SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, August 19, 2004--Stinger vs. Yukon

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1. SQL Server Perspectives

  • Will Stinger Steal Yukon's Glory?
  • 2. News and Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Position Level
  • New Instant Poll: IBM DB2
  • 3. Announcements

  • Attention SQL Server Magazine UPDATE Reader!
  • SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need
  • 4. Resources

  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Bulk-Insert Options in ADO.NET
  • Hot Thread: Replication Failure Alerts
  • Tip: Analyzing Object I/O Utilization
  • 5. Events Central - Newest SQL Server Web Seminar: Performance Breakthroughs

    6. New and Improved

  • Get the Big Picture of Your IT Resources
  • Build Better XML and ASP.NET Applications
  • Sponsor: Download Idera's Free Performance Monitor for SQL Server
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    1. SQL Server Perspectives

    Will Stinger Steal Yukon's Glory?
         by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Microsoft wants SQL Server 2005, code-named Yukon, to be the premier database environment for developers. A host of new features, such as a new Visual Studio-like interface and Microsoft .NET integration, are designed to make life easier for developers who use Microsoft-based development tools. Alas, Microsoft might not be the first of the Big 3 database vendors to commercially release a database platform that offers native support for .NET.

    It's easy for SQL Server professionals to ignore important advancements in the IBM DB2 and Oracle spaces, but DB2 might steal SQL Server's glory and become the first kid on the block to offer deep .NET and Common Language Runtime (CLR) support directly within the database engine. In reading the current issue of DB2 Magazine, I felt like I could have been reading SQL Server Magazine or MSDN. All the articles were championing the upcoming release of DB2 UDB 8.2, code-named Stinger, expected for release this fall. Here are some Stinger features that sound like they come directly from SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 playbooks:

    • Automatic tuning capabilities, including a Design Advisor, targeted at small and medium-sized businesses that don't have a full-time DBA
    • The ability to write stored procedures and user-defined functions (UDFs) in any .NET-compliant language hosted within a version of the CLR that runs within the database engine
    • More wizards to help DBAs and developers
    • Automatic generation of Web services and ADO.NET classes
    • Server-side debugging that leverages the Visual Studio .NET cross-language debugger

    I believe that IBM plans to battle SQL Server on its home turf, striving to be a "better SQL Server than SQL Server" for Visual Studio developers looking for a database experience that feels native to their familiar development models. Clearly, the articles I read were full of marketing hype, and I can't claim any direct knowledge about whether Stinger will offer Visual Studio integration that genuinely feels native to Windows developers. So I'm not suggesting that SQL Server developers throw up their hands in despair and migrate to DB2. However, SQL Server-centric professionals who understand what competitors are offering in the market are well served.

    There will be interesting reviews and bake-offs within Big Blue corporate shops that have both a large investment in mainframe DB2 and a large contingent of Windows developers as companies choose a platform for their next right-sizing effort. At the very least, Microsoft will be embarrassed if IBM becomes the first major database vendor to offer .NET CLR support directly within the engine. Maybe Microsoft should be flattered that IBM made tight integration with the Windows development environment a priority for DB2 UDB 8.2. But I'd wager that behind the scenes at Microsoft, there will be some nail biting if Stinger is first to market with .NET integration. We'll have to hope that SQL Server 2005 is worth the wait and will remain the "best SQL Server on the block" for Windows developers.

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    2. News and Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Position Level
  • The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's Instant Poll for the question, "What level is your position?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 188 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
    • 18% Management level
    • 47% Senior level
    • 29% Mid-level
    • 5% Entry level
    • 2% Other

  • New Instant Poll: IBM DB2

  • The next Instant Poll question is "Will you migrate to IBM DB2 UDB 8.2 if the product is the first database platform to offer Microsoft .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) support?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and vote for 1) yes, 2) we would consider it, or 3) no.

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    3. Announcements

    Attention SQL Server Magazine UPDATE Reader!
    You need SQL Server info. Subscribe to SQL Server Magazine today and save 30% off the cover price. You'll also receive free access to the entire online article archive offering savvy tips, expert advice, endless code listings, and much more--get the answers you're looking for! Order now:

    SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need
    SqlJunkies is your online community resource for original tutorial and how-to articles for developing applications with SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005; peer-to-peer help and networking through discussion forums and newsgroups; technology tips and pointers from expert bloggers; and the latest in SQL Server-related events and news.

    4. Resources

  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Bulk-Insert Options in ADO.NET

  • ADO.NET doesn't have any built-in bulk-insert options. The most straightforward method for performing bulk-insert operations from ADO.NET is loading the DataSet with multiple large groups of rows, then sending updates to SQL Server. You can also use the SqlCommand object inside either a stored procedure or a parameterized INSERT statement to insert the data. However, both of these methods are slow because they perform one insert action for each inserted row. In his August SELECT TOP(X) column, "Bulk-Insert Options for ADO.NET," Michael Otey offers four alternative methods that provide better performance. Read this article today at

  • Hot Thread: Replication Failure Alerts

  • Bennykoh runs SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition, which acts as a replication Publisher and Distributor for several publications and many subscribers. Bennykoh wants to know how to create email or paging alerts that notify him when the entire Publisher/Distributor environment encounters a problem, a particular publication fails, or a particular subscriber to a publication encounters a problem. Offer your advice and see what other people have said on SQL Server Magazine's Replication forum at

  • Tip: Analyzing Object I/O Utilization

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

    Q. By setting STATISTICS IO ON, I get valuable information about the amount of I/O performed on each table in my query. Is there a way to store this information for each statement run, even if the statement isn't issued from my Query Analyzer window? Aside from splitting each of my tables into a separate filegroup and running the fn_virtualfilestats() system table-valued function to get I/O statistics, is there a way to calculate simple I/O values for my tables? Essentially, I want something like a trace flag that I can set so that SQL Server will store this information, letting me analyze it and better understand my object I/O utilization.

    A. Your best bet for gathering I/O information and saving it for analysis is to create a SQL Server Profiler trace to capture this information. You can then load the trace file into a table for easy querying and analysis. (To learn how to create a Profiler trace, see Steven Berringer's article "9 Steps to an Automated Trace," InstantDoc ID 43014, or search on the keyword Profiler from http://www.sqlmag.com.)

    5. Events Central

    For a complete guide to Web and live events, see

  • Newest SQL Server Web Seminar: Performance Breakthroughs

  • Meeting database performance demands with larger amounts of data and more complex retrieval requirements is a constant challenge for SQL Server users. SQL Server Magazine invites you to attend a free, interactive Web seminar on September 16. Learn about the foundation of common issues and tactics for solving SQL Server performance dilemmas. Register today--it's free!      http://lists.sqlmag.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ehAB0FgQMn0BRZ0BKgE0As

    6. New and Improved

         by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

  • Get the Big Picture of Your IT Resources

  • Unisys announced the 3D-Visible Enterprise (3D-VE), a service initiative for helping customers make better decisions about their IT environments. Building on the success of the company's popular Database Solution Generator, Unisys designed 3D-VE to provide IT managers with a complete, visual representation of the inner workings of their organization. The service analyzes the components (or artifacts) of your business from a layered perspective, then associates those artifacts to create a 3D Blueprint. The Blueprint maps your business strategy, processes, applications, system flow, and infrastructure through every layer of your enterprise, then creates a virtual model of the enterprise. Managers can see how processes work together, the solutions for executing the processes, and the systems that solutions run on. This visibility lets managers see how decisions will affect the entire organization--before they make the decisions. For more information about 3D-Visible Enterprise, contact Unisys at 800-874-8647 extension 731, 585-742-6865 extension 731, or through the company's Web site.

  • Build Better XML and ASP.NET Applications

  • Wrox Press announced two new book titles of interest to developers who create applications that work with SQL Server. "Beginning XML, Third Edition" by David Hunter, et al ($39.99) introduces you to XML, how it works, what technologies surround it, and how you can best use it in a variety of situations, from simple data transfer to using XML in Web pages. The new book builds on the strengths of the first two editions, adding material to reflect changes in the XML landscape. The text walks readers through specific applications and includes new case studies on XML. Database developers interested in the next release of ASP.NET, code-named Whidbey, can read about the product's new database features in "Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 Databases Beta Preview" by John Kaufman and Bradley Millington ($39.99). The book covers both Visual Basic .NET and C# coding for ASP.NET databases and focuses on solving business problems in a logical progression from connecting to a database to displaying data to changing data. Additional chapters go beyond the basic techniques to discuss best practices and the variations and pitfalls that occur in real business situations. You can purchase these books through your local bookstore or by contacting Wrox Press at 800-225-5945 (800-567-4797 in Canada).

    SQL Server Magazine 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.

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