SQL Server Magazine UPDATE, October 10, 2002

SQL Server Magazine UPDATE—brought to you by SQL Server Magazine http://www.sqlmag.com and SQL Server Magazine LIVE! http://www.sqlmagLIVE.com


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October 10, 2002—In this issue:


  • SQL Server Magazine Goes Digital


  • Microsoft Hosts "Tell Us What You Think" TechNet Web Chat
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: CLR Languages
  • New Instant Poll: SQL Server Magazine's Digital Format


  • October Reader Challenge Winners and November Challenge


  • SQL Server Worldwide Users Group, www.sswug.org
  • Want to Know How Other People Are Using SQL Server?


  • Introducing Log Explorer(R) for Oracle8i(tm)
  • New Release - NetOp Remote Control v7.5
  • XML Web Services Connections Co-Locates with Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE!


  • What's New in SQL Server Magazine: Limited-Function Server Roles
  • Hot Thread: Empty Datetime Column
  • Tip: Replicating Stored-Procedure Changes and Permissions


  • Scan SQL Server for Security Holes
  • Update Table Data


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


  • SQL Server Magazine Goes Digital

  • (contributed by Brian Moran, news editor, [email protected])

    SQL Server Magazine has gone digital. Have you checked it out yet? Digital format is a new subscription option from SQL Server Magazine that lets you receive and read a copy of the magazine in a full-color format that looks identical to the printed version. You can explore a free trial digital issue by going to the SQL Server Magazine Web site at http://www.sqlmag.com and clicking Digital Format under Subscribe/Renew. The link takes you to the Web site for Zinio, the company that produces the digital magazine. Here's what I found after reading my first digital issue.

    When you sign up for digital delivery of the magazine, you're prompted to install the Zinio Reader. Unfortunately, the Zinio Web installer didn't work properly when I tried to deploy it on two different PCs, so I had to manually install the reader. After the initial download, Zinio delivers the monthly magazine by downloading it automatically or notifying you by email that the magazine is ready for you to download at your convenience. A nice two-for-one feature: You can email one copy of the digital magazine to a friend each month (but the friend can't email the issue to anyone else).

    Browsing through the magazine is easy and intuitive. You can view the table of contents, quickly navigate to a particular article, then flip through the pages. Hmmm, you can do all that in an old-fashioned print magazine, too. So what else does the digital version of the magazine bring to the table? The zoom feature lets you enlarge text and graphics, and you can conduct keyword searches by topic or name. The most helpful interactive features for me are highlighting and notewriting. I can easily highlight a part of the magazine in yellow and place personal notes anywhere I want on a particular page. I suspect I'll make heavy use of these features to mark up the magazine. I like to keep all my copies of SQL Server Magazine, and these features will let me quickly find the content I find most interesting.

    Overall, my experience with the digital magazine has been positive. However, I found the search facility disappointing; it didn't accommodate rich Boolean or proximity searches, and it failed to find a few words that I know exist in the magazine. I'm researching this problem and will let you know if I find more effective ways to search the magazine. You also can't search through multiple issues of SQL Server Magazine at the same time. Digital versions of the magazine would be more valuable if I could store the complete magazine catalog on my laptop and look for related topics across several issues. Although I can search across issues by topic, author, or department at http://www.sqlmag.com , I'm not always online, and it would be wonderful to have access to the notes and highlights that I made earlier.

    I might be old-fashioned, but I suspect that print will be my preferred method for reading SQL Server Magazine the first time through. I like the tactile experience. Also, I look at monitors all day long, and I prefer hard copy when I need to read large chunks of text. (Note that if you want a hard copy of any part of the digital magazine, you can print two pages at a time.) However, the digital magazine likely will become my primary source for archiving SQL Server Magazine content. Instant access to the content whenever and wherever I want it will significantly boost the magazine's usefulness. I'm looking forward to the day when all magazines and books are available in digital format. I'll be able to bring my personal reference library with me anywhere I go, and I'll be able to toss the stacks and stacks of old computer magazines in my basement that I'm saving "just in case I ever need that article."

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    Don't miss sessions by magazine writers you've come to trust, Microsoft product architects, and other industry gurus. Real-world technical tips and insights you don't want to miss. Hotel room block is almost full, so hurry to reserve your spot today.


  • Microsoft Hosts "Tell Us What You Think" TechNet Web Chat

  • Microsoft is seeking feedback from its SQL Server Web site users. In an effort to improve the site, the company is inviting users to air their views in a TechNet Web chat from 2:00 to 3:00 P.M. Eastern time on Wednesday, October 23. Chat participants can ask questions about the site, describe their likes and dislikes, suggest improvements, and discuss content with the site manager. For more information about the chat, go to


  • Sponsored by Quest Software

    The voting has closed in SQL Server Magazine's nonscientific Instant

    Poll for the question, "Which CLR-compliant language will you use to write server-side code when Yukon is deployed?" Here are the results (+/- 1 percent) from the 436 votes:

    • 30% Visual Basic .NET
    • 29% C#
    • 6% C++
    • 2% Other
    • 34% None, we're sticking with T-SQL for server-side code

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: SQL Server Magazine's Digital Format

  • The next Instant Poll question is "Are you interested in the digital version of SQL Server Magazine?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine Web site and submit your vote for 1) Yes, my digital magazine suits my needs better than the print format, 2) Yes, I use it for archiving to supplement my print subscription, 3) Yes, but I haven't subscribed yet, or 4) No, I'm not interested at this time.

    SPONSOR: Free Geo-clusters paper from Unisys

    FREE EXPERT ADVICE: Don't neglect your SQL database servers when it comes to availability and business continuity. Especially for applications that need data around the clock or around the world—especially your Internet based ones. And with security such a vital issue today, dispersing clustered Windows-based servers across distances is the optimal solution. Experienced designer/engineers at Unisys show you how to do it successfully in this detailed, comprehensive white paper on Geographically Dispersed Clusters.



  • (contributed by SQL Server MVP Umachandar Jayachandran, [email protected])

    Congratulations to Muhammad Nadeem Akhter, solution architect at AAJ Technologies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who won first prize of $100 for the best solution to the October Reader Challenge, "Importing IP Information." Honorable mention goes to Byron Hynes, first-place winner in our September Reader Challenge. You can find a recap of the problem and the solution to the October Reader Challenge at

    Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the November Reader Challenge, "Collation Conflict" (below). Submit your solution in an email message to [email protected] by October 16. SQL Server MVP Umachandar Jayachandran, a SQL Server Magazine technical editor, will evaluate the responses. We'll announce the winner in an upcoming SQL Server Magazine UPDATE. The first-place winner will receive $100, and the second-place winner will receive $50.

    Here's the challenge: Thomas administers databases that are hosted on several SQL Server 7.0 servers with different collation settings. As part of an upgrade, he's trying to consolidate these databases onto one powerful SQL Server 2000 server. He can easily make this move because SQL Server 2000 supports collation at different levels (i.e., server, database, column). The new SQL Server 2000 server is installed with the default settings for each SQL Server 7.0 collation. But during his upgrade testing, Thomas notices that some of the existing stored procedures fail with the error message:

    Server: Msg 446, Level 16, State 9, Line 3
    Cannot resolve collation conflict for equal to operation.

    Help Thomas determine the cause of this problem and the possible solution.


    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine and its partners)

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  • Want to Know How Other People Are Using SQL Server?

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  • Introducing Log Explorer(R) for Oracle8i(tm)

  • Now the award-winning "must have" product for SQL Server supports Oracle8i on your Windows operating system. Intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Salvage dropped tables. Available later this fall. Join our beta program and try it yourself.

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  • Not everyone who accesses a database needs to (or should) be able to perform any function on the server. In "Limited-Function Server Roles," Michael Otey discusses how you can solve this problem by assigning specific groups of users to any of seven server roles, each with a different set of permissions. This article appears in the October 2002 issue of SQL Server Magazine and is available online at


  • Instead of filling a SQL Server 2000 datetime column with nulls (which works), SQLProgrammer wants to leave the column empty. However, moving from row to row in the view of a column designated as not accepting nulls generates an error message. Offer your advice and read other users' suggestions on the SQL Server Magazine forums at the following URL:

  • TIP: Replicating Stored-Procedure Changes and Permissions

  • (contributed by Microsoft's SQL Server Development Team)

    Q. I added stored procedures as articles to my merge replication publications so that SQL Server would copy the stored procedures to the subscriber database. Although the publications' Snapshot Agent is set to begin delivery of the new stored-procedure articles to the subscriber at the first replication step, changes to the stored procedures on the publisher aren't being replicated to the subscriber. How can I ensure that these changes are made during replication?

    A. After you create views, user-defined functions (UDFs), and stored-procedure definitions in a database, they appear as objects in the Create Publication Wizard's Specify Articles dialog box. When you replicate these objects, the initial snapshot applied at the subscriber replicates the object definitions, but subsequent changes to these object definitions aren't copied automatically to subscribers. To ensure that these changes can be easily propagated to the subscriber, create a separate publication for the stored-procedure articles, then reinitialize the subscribers when changes occur.

    If you want to make custom changes such as setting permissions to stored-procedure, view, or UDF articles at the subscriber, in SQL Server 2000 you can specify a script containing the GRANT statements that the replication will automatically apply after the snapshot is delivered. For more information about running these scripts, see the "Executing Scripts Before and After the Snapshot is Applied" topic in SQL Server Books Online (BOL). In SQL Server 7.0, you have to apply the script manually after the snapshot is delivered.

    Send your technical questions to [email protected]


    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])


  • NGS Software released NGSSQuirreL, a security-and-audit management tool for SQL Server that can scan SQL Server for security holes and can generate a lockdown script based on the vulnerabilities it finds. NGSSQuirreL will checks to see whether an intruder has changed the BUILTIN\Administrators xstatus to create a back-door entry into your SQL Server. The software also determines whether intruders have created their own stored procedures in the startup procedure that gives them continued access. NGSSQuirreL can also discover and fully audit custom applications that examine stored procedures and trigger code, permissions on tables and views, and the common and not-so-common misconfigurations that can leave your database open to attack. For pricing, contact NGS Software at
    [email protected].


  • Laplas Soft released SQLExecMS, a database administration tool that supports SQL Server 2000 and 7.0. You can use the software to view and update table data in grid or field-by-field formats. You can execute T-SQL statements by using the syntax editor and code assistance. SQLExecMS lets you view fragmentation of indexes in graph and text mode. The software also lets you generate SQL scripts for your database. Contact Laplas Soft at [email protected]


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