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May 1, 2003—In this issue:
- So Help Me Codd
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- SQL Server Magazine Career Path Goes Live
- Microsoft Launches Windows 2003
- Benchmark Announcement Coincides with SQL Server 2000 (64-Bit) Release
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: Moving to 64-Bit
- New Instant Poll: SQL Server Job Market
- T-SQL Solutions Available Free Online
- Check Out the Database Performance Portal Today!
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: The OS Factor
- Hot Thread: Preserving Performance When Partitioning
- Tip: Error Investigation Reveals Ghostly Objects
5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)
- Find Answers to Your SQL Server Questions
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Protect Sensitive Data from Unauthorized Access
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, [email protected])
"The key, the whole key, and nothing but the key, so help me Codd." That's the mnemonic I still use to help me remember the difference between the second and third normal forms of a normalized database (in second normal form, a nonkey column depends on the whole primary key; in third normal form, it depends on nothing outside the primary key).
Edgar F. Codd, the father of the relational database model, died April 18, 2003, at the age of 79. Codd's groundbreaking work in the field of relational database management systems (RDBMSs) paved the way for what many of us do professionally. Database administrators' and developers' lives would be radically different today without Codd's work and the subsequent commercialization of the relational model by major database vendors.
Working as an IBM researcher in 1970, Codd developed 12 rules of database design that have become the guiding light for the design of all modern relational databases. As SQL Server Magazine senior technical editor Michael Otey notes, "Although most databases don't conform to all 12 of Codd's rules, the rules of database design that he conceived are as vital today as they were when they were introduced, and their core concepts have since formed the basis of all of today's commercial relational database systems."
What was the database world like before the relational model? Most databases used network or hierarchical data models, which required you to define relationships before executing queries. As we all know, SQL now lets us query data in a more flexible manner and doesn't require us to define all of our query paths in advance.
In his original paper, "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks", Codd explained the significance of his new model: "The relational view (or model) of data...appears to be superior in several respects to the graph or network model presently in vogue for non-inferential systems. It provides a means of describing data with its natural structure only—that is, without superimposing any additional structure for machine representation poses. Accordingly, it provides a basis for a high level data language which will yield maximal independence between programs on the one hand and machine representation and organization of data on the other."
Of course, the relational model seems simple and obvious today, but Codd's model was anything but obvious at the time, and it paved the way for a $7 billion industry that's at the center of all business-based computing today. This week, take a moment to honor the contributions of a giant in the world of database. If you haven't already done so, read Codd's original paper. You might be amazed at the innovation of a person who knew how to think outside the box—before most of us even knew there was a box.
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2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
SQL Server job seekers and recruiters can now connect online at a Web site devoted exclusively to SQL Server careers. SQL Server Magazine's IT Career Path site lets employers and recruiters list jobs and get exposure to the more than 1.5 million IT professionals who visit http://www.sqlmag.com and its sister sites each month. Job seekers can browse current job openings, post resumes, and create automated agents that notify them when jobs meet their specifications. The service is free and private for job seekers. You can access the site at http://sql.itcareerpath.com.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Last Thursday in San Francisco, Microsoft launched the long-awaited Windows Server 2003, the Windows 2000 Server sequel that the software giant hopes will convince customers who are holding on to Windows NT Server 4.0 to upgrade. Described as Microsoft's biggest product launch of 2003, the event also saw the release of the Visual Studio .NET 2003 software development suite and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), which runs on 64-bit versions of Windows 2003. But the release of Windows 2003 itself was, of course, the main event. This product was long in the making and has important repercussions for Microsoft, its partners, and its competitors.
Those who have been holding off on upgrading from NT might think of Windows 2003 as Win2K done right. Windows 2003 includes no major new features, although Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 and the OS's overall emphasis on security are certainly highlights. But the new server contains thousands of small changes, refinements, and improvements—many of which were based on customer feedback—in a startling number of places. "We built these products to help solve IT and business challenges our customers are facing," says Bill Veghte, vice president of Microsoft's Windows Server Group. "Businesses need to reduce costs to accommodate shrinking budgets. At the same time, they need to respond faster to changing market conditions and customer requests. There is a real demand to deliver connected, highly manageable applications."
The improvements in Windows 2003 will likely prove compelling enough to cause many NT 4.0 holdouts to finally upgrade (although NT will remain with us for years to come, it seems). Microsoft is touting more than 150 high-profile companies, organizations, and government agencies, such as Digex, JetBlue Airways, and the Kentucky Department of Education, that upgraded to Windows 2003 during the beta and went to live production with prerelease code, a crucial real-world test of the system that proved wildly successful for most organizations that attempted it.
Because Windows 2003 scales better than its predecessor, the product also represents Microsoft's first credible threat to high-end UNIX multiprocessing servers. Versions of Windows 2003 can run on virtually any type of server hardware, from the smallest Web blade to the most massively scalable database servers on the planet. As Tony Iams, vice president and research director of DH Brown Associates, noted in a report titled "Windows Server Platform Reaches Maturity," Windows 2003 marks the fulfillment of Microsoft's decade-old server architecture vision. "It's a milestone in another way, too," he says. "Windows used to have different core technology in its desktop and server versions. With Windows XP already available and the same core technology now in Windows Server 2003, this marks the first time that Microsoft truly offers a single operating system for servers and clients throughout the enterprise. Uniting that environment via Active Directory, and using products such as Microsoft Operations Manager and Systems Management Server, provides a level of power and functionality throughout the enterprise—from server to desktop—that users never had before. Microsoft is really hitting on all cylinders. It's very exciting to see."
On April 24, Microsoft announced the first single-system TPC-C benchmark result to surpass the 600,000 tpmC mark. SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit) on a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Superdome server running Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition returned a tpmC score of 658,277 at a price/performance score of of $9.80/tpmC. The benchmark announcement coincided with Microsoft's release of the 64-bit version of SQL Server 2000 and Windows Server 2003.
SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit) is designed to
support memory-intensive and high-performance applications running on 64-bit
versions of Windows Server 2003. Microsoft's combined announcements are geared
toward encouraging customers to extend their systems to the 64-bit
architecture. In addition, the company is stressing that the new products offer
a compelling alternative to UNIX-based solutions through 64-bit capabilities
that deliver both high scalability and lower cost of ownership. You can read
Microsoft's press release about the latest TPC-C score at
You can view the score details on the Transaction Processing
Performance Council (TPC) Web site at
The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "When do you plan to move to 64-bit SQL Server?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 248 votes:
- 5% Within 6 months
- 6% Within 1 year
- 6% Within 2 years
- 19% We need more information before deciding
- 64% We have no plans to move to 64-bit
The next Instant Poll question is "Has the SQL Server job market worsened or improved in the first part of 2003?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) Worsened. I've seen fewer SQL Server-related jobs posted, 2) Improved. I've seen more SQL Server-related jobs posted; or 3) Remained the same. It doesn't seem better or worse than 6 months ago.
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The T-SQL Solutions Web site is now available FREE to registered users. To access new articles, tips, archived articles, and associated code, simply complete an online registration form! The site features columns by SQL Server gurus, as well as an active T-SQL forum and regular Instant Poll. Register today!
SQL Server Magazine and CSA Research have recently introduced the Database Performance Portal. IT professionals use the Performance Portal to conduct client, server and network scalability studies; perform ad hoc systems health analysis; identify infrastructure bottlenecks; conduct offsite diagnostics; and qualify new hardware purchases. To visit the portal, go to!
When facing database performance problems, most DBAs investigate many factors, but they rarely consider the OS itself. Because the OS ultimately handles all I/O requests, it plays a crucial role in overall database performance. In his May 2003 editorial, "The OS Factor," Michael Otey examines the improvements that Windows Server 2003 can bring to your SQL Server performance. Read this article at
Xtribe00 is considering partitioning several tables. He's separated the tables into groups that he calls "Table1" and "Table1_History." Some members of Xtribe00's group want to put the Table1_History tables in a separate database on the same server and the same RAID device as the Table1 tables. Other group members want to put Table1_History tables in a separate filegroup in the same database and on the same server and the same RAID device as the Table1 tables. The application Xtribe00 works with needs both sets of tables and will reference them through a UNION view. Will performance suffer if the Table1_History tables are in a separate database rather than in the same database in a separate filegroup? Read what other DBAs have said, and offer your advice, on SQL Server Magazine's Performance forum at the following URL:
(contributed by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, [email protected])
Q. While using SQL Server Profiler to monitor my SQL Server database recently, I periodically received the message "Error: 602, Severity: 21, State: 13." In the Process Info window in Enterprise Manager, I found an entry that displayed a background process called GHOST CLEANUP; the user "system" had initiated this command. I used DBCC CHECKDB to check my database for problems, but I found no anomalies. What is the GHOST CLEANUP command, and what is error 602?
A. When you delete rows, pages, or extents in your database, SQL Server can mark those objects as "ghosts" (meaning that deletion is pending) and clean them up later by using a background task. This process is called "ghost cleanup." Ghost cleanup improves the performance of the DELETE command because SQL Server doesn't have to deal with physical cleanup right away. What you described seeing in the Process Info window was the background ghost-cleanup task running.
To find out what error 602 means, look for a line in your SQL Server error log that gives you an objectid. You can use the objectid to trace the error to a specific database or object. If the object still exists (i.e., it wasn't a transient object such as a temporary table), you can run DBCC CHECKTABLE against it and query sysindexes to verify that the object isn't damaged. If the object is OK, SQL Server issued the 602 error message falsely. In some situations, SQL Server will issue a spurious 602 error message. To learn more about what error 602 means, go to http://support.microsoft.com and search for "SQL and 602." The search will return a list of articles that address 602 errors and what they mean.
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6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Protegrity announced that its Secure.Data for SQL Server 2000 has been certified for use with PeopleSoft AppConnect. The integration lets PeopleSoft customers using SQL Server 2000 use Secure.Data to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. PeopleSoft AppConnect reduces the complexities of integrating multivendor applications at the people, process, and data levels. PeopleSoft AppConnect comprises three components (Enterprise Portal, Enterprise Warehouse, and Integration Broker) that use Internet architecture to connect your business operations in realtime. For pricing, contact PeopleSoft at 925-225-3000 or Protegrity at 203-326-7200.
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