SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, September 22, 2005--Database Mirroring Must Wait

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ALERT: "How a Hacker Launches a SQL Injection Attack!"

September 22, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • Database Mirroring: Farewell, But Not Goodbye
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • SQL Server Migration Assistant in the Works for SQL Server 2005
  • 3. News & Views

  • Microsoft Announces Upcoming Visual Studio Tools for Applications
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: September CTP
  • New Instant Poll: Database Mirroring Delay
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Are You Walking the Tightrope Between Recovery and Continuity?
  • Discover SQL Server 2005 for the Enterprise. Are you prepared?
  • Cut Your Windows XP Migration Time by 60% or More!
  • Get Ready for the SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe
  • High-Risk Internet Access: Are You In Control?
  • 5. Featured White Paper

  • Software Packaging Workflow Best Practices
  • 6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: High Availability in Analysis Services
  • Hot Article: 2 Tools to Keep SQL Server Tuned
  • In a Nutshell: Locking--You Learn Something New Every Day
  • Hot Threads
  • 7. Announcements

  • SEPTEMBER SPECIAL--Get SQL Server Magazine at 44% Off!
  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, & Forums
  • 8. New & Improved

  • Ease Database Design, Development, and Maintenance
  • Migrate OLAP Cubes from Essbase to Analysis Services
  • Sponsor: Free SQL Server Performance Monitor from Idera
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    1. Perspectives

    Database Mirroring: Farewell, But Not Goodbye
        by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    The November 7 launch of SQL Server 2005 is right around the corner and the SQL Server 2005 September Community Technology Preview (CTP) released last week is the last scheduled CTP before the big balloon drop. I'll share some housekeeping comments about the September CTP in a moment, but first I wanted to discuss the most important news that came with the CTP's release. As you might have heard, SQL Server Express Manager isn't part of the September CTP, but will be released post-release to manufacturing (RTM); Database Mirroring won't be supported in the SQL Server 2005 RTM, although it's still part of the September CTP.

    Express Manager is a new administrative GUI for SQL Server Express, the new SQL Server edition that's replacing MSDE. Although I'll miss seeing Express Manager at RTM, this news probably won't affect you unless you're already a big MSDE user and plan to upgrade quickly. However, the removal of Database Mirroring is a disappointment, and I know that Microsoft is disappointed as well.

    Database Mirroring, a much anticipated feature for high-availability and disaster-recovery planning, is valuable for business-continuance strategies in co-located server-hosting environments over wide distances. Microsoft admitted that the feature simply isn't delivering the performance required for the uber-high-end environments in which Database Mirroring would be most needed. Here's what Microsoft has to say on the matter:

    "Our goal throughout the development of SQL Server 2005 has been to deliver a release that is high quality and meets our customers' most demanding business scenarios," said Ilya Bukshteyn, director of communications for SQL Server at Microsoft. "For this reason, we've made the decision to extend the feedback cycle for Database Mirroring. We want more validation from customers to ensure that Database Mirroring doesn't just support 99.99 percent of customer workloads, but that it can be relied upon for the remaining .01 percent as well."

    If you'd like the complete rundown about the September CTP from Microsoft Senior Vice President of Server Applications Paul Flessner, you can read his public letter at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145CF:7B3DA .

    It's important to note that Microsoft is positioning the removal of Database Mirroring as a delay, not an abandonment of the feature. Microsoft says that Database Mirroring will ship sometime in the first half of 2006, but won't go on record with a specific date. In addition, the feature will be available through a trace flag in the RTM. However, this trace flag is intended solely for evaluation purposes and isn't supported in production environments unless you're part of the Microsoft GoLive program for SQL Server, which lets early adopters go into production with pre-release software.

    What's the net effect? It's hard to say. Realistically, not many customers need database mirroring. However, a small subset of customers was anxiously waiting on this feature, and from a marketing and mind share perspective, it puts Microsoft at a disadvantage in comparison with key enterprise database competitors such as Oracle and IBM DB2.

    You can find the complete rundown of September CTP features and order the SQL Server Readiness Kit CD at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145D2:7B3DA .

    Finally, I'd like to note the divergence in naming standards that the SQL Server and Visual Studio teams are using. For the past few months, both groups have released Community Technology Previews (CTPs). The latest SQL Server release is still called a CTP, but the latest Visual Studio 2005 release is called a Release Candidate (RC). The SQL Server 2005 September CTP and the Visual Studio 2005 RC are compatible with each other. Why the name-change? Beats me, but as Bill (Shakespeare not Gates) might have said, "A rose by any other name is still just a beta."

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    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

    SQL Server Migration Assistant in the Works for SQL Server 2005
    Microsoft is putting the final touches on the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for Oracle V2.0, a suite of tools that automates all phases of the migration process from Oracle to SQL Server 2005. The toolset will be available as a separate download when SQL Server 2005 launches. SSMA reduces the cost and complexity of migrating by automating almost every aspect of database migration, including assessment, schema and data migration, business logic conversion, validation, integration, and performance analysis. Microsoft reports that several customers and partners have already used the tool to move their databases. Case studies about the customers that have migrated are available at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145D1:7B3DA . The current version of the toolset, SQL Server Migration Assistant for Oracle V1.0, is currently available as a free download. You can register for a license key and download the toolset at
        http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145BA:7B3DA .

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    3. News & Views

  • Microsoft Announces Upcoming Visual Studio Tools for Applications
  • At last week's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, Microsoft announced its plans for Visual Studio Tools for Applications, which it expects to release in third quarter 2006. The new IDE is an enhanced .NET Framework-based application-customization technology that takes advantage of 64-bit architecture. Targeted at independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators, the product consists of an IDE that ISVs can use to build Visual Studio Tools for Applications support into an object model they can expose in their application, a runtime engine, and an end-user IDE that communicates with the object model. Visual Studio Tools for Applications lets end users customize applications through programming languages such as Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# that take advantage of the inherent .NET security model and the Visual Studio development environment. PDC attendees participated in Visual Studio Tools for Applications developer labs and can receive a DVD with a virtual PC implementation of a Visual Studio Tools for Applications IDE hands-on laboratory. This is a time-restricted version of the product in its prebeta test state. A description of the product and its benefits is available at

    Results of Previous Instant Poll: September CTP
    "Will you download the SQL Server 2005 September CTP?" Here are the results from the 78 votes:

  • 24%   Yes, I want it to plan my SQL Server 2005 migration
  • 36%   Yes, I want it to evaluate new SQL Server 2005 features
  • 6%   Yes, I'm interested even though we're not planning on migrating to SQL Server 2005
  • 17%   No, we're not moving to SQL Server 2005 soon
  • 17%   No, I don't have time to work with it
  • New Instant Poll: Database Mirroring Delay
    "Will the delay of the Database Mirroring feature affect your adoption of SQL Server 2005?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145DD:7B3DA ) and submit your vote for - Yes, Database Mirroring is the major reason we would upgrade

  • Yes, we'll plan how to integrate Database Mirroring after we've upgraded
  • Yes, we'll plan our upgrade without Database Mirroring
  • No, Database Mirroring isn't a feature we'll use
  • No, we aren't planning to upgrade to SQL Server 2005 soon
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Are You Walking the Tightrope Between Recovery and Continuity?

  • There's a big difference between the ability to quickly recover lost or damaged data and the ability to keep your messaging operations running normally before, during, and after an outage. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn what the technical differences are between recovery and continuity, when each is important, and what you can do to make sure that you're hitting the right balance between them.

    Discover SQL Server 2005 for the Enterprise. Are you prepared?
    In this free half-day event, you'll learn how the top new features of SQL Server 2005 will help you create and manage large-scale, mission-critical enterprise database applications--making your job easier. Find out how to leverage SQL Server 2005's new capabilities to best support your business initiatives. Register today!

    Cut Your Windows XP Migration Time by 60% or More!
    If your organization is considering--or has already begun--migrating your operating system to Windows XP, then this Web seminar is for you. Sign up for this free event and you'll learn how to efficiently migrate your applications into the Windows Installer (MSI) format, to prepare them for error-free deployment, what steps you need to follow to package your applications quickly and correctly, and more!

    Get Ready for the SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe
    Back By Popular Demand--Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005! SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a one-year membership to PASS and a one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now.

    High-Risk Internet Access: Are You In Control?
    Defending against Internet criminals, spyware and phishing and addressing the points of risk that Internet-enabled applications expose your organization to can seem like an epic battle with Medusa. So how do you take control of these valuable resources? This free Web seminar will give you the tools you need to help you analyze the impact Internet-based threats have on your organization, and tools to aid you in the construction of acceptable use policies (AUPs).

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

    5. Featured White Paper

    Software Packaging Workflow Best Practices
    Managing desktop software configurations doesn't have to be a manual process, resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this free whitepaper you'll learn how to manage the software package preparation process and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost effectiveness. Download your copy now and discover the value of standardizing the software packaging process.

    6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: High Availability in Analysis Services

  •     by Carl Rabeler, [email protected]

    Even though Analysis Services 2000 isn't cluster-aware, you can cluster an Analysis Services 2000 database. SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services is cluster-aware and fully supports active-active clustering, which means you can create a failover cluster to ensure high availability. To learn how clustering works with Analysis Services, read this tip today at

    Hot Article: 2 Tools to Keep SQL Server Tuned For years, Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) has used two tools--OSTRESS and Read80Trace--to simulate scenarios and analyze large SQL Server trace files for its customers. At the 2004 Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference, PSS released these tools to the public. In his October feature article "2 Tools to Keep SQL Server Tuned," Hari Ramachandran shows you how to use these handy tools to stress-test your SQL Server applications before putting them into production and to tune database and query performance. Read this article today and post your comments at

    In a Nutshell: Locking--You Learn Something New Every Day
    One of the big benefits you get from reading newsgroups is that you hear about the "edge cases" or unusual customer scenarios that are generating anomalous behavior when the same scenario on your environment wouldn't case a problem. Such is the case with the article "Advanced SQL Server Locking" by Andres Taylor ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145D0:7B3DA ). In this week's blog "Locking--You Learn Something New Every Day," Kevin Kline points to this article, which has been available for a long time, but still has great value. Read the blog and let Kevin know what you think of the article today at

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

  •     http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=145D5:7B3DA

    SQL Server General Discussion: SQL Server Startup--Database Initialization Order
    T-SQL: Determine Whether a Date is Between Other Dates and Times
    Performance: Nonclustered Index Selection
    Administration: Triggering a SQL Server Job from the Command Prompt
    Replication: Transactional Replication Message
    SQL Server 2005 General Discussion: SQL Server 2005 Replication Connection Problems

    Hot Spot

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    7. Announcements

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    8. New & Improved

         by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

  • Share Your Story and Get a T-Shirt!

  • Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Tell us how your favorite product solved a SQL Server problem for you, and if we print your submission in the magazine's Hands On department we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt. Send your email today to [email protected]!

  • Ease Database Design, Development, and Maintenance

  • AquaFold announced Aqua Data Studio 4.5, software that provides database administration features for all major relational databases, including SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and MySQL, through a consistent interface. The latest release of the product includes new features that let users extract data and database designs, visualize them, and migrate them to other database platforms. The product provides a script generator that provides the ability to reverse-engineer a database schema design and generate the appropriate SQL commands to reconstruct the schema. You can also use the reverse-engineered schema to generate entity relationship (ER) diagrams to visually understand the design and relationships in the database. The new procedure editor provides an environment to easily edit, compile, and run stored procedures and lets you edit procedures, functions, and Oracle packages and PL/SQL statements. Additional enhancements include a visual explain plan whiteboard for easy comparison of SQL statement tuning plans and an improved query tool. Pricing for Aqua Data Studio 4.5 starts at $149 for a single-user commercial license. For information or to download the product, contact AquaFold at

    Migrate OLAP Cubes from Essbase to Analysis Services
    ExoLogic announced CubePort, an analytics porting application that facilitates migration of OLAP cubes from Hyperion Essbase to Analysis Services. The application uses best-practices to convert most aspects of an Essbase application to Analysis Services, including outlines, load rules, report scripts, security (users, groups, and filters), substitution variables, and complex member formulas. Key features include native data loads and reloads, a grammar-to-grammar parser, an equivalency library, and a competitor reconversion program. Pricing for CubePort is per cube, and volume discounts apply. For more information, contact ExoLogic at 972-764-5345 or [email protected]

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