SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, December 30, 2004--The Good and the Bad

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December 30, 2004

1. Perspectives

  • Good Things to Take into 2005 and Bad Things to Leave Behind
  • 2. News and Views

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Job Satisfaction

  • New Instant Poll: User Groups
  • 3. Announcements

  • Free 1-Week Trial For SQLMag.com Users

  • SqlJunkies Has What Developers Need
  • 4. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Changing a Column's Data Type

  • Hot Article: SQL Server Magazine 2004 Innovator Awards

  • Kevin Kline's "In a Nutshell" Blog: Cool IE Tips

  • Hot Threads
  • 5. Events Central

  • Recovery Management Strategies
  • 6. New and Improved

  • Assess Database Application Vulnerability

  • Step Up Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance
  • Sponsor: SQL Tuning: Free Download Test Drive from VERITAS
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    1. Perspectives

    Good Things to Take into 2005 and Bad Things to Leave Behind
        by Brian Moran, [email protected]

    Last week, I talked about Microsoft's 15-page "year in review" press release, "Microsoft at Year's End: Broad Range of Products and Services Introduced in 2004; Advances in Services, Software and Tools Slated for 2005" (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2004/dec04/12-14YearReview.asp). In the press release, Microsoft outlines what in its opinion are the company's most important achievements of 2004. But I want to know what you think the most important SQL Server news item from 2004 is. And what do you think the most important SQL Server trend or development will be in 2005? No, I'm not going to tell you what I think this week, and no, you can't simply say SQL Server 2005's release—that's too easy! Unfortunately, we didn't see a new version of SQL Server in 2004, but 2005 will—dare I say—finally be the year we see the first major SQL Server release in almost 5 years. Everyone knows that the official Microsoft response to a when-will-it-ship question is the handy "when it's ready." Microsoft doesn't like to provide exact dates for release to manufacturing (RTM) in advance, but it has been saying for some time that SQL Server 2005 would RTM in the first half of 2005. However, Paul Flessner, a Microsoft senior vice president, released a memo to the SQL Server community that said the company expects SQL Server 2005 to RTM in the summer rather than first half of the year. So, send me your thoughts about what Microsoft's greatest accomplishments were in 2004. I'll share your responses and my thoughts on these topics after the new year.

    On a completely unrelated note, I was intrigued to read the story "Most players on a single game server" at http://www.techspot.com/story16387.html . Many people, myself included, think that Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmarks offer misleading information about real database performance. The TPC tests are useful, but they only measure the performance of the TPC test being run; not your actual workload. To measure real workloads, you must find a more realistic stress-test environment. For example, what database purchasing manager could refuse a request for a brand new Unisys ES7000 server when it holds the Guinness World Record for the highest number of concurrent users on a single-server game system? If your database server can handle 1160 concurrent users playing Counterstrike, imagine what it could do for processing customer orders and other mundane tasks.

    From the team at SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, we wish you, your family, and friends a happy new year!

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    2. News & Views

    Results of Previous Instant Poll: Job Satisfaction "Overall, how satisfied are you with your current position?" Here are the results from the 104 votes:

  • 18%   Totally satisfied
  • 52%   Somewhat satisfied
  •   1%   Neither satisfied or dissatisfied
  • 27%   Somewhat dissatisfied
  •   2%   Totally dissatisfied
  • New Instant Poll: User Groups "Which user group are you a member of?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://www.sqlmag.com ) and submit your vote for

  • SQL Server Worldwide User's Group (SSWUG)
  • Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS)
  • Local user group
  • Other
  • None
  • 3. Announcements

    Free 1-Week Trial For SQLMag.com Users
    Get insider access to the Web's most popular online SQL Server users' group: tens of thousands of articles, scripts, product reviews, FAQs, and help for administrators and developers. Bonus for SQLMag users! Enter VIP code VIPS122004—double your free trial to 2 weeks.

    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 Yukon; 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. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Changing a Column's Data Type

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

    Q. I have a table that contains more than 10,000 rows, and I want to change one column from a numeric data type to a float data type. How can I accomplish the change with the least impact on data availability?

    Read the answer to this question today at

    Hot Article: SQL Server Magazine 2004 Innovator Awards
    Dive into the top four 2004 Innovator Awards solutions, explore the business problems the winners faced, and learn how they developed their solutions and about the benefits and ROI their companies gained from the creative use of SQL Server and .NET technology. Check out our four January focus articles today.

    Read "Monitoring the World" today at

    Read "COTS It's Not" today at

    Read "Seamless SQL Server Encrytion" today at

    Read "Dynamic Reloading" today at

    In a Nutshell: Cool IE Tips
    In this week's blog, "Cool IE Tips," Kevin Kline talks about his holiday tradition of cleaning up his favorites list in Internet Explorer. It's not uncommon for links to go dead, or be rerouted, and it's also nice to keep your list organized. So now's the time for you to drag-and-drop all those hastily created favorites from the main drop down list into neatly categorized folders. What do you think?

    Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums. http://www.windowsitpro.com/sqlserver/forums/

    T-SQL: Data Types and Stored Procedures
    Performance: Why do Stored Procedures Recompile?
    Administration: Error 20089: Could Not Get License Information Correctly
    Replication: Error Generating Script in Enterprise Manager
    Data Access: Deadlock on a Single Table
    Development: Query Connecting Various Tables Needs Same SpecialtyID

    5. Events Central

    Recovery Management Strategies
    Learn how to improve business continuity and information lifecycle management with this analyst white paper, compliments of BMC Software. Discover the backup and recovery management strategies needed to keep mission-critical systems running. Download now!

    6. New & Improved

    by Dawn Cyr, [email protected]

  • Assess Database Application Vulnerability

  • Application Security announced AppDetective 4.1.1, the most recent ASAP Update to its database application vulnerability assessment scanner. AppDetective is a network-based vulnerability assessment scanner that discovers database applications within your infrastructure and assesses their security strength. The product's modules let you assess three primary application tiers—Web front-end, application and middleware, and back-end database—through a single interface so that you can effectively strengthen your database security and simplify audit procedures. The product locates, examines, reports, and fixes security holes and misconfigurations. The latest update includes a check for SQL Server systems that verifies that no permissions have been granted on OLE automation procedures. AppDetective supports multiple database platforms, including SQL Server 2000 and earlier, Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, and MySQL. For pricing and purchase information, contact Application Security at 866-927-7732 or 212-947-8787.

  • Step Up Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance
  • Guardium announced that its SQL Guard platform now includes a new library of Sarbanes-Oxley and Graham-Leach-Bliley Act auditing reports and assessment tests. The package of auditing solutions helps organizations comply with the latest government auditing regulations. The new auditing library lets you automate such database audit and assessment tasks as monitoring after-hours usage, schema changes, source-application access, repeated unsuccessful logins, and single-user or single-IP address logins. The company also announced the SQL Guard Database Firewall, software that lets you create a baseline of all database-access activities and apply policy-based database access control. Together, the new products help you streamline crucial corporate compliance initiatives and provide a layer of security for safeguarding enterprise databases. Guardium is offering its compliance products together in a bundle called the SQL Guard Compliance Foundation, which includes the SQL Guard Security Suite applications and SQL Guard platform. The Compliance Foundation is priced at $31,995 and will be available in January 2005. For more information, contact Guardium at 877-487-9400 or [email protected]

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