In This Issue:
Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Browsing the list of the new specializations for Microsoft Partners might spark your imagination.

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December 7, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Specializations for Microsoft Partners

2. SQL Server Watch

  • IT Pro of the Month—November 2006 Winner
  • This Month’s Focus—Gifts for the DBA
    Database Development Teams: The Great Divide
  • Product Watch: SoftTree Technologies and SQL Minds

3. Hot Articles

  • Reader to Reader: Compare Databases’ Structural Differences
  • Feature: Using Reporting Services in an Internet/Extranet Environment
  • Puzzled by T-SQL: Solution to November’s Logical Puzzle: Then There Were Five?
  • In a Nutshell: Better Logging Tool for DTS
  • Hot Threads: Performance and OLAP/Data Warehousing

4. Events and Resources

  • Transfer Oracle Skills to SQL Server
  • Are you who you say you are? Even on Linux?
  • Reduce SQL Server Operational Costs, Simplify Management, and Increase Availability
  • Get the Latest Tips on Safeguarding Your System
  • Streamline and Automate Upgrades to SQL Server 2005

5. Featured White Paper

  • The Starter PKI Program

6. Announcements

  • Uncover Essential Windows Knowledge Through Excavator
  • Vote for the Next “IT Pro of the Month!”

7. Web Community


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1. Perspectives

Specializations for Microsoft Partners
by Brian Moran, brian@solidqualitylearning.com

Most readers are probably familiar with the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program, which includes the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) certification plus many other major and minor certifications. The MCP program tends to be tightly coupled with Microsoft Learning courses, with final certification tied to passing certain tests that are based on core competencies and skills covered in various classes offered through Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions or other training resources.

But not as many readers are familiar with the various specializations that exist for Microsoft Partners. Microsoft is in the process of launching some new partner-level specializations, several of which are directly related to the SQL Server community, so I wanted to give you a quick heads-up on this program. Readers who work for or own a Microsoft Solution Provider company might be interested in pursuing these specializations. Even if you aren’t connected with a Microsoft Solution Provider company, you should still be aware of the specializations so that you know what they mean if some fancy-pants consultant shows up on your doorstep offering to help.

Partner-level specializations are managed at the “partner competency level,” which is the term that Microsoft uses to classify which areas their partners have expertise in. You can find detailed descriptions of all 13 of the partner competency levels at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/program/competencies. Although many of the competencies are related to SQL Server in some way, the three competencies that are most applicable to the SQL Server community are Advanced Infrastructure Solutions, Data Management Solutions, and Information Worker Solutions.

You can read about the new specializations that Microsoft is preparing to release at https://partner.microsoft.com/US/program/competencies/upcomingspecializationinitiatives. The company is releasing nine new Microsoft Partner specializations:

  • Data Visualization
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Forms
  • Enterprise Project Management
  • Office Solutions Development
  • Office Systems Deployment
  • Performance Management
  • Portals and Collaboration
  • Search
  • Unified Communications

Directly related to the SQL Server BI world are two new specializations: Data Visualization and Performance Management. However, if you read through the list, you’ll see that many of the new offerings touch on SQL Server topics in one way or another, which makes sense because a database touches so many aspects of a company’s business and technical initiatives.

I often find myself writing editorials that offer ideas and suggestions related to career planning and management as the end of the year approaches and people are thinking about the coming new year. I generally think of these topics as “What do I want to be when I grow up?” The big 40 is looming closer for me, and you’d think that I’d have the answer to that question by now. Alas, like many of you, I sometimes have a hard time making up my mind. I’m short enough to be an astronaut, but my eyesight isn’t good enough, so that’s out. But everything else is on the table. I’m sure that I’ll have more thoughts to share on the topic of career planning over the next several weeks. For now, I encourage you to check out the new specializations. Perhaps one of them will help you decide what you want to be when you grow up.


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2. SQL Server Watch

IT Pro of the Month—November 2006 Winner
Congratulations to Simon Zeltser, who was voted the November 2006 "IT Pro of the Month." Adapting a solution he found in Windows Scripting Solutions, Simon developed what he calls a ProfileBackup solution, which executes in two phases: backup and restore. He was able to use his solution to remotely upgrade more than 1500 PCs, saving the IT staff time and the company money. To learn more about Simon's solution and to find out how you can become the next “IT Pro of the Month,” please visit: http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/itpromonth.

This Month’s Focus—Gifts for the DBA
Database Development Teams: The Great Divide

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (Team Data) could help break down walls between database development teams, but teams won't find common ground until they make an effort to understand each other. Read this article today at: http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/92843/92843.html.

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, products@sqlmag.com

Speed Database Development and Improve Code Quality
SoftTree Technologies announced SQL Assistant Beta, a SQL code-completion tool that supports SQL Server and Oracle platforms. SQL Assistant helps with SQL code typing by offering automatic word completion and database-object and attribute browsing. The software integrates with other database editors, including the native tools that come with your database. SQL Assistant requires a small disk and memory footprint and can be installed without interrupting any existing processes or settings. To view screenshots of the software, visit SoftTree Technologies on the Web. For more information, call 212-208-4625 or 800-289-9256.

Fine-Tune SQL Server Performance
SQL Minds announced Companion for MS SQL Server 2005 1.2, software that collects, analyzes, and displays information about the inner workings of SQL Server 2005 to help fine tune its performance. Companion provides reports about various aspects of SQL Server performance. The product’s eight new reports include: Indexes with Most IO Waits, Page Splits, Most Executed Queries, Top Recompiled Queries, Top Average-IO Queries, Page Locks, and Scans. In addition to these reports, which now total 53, Companion's UI provides information about hardware configuration, scheduling details, and database object storage and usage details. The software can also be used as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 snap-in. For more information, contact SQL Minds at 704-737-5633 or sales@sqlminds.com or visit http://www.sqlminds.com.


Sponsor: Innovartis
ISV? Database version upgrades painful?

DB Ghost Packager Plus enables ISVs to develop an installer for their customers containing the new version of their product that will automatically bring any target database to the same level as the source database. ISV customers just launch the Packager Plus installer.exe, choose the location and name of the database, set the basic settings, and click—it’s done. Excuse the cliche, but it really is as simple as that. Download our 14-day Free Trial.


3. Hot Articles

Reader to Reader: Compare Databases’ Structural Differencess
Send your SQL Server code, comments, discoveries, and solutions to r2r@sqlmag.com.

The sp_DBDiff stored procedure lets you can compare the structural differences of databases by generating a report that lists new tables, dropped tables, new columns, dropped columns, and column definition changes. Read this tip today at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/93601/93601.html.

Feature: Using Reporting Services in an Internet/Extranet Environment
How can you use SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services to deploy reports when Windows Authentication isn’t available—and without the risk of one partner seeing another’s data? Here’s how to set up custom authentication and filtering for Web-based reporting. Read this article today and post your comments at http://www.sqlmag.com/Articles/ArticleID/93830/93830.html.

Puzzled by T-SQL: Solution to November’s Logical Puzzle: Then There Were Five?
Can you think of a sentence that contains the word "and" five times consecutively? Read the solution and post your comments today at: http://www.sqlmag.com/article/articleid/94333/sql_server_blog_94333.html.

In a Nutshell: Better Logging Tool for DTS
Kevin tells you about a new tool for logging support within DTS. Read about this tool, created by SQL Server MVP David Mauri, and post your comments today at: http://www.sqlmag.com/article/articleid/94434/sql_server_blog_94434.html.

Hot Threads:


4. Events and Resources

Are you an Oracle professional who has cross-platform responsibilities, or do you need to transfer your skill set to SQL Server? If so, register for free to attend the Cross Platform Data online event January 30 and 31 and February 1, 2007. In a seminar featuring SQL Server and Oracle experts Andrew Sisson from Scalability Experts and Douglas McDowell from Solid Quality Learning, you'll learn key concepts about SQL Server 2005, including how to 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.

Are you who you say you are? Really? Even on Linux? Really? If you’re like most IT professionals, this type of identity crisis is a plague. Virtual TechX World—available December 14—makes your life (and the lives of your users) easier by equipping you with the latest interoperability insights and technology. Slots are filling quickly—register today!

Learn to use a database utility for SQL Server to lower operational costs, simplify management, and increase the availability of your SQL Server deployment. On-Demand Web Seminar.

Your business, like most today, relies on its computing systems to store financial information, house proprietary data, and maintain communications channels. This increasing reliance also increases the dangers to your systems from security breaches, including viruses, spyware, spam, and hackers. Visit the Windows Protection Site at http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/protection for the latest tips on safeguarding your system.

Streamline and automate upgrades to SQL Server 2005, and manage multiple databases with less time. Leverage the data-management, business-intelligence, and performance improvements that you’ll receive with an upgrade to SQL Server 2005, and unlock the full potential of your servers. Register now for full event access!

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


5. Featured White Paper

Securing multiple domains or host names? Learn how the Starter PKI program can save time and reduce costs, and provide you with a multiple digital certificate account.

Bonus: Register for any white paper from Windows IT Pro in the month of December, and be entered to win a Wii! Visit http://www.windowsitpro.com/whitepapers for more information and a complete white paper listing.


Hot Spot: Neverfail
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When disaster strikes your servers, you need answers, whether your servers are dedicated to Windows, SQL Server, or Exchange. Make sure that if an emergency occurs, you’re prepared. Get the full eBook and get started on your recovery plan today!


6. Announcements

Uncover Essential Windows Knowledge Through Excavator
Try out the ultimate vertical search tool: Windows Excavator. Windows Excavator gives you fast, thorough third-party information while filtering out unwanted content. Visit http://www.winexcavator.com today!

Vote for the Next “IT Pro of the Month!”
Your vote counts! Take the time to reward excellence in an IT pro who deserves it. The first 100 readers to cast a vote will receive a one-year subscription to Windows IT Pro, compliments of Microsoft. Voting takes only a few seconds, so don't miss out. Cast your vote now: http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/itpromonth.


 

7. Web Community

 


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