBC middleware products, auditing and security, source-code and version control, business intelligence (BI), database replication, reporting, backup and restore, XML integration, and notification services. It's free to register with the Window & .NET Magazine Web site and registered users can read this article today at
MrSQL is developing a T-SQL script to update the statistics on all user-defined tables in his database. MrSQL prefers using the sp_updatestatistics stored procedure, which updates all the tables in the database, to the cursor method, which uses the UPDATE STATISTICS command. But he wants to make sure that sp_updatestatistics uses a sampling ratio of full scan (WITH FULLSCAN), as the UPDATE STATISTICS command does. Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Performance forum at
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q. I'm a Visual Basic (VB) developer and new to T-SQL programming. Does T-SQL have a function equivalent to VB's InStr() function?
A. Life would be much easier if functions had the same name across different programming languages. T-SQL's charindex function, for example, lets you do the same thing as VB's InStr() function, which specifies the first occurrence of one string in another string. Charindex's syntax is
CHARINDEX ( expression1 , expression2 \[ , start_location \] )
Expression1 is a short character data-type expression that contains the sequence of characters you want to find. Expression2 is the character string that you want to search. And start_location is the character position where charindex starts searching for expression1 in expression2. If you don't specify a start_location or if start_location is a negative number or zero, the charindex search starts at the beginning of expression2.
5. Events Central
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Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the new .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) integration with SQL Server 2005! Learn about the functionality provided by the CLR, how it can be disabled, and when you should try to take advantage of it. Learn how to use Visual Studio 2005 to create new CLR-based database objects like stored procedures and triggers. Register today for this free Web seminar sponsored by PASS!
6. New and Improved
(contributed by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com)
NSI Software announced Double-Take for SQL Server, host-based replication software that provides realtime application protection. NSI's patented Sequential Transfer-Asynchronous Replication (STAR) technology continuously captures and replicates changes at the byte level as they occur. Double-Take replicates user-selected files or entire volumes from one or more source servers to one or more target servers over standard network connections. The software's failover capabilities let you quickly resume business operations after a disaster or a system outage, with or without user intervention and without needing to restore data from tape backups. Double-Take supports Windows 2000 and Windows NT as well as Sun Solaris, so you can protect both SQL Server and Oracle databases. For pricing and other information, contact NSI at 888-674-9495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAS announced SAS 9, a scalable business intelligence (BI) platform that simplifies data and application sharing and provides users with context-specific information. SAS 9 provides seamless, transparent access to data between SAS and SQL Server 2000 databases. By using the software to integrate SQL Server sources across the enterprise with other data sources, organizations can use SQL Server data more effectively. The SAS/ACCESS Interface for SQL Server provides connectivity between SAS and SQL Server 2000 databases for data access and updates. SAS/ACCESS works with the SAS 9 Intelligence Platform to let users access more data sources and derive better BI. And the software lets you tailor user interfaces to the varying skill levels and usage patterns of different users, so users can focus on data analysis and decision making. For pricing and more information, contact SAS's home office at 919-677-8000 or sales at 800-727-0025.
Mike Murach and Associates announced "Murach's C#," a book by Doug Lowe and Joel Murach that shows you how to use C# and Visual Studio to design, code, and test Windows applications. Of special interest to SQL Server programmers is a 5-chapter section about using ADO.NET for database processing. The section starts by showing how to create two-tiered applications that handle data by using typed data sets with bound or unbound controls. Then, the section shows how to develop three-tiered applications by using untyped data sets and data commands to implement database classes that populate the business classes with data. The book highlights essential C# skills such as how to use structured exception handling and how to validate user input to prevent common exceptions. "Murach's C#" is 750 pages long and is available at an introductory price of $34.65. For information or to purchase the book, contact Mike Murach and Associates at 800-221-5528 or email@example.com.
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