SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, November 18, 2004--Data-Modeling Tool Survey

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November 18, 2004

1. Perspectives

  • Speak Your Mind, Data Modelers!
  • 2. News and Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server Magazine Connections

  • New Instant Poll: Time in IT
  • 3. Announcements

  • SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need

  • Get a Free Digital Issue of SQL Server Magazine
  • 4. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Resizing a Column in a Large Table

  • Hot Article: SQL Server 2005 Express

  • Hot Threads
  • 5. Events Central

  • SQL Server DevCon 2005 Focuses on Yukon

  • SmartDBA Recovery Management Webinar

  • SQL Server Magazine Connections Spring 2005
  • 6. New and Improved

  • Accelerate Application Development

  • Diversify Databases for Improved Performance

  • Speed Up Your Backups

  • Pinpoint Blocking in SQL Server
  • Sponsor: Free White Paper on Data Recovery Best Practices
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    1. Perspectives

    Speak Your Mind, Data Modelers! by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Last March, I wrote about a survey that Microsoft was conducting to gather feedback to help the company produce a database-modeling and design tool (see "Data Modelers, Arise, and Take Microsoft's New Survey" at http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/42026/42026.html ). I recently learned that Microsoft is soliciting additional feedback to ensure that it has all its customers' needs in mind as it decides what the data-modeling and design tool will include. Don't complain about Microsoft's lack of a quality tool in this space if you're unwilling to spend 15 minutes offering Microsoft feedback it can use to create the tool we've all been clamoring for. Even if you participated in the survey that I wrote about last March, please invest an additional 15 minutes as this is a different survey. I encourage all of you to visit the survey site at http://whdc.microsoft.com/vsdata/databasediagramming.aspx and let Microsoft know what features are most important to you.

    Microsoft hasn't publicly committed to a specific time frame for the new data-modeling tool's release, but this is more than a fishing exercise. Microsoft recognizes the value of such a tool and is willing to make the necessary investment that will bring the tool to market. Tim Laverty, a program manager with the Microsoft Visual Studio Data Tools group, had this to say about the survey:

    "We're running the survey in an attempt to learn what our database customers find most important in a data-modeling tool so we can plan our feature set for the post-Whidbey releases. People in the data-modeling community are very passionate and have diverse needs in a tool, and the survey results give us an analytical basis to prioritize what we build. The other thing that we really appreciate is that customers give us a ton of subjective feedback to balance the analytical data. Though it sounds like a cliche, we really do want to create the best dev tools on the market, and this data facilitates that."

    The lack of a quality data-modeling and design tool for SQL Server has been a glaring omission in Microsoft's suite of tools. I'm willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and believe it's ready to make a serious investment in building the type of data-modeling tool we want. But we need to tell them what we want. The survey will run through December 15; make sure you don't miss it.

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    2. News & Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server Magazine Connections

  • "Did you attend SQL Server Magazine's Connections conference in Las Vegas?" Here are the results from the 74 votes:

    • 4%    Yes, I always attend
    • 4%    Yes, I attended this year, but I don't think I'll return
    • 30%   No, but I plan to attend next year
    • 62%   No, and I don't plan to

  • New Instant Poll: Time in IT

  • "Approximately how long have you worked in IT?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://www.sqlmag.com ) and submit your vote for
    • Less than 5 years
    • 6-15 years
    • 16-25 years
    • 26-40 years
    • More than 40 years

    3. Announcements

  • SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need

  • SqlJunkies is your online community resource for original tutorial and how-to articles for developing applications with SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005; peer-to-peer help and networking through discussion forums and newsgroups; technology tips and pointers from expert bloggers; and the latest in SQL Server-related events and news.

  • Get a Free Digital Issue of SQL Server Magazine

  • Now is the time to try the #1 SQL Server resource—SQL Server Magazine. Whether you're looking for novice or advanced-level SQL Server information, our experts produce helpful answers relevant to every SQL Server user. Stay on top of such topics as SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services, SQL Server 2005, security, and much more! Click here to get your free issue:

    4. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Resizing a Column in a Large Table

  •     by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, [email protected]

    Q. I need to increase the size of a column from varchar(10) to varchar(80) on a table that has approximately 52 million rows and takes up about 83GB of disk storage. I tried changing the column size through Enterprise Manager, but the process stopped in the middle, and Enterprise Manager began rolling back the transaction. The SQL Server logs didn't contain any messages about why SQL Server aborted the operation and did a rollback. I can only guess that it was because of the table size. How can I increase the size of the column without the procedure failing, and with the job completing in a reasonable time? In addition, when I tried the operation before, my transaction log grew to 53GB. Can I do this procedure with logging turned off?

    Read the answer to this question today at

  • Hot Article: SQL Server 2005 Express

  • The biggest SQL Server news from TechEd Europe this year was the debut of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. As the newest version of Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), SQL Server Express may not sport all the advanced features that we'll see in SQL Server 2005, but it will provide a simple development environment for building data-driven applications as well as preview some of the new features that Microsoft is adding to SQL Server 2005. In his November SELECT TOP(X) column, "SQL Server 2005 Express," Michael Otey shares his six favorite features in SQL Server Express. Read this article today at     http://list.windowsitpro.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eiOH0McMHC0Kj40BM3S0Aj

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.

    Creating Error Log Search Filter
    Showing Row Numbers in Query Results
    Tracking Data Entry and Modification
    Reducing a Query's Runtime
    One Client-Access ODBC for Multiple DTSs
    How Do I Eliminate Particular Tables When Replicating a Database?

    Hot Spot

  • Is Your SQL Server Database Broken? Find Out Too Late?

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    5. Events Central

  • SQL Server DevCon 2005 Focuses on Yukon

  • The schedule for the 2nd annual SQL Server DevCon has been unveiled, and features in-depth sessions and all-day workshops on high availability, SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services, replication methods, language enhancements, XML support, managed code, T-SQL querying, and security enhancements. The event takes place in London, and discounted rates are available until December 17.

  • SmartDBA Recovery Management Webinar

  • Can you meet your backup and recovery service level agreements (SLAs)? Learn how in less than 30 minutes! In this brief, complimentary webinar, you'll find out how BMC Software SmartDBA Recovery Management helps you ensure system availability and lower IT costs. View it now!

  • SQL Server Magazine Connections Spring 2005

  • Mark your calendar for the Spring 2005 SQL Server Magazine Connections conference March 20-23, 2005, at the Hyatt Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida. You won't want to miss this exciting event offering cutting-edge sessions by industry gurus. Call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204 for more info and check our Web sites for updates.

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

    6. New & Improved

        by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

  • Accelerate Application Development

  • Altova announced version 2005 of its line of software-development tools. The four tools enable accelerated application development and data integration and include native, production-ready implementation of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) new XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 specifications, as well as native support for XQuery. New features in Altova XMLSpy 2005 include advanced standards compliance, SchemaAgent (a visual tool for managing complex schemas), and integration with the Eclipse application development environment. Pricing for XMLSpy 2005 Enterprise Edition starts at $999 for a single-user license. Altova MapForce 2005 incorporates flat-file support, a new visual function builder, and the ability to use transformation input parameters. MapForce 2005 Enterprise Edition starts at $599 for a single-user license. New in Altova StyleVision 2005 is the ability to auto-generate output in RTF format and create database-enabled electronic forms. Pricing for StyleVision 2005 Enterprise Edition starts at $599 for a single-user license. And Altova Authentic 2005, the company's free content editor, introduces database-content editing, a feature that lets business users edit content in a relational database through electronic forms. All version 2005 products are currently available for download from Altova's Web site. For more information, contact Altova at 978-816-1600 or [email protected] (US customers) or 43-(1)-545-5155-9 or [email protected] (non-US customers).

  • Diversify Databases for Improved Performance

  • ANTs Software announced ANTs Data Server 2.4, a relational database management system (RDBMS) that's designed to handle high user loads and realtime updates while delivering high performance. The database's SQL query-execution engine uses a microthreading architecture that works without locking, permitting fast execution of concurrent queries and efficient scaling on symmetric multiprocessing servers. The database is SQL-92-compliant and compatible with SQL Server, so when high volumes of users need to access data simultaneously, you can offload that data to the ANTs database. By letting the ANTs Data Server work with your existing SQL Servers, you can eliminate bottlenecks and improve the overall performance of your databases. The non-locking technology also improves performance of replication and backup functions and reduces recovery times. For pricing and other information, contact ANTs Software at 650-692-0219 or [email protected]

  • Speed Up Your Backups

  • Imceda announced the latest release of LiteSpeed 4.0 for SQL Server, high-speed backup and recovery software. The latest enhancements to this release include Adaptive Compression, Command Line Substitution, and Dynamic Distribution features; command substitution; multiple compression and encryption libraries; a new console; enhanced object-level recovery, and a new licensing structure. Imceda is currently offering its customers a free single-CPU standard license for LiteSpeed 4.0 for SQL Server. For other pricing and information, contact Imceda at 781-229-6300, 888-763-7685, or [email protected]

  • Pinpoint Blocking in SQL Server

  • Sql Power Tools announced Stealth Blocked Process and SQL Monitor, software that detects when a database client session's transaction blocks other clients from completing their SQL transactions. The product monitors database blocking and gives you a description of the blocked process, along with a realtime graph of the SQL statement text, show plan, resource usage, and the database locks involved in the blocking. The software also provides information about SQL statement resource utilization and the length of time the query was blocked or stopped from running. The product lets you pinpoint and rank the most frequently blocked SQL statements and provides a historical summary of every SQL statement involved in blocking so that you can analyze performance problems. A free trial of the Stealth Blocked Process and SQL Monitor is available for download at the company's Web site. For pricing and other information, contact Sql Power tools at 307-433-8039 or [email protected]

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