In This Issue:
Microsoft and many large businesses are paying increasing attention to improving cross-platform compatibility. For DBAs and IT managers who support Oracle and SQL Server in the same shop, here’s an opportunity to help make the two work well together.

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August 24, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Helping SQL Server and Oracle Play Together

2. SQL Server Watch

  • Regional Events Cover Four Key Interoperability Topics
  • Bug Causes Snapshot Replication Failure
  • Product Watch: ICS and Quest Software

3. Hot Articles

  • Tip: SQL Server Profiler: 2005 vs. 2000
  • T-SQL 2005: Exploring Changes Made to SQL Server 2005’s UDF Options
  • Puzzled by T-SQL: Cross Country
  • In a Nutshell: CodePlex Coolness
  • Hot Threads: SQL Server 2005 Development and Security

4. Events and Resources

  • Cross-Platform Data Roadshow
  • Microsoft Tech-Ed: Developers
  • Consolidating SQL Server Deployments
  • Take the Quest Pop Quiz!

5. Featured White Paper

  • Integrating Fax Servers in MFP Environments

6. Announcements

  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, and Forums
  • Save $40 on SQL Server Magazine

7. Web Community

  • http://www.sqlmag.com

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1. Perspectives

Helping SQL Server and Oracle Play Together
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

Are you interested in SQL Server and Oracle interoperability? Then you might want to consider attending the 12-city Roadshow “Managing Your Cross-Platform Data: Solutions for Oracle and SQL Server Environments,” which Windows IT Pro (SQL Server Magazine’s sister publication) and its industry and training partners are about to kick off. For a minimal investment of time and money (one day and $99), Oracle DBAs and developers can learn how to extend their skills into the SQL Server world and Oracle-focused IT managers and directors can evaluate the benefits of making strategic investments in SQL Server-based solutions.

I don’t make a habit of mentioning every interesting show or seminar event I come across because if I tried, all I’d ever do is make announcements. However, this Roadshow strikes my fancy for two reasons. First, I think it’s reflective of a big push from Microsoft in the database interoperability space that you should expect to see over the next year. I haven’t tallied up all of the Microsoft initiatives designed to spur SQL Server growth in cross-platform environments, but I do sense a growing interest from multiple groups at Microsoft in targeting this space. Don’t get me wrong--Microsoft has always cared about cross-platform wins. However, funding is a good gauge of Microsoft’s interest in particular initiatives. More recently than in past years, I’ve learned about multiple initiatives in which Microsoft employees are proactively working on cross-platform wins. A proactive increase in focused efforts to support competitive wins from Oracle and IBM DB2 can mean only one thing: Someone has funding (i.e., money) to pay for those efforts. Thus, someone (or perhaps many people) at Microsoft think it’s a growing strategic priority.

The second reason I think this particular Roadshow is interesting is that a market opportunity exists for it; therefore, many large companies must already have substantial investments in multiple enterprise-database platforms. I admit that historically, most of my clients have tended to be Microsoft-based shops in which most investments are in Microsoft technology. However, I’ve noticed over the last year or so that it’s more common for me to see mixed environments, and my company has seen an increase in requests along the line of, “We need to train our enterprise Oracle DBAs on SQL Server.” This isn’t a statistically pure survey by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a clear trend that I’ve observed.

To produce the Roadshow, Windows IT Pro is partnering with Microsoft, HP, and Intel, and other sponsoring partners. Two top SQL Server firms, Scalability Experts and Solid Quality Learning, are providing the technology content, so you can be sure the material will be interesting. In fact, the BI content is produced by Douglas McDowell, author of the monthly SQL Server Magazine UPDATE Special Edition commentary. (To be fair, I must tell you that Douglas and I are colleagues. But you can be assured that as such, I can vouch for the quality of his work, and he’ll give you excellent information.)

According to the event’s Web site, the Roadshow “is designed for Oracle professionals who have cross-platform responsibilities or need to transfer their skill sets to SQL Server, and for IT managers seeking database computing environment improvements for their organizations. We are bringing Oracle professionals together to learn from a third-party, independent source key concepts about SQL Server in enterprise database computing environments, including: how to successfully deploy SQL Server's BI capabilities on Oracle; proof points demonstrating that SQL Server is enterprise-ready; and how to successfully deploy Oracle on the Windows platform, focusing on the advantages of 64-bit Intel processor-based server implementations.”

Dates and locations for the tour are:

  • September 7, 2006 Washington DC
  • September 12, 2006 Boston
  • September 21, 2006 Columbus, Ohio
  • September 26, 2006 Chicago
  • September 28, 2006 St. Louis, Missouri
  • October 03, 2006 Houston, Texas
  • October 05, 2006 Irvine, California
  • October 10, 2006 San Francisco
  • October 12, 2006 Phoenix
  • October 17, 2006 New York
  • October 19, 2006 Atlanta
  • October 24, 2006 Seattle

You’ll find additional information about the event, including a link for registration, at http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqloracle .


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2. SQL Server Watch

Regional Events Cover Four Key Interoperability Topics
Are you a Windows fan, a UNIX diehard or a Linux lover? Check out TechX World, an OS-agnostic event designed to give you insider tips on coping with your “Windows Plus” world. Designed by people who understand that the world you live in never fits the textbook IT infrastructure, TechX is for IT professionals who work in a “Windows Plus” environment. This four-track, one-day event features information about OS interoperability, data interoperability, directory and security integration, and virtualization. The content will focus on interoperability tips to help make disparate systems work well together and will be presented by technical experts Michael Otey, Gil Kirkpatrick, Dustin Puryear, and Randy Dyess.

Between October 24 and November 2, the regional event series will visit four cities: Washington, DC; Chicago; Dallas; and San Francisco. Attendees who register before August 31 will receive early bird pricing and a one-year subscription to Windows IT Pro. At $129 per person for four tracks and a full day of learning, it’s worth sending your entire team to make sure you cover all the sessions. For complete agenda and speaker details, go to
http://www.techxworld.com

Bug Causes Snapshot Replication Failure
In SQL Server 2000, you can replicate a table to a SQL Server destination by using snapshot replication. However, if the table has a column of the text data or image data type and contains a null value or zero-length data, you might receive the following error message:

“Bulk-copy commit failed (bcp_batch). ODBC message: SQLSTATE 37000, native error 4813, \[Microsoft\]\[ODBC SQL Server Driver\]\[SQL Server\]Expected the text length in data stream for bulk copy of text, ntext, or image data.”

Alternatively, you might notice that the number of rows that are actually replicated doesn’t match the number of rows you expected. This problem is caused by an identified bug, and Microsoft has provided a workaround in the article “BUG: Error message when you replicate a table to a SQL Server destination by using snapshot replication in SQL Server 2000: ‘Bulk-copy commit failed (bcp_batch) ODBC message: SQLSTATE 37000, native error 4813’” at
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;922663&sd=rss&spid=2852 .

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Leverage the Power of Microsoft BI
ICS announced that its business intelligence (BI) solution, RSinteract, extends its reach to support SQL Server Analysis cubes and the SQL Server 2005 Unified Dimensional Model (UDM). RSinteract builds on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to put information in the hands of non-technical users. As a server-based Web application, RSinteract requires no client software or plug-ins. RSinteract lets anyone with a standard Web browser build new SSRS reports or customize existing reports on any relational or OLAP data source defined in SQL Server 2005/2000. For more information, contact ICS at info@rsinteract.com.
http://www.rsinteract.com

Quest Releases .NET Application Management Solutions
Quest Software announced two .NET application management solutions-- which are both powered by AVIcode's .NET management technology--to help discover, diagnose, and resolve .NET application performance and availability problems. Quest Management Pack for .NET works with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, and Foglight for .NET is part of Quest's Application Advantage strategy for managing complex application environments and expands to monitor and manage .NET applications. Both of these solutions proactively monitor your applications and inform you of looming performance and availability problems. For more information, contact Quest Software at 949-754-8000.
http://www.quest.com


3. Hot Articles

Tip: SQL Server Profiler: 2005 vs. 2000
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

How you work with Profiler is different in SQL Server 2005 and 2000. Learn about this difference--and how you can use it to your advantage--by reading this tip at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/50260/50260.html

T-SQL 2005: Exploring Changes Made to SQL Server 2005’s UDF Options
A new and possibly overlooked user-defined function (UDF) option, RETURNS NULL ON NULL INPUT, helps speed up the processing of NULL input and the new list of non-deterministic system functions allowed in a UDF. In his August T-SQL 2005 column "Exploring Changes Made to SQL Server 2005’s UDF Options," Itzik Ben-Gan shows you how this option works. Read this article today and post your comments at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/53886/sql_server_53886.html

Puzzled By T-SQL: Cross Country
Often when I meet collogues and friends in IT events we hang out in the bar and share stories over beer about our travel ordeals. I’m inviting you to such a get-together, only this time it’s virtual (although the beer I’m having at the moment is real). I’ll share a story about the unusual way I got to one of our customers. If you wish, share stories from your experience…
http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/93211/93211.html

In a Nutshell: CodePlex Coolness
Kevin Kline gives you the scoop on CodePlex, a Microsoft community development site that provides useful extensions to SQL Server (and other Microsoft products) and example source code for people looking to write their own stored-procedure code. Everything in CodePlex is put together by volunteers, for public consumption. Learn about the site and check out the Analysis Services Stored Procedure project today at
http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/93287/93287.html

Hot Threads:
SQL Server 2005 Development: Running a 2005 Stored Procedure on a 2000 Database
http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=87&threadid=48922&enterthread=y
Security: Login Errors
http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=63&threadid=48844&enterthread=y


4. Events and Resources

Cross-Platform Data Roadshow
Oracle professionals will cover key concepts about Oracle and SQL Server in enterprise database computing. This event provides invaluable information, including benefits of 64-bit computing on the Windows platform, SQL Server BI for Oracle, high-availability proof points for SQL and Oracle, and much more.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqloracle/?code=0823emailannc

Microsoft Tech-Ed: Developers
Four days will take you months ahead of the game! Get deep-dive technical training, information, and community resources that focus on building software solutions with Microsoft development tools. Visit the Website for more information, and register before the Early Bird deadline of 29 September 2006 to save 300 euros. 7-10 November 2006, Barcelona, Spain.
http://www.microsoft.com/europe/teched-developers

Consolidating SQL Server Deployments
Does your SQL Server deployment suffer from low utilization rates, suboptimal availability, and management challenges? Learn how to overcome these difficulties by deploying a database utility that can not only help lower your cost of ownership by 70% but can react to changes within 30 seconds. Live Web Seminar: Tuesday, August 22.
http://www.sqlmag.com/go/seminars/polyserve/consolidatesql/?partnerref=0821emailannc

Test your SQL Server 2005 backup and recovery skills--you could win a $100 American Express Gift Card! Take the quiz now!
http://popquiz.sqlmag.com/quest

See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.
http://www.winnetmag.com/events


5. Featured White Paper

Integrating Fax Servers in MFP Environments
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Hot Spot: Neverfail
SQL Server Guide to Clustering Alternatives

Want the convenience of a server cluster without the expense? Learn about server cluster alternatives that provide high availability, preventative maintenance, and fallover capabilities at pricing that fits your budget.
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6. Announcements

SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, and Forums
Get hundreds of free tips and articles on SQL Server performance tuning and clustering. And get quick and accurate answers to your performance- and cluster-related questions in our forum. All from the SQL Server performance and clustering authority: SQL-Server-Performance.com.
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7. Web Community

 

Hot Threads
http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/default.aspx?forumid=10

Reader-to-Reader
http://www.sqlmag.com/Departments/DepartmentID/731/Reader%20to%20Reader.html

New Instant Poll
http://www.sqlmag.com/

Blogs
http://www.sqlmag.com/blog


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