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January 5, 2006
2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
3. News & Views
4. Events and Resources
5. Featured White Paper
6. Peer to Peer
8. New & Improved
Storage demands for Microsoft Windows servers have changed dramatically over the last five years. In this free white paper, you'll learn how storage has been redesigned to provide administrators with the tools to manage the storage demands of today and the future. Find out how this affects you and how it will help defer storage purchases, separate backup data from protected data, and more!
by Brian Moran, [email protected]
One of my New Year's resolutions is to finally learn enough about XML to ensure that I can be "expert" in my advice about and use of many of the new XML-related features that are part of SQL Server 2005.
I've been doing database work for more than 15 years and I can still remember the heated debates about whether it was wise or insane to use NULL. Today, it's even more fun to throw together a few database experts who hold opposing views about the use of XML at the database schema and engine level. In fact, my editorial this week was sparked by some internal email threads that I was monitoring within my company.
When SQL Server 2000 first shipped, there was tremendous hype about when and how developers should use the native XML features that shipped with the product and were later extended as part of SQLXML. I didn't know XML at all and was concerned that I would be weak in SQL Server architectural and implementation issues related to XML. Fortunately, most people quickly came to the realization that the SQL Server 2000 implementation of XML simply wasn't ready for prime time because of major performance inefficiencies and a lack of features. Few people leveraged the engine-side features so, I was able to skate along without really needing to learn XML.
Alas, the native XML capabilities of SQL Server 2005 are good enough that all SQL Server DBAs and architects will need to be conversant in SQLXML related issues to ensure that they can help choose the best tool for the job; which brings me back to the recent email threads I was monitoring and how fun it can be to have SQL Server folks argue the relative pros and cons of using XML at the engine level.
I'm familiar with most of the arguments for and against XML and could probably make a case for XML being the best thing since sliced bread or the downfall of civilization as we know it, depending on what sort of mood I was in and how much I wanted to annoy the people I was debating.
For now, I'd simply like to share some sentiments expressed by SQL Server Magazine contributing editor and Solid Quality Learning Mentor Itzik Ben-Gan. He acknowledges the dangers of XML, but asserts, "That's true for any tool. Sure, XML can be more dangerous than other tools, but it can have great value if used wisely. Do you think that humanity could cope without matches and knives? Neither is something I'd give kids to play with, but in the hands of adults who know how to use them and would use them responsibly, they have great value. XML is similar to the CLR, cursors, dynamic execution of SQL, and the use of temporary tables. It's simply another tool."
Regular readers of SQL Server Magazine have known for years that Itzik is one of the most knowledgeable T-SQL experts in the world; and he's hit the nail right on the head in this case. The power--or danger--of any tool is ultimately defined by the skill and judgment of the person who wields the tool. It sure can be fun to debate the pros and cons of XML with people who hold strong opinions, and I'm sure I'll have some fun with that over the next few months in this space. But instead of focusing on the debate, I'll be more concerned with becoming skilled in the proper and judicious use of XML within SQL Server 2005 so that I can wield this new tool wisely. Happy New Year!
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2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
Access SQL Server 2005 in ASP
Microsoft recently updated the article "How to Access SQL Server in Active Server Pages." The article includes information that applies to all editions of SQL Server 2005 as well as the standard editions of SQL Server 2000 and earlier releases. The article describes the steps for using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) to establish connections to SQL Server in an ASP script while taking advantage of the connection-pooling feature of ODBC 3.0. You can read this article on Microsoft's TecnNet site at
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3. News & Views
Microsoft Releases Dynamic Products
Microsoft has released two products in its recently re-branded Microsoft Dynamics line. In the fall of 2005, Microsoft announced the re-branding of its Microsoft Business Solutions products. The new brand, Microsoft Dynamics, includes the company's leading financial management, supply-chain management, and customer-relationship management (CRM) applications. The two latest releases are Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 (formerly Microsoft CRM) and Microsoft Dynamics SL 6.5 (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions--Solomon. Information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM is available at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1D3F0:285886 , and information about Microsoft Dynamics SL is available at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1D3F9:285886 . To learn the rationale behind the re-branding of the Business Solutions line, you can read Microsoft's explanation at
Results of Previous Instant Poll: Recommending an IT Career
"Would you recommend an IT career to young people in search of a profession?" Here are the results from the 99 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
New Instant Poll: Your Primary Language
"What is your primary development language?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1D403:285886 ) and submit your vote for
4. Events and Resources
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. Live Web seminar January 10, 2006.
SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you put SQL Server 2005 into practice and learn how to use its new capabilities. Includes a one-year PASS membership and subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now for London and Stockholm, Sweden:
Join Microsoft and Sybari experts to learn how to help foster collaboration among employees and partners while reducing security risks and enforcing corporate compliance policies.
Learn ways to ensure the integrity of your application's data with minimal impact on network and system performance.
5. Featured White Paper
6. Peer to Peer
by Brian Moran, [email protected]learning.com
Q. I'm a database administrator, and I'm trying to install SQL Server 2005. Everything looks different. Help! Where do I start?
If you're used to SQL Server 2000 and have just upgraded to SQL Server 2005, you might find yourself lost in the maze of new features and interfaces, and many tools have either changed or moved. In his January SELECT TOP(X) column "Where Do I Find It in SQL Server 2005?" Michael Otey shows you how to find some of your favorite tools in SQL Server 2005. Read this article today and post your comments at
Every developer and DBA needs a well-stocked toolkit to get work done efficiently and effectively. Lots of useful tools--such as PerfMon and SQL Server Profiler--ship with SQL Server. But there are lots of things that the native toolkit doesn't do well or at all. In those cases, it's important to stock your toolkit with scripts, utilities, shareware, and third-party tools to make you even more effective. In this week's blog "The Reporting Services Scripter," Kevin Kline takes a look at a tool that lets you move your Reporting Services objects from one server to another. Read about the tool and let Kevin know your opinion of its potential today at
Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.
Administration: Can't Start SQL Server Agent
T-SQL: Update Top 1
Upgrading SQL Server 2000/7.0: Hardware Upgrade Question
Security: DTS Export Images
Replication: COMMIT TRANSACTION Has No BEGIN TRANSACTION Request
DTS: Creating File Header/Trailer for Fixed Width File
April 2 through 5, 2006, the event for SQL Server developers and DBAs will return to Orlando. ONLY the first 150 people to register will receive a full copy of SQL Server 2005 standard edition with 1 cal and Visual Studio 2005 professional--no exceptions, so register TODAY. Fall's event sold out, so assure yourself a seat. Call 800-438-6720 or visit
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You won't want to miss any of SQL Server Magazine's upcoming 2006 issues. Subscribe now and discover the best ways to plan for a successful SQL Server 2005 upgrade, the value of Visual Studio 2005 integration, ways ADO.NET 2.0 solves your problems, the annual Top SQL Server Tips issue, and much more! You'll also gain exclusive access to the entire SQL Server Magazine online article database FREE and SAVE up to $40 off the full cover price. Subscribe today:
8. New & Improved
by Blake Eno, [email protected]
Protect Your Data
Addison-Wesley Professional released "Cryptography in the Database: The Last Line of Defense," a guide for helping you protect the valuable information stored in your database. The book by Kevin Kenan describes common attacks that databases face and the legal regulations you should be familiar with. Kenan also helps you design a cryptographic infrastructure and a database security-threat model to make sure you set up protection where you need it. Additional tips include avoiding common vulnerabilities that compromise database applications and managing cryptographic projects in your database environment, and the book includes working code examples. For more information, contact Addison-Wesley Professional at 617-848-6000.
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