SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, February 8, 2007--Dig Into an Analysis Services Performance Treasure

SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, February 8, 2007--Dig Into an Analysis Services Performance Treasure

In This Issue:
In a sea of white-paper oysters, Microsoft has released some true pearls of wisdom for getting great performance from Analysis Services 2005.

New Instant Poll: Fun in the Forums
"Do you participate in the forums on SQL Server Magazine’s Web site?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page and submit your vote for:

  • Yes, I read and post often.
  • I sometimes join in if I have a question or answer.
  • I post occasionally, but it’s not a habit.
  • I only lurk; I never post.
  • I don’t visit the forums.

To ensure that future email messages you receive from SQL Server Magazine UPDATE aren't mistakenly blocked by antispam software, be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.

Our Sponsors, Who Help Support the Free Delivery Of This Newsletter:

February 8, 2007

1. Perspectives

  • Dig Into an Analysis Services Performance Treasure

2. SQL Server Watch

  • Fix Gets You All Rows of an MDX Query
  • Product Watch: Application Security and DBA24hrs

3. Hot Articles

  • Q&A: Forcing a Parallel Plan
  • SELECT TOP(X): SQL Server 2005 Replication
  • Puzzled by T-SQL: Jim Gray Missing: You Can Help
  • In a Nutshell: Read Index Structure
  • Hot Threads: SQL Server General Discussion and Administration

4. Events and Resources

  • Migrating from Tape to Disk Backups
  • Improving Vulnerability Management with Penetration Testing
  • SQL Server Magazine Connections
  • Treasure Hunt

5. Featured White Paper

  • Hosted Security: A Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

6. Announcements

  • Introducing a Unique Scripting Resource
  • Grab Your Share of the Spotlight!

7. Web Community

Sponsor: PolyServe
ESG Lab Validation Study: PolyServe Database Utility

ESG’s independent testing lab verified substantial gains in utilization, availability and database manageability with the use of a unique approach to virtualization, as presented by PolyServe. Find out more about this powerful platform for your SQL Server deployments—saving your department up to 70% of TCO and streamlining management.

1. Perspectives

Dig Into an Analysis Services Performance Treasure
by Brian Moran, [email protected]

Anyone who has read my editorial column over the years knows that I’m big fan of best-practices documents and that I have a soft spot for anything related to performance tuning. After all, that’s what I’ve spent much of my professional life doing. Alas, some best-practices documents are "best" in name only. Many of my favorite documents are the ones that the SQL Server product team produces; they offer the benefit of insider knowledge of the product, but they also often draw on the knowledge of key industry experts outside of Microsoft. So, if you have even a passing interest in SQL Server-based business intelligence (BI), I recommend that you check out the brand-new "Analysis Services 2005 Performance Guide."

Read the full article at:

Sponsor: AppDev
Learn SQL Server 2005: Free Download or CD

Get 3 hours of award-winning SQL Server 2005 training from AppDev—FREE! You'll receive step-by-step instruction by industry experts plus printable courseware— to a $115 value. Get your free download or CD now.

2. SQL Server Watch

Fix Gets You All Rows of an MDX Query
Microsoft released a hotfix for a problem that occurs when you use the TopCount function in an MDX query in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. The query might not return all the rows you expect rows after you’ve applied hotfix build 9.00.2185 in SQL Server 2005 SP1. You can obtain the hotfix from Microsoft Customer Support Services. For a full description of the fix, see the Microsoft article "FIX: In SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, the query may not return all the expected rows when you use the TopCount function in an MDX query" at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=926235&SD=tech.

Product Watch
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Security at the Database Level
Application Security announced DbProtect, a heterogeneous database security suite that focuses on three key areas, the first of which, includes activity monitoring that defends against misuse, fraud, and abuse from internal and external users. The second key area is patch-gap management, which helps prioritize database vulnerability patches and document and report on risk mitigation efforts and overall compliance. The third key area is application awareness functionality, which lets DbProtect provide insight into the IT infrastructure to better understand database inventory. DbProtect is priced per database, which means you can deploy what you need, when you need it. DbProtect will be available in April 2007. For more information, contact Application Security at 866-927-7732 or visit http://www.appsecinc.com.

Automate Daily Database-Administration Tasks
DBA24hrs announced DB Launch 2.0, database-administration automation software that uses a centralized deployment server to implement new installations, hotfixes, scripts, and configurations. This task automation enables error-free change and configuration and frees DBA time for critical tasks. New capabilities in DB Launch 2.0 include reports that provide insight into the current state of SQL Servers across the environment. With this release, you can also modify service accounts and passwords across multiple instances and multiple machines and even automate log shipping and disaster recovery setup. DB Launch can also migrate or upgrade multiple instances onto one server and refresh development databases with production data instantly. For more information, contact DBA24hrs at 713-302-3634 or http://www.dba24hrs.net.

3. Hot Articles

Q&A: Forcing a Parallel Plan
by Brian Moran, [email protected]

Q. I have a query that returns a result set in 35 seconds when I run it on database1 but returns the result set in 19 seconds on database2. The databases are structurally identical and reside on the same server. Database1 has only 10,000 rows more than database2. The query execution plans are almost identical, but on database2, the query uses a parallel plan; hence, the speedier execution time. Unfortunately, I have a limited ability to make structural changes to the queries or indexes, and when I run the query on database1, it often times out. Can I force SQL Server to use a parallel plan on database1?

Read the answer to this question today at

SELECT TOP(X): SQL Server 2005 Replication
Distributing data between different locations in an organization is essential for scalability, availability, and distributed reporting. Here are some types of replication that SQL Server 2005 supports.

Read this article today and post your comments at

Puzzled by T-SQL: Jim Gray Missing: You Can Help
Jim Gray is a well-known and admired figure in the SQL Server community. On Sunday, January 28th, 2007 he was reported missing at sea when he went sailing to spread his mother's ashes. On Thursday, February 1st, the US Coast Guard called off the search. SQL Server MVP Steve Kass kindly pointed out a URL by Amazon Mechanical Turk where anyone can help by searching satellite imagery.

Read this post and link to the URL to help at:

In a Nutshell: Read Index Structure
Recently, MVP Christian Lefter asked the following question: "I want to display an index structure from an AdventureWorks index and indexing a chapter of a book. I mean that I want the index to contain the content of the leaf level pages and the page numbers and some data for the leaf-level pages. How would you do that? DBCC IND and DBCC PAGE?" Read the answer at http://www.sqlmag.com/article/articleid/95005/sql_server_blog_95005.html.

Hot Threads:

4. Events and Resources

Migrating from Tape to Disk Backups
Do you want to create a fast, user-friendly, reliable, secure, and scalable backup strategy for your small-to-midsized business? Download this free white paper today and learn how you can break away from tape and move to disk-based data protection.

Improving Vulnerability Management with Penetration Testing
How do you manage security vulnerabilities? If you depend on vulnerability assessments to determine the state of your IT security systems, you can't miss this Web seminar. Special research from Gartner indicates that deeper penetration testing is needed to augment your existing vulnerability management processes. Learn more today!

SQL Server Magazine Connections
March 25-28, 2007, Orlando World Center Marriott. Dive into the latest releases, and train with Microsoft architects and world-renowned developers and DBAs. Choose from over 150 in-depth, no-hype sessions. Register early to save $100 and attend sessions of the concurrently run Visual Studio Connections and Microsoft ASP.NET Connections for FREE. For more details, call 800-438-6720 or 203-268-3204.

Treasure Hunt
Do you know the clues and secrets to effective disaster recovery? Lucky mates will win a Weekly Prize of a $25 Best Buy Gift Card or a Grand Prize of a $100 Best Buy Gift Card. Find the buried treasure by uncovering the secrets to Web filtering. Complete this quiz correctly and you could be a winner!

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

5. Featured White Paper

Hosted Security: A Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Is effective security out of reach for your small or midsized business? Imagine having a team of IT experts who focus only on security as part of your staff. Download this free must-have white paper today and find out how you can eliminate your company's security risks.

Hot Spot: PolyServe
Consolidating SQL Server Resources

Learn how you can optimize your SQL Server environment in order to: reduce the number of servers needed by 50%; decrease storage requirements and software images; provide failover and DR services; reduce server management time, storage, and O/S patches; and quickly react to capacity changes for online scalability. Download now: http://www.sqlmag.com/go/seminars/polyserve/sqlresources/?partnerref=SQLHot0208

6. Announcements

Introducing a Unique Scripting Resource
Scripting Pro VIP is an online information center that delivers new articles (and downloadable code!) every week on topics such as ADSI and PowerShell. Subscribers also receive tips, cautionary advice, direct access to our editors, and a host of other benefits! Order now at an exclusive charter rate and save up to $50!

Grab Your Share of the Spotlight!
Nominate yourself or a peer to become IT Pro of the Month. This is your chance to get the recognition you deserve! Winners will receive over $600 in IT resources and be featured in Windows IT Pro. It's easy to enter—we're accepting March nominations now, but only for a limited time! Submit your nomination today: http://www.windowsitpro.com/go/itpromonth


7. Web Community


Contact Us

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!

SQL Server Magazine is a division of Penton Media, Inc.
221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538
Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2007, Penton Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.