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December 16, 2004
2. News and Views
4. Peer to Peer
5. Events Central
6. New and Improved
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by Brian Moran, [email protected]
'Tis the season for surveys! Last month in "Speak Your Mind, Data-Modelers!"
(http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/44560/44560.html ), I encouraged you to participate in Microsoft's latest data-modeling survey. This week, I want you to participate in Microsoft's new survey. The company wants to improve its customers' application-development experience with data-oriented platforms. According to Microsoft, the survey has the following objectives:
- to determine developers' data-handling priorities.
- to understand the existing and upcoming challenges that potentially hinder the optimal performance and productivity of those who develop applications and software components.
- to direct software manufacturers and partners toward building products that enable greater success among software-development professionals.
Microsoft says you can complete the survey in 10-15 minutes. However, the survey weighs in at a whopping 80 questions, several dozen of which ask for thoughtful feedback about priorities. I suspect it will take most of you more than 15 minutes to give the questions proper consideration, so plan your time accordingly. You can't save your answers to come back later, so you'll need adequate time to finish the survey in one session. You can participate in the survey at https://www.datstat.com/illume/WSS-Collector/Survey.ashx?Name=SQL_Dev_Marketing . I know that the URL doesn't look like an official Microsoft survey link, but I assure you that it's a real Microsoft survey. I've confirmed the survey's existence with senior people at Microsoft-this link is genuine.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Don't blast Microsoft for not building what you want if you won't take the time to tell them. We owe it to ourselves to give Microsoft feedback—not just to help Microsoft, but also to help Microsoft build products that better meet our needs. Most of the time, a survey like this is geared toward a particular area or occurs early in product planning. So I can't say how the survey will affect SQL Server products in the short term. Also, you'll find that the survey covers a variety of topics. I can't imagine that Microsoft will be able to incorporate all the feedback it receives into the SQL Server 2005 product cycle. At this point in the development cycle, the feature sets are mostly fixed. Still, I invested my time and shared my ideas with Microsoft—I encourage you to do the same.
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Today, every company recognizes the downsides of downtime: significant productivity and profitability losses. But until now, businesses had limited choices among solutions that protect against downtime, either because of their cost or their complexity. Neverfail's "cluster-class" solution ensures server reliability, application availability and data protection—at a fraction of the cost and complexity of traditional alternatives. Learn how to keep your users connected to your SQL Server, no matter whether a failure occurs in the operating system, a hardware component, a software application, or somewhere within the network. To view a demo or access a free whitepaper:
2. News & Views
The SQL Server Health and History Tool (SQLH2) lets you collect information from instances of SQL Server, store the information, and run reports against the data to determine how your organization is using SQL Server. SQLH2 collects four main types of information: feature usage (what services and features are installed and running and what the service's workload level is), configuration settings (machine, OS, and SQL Server configuration settings and SQL instance and database metadata), the SQL Server service's uptime, and performance counters (an option that lets you determine performance trends). SQLH2 requires you to create a SQL Server repository database. You should also download the SQLH2 reports to view the data SQLH2 collects. If you're interested in performance data, download and install the SQLH2 Performance Collector. The SQLH2 tool, a deployment guide, fixes to the SQLH2 2.0 version, and the Performance Collector are all available for download at
Microsoft has released a hotfix for a problem that occurs when you define a range by using strings that have more than two characters. In a SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition (SQL Server CE) OLE DB application, when you define a range to restrict rows that you access from a table and you access data from the table, the application returns incorrect results. Also, when you verify results, you can see that the first two characters of the string values define the range. This problem occurs if you use strings that have more than two characters to define the range, you bind the range data string as the DBTYPE_WSTR OLE DB data type, and you use the SetRange method of the IRowSetIndex interface to restrict the range of rows that you access. The OLE DB Provider for SQL Server CE can't detect the DBTYPE_WSTR OLE DB data type that the SQL Server CE OLE DB application passes. Therefore, the OLE DB Provider for SQL Server CE uses the fixed length of four bytes to bind data. Four bytes equals two characters in the WCHAR data type. To find out more about this problem and the supported hotfix, read the Microsoft article "FIX: You receive incorrect results when you use strings that have more than two characters to define a range, and then you access data in a SQL Server CE OLE DB application" at
"Are you participating in Microsoft's Community Technology Preview (CTP) program for SQL Server 2005?" Here are the results from the 42 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
"Will you participate in Microsoft's new application-development survey?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page (http://www.sqlmag.com ) and submit your vote for
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4. Peer to Peer
by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, [email protected]
Q. How can I identify all the files and filegroups in a particular database?
Read the answer to this question today at
When you write applications that return results to the client and display the results on the screen, you need to take into account the end user's screen-size limitations. If a query's result set contains too many rows to fit on the screen, you have to introduce logic into the application to split the original result set into chunks or pages. You then provide buttons or other graphical elements that let the user navigate between the result pages. The process of splitting the data into chunks, called paging, is very common, especially with Web applications. In his December T-SQL Black Belt column, "Implementing Paging," Itzik Ben-Gan looks at some efficient ways to achieve paging by using two navigation options and paging techniques. Read this article today at
Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums. http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/forums/
Security: Login Audit Failure for OSQL-32
Administration: Audit Logout Not Happening
DTS: Not Receiving DTS Package Failure Email
T-SQL: Varbinary and Varchar Field
Performance: RAM Usage in SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition
Database Design: Pros and Cons of Two Different Designs
For similar money you can either buy DB Ghost(TM) or you can go for our competitors tools that cannot build, and can only compare and sometimes synchronize. We think it's a no brainer. See for yourself:
5. Events Central
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See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events
6. New & Improved
by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]
JNetDirect announced JSQLMapper 1.2, a bidirectional data-mapping tool that eliminates the need to write custom code to bring relational data into XML format. The product's graphical mapping interface gives developers the ability to automatically generate XML schemas (XSD). And the JSQLMapper runtime component can now automatically perform extensible stylesheet language (XSL) transformations on extracted documents to meet enterprise requirements for data access and use. Using the idea of Business Level Collision Management, the product's creators designed JSQLMapper to detect external modifications to the database so that it can prevent data loss when writing XML into the database. Unlike with row-level collision detection, the software recognizes the business context of the dataset and provides protection not just from data loss, but also data corruption. The product supports JDBC-compatible relational databases including SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, and MySQL and complies with Sun's J2EE enterprise platform. A fully functional trial version of the software is available for download at the company's Web site. Pricing for JSQLMapper starts at $225 for a single-connection license. For more information, contact JNetDirect at 800-995-8534, 703-880-3800, or [email protected]
Addison Wesley announced "The Hitchhiker's Guide to SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services" by Peter Blackburn and William R. Vaughn, a book that covers the functionality of SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services SP1. The authors reveal hidden Reporting Services problems and workarounds as they walk you through each step in report installation, management, security, creation, and programming. You can use the book to start setting up simple single-server installations or Web farms right away while gaining understanding of Reporting Services' features. The 784-page book costs $49.95 and is available from Addison Wesley at 617-848-7500.
Resonate announced dbDispatch, software that provides high-end database users with realtime content synchronization and load-balancing capabilities across a cluster. The product eliminates traditional database replication based on transaction logs. Instead, dbDispatch executes WRITE operations simultaneously on all nodes of the cluster, thereby guaranteeing that all nodes are synchronized. Users can choose from several load-balancing policies to achieve optimal performance. In the case of a node failure, the product caches WRITE requests and replays them once the node is back online. The product further guarantees database integrity by duplicating the cache to a backup scheduler. dbDispatch also routes traffic based on the content of the request. IT administrators and DBAs can segregate data across multiple databases, and users can segregate data (e.g., credit-card data, patient records) that require different privacy or access rules and security restrictions. For pricing and other information, contact Resonate at 408-548-5639 or [email protected]
xSQL Software announced xSQL DataCompare, a utility that lets SQL Server DBAs and developers compare and synchronize the content of whole SQL Server databases or just selected tables. The product lets you drop or add constraints during synchronization so that SQL Server doesn't reject data; order tables in the synchronization scripts by foreign key and primary key relationships to maintain data integrity; select which unique constraint or index to use as the comparison key; compare and synchronize selected rows by applying a WHERE clause to the tables; and perform large data-read operations by using reads in block. The product displays data differences in an easy-to-read grid and generates a full action log and warnings about special data conditions. The product is built on the .NET platform and supports SQL Server 2000 and later releases. A fully functional trial version of the software is available at the xSQL Software Web site. Pricing for xSQL DataCompare starts at $199. For more information, contact xSQL Software at [email protected] or [email protected]
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