Developer .NET UPDATE October 17, 2003

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October 17, 2003--In this issue:

1. Developer .NET Perspectives

  • Using Visual Studio .NET to Package Database Files

2. Announcements

  • New White Paper on Exchange 2003 Deployment
  • Don't Have the Newest System Table Map Poster?

3. Event

  • "Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003"

4. New and Improved

  • Using Windows Server 2003's Features in .NET Applications
  • Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

5. Contact Us

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

Sponsor: DevConnections -- 2004 Date Announced

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1. Developer .NET Perspectives

by Bill Sheldon, [email protected]

  • Using Visual Studio .NET to Package Database Files
  • Packaging your custom implementation of the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit involves two stages: packaging the application files and packaging the database files. In "Using Visual Studio .NET to Package Application Files" (, I showed you how to package and deploy the application files. This week, I discuss how to package and deploy the database files.

    I wish I could tell you that the Windows .NET Framework has provided a new feature that will make deploying your database simpler than before. Or I wish I could tell you that, based on what I've seen related to Microsoft Yukon (the next version of Microsoft SQL Server), another option for deploying your database objects and data was on the way.

    However, the steps to deploying a database haven't changed much in a long time. Don't get me wrong--I'm not complaining. Keeping a process that works is a good phenomenon. And knowing that the "old" method is still one of the best ways to approach a challenge can be comforting.

    A while back, in the article "Scripting a Custom Database Installation," I detailed the steps to package and deploy a database. Because the steps haven't changed much, I'm going to direct you to that article rather than reinvent the wheel in this column. You can find the article on the SQL Server Magazine Web site and the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site at the following URLs:

    "Scripting a Custom Database Installation" illustrates the process of generating a set of scripts that you can use with a standard Microsoft Windows Installer (.msi) file. The .msi file relies on some custom Visual Basic (VB) scripts to execute the SQL statements that are embedded in .sql scripts. You don't need to create a package or use a VB script to execute the files. You can execute them within the SQL Query Analyzer.

    The key to deploying the database files is the generation of one or more .sql scripts to transport the database structures. Using SQL Server's Enterprise Manager, generating these files is easy. However, you must include all the indexes along with your tables.

    To package and deploy your custom implementation of the Community Starter Kit, you should script all the tables that are part of the database, except for those tables that begin with the word "Sample." These tables contain sample data, so no reason exists to include them.

    In a data-driven application, the .sql scripts need to include not only the database objects but also the key data tables that are involved with configuring your application. The article outlines how to use SQL Server's built-in export functions to export data associated with your application. In a nutshell, you first clean up each table so that you send to the production database only the data you want in your production site. Although some tables (e.g., the section table) need to contain the data that defines your Web site, other tables (e.g., the messages table) shouldn't contain anything when you initially install your site. After you clean up the tables, you put each table's data into a separate file.

    If you don't have a firewall separating your development and staging environment from your production database, you can take a shortcut when installing your database. You can use SQL Server's Data Transformation Services (DTS) to export both your tables and data directly from one database server to another server. You can also use DTS if you intend to host your production database on your development server. In either case, you can easily export tables and data to a Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) or a fully licensed version of SQL Server.

    This column ends my look at the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit. In about a week, Microsoft will kick off the Professional Developers Conference (PDC). At this huge event, Microsoft will announce many new products and upgrades to existing products that are coming down the line. I'll talk about many of those items in upcoming columns. Although the release of some of these products and upgrades might be a year or more away, understanding what the next release holds in store for Framework developers is important.

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    2. Announcements
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • New White Paper on Exchange 2003 Deployment

  • In this timely white paper, author and Microsoft Exchange expert Kieran McCorry, from HP's Consulting and Integration Technology Group, outlines the best options for organizations migrating to Exchange Server 2003. The paper outlines inter- and intra-organizational migration issues and the benefits of server consolidation during deployment. Get your copy today!

  • Don't Have the Newest System Table Map Poster?

  • Become a subscriber to SQL Server Magazine and automatically receive the most recent version of the Microsoft System Table Map Poster--and by becoming a subscriber, you'll have access to all of the newest information and tools needed for SQL Server. Limited quantities of the poster are available--subscribe today:

    3. Event
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

  • "Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003"
  • Your Active Directory environment can make or break your entire Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 migration project. This free Web seminar features best practices for migration planning and administration, tips and tricks for ensuring Exchange Server and Active Directory health, and guidance for managing your directory for maximum availability and performance during migration and beyond. Register now!

    4. New and Improved
    by Shauna Rumbaugh, [email protected]

  • Using Windows Server 2003's Features in .NET Applications
  • Programming Windows Server 2003, a book that covers Windows 2003's new features and provides real-world techniques for using these features in Microsoft .NET applications. The book is geared toward intermediate and advanced .NET developers and addresses such topics as implementing ASP.NET best practices, installing Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, managing COM+, integrating XML Web services, and using Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) services. Pricing for the 328-page book is $44.95, and a PDF eBook edition is $22.50. For more information about the book, contact Manning Publications at [email protected] or on the Web.

  • Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
  • Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to

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    5. Contact Us

  • About Developer .NET Perspectives -- [email protected]
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    Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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