SQL Server Express UPDATE--April 17, 2004: CTPs vs. Betas

SQL Server Express UPDATE, April 17, 2006, CTP Versus Betas

Subscribe to SQL Server Magazine:


To ensure that future email messages you receive from SQL Server 2005 Express UPDATE aren't mistakenly blocked by antispam software, be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.

==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, who offer products and services that might interest you. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for SQL Server Magazine UPDATE.



Intercerve Don't buy more hardware--optimize your servers!


April 17, 2006

1. Commentary

  • CTP Versus Betas

    2. Jump Start

  • Creating Tables, Part 3

    3. Check It Out

  • Calling All SQL Server 2005 Express Heroes

    4. Events and Resources

  • Alternatives for Enterprise Storage Backup and Disaster Recovery Exploiting the Opportunities of a Wireless Fleet
  • Idera's SQL Pop-Quiz
  • How to Evaluate and Choose a Messaging Archiving Solution

    5. Featured White Paper

  • Secure Your Online Data Transfer with SSL

    6. New Product

  • Document Your SQL Server Database

    7. Announcements

  • SQL Server Magazine Spring Savings--Subscribe and SAVE 58%
  • Save 44% On the Windows IT Security Newsletter

    ==== Sponsor: Bindview ====

    Find solutions to manage multiple regulations effectively, saving time and expense when demonstrating compliance. Download the white paper that explains this solution at

    1. Commentary

    CTPs Versus Betas
          by Michael Otey, [email protected]

    Microsoft recently released several SQL Server 2005 Express Community Technology Previews (CTPs). This is exciting news for SQL Server 2005 Express users because these CTPs provide many new capabilities and program fixes. The CTPs, which have been available since March, include

  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Service Pack 1 (SP1) CTP
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services CTP
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit CTP
  • SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express CTP

    You can download these CTPs from the Microsoft download site at

    Several readers have been confused about the nature of these CTPs. It’s important to remember that CTPs aren't the final release. CTP stands for Community Technology Preview, and the key word is "preview." CTPs are intended to give you hands-on experience with the new features and to test the code in your environment. However, one item to be aware of--you don’t want to apply SQL Server Express Edition SP1 CTP on the same system where you’re running a production copy of SQL Server 2005 Express. Go ahead and install the CTP on a test system, but wait for the final SP1 release of code before you install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP1 on your production system. When Microsoft ships the final service pack release it'll drop the CTP moniker.

    So how does a CTP differ from a beta release? Both CTPs and betas are prerelease code--code that isn’t finished and hasn’t gone through the final optimization and quality-assurance process. The main difference between a CTP and beta is that a beta typically follows a predefined release cycle and it's usually available only to selected users. In contrast, Microsoft generally makes a CTP available to the general public soon after the development team completes the code. CTPs are often quite stable so if you mistakenly install a CTP on a production system it'll probably work fine. Once the service pack is released you should uninstall the CTP before you install the service pack. In addition, be aware that CTPs sometimes have a limited active time. As a final note, you can expect to see SQL Server 2005 Express service pack editions and toolkits mid-2006.

    ==== Editor's Note ====

    Meet Your Favorite IT Experts at Connections Europe in Nice, France, April 24-27
          Did you know your favorite Connections conference is coming to Europe in April? Learn from your favorite authors live and in person, and hear directly from Microsoft experts about the next generation of Microsoft technologies. This is an action-packed event; for one rate, you get four conferences: ASP.NET, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and Exchange. Plus, you get bonus sessions on Sharepoint and Windows! I'm going to let you know about a special rate--when you buy your first conference registration at 1,100 euros, you can get additional passes at half off--so partner up with your friends and take advantage of this great rate. The regular price is 1450 euros, so this is a big bargain, especially when you check out the lineup of speakers! To get your special rate, go to the following site to register today and enter promocode: EXPENL. Hope to see you in Nice!

    ****** Sponsor: Thwarte ******

    Discover how to ensure efficient ongoing management of your digital certificates, how your business will benefit by addressing unique online security issues and more!


    2. SQL Server Express Jump Start

    Creating Tables, Part 3
          by Michael Otey

    In previous Jump Start columns, I’ve discussed installing SQL Server 2005 Express, creating a database, and creating tables and columns. Tables group related data together and are the core of all relational database systems. Data in a table is stored in columns, and you assign a data type to each column of data.

    In the March 20, 2006 Jump Start, "Is SQL Server Express Multiuser Capable?" (http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/49736/sql_server_49736.html ), I showed you how to create a basic table for storing media information. The following T-SQL listing shows that table.

    CREATE TABLE \[dbo\].\[Media\](
          \[MediaID\] \[int\] NOT NULL,
          \[MediaType\] \[varchar\](10) NOT NULL,
          \[MediaTitle\] \[varchar\](50) NOT NULL,
          \[LastUpdated\] \[datetime\] NOT NULL ) ON \[PRIMARY\]

    If you're just getting started with databases, one important procedure you need to learn is how to insert a column into a table to include missing information. For example, the preceding Media table tracks basic media information: ID, type, title, and last updated. Imagine that after you create your database, you decide that because the media is stored in different shelves throughout your home or office, you want to track CD location as well. To add a column, you'll need to add to your T-SQL table code the following line:

    ALTER TABLE Media ADD MediaLocationID \[int\] NULL

    You can use sqlcmd or Query Editor from within SQL Server Management Studio for Express (SSMSE) to run this command. ALTER TABLE keeps pre-existing data in its original columns and adds the MediaLocation column to the end of the column list. You can also add columns graphically by using SSMSE, but this utility constructs and runs only the ALTER TABLE command.

    ==== Hot Spot ====

    When nightly backup jobs fight for network resources, grab the visual power of sqlSentry’s "shared resource" view. sqlSentry gives you a detailed calendar of all backup jobs across the entire enterprise that write to the same device. Eliminate any schedule contention with a few clicks!

    3. Check It Out

    Calling All SQL Server 2005 Express Heroes

    Have you used SQL Server 2005 Express or Visual Studio Express editions to create something fun or cool? If so, Microsoft is currently running a Microsoft Express Heroes contest for you to submit a story or a project you've worked on that focuses on using SQL Server 2005 Express or Visual Studio Express editions. Microsoft will publish the winners' stories on its Web site each week during the promotion and you'll receive a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate. You'll find more information about the contest at

    4. Events and Resources

    Alternatives for Enterprise Storage Backup and Disaster Recovery
          Learn about the advantages of each alternative to traditional file servers and tape storage solutions, and make the best choice for your enterprise needs.

    Exploiting the Opportunities of a Wireless Fleet
          Industry guru Randy Franklin Smith helps you identify what you should do to leverage your mobile and wireless infrastructure, how to pick devices that are right for you, and more!

    Idera's SQL Pop-Quiz Are you a SQL Server Superhero? Take our free pop quiz to prove that you are, and you'll be entered to win a PSP!

    How to Evaluate and Choose a Messaging Archiving Solution
          Gain control of your messaging data with step-by-step instructions for complying with the law, ensuring your systems are working properly, and ultimately making your job easier.

    5. Featured White Paper

    Secure Your Online Data Transfer with SSL
          Increase your customers' confidence and your business by securely collecting sensitive information online. In this free white paper you'll learn about the various applications of SSL certificates and how to deploy them appropriately, along with details of how to test SSL on your Web server.

    6. New Product

    Document Your SQL Server Database
          by Blake Eno

    Apex SQL Tools announced Apex SQL Doc, a documentation tool for your SQL Server database. SQL Doc's wizard-based interface walks you through the steps you'll use to convert your SQL Server databases into HTML Help files. The wizard lets you choose between server-level and database-level documentation. You can also enable individual object selection to document objects such as schemas, partition schemas, queues, and XML schema collections. SQL Doc lets you document multiple databases in one Help file. Apex SQL Doc starts at $249 for one to three licenses. For more information, contact Apex SQL Tools at 919-968-8452 or 866-665-5500.

    7. Announcements

    SQL Server Magazine Spring Savings--Subscribe and SAVE 58%
          Along with your 12 issues, you'll get FREE access to the entire SQL Server Magazine online article archive, which houses more than 2,300 helpful articles. This is a limited-time offer, so order now at

    Save 44% Off \[On?\] the Windows IT Security Newsletter
          For a limited time, order the Windows IT Security newsletter and SAVE up to $80! You'll get 12 helpful issues loaded with endless fundamentals on building and maintaining a secure enterprise, in-depth product coverage of the best security tools available, and expert advice on the best way to implement various security components. Subscribe now at

    ==== Contact Us ====

    About the [email protected]
    About the [email protected]
    About technical questions-- http://sqlforums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/default.aspx?forumid=10
    About product [email protected]
    About your [email protected]
    About sponsoring an issue of SQL Server Express UPDATE--Richard Resnick, [email protected]

    SQL Server Express UPDATE is brought to you by SQL Server Magazine, the only magazine devoted to helping developers and DBAs master new and emerging SQL Server technologies and issues. Subscribe today.

    SQL Server Magazine is a division of Penton Media, Inc.
    221 East 29th Street
    Loveland, CO 80538
    Attention: Customer Service Department

    Copyright 2006, Penton Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Hide comments


    • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

    Plain text

    • No HTML tags allowed.
    • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
    • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.