SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, December 1, 2005--Microsoft Architect Certification

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Dashboard Development and Deployment--A Methodology for Success

December 1, 2005

1. Perspectives

  • Re-Architecting Architect Certification
  • 2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

  • Uninstalling SQL Server Management Studio to Prevent Duplicates
  • 3. News & Views

  • Fixes Help Eliminate Errors in Data Mining Applications
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Learning About BI
  • New Instant Poll: Your 2005 Salary
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Get the Facts About Deploying SQL Server 2005!
  • Scripting and Code Don't Have to Be Boring
  • Are You Really Prepared for Disaster Recovery?
  • GUpgrade to Analysis Services 2005
  • 5. Featured White Paper

  • Integrating Fax Servers in MFP Environments
  • 6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Performing a Reverse DNS Lookup
  • Hot Article: How Much Cash Are You Raking In?
  • In a Nutshell: PerfMon Counters in X64
  • Hot Threads
  • 7. Announcements

  • The SQL Server Magazine Master CD has it all!
  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, & Forums
  • 8. New & Improved

  • Improve Performance for Application Monitoring and Reporting
  • Simplify XML Development
  • Free Disaster Recovery Toolkit for the SQL DBA
    Written by SQL Server expert Brian Knight, this handy, "how-to" toolkit contains comprehensive first-hand advice and scripts for SQL Server DBAs that need to build and implement a successful disaster recovery plan. With his tips and quips, Brian walks the DBA through real-world scenarios using an easy, step-by-step approach. And as part of the download, you'll receive four scripts, which will greatly speed your recovery time! Download it today, compliments of Lumigent:

    1. Perspectives

  • Re-Architecting Architect Certification

  • by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    I was planning to spend this week exploring the new Microsoft SQL Server 2005 certification process, which includes new tests and certification options for professionals who specialize in SQL Server administration, business intelligence, and development technologies. Instead, I was sidetracked by the soon-to-be-launched Microsoft Certified Architect Program. So this week, I'll focus on just that aspect of the new certification offerings. I'll cover the SQL Server-specific certifications in an upcoming editorial, and you can review all the options on your own at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AEA1:285886 if you're too excited to wait for my comments.

    I haven't written about Microsoft certification much during the past year or two because Microsoft hasn't added anything all that interesting and new for SQL Server professionals. I'm on record as saying that I didn't think the Microsoft certification process was predictive of a person's ability to be successful in the real world. In particular, I've never thought that any Microsoft certification was particularly useful for measuring a person's skill in advanced topics. (Note: I'm reserving judgment for the newest round of certifications associated with SQL Server 2005.)

    But the ideas outlined for the pending Architecture Certification have caught my interest. The certification is scheduled to launch sometime in the first half of 2006, and the existing certification Web site raises as many questions as it answers in some ways. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued.

    The main Architecture Certification Web site at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE98:285886 explains that the program "validates top industry experts in IT Architecture. These professionals have 10 or more years of experience in IT with at least 3 years of experience as a practicing architect and possess strong technical and leadership skills and form a distinguished community." Candidates for the Architect Certification must pass a rigorous review board made up of previously certified architects. The certification is targeted to people who can use "multiple technologies to solve business problems and provide business metrics and measurements to describe the success or failure of the projects they drive."

    Historically, the Microsoft certification process was simply an exercise in memorizing enough facts about a particular product to pass a test on a particular day. I know many people who have good short-term memory and were able to scan one of the exam prep books over a weekend and retain enough information for a passing score. These people didn't achieve mastery--or even understanding--of the subject matter. But take a look at the eight-step certification process outlined at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE98:285886 .

    A big challenge for Microsoft in launching this program will be getting enough people to cover the logistics. It's one thing to administer certification tests on computer. But this program, like a PhD defense, requires mentors and people to serve on review boards, making the logistics of the process more complex. But if Microsoft can find a way to make a program such as this scaleable, it might end up with a program that has teeth and is a good measure of a person's true skill set and ability to be successful in advanced architectural environments.

    To be honest, I'm a bit pessimistic that the initial round of this endeavor will be particularly useful. I'd love to be wrong, but measuring someone's ability as an architect is always going to be challenging. But I'm pleased that Microsoft has recognized the importance of trying to establish a certification process that has value. I'll reserve my final judgment on the success of the initial program until the all details are available next year and I've had a chance to chat with IT professionals who've gone though the vetting process. But even if Microsoft doesn't quite hit the target on their first try, I applaud its move toward the high end of the certification process.

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    2. SQL Server 2005 Watch

    Uninstalling SQL Server Management Studio to Prevent Duplicates
    Microsoft released an article describing how to uninstall SQL Server Management Studio when you're installing SQL Server 2005 Express. A conflict arises when you install SQL Server and SQL Server Express on the same machine: one machine can't run two versions of Management Studio. To eliminate the conflict, you must uninstall Management Studio, then rerun SQL Server Express installation. For information about how to perform the uninstallation, see "How to uninstall SQL Server Management Studio" at

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    3. News & Views

  • Fixes Help Eliminate Errors in Data Mining Applications
  • Microsoft provided two hotfixes that address errors related to OLAP cube function in SQL Server 2000. The first, "FIX: A drillthrough operation fails, and you may receive an "Unable to drill through" error message after you configure drillthrough permissions on a virtual cube in SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services," ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE9D:285886 ) addresses an error that occurs after you configure drillthrough permissions on a virtual cube in Analysis Services. The drillthrough operation fails, and you might receive an error message such as "Unable to drill through. Access denied to the cube 'BaseCube'," where "BaseCube" is the name of a base cube for the virtual cube. This problem occurs because drillthrough security permissions aren't set on the base cube. When you set security permissions on the virtual cube, the security permissions aren't propagated to the base cube. When the server on which Analysis Services is installed receives a drillthrough request, the server evaluates drillthrough security permissions on the virtual cube and on the base cubes. The most restrictive set of drillthrough permissions is applied.

    The second hotfix, "FIX: You receive a 'Connection timed out or lost' error message or a 'COMException' error message when you use ADOMD.NET to connect to a remote OLAP server in SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services," ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE9E:285886 )addresses a cube-connection error such as "Connection timed out or lost" or "Exception Details:
    System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: There was an operating system error: 5."
    For more information, visit the ADOMD.NET Web site at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE89:285886 .

    Results of Previous Instant Poll: Learning About BI
    "Which of the following BI-related topics are you interested in learning about?" Here are the results from the 75 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):

  • 35% DTS/SSIS
  • 11% Developing BI applications
  • 16% Data mining/Analysis Services
  • 23% Creating/designing cubes
  • 16% Reporting
  • New Instant Poll: Your 2005 Salary
    "What do you expect your total base salary will be for 2005?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AEA8:285886 ) and submit your vote for

  • Under $30,000
  • $30,000 to $50,000
  • $50,000 to $75,000
  • $75,000 to $100,000
  • More than $100,000
  • 4. Events and Resources

  • Get the facts about deploying SQL Server 2005!

  • SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you put SQL Server 2005 into practice and use its new capabilities to improve your database-computing environment. Receive a one-year membership to PASS and one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now at:

  • Scripting and Code Don't Have to Be Boring

  • Subscribe today to Scripting Central and get a down-and-dirty technical, yet lighthearted look at scripts. You'll also get tools for and tips on how to write scripts for a variety of Windows applications, like Exchange and SQL Server. Sign up today!

  • Are You Really Prepared for Disaster Recovery?

  • Join industry guru Liam Colvin in this free Web seminar and get the tips you need to validate your disaster recovery data. You'll learn whether your backup-and-restore data is worth staking your career on, what type of geo-clustering is right for you, which response to use in crisis situations, and more!

  • Upgrade to Analysis Services 2005

  • Get the tips and tricks you'll need to upgrade to Analysis Services 2005, including possible upgrade and migration scenarios, pre-planning steps, running the new Analysis Services migration wizard, and more. Plus, discover what steps need to be completed after the migration process and explore some of the new features of Analysis Services 2005.

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

  • http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AEA5:285886

    5. Featured White Paper

  • Integrating Fax Servers in MFP Environments

  • Did you know that wasteful processes can drive the cost of document management and output to as high as 10% to 15% of your company's annual revenues? Download this free white paper today and find out how you can use fax solutions to achieve cost control, security and compliance, increased workflow and more.

    6. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Performing a Reverse DNS Lookup

  • by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Q. Is it possible to perform a reverse DNS lookup in a stored procedure or from a SQL Server Agent job?

  • Read the answer to this question today at

  • http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1AE90:285886

  • Hot Article: How Much Cash Are You Raking In?

  • We love to know how much money everybody's making and we also like to know that we're being compensated fairly for our own jobs. The most effective path toward that knowledge is to directly survey the fellow professionals in our field. In his December article "How Much Cash Are You Raking In?" senior editor Jason Bovberg takes a close look at the results of SQL Server Magazine's 2005 Salary Survey. He examines how such determiners as job title, experience, gender, and age affect the size of your paycheck. He also shows you some ways you might consider--based on the survey's findings--to increase the amount of money you make. Read this article today and post your comments at

  • In a Nutshell: PerfMon Counters in X64

  • The 64-bit world can be scary and intimidating if you've never tackled it before. In his blog "PerfMon Counters in X64," Kevin Kline gives a comforting piece of information about using PerfMon. Read this and other blog entries, and let Kevin know your opinions today at

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.

    Administration: Restoring Logs on a Standby Server
    Performance: Slower Using TOP
    OLAP/Data Warehousing: Migrating Cubes Between Two Servers
    Replication: Replication Between SQL Server 2005 and 2000
    DTS: Data Appended to Destination Table in DTS

    Hot Spot

  • Dashboard Development and Deployment--A Methodology for Success

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    7. Announcements

  • The SQL Server Magazine Master CD has it all!

  • Get the SQL Server Magazine Master CD and get portable, high-speed access to the entire SQL Server article database on CD--that's a library of more than 2,300 articles! The newest issue includes BONUS SQL Server 2005 Tips, and if you sign up now, you will SAVE 25%. Offer ends 12/31/05, so take advantage of this holiday offer now:

  • SQL Server Performance Tips, Articles, & Forums

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    8. New & Improved

    by Blake Eno, [email protected]

    Improve Performance for Application Monitoring and Reporting
    Heroix announced Heroix Longitude 2.0, agentless system and application performance-monitoring software that lets you improve performance without installing the software on each server. Longitude lets you define and monitor Service Level Agreements (SLAs), based on established system and application performance metrics. The SLA dashboard provides you with an up-to-the-minute, graphical view of service-level performance, historical reporting, and drill-down capabilities so that you can investigate shortfalls in service compliance. The product also includes out-of-the-box SLA definitions for performance problems or concerns such as CPU usage and server availability. This release also features user-definable transaction monitoring that lets you measure and report on HTTP URL availability, response time and content, DNS name resolution, and other common transactions. The product also provides added database and infrastructure monitoring capabilities, including support for MySQL, Active Directory (AD), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Heroix offers a 14-day trial. Pricing for Heroix Longitude 2.0 starts at $299 per monitored system. For more information, contact Heroix at 800-229-6500, 617-527-1550, or [email protected]

    Simplify XML Development
    Altova announced that Altova XMLSpy 2006, XML development software, includes full support for Visual Studio 2005. This release lets developers access the functionality of XMLSpy to build XML-based applications from within Visual Studio. This release contains updated XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery support in compliance with the latest World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Drafts on XML Query Use Cases, released September 15, 2005. Integration with Visual Studio gives you access to five editing views including Advanced Text View, Enhanced Grid View, XML Schema/WSDL Design View, Authentic View, and Browser View. These views let you work with any XML document in a way that best suits your needs. The editing features of XMLSpy support auto-completion, context-sensitive syntax help, entry helpers, and syntax coloring. Altova offers a 30-day trial. Pricing for Altova XMLSpy 2006 starts at $499. For further information, contact Altova at 978-816-1600 or [email protected]

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