SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, April 14, 2005--Virtual Machines

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April 14, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • Actualize SQL Server 2005 Through Virtualization
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Bill Baker to Speak at Opening SQL Server 2005 Roadshow Events
  • 3. News & Views

  • The 2nd Annual SQL Server Magazine Readers' Choice Awards
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Learning SQL Server 2005
  • New Instant Poll: Application Development
  • 4. Reader Challenge

  • Winners of the April Challenge: OS Characteristics
  • May Reader Challenge: Query Performance On Partitioned Tables
  • 5. Events and Resources

  • Microsoft TechEd 2005 Europe, July 5-8, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Developing, Deploying, and Managing SSIS
  • Get The Valuable Resources You Need To Secure Your IT Environment
  • Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You
  • 6. Featured White Paper

  • Converting a Microsoft Access Application to Oracle HTML DB
  • 7. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Active/Passive vs. Active/Active Clustering
  • Hot Article: SQL Server Downloads
  • Hot Threads
  • 8. Announcements

  • You Be the Judge!
  • Get the Master CD and Get SQL Server Answers
  • 9. New & Improved

  • Web-Enable Your Database
  • Back Up SQL Server to DVD
  • Get Complete Analytics for SQL Server 2005

  • Sponsor: Free White Paper: Non-Disruptive SQL Server Failover
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    1. Perspectives

  • Actualize SQL Server 2005 Through Virtualization

  •     by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Last week, in "Chipping Away at the SQL Server 2005 Iceberg" ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78E5:2621E7 ), I encouraged you to check out Microsoft's series of SQL Server 2005 Webcasts to ramp up on new product features. The Webcasts can give you a great overview of what to expect, but you also need to spend some time with the product. I have a great way for you to get your hands dirty while keeping your system safe and clean.

    Virtualization software provides an excellent way to play with SQL Server 2005 if you're worried about the effect the new software might have on your machine. In fact, virtualization software is an incredibly valuable tool for production-ready bits as well. Is your hard-drive too small for all the demos you want? Create a virtual machine (VM) that's basically a big file that does whatever you need. Then when you don't need it, you can archive it on the network or an external drive.

    Microsoft and VMware are the two major players in the VM space for Windows software. I won't say one is better than the other, but Microsoft Virtual Server and Microsoft Virtual PC are free for development and testing to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers. I've always been a big fan of free software when it gets the job done. Note that the MSDN virtual labs don't require an MSDN subscription. They're free to everyone! Building your own VMs is a great way to learn, but some of you might be so busy that you don't have time to build your own. You can still play with SQL Server 2005. MSDN Virtual Labs provide a hosted, VM environment that you can access through Internet Explorer with no special software or hardware and the service is free to everyone. Most of the labs are 90 minutes and they cover a variety of topics, including solutions to development and Windows-related problems. I haven't counted them all, but I estimate you can walk through more than 200 distinct modules across more than 20 subject areas--Microsoft recently added SQL Sever 2005 coverage to the list ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78E6:2621E7 ). Some SQL Server 2005 topics that the labs cover are SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS), introduction to SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, SQL Server 2005 Server Management Objects (SMO), SQL Server 2005 common language runtime (CLR) integration, query tuning, SQL Server 2005 and ADO.NET (Lab A), SQL Server 2005 and ADO.NET (Lab B), SQL Server 2005 T-SQL enhancements, Web services, and XML capabilities.

    Using the labs isn't as good as having your own VM to perform ad-hoc explorations of the product, but it's incredibly easy to be able to do full-fledged lab exercises without having to bother with installing and setting up your own VM environment. Some of you simply don't have access to hardware resources to test SQL Server 2005 in a contained environment, and many of you are probably hesitant to install any type of beta software on machines that you actually need to use for your daily jobs. Can you run SQL Server 2005 on your primary development machine without causing a major problem? Probably, but don't forget that it's called beta software for a reason. So I definitely encourage you to fire up the VM of your choice and start learning SQL Server 2005.

    See why AppDev was voted THE BEST by readers of SQL Server Magazine...get a FREE SQL Server 2000 Training CD-ROM--a $95 value! Click the link below for your free SQL Server training CD.

    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Bill Baker to Speak at Opening SQL Server 2005 Roadshow Events

  • Bill Baker will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday in Boston at the first stop on the Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow tour, produced by SQL Server Magazine and the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and sponsored by Microsoft. Baker, GM, SQL Server Business Intelligence for Microsoft, will set the stage for the full day of SQL Server 2005 technical training by highlighting some of the innovations in SQL Server 2005. Baker will also deliver the keynote address at the New York, San Francisco, and Chicago venues. "We've been working hard on SQL Server 2005," said Baker. "We're looking forward to traveling the country to meet withour users, and showing them some of the amazing things they can do in their businesses with the technology we've been working on."

    The roadshow is coming to Boston on April 19, New York on April 21, Anaheim on April 26, San Francisco on April 28, Chicago on May 12, Houston on May 17, and Dallas on May 19. Walk-in registrations are encouraged. The registration fee for the roadshow is $99, which includes a full day of technical content, breakfast, lunch, the user group party, a one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine, a one-year membership to PASS, an attendee bag, roadshow T-shirt, and the opportunity to win prizes from various sponsors, including an Xbox. Walk-in registrants may pay by check, cash, or credit card at the site. To see the full agenda and register online, visit http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=5776:2621E7 .

    The SQL Server 2005 Roadshow will include three content tracks. Scalability Experts trainers will lead the administration track, DevelopMentor trainers will lead the development track, and Hitachi Consulting trainers will lead the BI track. The roadshow will provide an in-depth look at the new SQL Server release from experts who have worked with the technology for months.

    "Many IT professionals are wondering how SQL Server 2005 will impact their work this year," said Crockett. "There are a lot of questions about upgrading to the new database platform, and this Roadshow is designed to provide specific answers to all their questions."

  • Sponsor: SQL Server Magazine Monthly Pass = Quick Answers!

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    3. News & Views

  • The 2005 SQL Server Magazine Readers' Choice Awards

  • You be the judge in SQL Server Magazine's second annual Readers' Choice Awards! By voting for outstanding products, companies, and services, you'll have the opportunity to reward excellence in a variety of categories. The September 2005 issue of SQL Server Magazine will feature your favorite products and your choice of companies that provide the best products and services. Voting begins April 15 and ends May 15. Readers must log in to vote, so you must be a registered SQL Server Magazine Website user. Logging in to the site and completing the form is really easy this year. You can even return and complete the survey at your leisure so that you don't have to worry about completing it all in one sitting. All voters will be entered in a drawing for one of 2 512MB iPod Shuffles and 10 SQL Server Magazine t-shirts. Cast your vote!

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Learning SQL Server 2005

  • "Have you started learning how to use SQL Server 2005?" Here are the results from the 114 votes:

  • 40%   Yes
  • 31%   No, but I plan to begin soon
  • 24%   No, and I don't plan to start until I have the product in production
  •  5%   No, because I don't plan to migrate to SQL Server 2005
  • New Instant Poll: Application Development

  • "How much time do you spend on application-development activities?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=3D1:2621E7 ) and submit your vote for

  • All of my time
  • Most of my time, but I also have other duties
  • Half of my time
  • Some of my time, but they aren't my primary focus
  • None
  • 4. Reader Challenge

    Winners of the April Challenge: OS Characteristics
        by Umachandar Jayachandran, [email protected]

    Congratulations to Pierre LaFromboise and Vadim Rapp in Park Ridge, Illinois. Pierre won first prize of $100 for the best solution to the April Reader Challenge, "OS Characteristics." Vadim won second prize of $50. You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the April Reader Challenge at

  • April Reader Challenge: Query Performance On Partitioned Tables
  • Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the May Reader Challenge, "Query Performance On Partitioned Tables" (below). Submit your solution in an email message to [email protected] by April 21. 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 first-place winner will receive $100, and the second-place winner will receive $50.

    Here's the challenge: David is a database developer for a company that reports about Web site traffic. The information from the Web server log files is stored in SQL Server 2000 databases. One of the main tables in the database is stored as partitions and each partition contains one week's worth of Web server log file data. David has scripts that bulk insert data into the partitions daily. A bug in the bulk insert script caused some of the partitions to be modified without checking the constraints, which resulted in poor query performance. Help David identify the performance problem's cause, query to identify the affected partitioned tables, and correct the problem.

    For an example of the partitioned tables, a sample file that contains the data for the WebHits_W1 table, the bulk insert statement that David uses to insert the data into the WebHits_W1 table, and some example queries that are performing poorly after the bulk inserts, go to

    5. Events and Resources

  • Microsoft TechEd 2005 Europe, July 5-8, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Want to stay abreast of current and soon-to-be-launched technologies? Build your own intensive learning program from 7 pre-conference sessions, 12 tracks and over 400 technical sessions at Microsoft's principal European technical education conference for building, deploying, securing, and managing connected solutions. Listen, interact, network, and share the inspiration! Save 300 euros! Register before our 20th May Early Bird deadline.

  • Developing, Deploying, and Managing SSIS

  • In this free Web seminar, find out the role SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) plays in Microsoft's BI strategy and learn about the important new SSIS features. You'll get a guided tour illustrating how to develop SSIS packages using the new SSIS Designer and learn how to customize those packages to run on different systems. Sign up today!

  • Get The Valuable Resources You Need To Secure Your IT Environment
  • Stay on top of new security threats, address those security threats and ensure trustworthy computing in your environment and more! Download an eBook or white paper before June 30th and you'll be entered for a chance to win an Xbox!

  • 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. Attend and 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.
  •     http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=5778:2621E7

    6. Featured White Paper

  • Converting a Microsoft Access Application to Oracle HTML DB

  • Get the most efficient, scaleable and secure approach to managing information using an Oracle Database with a Web application as the user interface. In this free white paper learn how you can use an Oracle HTML Database to convert a Microsoft Access application into a Web application that can be used by multiple users concurrently. Download this free white paper now!

    7. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Active/Passive vs. Active/Active Clustering

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

    Q. I've implemented an Active/Passive failover cluster for SQL Server 2000. How is Active/Active mode different from Active/Passive mode? And is it possible to perform Active/Active clustering for this version of the database system?

  • Read the answer to this question today at

  •     http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78EE:2621E7

  • Hot Article: SQL Server Downloads

  • When you're looking for SQL Server-related add-ons and resources, you can find updates, tools and utilities, code samples, product documentation, and SQL Server technologies on the SQL server home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78EF:2621E7 ). But most people don't realize that the bulk of Microsoft's SQL Server downloads aren't there but are on the general downloads site ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78F0:2621E7 ). To display the 270 posted SQL Server downloads, choose SQL Server from the download page's Product/Technology drop-down menu. You'll see all the publicly available downloads that are directly or indirectly related to SQL Server. In his April SELECT TOP(X) column "SQL Server Downloads," Michael Otey shares the five most interesting SQL Server downloads available from the Microsoft downloads page. Read this 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=3D8:2621E7

    DTS: DTS Column Size Limitations
    Administration: Changing tempdb from C: to T:
    T-SQL: Reverse Aggregating Absolute Monthly Values
    Security: Granting User Database Privileges
    Data Access: Linking Xcel File to SQL Server for Auto Updates
    Reporting Services: "Subscriptions Cannot Be Created" Error Message

    8. Announcements

  • You Be the Judge!

  • Your favorite products are on trial in the SQL Server 2005 Readers' Choice Awards. Cast your vote now and you could win an iPod Shuffle or a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt. Voting ends May 15, so don't miss out!

  • 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.

    9. 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]

  • Web-Enable Your Database

  • MonocerosSoft announced Database Web Explorer 3.0, a database-management tool that lets you Web-enable any database so that you can run it through the Internet or your company's intranet. The tool doesn't require any COM or ActiveX components, nor does it require DLLs on either the server side or the client side. The program supports multi-user mode, making it ideal for remote database management. You can use Database Web Explorer for a variety of database-related tasks, such as remotely adding, editing, and deleting records; exporting data; and executing SQL queries. Developed with classic ASP technology in pure script language, the product connects to databases through ODBC drivers and OLE DB providers. The program is distributed as HTML and JavaScript source code and is simple to configure. The latest release of the tool supports BLOB fields and LongVarChar data types as well as multiple SQL-query windows. Database Web Explorer costs $79, and a free demonstration version is available. For more information, contact MonocerosSoft at [email protected]

  • Back Up SQL Server to DVD

  • Cristalink Limited announced Firestreamer-DVD 1.5, software that lets the Microsoft Backup Utility access DVD media. The new release of the product introduces support for SQL Server Backup (SQLBackup) and lets you natively back up live SQL Server databases directly to DVD. The software emulates a virtual tape drive and seamlessly integrates with SQL Server, supporting all the features of SQLBackup, including complete, differential, and transaction-log backups; data compression; media spanning; backup scheduling with SQL Server Agent; manual backups with Enterprise Manager; and automated backups with SQL script or any other programming language that supports SQL-DMO objects. Firestreamer-DVD also supports general-purpose backups to DVD with the Microsoft Backup Utility (NTBackup), has the ability to span large backups across multiple DVD writers, and supports bare-metal restore with Windows Automated System Recovery. Firestreamer-DVD costs $30 for a single-computer license, and a fully functional 30-day trial version is available for download. For more information, contact Cristalink Limited at 64-9-837-7641, or [email protected]

  • Get Complete Analytics for SQL Server 2005

  • ProClarity announced that ProClarity Analytics Platform 6.0 includes support for SQL Server 2005. The platform was developed in-line with the SQL Server 2005 Community Technology Previews (CTPs) to take full advantage of the business intelligence (BI) functionality of the Microsoft platform. The new release of ProClarity's platform supports key enhancements in SQL Server 2005, and the combination of the two platforms provide a comprehensive, cost-effective reporting and analysis solution. ProClarity Analytics Platform lets you use more than 3000 APIs to quickly build and deploy custom analytic applications that provide business decision makers with the information they need to understand your organization's history, see what's happening now, and plan for the future. In addition, the platform's integration with SQL Server Reporting Services lets you use the best ad hoc dimensional query capabilities to deliver information in clear, understandable reports. For more information about ProClarity Analytics Platform 6.0, visit the company's online demo center at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=78F9:2621E7 or contact ProClarity at 208-344-1630 or [email protected]

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