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March 30, 2006
2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
3. News & Views
4. Events and Resources
5. Featured White Paper
6. Peer to Peer
8. New & Improved
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Summer Fun with SQL Server Express
by Brian Moran, firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft has announced the Made In Express contest ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258B2:7B3DA ), which encourages people from the IT community to submit ideas about interesting solutions they can build by using SQL Server Express and Visual Studio Express. Contest judges will select 12 finalists to compete for a grand prize of $10,000. Here's a quick snippet from a Microsoft announcement about the contest:
"The Made In Express Contest is all about people expressing their creativity and passion through technology. From music aficionados who build their own digital music players and libraries, to amateur weathermen who create weather web services, we want to showcase cool people doing cool things with Visual Studio Express and SQL Server Express Editions."
The contest has two phases. The Idea phase lets anyone submit an idea for "what cool thing I would build with Express if I am picked as a finalist." You must submit your idea by April 30, 2006. Independent judges will screen all submissions, select 12 finalists, and announce their choices by May 15. Finalists will then have until August 6 to wow the judges and the community with their work. The grand-prize winner will get $10,000 cash, two runners up will win $1,000, and all remaining finalists who complete a project will win a $250 gift card.
$14,000 in prizes is a clever and (for Microsoft) awfully inexpensive way to generate a lot of community interest in SQL Server Express. In addition, the contest should enlighten many people about the reality that SQL Server Express and Visual Studio Express are powerful tools for developing production-quality applications. Microsoft likes to downplay the threat of competition from open-source database products such as MySQL, but open-source products are attracting a larger market share each year. Cost is certainly a driving factor behind that growth.
Microsoft needs to walk a fine line between making SQL Server Express powerful enough to do "real things" but not so powerful that it will cannibalize paid versions of SQL Server on the lower end of the customer base. However, SQL Server Express is well suited for many production-quality database applications as long as you can live within the performance and feature limitations of the product. The Made in Express contest home page seems geared to hobbyists, but I suspect that many of the people who enter the contest will be professional developers having some fun on their own time. If that's true, the contest should go a long way toward giving the professional IT community a better sense of where, when, and how SQL Server Express can be viable tools for certain classes of live, production applications.
and how SQL Server Express can be viable tools for certain classes of live, production applications. Check out http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258B2:7B3DA for more information about Made In Express. Who wants to relax at the beach with a good book when you can build cool SQL Server applications over your summer vacation?
Learn SQL Server 2005 Now—Get a FREE training CD!
Start learning SQL Server 2005 today with award-winning training from AppDev. Get a FREE SQL 2005 training CD from our new course (a $115 value). Click the link below for your FREE SQL Server 2005 training: http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258AF:7B3DA
2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
Figure Out SQL Server 2005 Bug Fixes
In conjunction with the release of the SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) March Consumer Technology Preview (CTP), Microsoft published a list of the bug fixes contained in the CTP. The list contains previously released hotfixes as well as undocumented hotfixes. A link next to the description of each hotfix takes you to a Microsoft article describing that fix. You can view the list and read its associated articles at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258AD:7B3DA
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3. News & Views
BI Enthusiasts Get SQL Server 2005 Report Packs
This week, Microsoft announced the release of its new Report Packs for SQL Server 2005. Modeled after the successful SQL Server 2000 Report Packs, the updated and new Report Packs let customers kick-start reports for applications and speed up report design and deployment. In addition, having ready-made reports enables greater user productivity and efficiency and lets partners accelerate development of their solutions and help their customers take advantage of advanced business insight. The Report Packs include:
The Report Packs for SQL Server 2005 are available as a free Web download at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=2589A:7B3DA
Results of Previous Instant Poll: Customer Collaboration
"What do you think of Microsoft's Transparent Customer Collaboration model?" Here are the results from the 23 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
New Instant Poll: Made in Express
"Will you enter the Microsoft Made in Express contest?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258B7:7B3DA ) and submit your vote for
4. Events and Resources
SQL Server Magazine Connections, April 2-5, 2006
Now in its sixth year, SQL Server Magazine Connections returns to the Hyatt Grand Cypress Resort. We've scheduled more than 150 sessions with Microsoft and industry experts. Don't miss your chance to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle! Call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204.
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See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events.
5. Featured White Paper
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6. Peer to Peer
Using the CLR with C# DLLs
by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, email@example.com
Q: I understand that SQL Server 2005 is completely based on .NET Server and as such is integrated with Visual Studio .NET. Does this integration mean that I can use the CREATE ASSEMBLY command to register the DLLs I've created in C#? I also have an extended stored procedure that I created in Visual C++. Can I migrate this procedure, or do I have to create it again in C#?
A: Read the answer to this question today at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258A0:7B3DA
CLR or Not CLR: Is That the Question?
The integration of the CLR in SQL Server 2005 lets you develop .NET objects such as user-defined types (UDTs), user-defined aggregates (UDAs), user-defined functions (UDFs), stored procedures, and triggers in any .NET language, including C# and Visual Basic. In his April article "CLR or Not CLR: Is That the Question?" Itzik Ben-Gan explains when it's best to use the CLR and when to choose T-SQL. He runs through a couple of simple examples that demonstrate the differences you'll see in T-SQL and CLR performance and functionality in different scenarios. Read this article today and post your comments at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258A1:7B3DA
In a Nutshell:
Opinion: Terminating an Employee
This week in his blog, Kevin Kline ponders the long-term repercussions of employee termination. Have you been through a dismally bad dismissal? Have you had to terminate an employee but had things work out well? Tell Kevin your experiences today at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258AA:7B3DA
Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums: http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258AE:7B3DA
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8. New & Improved
by Blake Eno, firstname.lastname@example.org
Review and Document Your Code
Aivosto released Project Analyzer 8, a Visual Basic (VB), Visual Basic.NET, and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code review and documentation system that produces software diagrams, reports coding flaws, locates reusable subsystems, and suggests restructuring of classes. Project Analyzer exposes logic errors such as unwritten variables and unset function return values. Constant analysis locates bugs caused by differing values in duplicated constants. And parameter analysis reports unexpected side effects of "out" function parameters. Project Analyzer also locates reusable subsystems in large programs and reports information about unused code and 180 software metrics. Pricing for Project Analyzer starts at $299. For more information, contact Aivosto at email@example.com.
Monitor Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Applications
AVIcode announced upgrades to its flagship product, Intercept Studio. The latest release supports applications built on Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Intercept Studio's new monitoring capabilities feature automated collection and organization of application faults related to performance, application failures, connectivity, and security problems. Intercept Studio adheres to IT Infrastructure Library standards so that you can comply with industry best practices for application implementation and management. Intercept Studio can also operate in an agentless mode to give you better insight into instrumentation log data. For more information, contact AVIcode at 443-543-0030.
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