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November 21, 2002—In this issue:
- More Than a Little Help from My Friends
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- COMDEX: Microsoft Delivers Final Visual Studio .NET 2003 Beta
- Microsoft Provides Upgrade and Debugging Information
- Results of Previous Instant Poll: What's Your Job?
- New Instant Poll: Moving to 64-Bit SQL Server
- Did You Miss SQL Server Magazine's Web Seminars?
- Join The SQL Server Magazine Research Panel
- What's New in SQL Server Magazine: The 64-Bit Era
- Hot Thread: RAID 0 Is Slower Than RAID 1
- Tip: Creating Individual Log Reader and Distribution Agents
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Limit Database Exposure to Attacks and Worms
- Back Up and Recover Your Database
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
- MORE THAN A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
- (contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, [email protected])
Online peer support communities such as the Microsoft newsgroups and SQL Server Magazine forums are invaluable resources. Like many of you, I contribute to and learn from these communities every day. Peer support is a great option and can meet your support needs much of the time, especially when your problem isn't a down mission-critical server.
But peer support isn't always the best option. You can't expect your peers online to solve all your problems, especially in emergency situations that require an immediate response. You also shouldn't rely on peer support to solve your problems when a misstep might cause irretrievable loss of your data. Nevertheless, I see a surprising number of messages posted to the SQL Server newsgroups that look like this:
Message: I've done a terrible thing to my production database, and I'm not sure how to fix the problem. The database is completely inaccessible, and I'm afraid that the data may be lost. My boss is furious. Please respond ASAP with a fix for my problem.
Of course, I've exaggerated the situation a bit to demonstrate my point. But such messages often come from SQL Server newcomers — the folks least likely to be able to solve the problem on their own.
Although peer support can provide great information, the answers you get don't always appear right away. After all, the people on the other end are simply volunteering their time — they have jobs and other responsibilities just like you do. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Personally, I wouldn't rely on a newsgroup posting if crucial corporate data was at risk, time was of the essence, or my job might depend on solving the problem. Instead, I might use one of Microsoft's paid product-support options. Some people who are new to SQL Server might not know that these mechanisms exist, and often these newcomers are most in need of a fee-based helping hand when their data is at risk. Sometimes, paying a small fee can save the day — and your database.
I can't possibly cover the myriad ways to get paid support from Microsoft. The company provides different kinds of support depending on your licensing agreement and other relationships you might have with our friends in Redmond. Microsoft has posted a list of support options at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;offerprophone&sd=msdn. And you can always buy a single, per-incident phone call for $245 by using one of the following numbers:
- Developers 800-936-5800
- IT Professionals 800-936-4900
- Partners (resellers/consultants)888-456-5570
- Microsoft Certified Partners 888-677-9444
- Original Equipment Manufacturers 800-936-2197
- System Builders 888-456-5570
If you're outside the United States or prefer not to phone, you can submit your request online for $99 by using the Web site above.
Is your SQL Server recovery problem a genuine emergency? Is your data worth $245? Free peer support can be a great resource — but sometimes it makes sense to shell out a few bucks.
HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY SQL SERVER!
Microsoft and SQL Server Magazine want to thank you for your support over the past 10 years of SQL Server on the Windows platform. To show our appreciation, we're running a 20-week contest that will test your SQL Server knowledge. Answer our quiz and you'll be entered in a biweekly drawing for cool prizes like Microsoft Press books and MCDBA exam vouchers. You'll also be entered to win the grand prize: a Microsoft Xbox video game console including two controllers and three Xbox games! Get all the details and enter the contest at
2. SQL SERVER NEWS AND VIEWS
- COMDEX: MICROSOFT DELIVERS FINAL VISUAL STUDIO .NET 2003 BETA
- (contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]) Microsoft announced at COMDEX Fall 2002 this week the immediate availability of Visual Studio .NET 2003 (code-named Everett), which includes the final version of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework for smart devices based on Windows CE .NET (formerly code-named Talisker). Visual Studio .NET 2003 is an incremental update to Visual Studio .NET, and Microsoft will finalize it early in 2003. Microsoft will launch the product with Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 in April, the company says, although customers who want to launch applications written to the .NET Compact Framework before then can do so with a new Go Live license, which will be available in the coming weeks.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 includes support for the latest Web services specifications, such as WS-Attachments, WS-Routing, and WS-Security; support for Windows Forms in Visual C++ .NET; and integrated version of Visual J# .NET. The beta also includes support for more than 200 mobile devices based on Windows CE .NET, the Pocket PC, and the Pocket PC Phone Edition.
The next generation of Visual Studio .NET will be based on the Yukon series of technologies, which will debut with the release of the next version of SQL Server. This Yukon-based Visual Studio .NET version — due "a little bit more than a year from now," according to Microsoft's Dan Hay — will be a major release featuring an easier-to-use interface for Visual Basic .NET and SQL Server stored procedures that are written in any .NET language, including C#.
Visual Studio .NET 2003 will be a free upgrade for Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) customers. Other users can upgrade to the new version for $29.99
- MICROSOFT PROVIDES UPGRADE AND DEBUGGING INFORMATION
- Microsoft has released two articles that can help you make the most of your database technology, whether you're just migrating to SQL Server or you're a seasoned SQL Server 2000 administrator.
If your organization is using the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE), the article "INFO: Upsize SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine to SQL Server" (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;\[LN\];Q325023) explains how to expand your database. MSDE has a 2GB data limit. When your organization outgrows that limit, SQL Server can provide the scalability you need. Because MSDE is based on core SQL Server technology, you can migrate to SQL Server without making costly and time-consuming changes to your existing applications.
If you're a regular user of the Transact-SQL debugger in SQL Server 2000, you'll want to read the article "INF: Transact-SQL Debugger Is Turned Off By Default for Earlier Clients After You Install SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3" (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;\[LN\];Q328151). This article tells you why the debugger won't work after you've installed SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and how you can restore the debugger's functionality.
- RESULTS OF PREVIOUS INSTANT POLL: WHAT'S YOUR JOB?
- The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which of the following best describes your job?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 438 votes:
- 13% IT Management (e.g., database manager, departmental IT management)
- 70% IT staff (e.g., database administrator, application developer)
- 13% Consultant
- 0% ISV/Reseller
- 4% Other
- NEW INSTANT POLL: MOVING TO 64-BIT SQL SERVER
- Sponsored by DataMirror
Learn how to leverage your SQL Server investment with DataMirror's real-time data integration software.
The next Instant Poll question is "When do you plan to move to 64-bit SQL Server after its release?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and submit your vote for 1) Within 6 months, 2) Within 1 year, 3) Within 2 years, 4) More than 2 years after the release, or 5) We have no plans to move to 64-bit.
SPONSOR: HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL ONLINE WITH SSMU!
SQL Server Magazine University — a virtual classroom environment where you receive quality technical training on your schedule, on your computer desktop. Microsoft Certified Trainers help you acquire practical SQL Server skills and prepare for your certification exam at the same time. 24/7 access to our Virtual Computer Lab give you the flexibility to learn new applications while keeping up with your day-to-day job duties. Begin thinking about your 2003 schedule now!
(brought to you by SQL Server Magazine and its partners)
- DID YOU MISS SQL SERVER MAGAZINE'S WEB SEMINARS?
- No worries! They're still accessible right at your desktop! Kalen Delaney discusses SQL Server internals; Brian Moran identifies performance problems; Rich Rollman teaches about XML for database professionals; and Morris Lewis instructs on high availability and security. Valuable online desktop training that saves you time and money! Get the details at
- JOIN THE SQL SERVER MAGAZINE RESEARCH PANEL
- You can participate in this industry research panel by providing market input and commenting about trends in the industry. Industry-leading companies also sponsor research studies to tap into your expertise concerning your product needs and opinions. Express your views and make your voice heard in the SQL Server community.
- WHAT'S NEW IN SQL SERVER MAGAZINE: THE 64-BIT ERA
- The 64-bit version of SQL Server (code-named Liberty), which is scheduled for release in first quarter 2003, will be the first 64-bit application that Microsoft releases to run on its new 64-bit OSs. Michael Otey discusses the advantages 64-bit SQL Server will bring in "The 64-Bit Era," which appears in the November 2002 issue of SQL Server Magazine. The article is available online at
- HOT THREAD: RAID 0 IS SLOWER THAN RAID 1
- Johnww had a SQL Server 2000 database running with a RAID 1 mirror. His team decided that improved performance was more important than security, so it switched the database to a RAID 0 configuration. But instead of improving performance, the change has decreased performance. What went wrong? Offer your advice and read other users' suggestions on the SQL Server Magazine forums at the following URL:
- TIP: CREATING INDIVIDUAL LOG READER AND DISTRIBUTION AGENTS
- (contributed by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team, [email protected])
- Q. We have transactional replication set up on our production database. Two publications point to the same database and share one Log Reader Agent. The two pull subscriptions also share one Distribution Agent, whose schedule is set to "continuously." We want to create a third publication that points to the same database. This publication contains articles that change less frequently, so we want to update them only once a day. However, this publication will use the shared Log Reader Agent and the Distribution Agent that's scheduled continuously. How can we create individual Log Reader and Distribution agents for each publication that point to the same database?
- A. You can't create an individual Log Reader Agent because SQL Server allows only one Log Reader Agent per transactionally replicated database. SQL Server can't clear the log until all published changes have been pulled out and put into the distribution database, so running the Log Reader Agent continuously is a good idea to prevent excessive log growth. However, SQL Server does permit one Distribution Agent per publication. You can create a separate Distribution Agent for your third publication after you create the publication. To create the Distribution Agent, right-click the publication, then select Properties. Go to the Subscription Options tab and select the "Use a distribution agent that is independent of other publications from this database" option.
When you create a subscription through Enterprise Manager, both the pull and push options let you set a specific replication schedule, so you can implement your own less-frequent schedule specifically for the third subscription. Note that many installations need to retain a record of changes against production systems. This requirement can be hard to meet when you run a GUI tool such as Enterprise Manager directly against the production database, so if you want to retain the scripts for change-control purposes, simulate the action in a nonproduction environment. Then, you can use SQL Server Profiler to capture the SQL code that Enterprise Manager uses and modify the code to match the needs of your production environment.
Send your technical questions to [email protected]
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
- LIMIT DATABASE EXPOSURE TO ATTACKS AND WORMS
- PentaSafe Security Technologies announced VigilEnt Security Agent for Microsoft SQL Server, an automated database security and vulnerability management tool that can limit your database's exposure to attacks and worms that exploit null passwords, default accounts, and over-privileged users. The software provides vulnerability assessment, security administration, and database auditing for SQL Server 2000 and 7.0 databases. You can automate SQL queries and generate security-compliance reports. You can also delegate security-related tasks, including managing provision user accounts, changing account passwords, and granting system and object privileges. For pricing, contact PentaSafe at 713-523-1992.
- BACK UP AND RECOVER YOUR DATABASE
- recover SQL Server databases. You can integrate Backup Butler with your current tape backup system to maximize backup and recovery capabilities. The appliance can read internal database conditions, store them for safekeeping in its own recovery database, and change scheduled backup tasks. Backup Butler features a user-friendly interface that you can access through a LAN browser, a large network RAID disk farm available in 550GB, and 2.4TB clusterable frames. Pricing is $15 per gigabyte of disk space. Backup Butler supports SQL Server 2000 and 7.0 databases. Contact Database Appliances at 925-818-0454.
6. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — [email protected]
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — [email protected]
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.sqlmag.com/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR SQL SERVER MAGAZINE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Email Customer Support — [email protected]
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