SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, March 30, 2006--Made In Express Competition

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March 30, 2006

1. Perspectives

  • Summer Fun with SQL Server Express
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Figure Out SQL Server 2005 Bug Fixes
  • 3. News & Views

  • BI Enthusiasts Get SQL Server 2005 Report Packs
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Customer Collaboration
  • New Instant Poll: Made in Express
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • SQL Server Magazine Connections, April 2-5, 2006
  • Get the HA Solutions eBook
  • Learn to Secure Your IM Traffic
  • Use Windows Server 2003 R2 as a SQL Server 2005 Platform
  • 5. Featured White Paper

  • Identify the Top 5 IM Security Risks
  • 6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Using the CLR with C# DLLs
  • Hot Article: CLR or Not CLR: Is That the Question?
  • In a Nutshell: Opinion: Terminating an Employee
  • Hot Threads
  • 7. Announcements

  • VIP Monthly Pass Subscribers Have It All!
  • Save 44% Off Exchange & Outlook Administrator
  • 8. New & Improved

  • Review and Document Your Code
  • Monitor Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Applications

  • Sponsor: Quest
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    1. Perspectives

    Summer Fun with SQL Server Express
    by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    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?

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    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

    Sponsor: SPI Dynamics
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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:

  • SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS)
  • SharePoint Portal Server 2003
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) Logs
  • Microsoft Axapta 3.0
  • Microsoft Great Plains 8.0
  • Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains 9.0
  • Microsoft Dynamics Navision 4.0
  • Financial Reporting
  • 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):

  • 17% It's great. Better communication between customers and Microsoft will make better products.
  • 13% It sounds good and I'm willing to put in my two cents.
  • 17% I'm skeptical; I'll wait to see if it works.
  • 22% I'm not convinced Microsoft really hears customers' input.
  • 30% I don't have an opinion about it.
  • 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

  • Yes. I could use $10,000!
  • Yes. It sounds like a fun challenge.
  • No. It's a cool idea, but I won't participate.
  • No. I don't have time for extra projects.
  • No, I'm not into contests.

  • 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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    Learn to secure your IM traffic
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    Use Windows Server 2003 R2 as a platform for SQL Server 2005 to support large-database requirements, including clustering and multiple processors. Register for this free Web seminar today!

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

    5. Featured White Paper

    Learn to identify the top 5 IM security risks and protect your networks and users.

    6. Peer to Peer

    Hot Tip:
    Using the CLR with C# DLLs

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

    Hot Article:
    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

    Hot Threads:
    Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums: http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=258AE:7B3DA

  • SQL Server General Discussion: Translating Swiss Datetime Values
  • Development: Error 1708: An Unknown Full Text Failure
  • SQL Server 2005 Administration: Determining Whether a Job is Running
  • T-SQL: Dynamic T-SQL Queries

  • Hot Spot
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    7. Announcements

    VIP Monthly Pass Subscribers Have It All!
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    Save 44% Off Exchange & Outlook Administrator
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    8. New & Improved

    by Blake Eno, [email protected]

    Review and Document Your Code
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    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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