SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, March 24, 2005--Business Applications

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March 24, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • Battle for Rule in Business Application Market
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Microsoft Delays Visual Studio 2005
  • 3. News and Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Cascade Actions

  • New Instant Poll: Database Users

  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Don't Miss Out—SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs On-Demand Web Seminar

  • SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs

  • Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You

  • 5. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Last_Batch in Master..Sysprocesses

  • Hot Article: Create Your Own Code Library

  • Kevin Kline's "In a Nutshell" Blog: Forrester Report

  • Hot Threads

  • 6. Announcements

  • Get SQL Server Magazine and Get Answers

  • Get the Master CD and Get SQL Server Answers

  • 7. New and Improved

  • Understand and Predict Customer Behavior

  • Build a Bridge Between IBM and Microsoft Technologies

  • Manage SQL Servers Over the Web

  • Sponsor: Free Performance Monitor for SQL Server from Idera
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    1. Perspectives

  • Battle for Rule in Business Application Market

  •     by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    An interesting battle is taking shape between Microsoft and Oracle, two titans of the database world, and the prize is business-application software (i.e., ERM, ERP, CRM). In a surprisingly short amount of time, the competitive landscape at the upper end of this space has changed dramatically. Hey wait! You might be thinking "I thought this was a SQL Server column, what do I care about business ERM stuff?" Well, don't forget all business-application software needs a database to store its data in. Pricing for databases and prices for high-end business-application software can be inexorably entwined when a vendor controls both the business layer software and the database. Vendors who sell both have a lot more margin to play with and can be a lot more creative about how they price a total package for customers. Plus, Microsoft and Oracle are fierce competitors in the database space; competition in other areas inevitably has an effect on their database competitions. So this battle will have a bigger effect on Microsoft and Oracle's database strategies than you might think.

    So here's the rest of the story. Earlier this year, Oracle (the second largest provider of business application software) merged with PeopleSoft (the third largest provider), which had already swallowed J. D. Edwards (another major provider) back in 2003. SAP is still the dominant provider, but Oracle's PeopleSoft acquisition is intended to grow the company's flagging application division. Oracle's attempt to achieve a competitive advantage in the market is a classic case of strategic management.

    So a series of acquisitions has led to an oligopoly in which SAP and Oracle share market leadership in the world of business application software. At the same time, Microsoft has been making slow but steady strides in building its own competitive offerings in this space. Microsoft has been on a buying spree since its purchase of Great Plains several years ago. Microsoft acquired Solomon and several other niche companies to stitch together the Microsoft Business Solutions Business Group. Last week, Microsoft announced the acquisition of a business analytics tool and new enhancements to Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains 8.0. Also, an upcoming SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Report Pack will use the power of SQL Server 2000 to let customers draw information from Great Plains and create analytic reports specific to their business needs. For more about these enhancements, see "Microsoft Business Solutions Acquires Business Analytics Tool" at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6020:7B3DB . Don't forget that the competition between Microsoft and Oracle isn't only about business software. Both companies are striving to be platform companies. I don't see Microsoft abandoning the business-application software space without a pretty cool Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot-style fight with Oracle.

    SAP is still the leader in this space, but for how long? From what I gather, Microsoft's Business Group hasn't had the financial success the company expected. But Mr. Gates has a big piggy bank and knows how to spend money to make money. The business-applications software market is dizzyingly large and important, plus, those applications need an OS to run on and a database to keep their data in. I don't know what will happen in this space but it should be interesting to watch. You can keep up to speed at the Microsoft Business Solutions newsroom at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6023:7B3DB.

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    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Microsoft Delays Visual Studio 2005

  •     by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

    Monday, Microsoft announced its pricing and licensing strategy for Visual Studio 2005, while subtly delaying the release of the next-generation software development platform until the second half of 2005. The product will ship in tandem with SQL Server 2005. With Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is introducing a vast range of product editions, each of which concentrates on particular types of developers.

  • Visual Studio Team Edition, starting at $3191, includes the upcoming Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Premium subscription
  • Foundation Server, a server-based Team Edition, will cost $2799
  • Team Suite, which combines Team Edition with Foundation Server, will cost $6382 and include the MSDN Premium subscription
  • Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition will cost $799, $549 for upgrades
  • Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System will cost $799, $549 for upgrades
  • Visual Studio Standard Edition will cost $299, $199 for upgrades
  • Visual Studio Express products—Visual Basic 2005 Express, Visual C# 2005 Express, Visual C++ 2005 Express, Visual J# 2005 Express, and Visual Web Developer 2005 Express—will cost $49 each
  • http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6025:7B3DB

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    3. News & Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Cascade Action

  • "How do you enforce cascade actions?" Here are the results from the 101 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 45%   The foreign key ON CASCADE option
  • 16%   Triggers
  • 22%   Stored procedures
  •  8%   Using client code
  • 10%   I'm not using cascade actions
  • New Instant Poll: Database Users

  • "How many database users do you support?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=6034:7B3DB ) and submit your vote for

  • Fewer than 15
  • 15 to 99
  • 100 to 499
  • 500 or more
  • I don't support database users
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Don't Miss Out—SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs On-Demand Web Seminar
  • Sign up now for this free Web seminar and get a quick start in mapping Oracle database-management skills, knowledge, and experience to SQL Server database management. Learn about the varying similarities and differences between Oracle and SQL Server and get a preview of real-world tips and techniques for managing these associated technologies. Register now!

  • SQL Server Administration for Oracle DBAs

  • Learn the key concepts that give Oracle DBAs a firm foundation in mapping Oracle database-management skills, knowledge, and experience to SQL Server database management. This free eBook gives an overview of the differences between Oracle and SQL Server and provides real-world tips and techniques for managing these technologies. Download now!

  • Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You

  • 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 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!

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

    5. Peer to Peer

    Hot Tip: Last_Batch in Master..Sysprocesses
        by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Q. What does it mean when I see a value of 1900-01-01 00:00:00.000 in master..sysprocesses' last_batch column?

    Read the answer today at

  • Hot Article: Create Your Own Code Library

  • ADO.NET developers often use T-SQL strings to retrieve data for applications, but poorly written strings can lead to errors. In his April feature article "Create Your Own Code Library," Rick Dobson teaches you a few techniques you can use to provide developers with a code library to use for many common data-access tasks. Read this article today at

  • In a Nutshell: Forrester Report
  • In this week's blog "Commentary on the March 14th Forrester Report," Kevin Kline voices dissension about Noel Yuhanna's latest Forrester Report. The report describes several customers who aren't comfortable with the condition of the current Yukon beta. Yuhanna extrapolates on two primary concerns, performance benchmarking and high-end scalability benefits. Kevin argues against Yuhanna's assertions and provides more resources for anyone looking for more information. See what Kevin has to say about the Yukon beta and let him know if you think his arguments are sound, or if you share Yuhanna's concerns and performance and high-end scalability in the Yukon beta 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=6029:7B3DB

    Replication: Transactional Push Replication Over Internet
    Data Access: Linking to Remote Site from Enterprise Manager
    T-SQL: Creating a Temptable Stored Procedure
    T-SQL: Sort Results by Matching Position
    Reporting Services: Using Images in an External Folder
    Administration: Can I Have 2 DBO Users in a Database?

    Hot Spot

  • Quest Software—SQL Tuning White Paper

  • Need help tuning SELECT statements on Microsoft SQL Server 2000? Download Quest's white paper to examine techniques Microsoft provides in SQL Enterprise Manager and SQL Query Analyzer. Learn methodologies to improve SQL Server performance and make the query tuning process faster, easier and less prone to error.

    6. Announcements

    Get SQL Server Magazine and Get Answers Get SQL Server Magazine today and get the latest Top SQL Server Tips Guide (includes over 60 helpful SQL tips). You'll also get free online access to the entire SQL Server Magazine article database—that's thousands of problem-solving solutions, expert tips, tricks, and the latest insider notes to help you get the most out of SQL Server. Sign up today:

    Get the Master CD and Get SQL Server Answers The newest version of the SQL Server Magazine Master CD is here. Sign up today and you'll get fingertip access to the full SQL Server Magazine article database—6 years of content on CD-ROM! Bonus: exclusive SQL Server 2005 content. Sign up now:

    7. New & Improved

        by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

    Praise a Product, Get a T-Shirt! Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Tell us about it! If we print your story in the Hands On department, we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt. Send your product success story to [email protected]

  • Understand and Predict Customer Behavior

  • Apollo Data Technologies announced predictive analytics, a methodology that lets companies discover hidden patterns and trends in data to understand and predict customer behavior. Apollo Data Technology experts work with companies to create custom models to solve specific business problems. The methodology involves three parts. First, Apollo consultants apply data-warehousing expertise to clean and join multiple data sources and properly format data for analysis. Then, the consultants use data-mining expertise to implement a combination of algorithms, processes, and techniques to accurately apply advanced statistics and build predictive models. Finally, Apollo consultants apply business expertise, coupled with six-sigma business practices, to map the data and algorithms to the defined business objectives. This analytic approach lets the company determine a future outcome of customer, product, and market behavior. Then, the company can use predictive analytics to find more effective ways to reduce costs in the areas of lost sales, marketing campaigns, and inventory management. For more information, contact Apollo Data Technologies at 312-787-7376 or [email protected]

  • Build a Bridge Between IBM and Microsoft Technologies

  • Proposion announced Proposion Report Adapter, software that extends SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services to integrate with IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino environments, making any Notes database a data source for Reporting Services and allowing the delivery of scheduled reports through Notes infrastructure. Many companies rely on Notes' collaborative groupware to build business-critical projects. But charting, reporting, and moving data from the IBM groupware to common Microsoft applications has been a significant point of pain. But with Proposion Report Adpater, report designers using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the Report Designer can create user-friendly reports that draw data—including images and attachments—directly from Notes and Domino databases. At runtime, users work through a Web browser to visit the Report Server and access cached or up-to-the-minute versions of reports, view them interactively, or download them in a variety of formats, including HTML, PDF, Microsoft Excel, TIFF, CSV, and XML. You can also automatically run any Reporting Services report, whether it's based on SQL Server, Notes data, or another data source, and deliver the report to a Notes database or to subscribers through native Notes Mail. The software reduces costs associated with application development and reduces the pain of porting data between IBM and Microsoft applications. Proposion Report Adapter costs $795 for the designer and $1395 for a single-processor server. A free 30-day evaluation version is available for download. For more information, contact Proposion at 978-388-7342 or [email protected]

  • Manage SQL Servers Over the Web

  • Cibersql announced Cibersql Web Admin, a Web application that lets companies manage their SQL Servers and MSDE databases securely over the Internet through a Web browser. DBAs can monitor databases, perform backup and recovery, and produce reports from anywhere in the world. The application is designed and developed with Microsoft .NET technologies to ensure scalability, performance, and security. In addition to providing most of the functionality of Enterprise Manager, Cibersql Web Admin has additional features, such as the ability to instanty export data to various formats including Microsoft Excel, .rtf files, XML files, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Cibersql Web Admin costs $299 for a single license and $1300 for an Enterprise license. A free trial of the software is available for download from the vendor's Web site. For more information, contact Cibersql at 800-893-4970 or [email protected]

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