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June 9, 2005
2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
3. News & Views
4. Reader Challenge
5. Events and Resources
6. Featured White Paper
7. Peer to Peer
9. New & Improved
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Microsoft's Reporting Services 180
by Brian Moran, [email protected]
This week, at Microsoft TechEd in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft turned a complete 180 in the way the company will license SQL Server Reporting Services and Report Builder. Microsoft was planning to include Report Builder in SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition but not Standard Edition or other less expensive SQL Server SKUs. I thought that was going to be a big mistake for Microsoft, and many people in the SQL Server community agreed with me. But this week, Microsoft Senior Vice President of Server Applications Paul Flessner announced that Reporting Services will be included in all editions of SQL Server 2005. In addition, the Workgroup and Standard Editions of SQL Server 2005 will include Report Builder.
Report Builder is Microsoft's answer to end users' need for an ad hoc report writer they can use to build their own reports. Reporting Services is a great platform, but the product's current tool set for developing reports is geared toward the developer audience. It's not easy for an average reporting system end user to use to do their ad hoc report creation. I don't mean to oversimplify the issue, but Report Builder will provide an interface for average end users (i.e., users that have limited technical knowledge) to effectively build their own reports. Report Builder is nice, but it's probably not worth paying the $20,000 premium it would cost to move up from SQL Server Standard Edition to SQL Server Enterprise Edition. Instead, if Microsoft had stuck to its original plan, most customers would probably use thirdparty tools to fill their reporting needs. I suspect that Microsoft's turnaround concerning Report Builder means that the company recognizes there's tremendous benefit to letting all SQL Server usersincluding those using Standard Editionstandardize on Reporting Services as the reporting platform of choice (i.e., Reporting Services becomes the only reporting solution they need).
Report Builder's inclusion in SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, and the inclusion of Reporting Services itself in all editions, arguably gives the SQL Server community the ability to manage their entire reporting infrastructure, including ad hoc enduser access, with features that ship in the box. I think offering that ability is a wise decision on Microsoft's part.
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2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
SQL Server 2005 News From Microsoft TechEd
Tuesday, Microsoft officially announced that SQL Server 2005 will launch in November of this year. As part of his keynote address at Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft Senior Vice President of Server Applications Paul Flessner announced that SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 will be formally launched during the week of November 7. During the keynote address, Flessner also announced the June Community Technology Preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2005. The featurecomplete SQL Server 2005 June CTP is the first prerelease version of SQL Server 2005 available to the public and is available for download at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=BDE3:7B3DB .
Flessner went on to highlight details about new business intelligence (BI) functionality for SQL Server 2005, the new SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA), and the first benchmarks for SQL Server 2005. Flessner also outlined Microsoft's RFID initiative and the 2006 updates to the Windows Server System Common Engineering Criteria, technical standards designed to create consistency across Microsoft's server products and help reduce the complexity and costs associated with deploying and managing systems.
Flessner also announced that SQL Server Reporting Services will be included in all editions of SQL Server 2005. In addition, the Workgroup and Standard Editions of SQL Server 2005 will include Report Builder, a Reporting Services enduser tool. Microsoft had previously planned to include the reporting tools only in SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, but has included them in more editions in response to customer requests. The inclusion of the Report Builder tool in multiple editions of the upcoming SQL Server release means that organizations can provide business users with this simple reporting tool without having to invest in the fullblown Enterprise Edition of the new SQL Server release. The tool frees up SQL Server professionals by letting them provide users with limited access to data and create their own reports without requiring IT to customize report changes for them.
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3. News & Views
Calling All Windows IT Pro Innovators!
Have you developed a solution that uses Windows technology to solve a business problem in an innovative way? Enter your solution in the Windows IT Pro Innovators Contest! Grandprize winners will receive a host of great prizes and a writeup in the November 2005 issue. Contest ends June 24, 2005. To enter, go to
Results of Previous Instant Poll: Online Training and Information
"What online training and information resources do you use most often?" Here are the results from the 66 votes:
New Instant Poll: Microsoft TechEd
"Did you attend the Microsoft TechEd conference in Orlando, Florida?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=BDE9:7B3DB ) and submit your vote for
4. Reader Challenge
by Umachandar Jayachandran, [email protected]
You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the June Reader Challenge "Capturing Vital Information About Data Transformations," at
Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the July Reader Challenge, "Case Sensitive Settings " (below). Submit your solution in an email message to [email protected] by June 16. Umachandar Jayachandran, a SQL Server Magazine technical editor, will evaluate the responses. We'll announce the winner in an upcoming SQL Server Magazine UPDATE. The firstplace winner will receive $100, and the secondplace winner will receive $50.
Here's the challenge: Marat, a software developer in a company that develops datamodeling applications, has an application that includes SQL Server 2000 modifications. One of the modifications lets users create databases on the server. As part of the databasecreation process, Marat wants to detect if the SQL Server supports the use of database names that are case sensitive. Help Marat determine this SQL Server setting so that the application can handle it appropriately.
5. Events and Resources
In this free Web seminar, gain an indepth understanding of the many new features and capabilities Microsoft has introduced in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. You'll learn about data source views, userdefined hierarchies, measure groups, KPIs and more! Plusget all you need to know about integration with Integration Services and Reporting Services and the new deployment and synchronization capabilities in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.
Maximizing application performance isn't easy, and database is only one component of today's complex, multitiered systems. In this free Essential Guide, learn how to follow a solid monitoring practice and troubleshoot issues before they get out of hand. You'll discover how you can ensure optimal SQL Server performance and satisfied users.
Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present realworld information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a bestpractices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your databasecomputing environment. Receive a 1year membership to PASS and 1year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now! http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=BDD5:7B3DB
See the complete Windows IT Pro Network guide to Web and live events. http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=BDE6:7B3DB
6. Featured White Paper
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7. Peer to Peer
Hot Tip: Estimated Row Counts Affect Performance by Brian Moran, [email protected]
Q. When looking at Query Analyzer's graphical showplan output, I see many cases in which the estimated row count differs significantly from the actual row count at a query level and for individual steps within the query. What does this mean and should I be worried?
Read the answer to this question today at
A frequent request that pops up in public SQL Server newsgroups is how to perform base conversions. That is, you store values as character strings containing digits in a given base and want to convert them to a target base. Typically, you need to store values in a nondecimal base when you have an application that works with nondecimal values. However, SQL Server doesn't support working with values expressed in a nondecimal base. Thus, you have a problem if you store such values and need to perform arithmetic manipulations, such as calculating the result of 1101 + 1010 expressed in base 2. In his June TSQL Black Belt column "Performing Base Conversions," Itzik BenGan explores how to convert a value in any given base to a decimal value so that you can apply any arithmetic manipulation. Read this article today and post your comments at
In this month's Reader to Reader tip "Use TSQL to Backup and Restore SQL Server User Databases," Eli Leiba shares a couple of TSQL proceduressp_backup_databases and sp_restore_databasesyou can use to move all your user databases from one SQL Server machine to another with ease. The sp_backup_databases procedure performs a complete database backup of all user databases to the specified directory. The sp_restore_databases procedure restores those databases. Read this article today at
Share your SQL Server discoveries, comments, problems, solutions, and experiences with products and reach out to other SQL Server Magazine readers. Email your contributions (400 words or less) to [email protected] Please include your phone number. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your submission, you'll get $50!
Microsoft has done a fabulous job of educating users about the next release of SQL Server. The company is doing far better than its ever done in the past and its also blowing the competition away in terms of the quality and quantity of educational content. The SQL Server team is now Kevin Kline's gold standard when judging vendor educational contribution to a major product release. Way to go, guys! If you need to learn more about business intelligence (BI), you should look into Microsoft's new series of BI Webcasts at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=BDDB:7B3DB . You'll learn all kinds of stuff there, with lessons available in small, downloadable chunks. By the end of this series, you'll be able to manage the evolving BI needs of your organization with the SQL Server 2005 BI platform. If you attend one Webcast in the "Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005" series and complete an evaluation, you'll receive the latest community technology preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2005 on CD. If you attend at least three Webcasts in this BI series and submit evaluations for each of them, you'll receive a SQL Server 2005 Tshirt. Take advantage of the series and let Kevin know what you think today at
Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
Administration: Is There a Way to Read the Transaction Log File?
TSQL: Building Dynamic WHERE Statement
Performance: Fastest Insert Possible
Security: Providing Only ERD Permission
Replication: Table Merge Replication with Auto Indexed Field
DTS: DTS Package Suddenly Running Very Slow
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9. New & Improved
by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]
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 tshirt. Send your email today to [email protected]!
UltraBac Software released a significant update to the Pro and Gold editions of its UltraBac Disaster Recovery (UBDR) 2.0 software. UBDR Pro and Gold use imagebased backup and disasterrecovery technology to provide fast recovery for Windows servers and workstations. The software uses image backups with a Windowsbased universal boot CD environment to restore one or more disk partitions even when no OS is available. With this new release, the software can now restore the image of a failed server to a virtual environment. This new physicaltovirtual (P2V) capability provides organizations the ability to quickly recover a machine's image and emulate the restored hardware configuration virtually. Administrators can also use the software to restore a physical server to a VMware virtual server by creating a virtual environment on a host server, then using the software to boot into the recovery wizard. After restoring to a virtual environment, administrators can plan a physical migration to a new hardware configuration if and when it's needed. P2V capability means customers can reduce their need for extra hardware for disaster recovery. Pricing for UBDR Pro starts at $595 per server and includes the ability to back up an unlimited number of workstations. For other pricing and information, contact UltraBac Software at 4256446000 or [email protected]
Xlink announced ClusterReplica MSSQL Edition 2.1, clustering software that uses data replication to provide high server availability. The product uses snapshot technology to provide realtime, openfile data replication, including replication of SQL Server database files and Windows registry files. This resourceefficient solution replicates only the bytes that change and uses minimum network bandwidth and harddrive resources. New features in this release include a special tool that lets you extract system configurations for effective problem solving; improved performance of the cluster system's internal communication and data replication for better data protection and availability; and backtracing of database files to solve problems associated with corrupt files and ensure successful SQL Server failover. Pricing for ClusterReplica MSSQL Edition starts at &799. For more information, contact Xlink at 4082638201 or [email protected]
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