Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 019
I promised there would be some news on SQL Server 2005, and it happened today.
Paul Flessner announced today some good news, and some GREAT news.
The good news:Database Mirroring will not be included in the release coming November 7.
“Huh?! Why is that good?”
It’s good because, while we’re running 100 internal apps on SQL 2005, and we have many many enterprise customers (30 or so) running their businesses on SQL Server 2005, we’ve found that it’s not quite where we’d like it to be. So.. better safe than sorry… we’re holding off on making that feature available. No fear, though.. it’s still coming. Expect to see it sometime in the first half of 2006.
More good news: SQL Express Manager is going away.
“Huh? What’s good about that?”
Here’s the thing we’ve learned… or rather, what YOU have told us. You want an experience managing your SQL Express database that matches or compares to what you’re doing using the SQL Server Management Studio. Make the experience consistent. Express Manager was NOT that experience. So, the decision was made to create a scaled down version of the Management Studio for the management of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition.
“So, how will I manage my SQL Server 2005 Express databases without the Express Manager?”
A beta of the SQL Management Studio Express tool will be available for download when SQL Server 2005 Express Edition ships. In the meantime, the full-blown SQL Server Management Studio will also manage SQL Server 2005 Express Edition databases.
“Okay.. you said ‘Good news and GREAT news’.. what’s GREAT?”
This week, Winter Corporation released the results of a study they did of the Top Ten database platforms, and SQL Server came out quite well in the results. In fact, SQL Server currently supports the recognized LARGEST data warehouse system in the world – a whopping 19.5 TB. We also support three of the largest OLTP systems and two of the largest data warehouse systems across all platforms.
So it proves again that SQL Server is a platform that even the most demanding applications can trust to perform well.
I think that’s pretty GREAT news!
Here is the link to the official statement from Paul…
Find out about the September Community Technology Preview for SQL Server 2005 and how 300,000 of you have already helped make SQL Server 2005 ready for launch.
Got an IT question? Give me a comment, or contact me.
Get the SQL Server 2005 September Community Technology Preview.
Fresh out of the oven
Get it while it’s still warm.
As a digital photography enthusiast, I’m really excited about this!
Microsoft has a new product just for folks like me. The current codename for the product is “Max”.
Did I say product? Wrong. It’s not a product; It’s an “experience”. (<sniff>.. I smell marketing. Bleah…)
Seriously though, it sounds a lot like FlickR or other online photo sharing… but it claims to have a new, cool interface built on WinFX.
Sounds to me like it’s worth a good long look!
For more informaton, here is the Max site.
Download Max here.
Have you tried it? What do you think?
UPDATE: I'm playing with it now. Here are a couple of notes..
1. It's not like Flickr at all. I was way off. You have to install it (and the installation requires and does the installation of WinFX Beta 2 as well), and then sign in using your Passport account. What happens is, you create these cool "lists", which are your photo albums... and there are several (well, three) ways to display your pictures:
2. What about sharing? Well.. that's something I haven't tried yet. I need one of my family members (Dad? Paul? Carl? Are you reading this?) I sent the installation link to to actually install it so I can share these lists with them. Apparently once they have it installed, I can share my lists with them, and the photos will be sent to their computer for their own viewing. Later they can delete them if they're taking up space. (And according to the help (which is all coming off the Max team blog, by the way), space is something that Max needs a lot of.).
3. It looks and feels a lot like Windows Vista! The graphics are smooth, glossy (at least on my computer), the buttons are animated, and the way it twists and bends the images is really amazing. If you want a good idea of what Windows Vista looks and feels like, play around with Max.
Give it a go! If you want, share your list with me. Contact me and let me know you're interested, and what your email address is, and I'll email you my Passport identity to use.
…and there aren’t any!
That’s right. Today is “Patch Tuesday”. <sigh> Just where did the month go?
There are no Security Updates this month. No new security bulletins. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
“Well… is there at least something?”
Yes. There’s a new version of the Malware Detection/Removal tool. And there’s a “high priority, non-security related update” (KB891861) now being made available via Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Software Update Services, and Windows Server Update Services.
Once again, that’s WU, MU, SUS, and WSUS. PDQ.
**Obscure Steve Martin movie reference.
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 018
A little birdie told me to expect a big announcement about SQL Server 2005 in the next day or two, originating from the floor of the PDC.
Stay tuned… As soon as it’s official, I’ll share it here.
UPDATE: It was announced today. Here's my blog entry about it.
Chris Avis here has challenged all of Southern California to come to the SQL Server 2005 / Visual Studio 2005 / Biztalk 2006 Launch event in Anaheim. He promises on his blog that if that event draws the biggest attendance of all of the launch events, he will shave his head.
Okay, Chris... once again you throw the gauntlet down. Your challenge isn't just to your seven blog readers, it's to the rest of your coworkers and teammates as well. You force us to offer similar challenges to our attendees, just because of how wonderfully competative we are!
Proof: My own Karaoke Challenge was FORCED into play by yours... (of course, I sing way better than you, so I'm not afraid one bit. <mooohahaha>)
Okay... so that's how it's going to be. Here's my own attendance challenge for Minneapolis. If Minneapolis gets the biggest attendance of any of the major SQL/VS/BizTalk Launch events…
no… waitasec… I’ll sweeten this challenge up a bit…
If the Minneapolis SQL Server 2005 / Visual Studio 2005 / BizTalk 2006 Launch simply gets better attendance than the Anaheim event, I'm getting me a sharp trimmer, and SHAVING CHRIS AVIS's HEAD! YEAH!
Yep.. you heard me right. I'm bad. Don't you think I wouldn't do it, either.
Someone's getting shaved, and it's not going to be me.
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 017
Number 17 Tidbit here…
Wouldn’t you like to have the installable ‘books online’ for the next version of SQL, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, installed and available on your local workstation?
Your wish is granted! You can download and install the Books Online from the SQL Server 2005 June CTP.
Here is the link.
And if you’re interested in downloading and evaluating SQL 2005, the June full CTP can be accessed HERE.
A friend passed this along to me. I was never a huge Rush fan… but I sure like this song and especially what this Neil Peart fan did to animate this tribute.
"A Digital Man"
<— That’s Ed Faulkner, the program manager of our Microsoft Across America “Mobile Event Experience”.
Ed has a blog now, and he’s using it to put up stories (and pictures) about how several of these trucks are being used in the efforts to help hurricane Katrina victims in Louisianna and Mississippi. (Here's my earlier blog entry about those trucks.)
A young man destined-to-be-an-MVP someday – Jose Francisco blogs today about the games that potentially may be included in Windows Vista.
Honestly, I haven’t looked at these yet. I’ve had so much fun with the other features that I’ll have to re-look at the build I’m running and see what’s there… Fun stuff!
Robert Scoble, for Channel 9, finally got that dream interview… it’s on the Channel 9 site for all to see.
Check it out!
Poor Robert sounds sooo nervous. And I don’t blame him one bit. I probably wouldn’t be able to form sentences…
Okay… I confess that I was “ego surfing” a few minutes ago.. after I read Steve Lamb’s post on the subject.. I used Technorati to see who was linking to my blog posts.
I found a nice reference back to my request for Windows Vista feedback from August 31st.. Vlad Mazek’s post (thanks Vlad!) pointed people there, and (rightly) suggested that if you want to influence how the product works, the time is NOW to help us with feedback.
What I thought was especially interesting, though, was the one comment there from someone named “Anonymous”. (Wow… That guy gets around!)
Mr. Anonymous writes, basically, that it all sucks. It just plain sucks. And there’s nothing I can say to make it suck any less. It sucked in the beginning. And it now and for-evermore shall suck. Sucking forever and ever. Sucks. Sucky sucky suck suckity-suck-suck-suck.
Did I say it sucks?
Anyway… Mr. Anonymous (you know who you are); a simple question for you. WHAT sucks? What? Specifically?
My response comment asks him that also, and points out a couple of key ideas that Mr. Anonymous should have shoved up his.. er… crammed into his.. um… brain.
We have groups that blog internally about Windows Vista, and they have the eyes and ears of the product teams, if they’re not the product teams themselves. Some of them even record feature demonstrations as videos, and then ask for and pass along feedback. Do they want the product to suck less? …perhaps even, dare I say, to “ROCK”?! You bet!
Mr. Anonymous.. their goal is to help you see a product that moves from the “sucks” category, to the “ROCKS” category. And I and others like me will help you by passing along your feedback, and next year doing kick-ass demos to show you how good ROCKS can be.
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 016
(Warning: Old song reference)“You (up)load 16 tidbits… whaddya get?…”
Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...
Q: How do you resync in a peer to Peer replication?A: There is a restarable synch capability built into the replication engine, There is a great Q/A log here:http://msdn.microsoft.com/SQL/2005/2005Webcasts/ReplicationQandA.aspx
Also you can view an awesome replication web cast here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032263302&EventCategory=5&culture=en-us&CountryCode=US
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 015
Fifteen. It’s a one, followed by a 5. 15.
Q: Can you rename the SQL 2005 SA account?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact, you can! With the new security model there are some great ways to really secure the SQL Instance. You can rename the account with the ALTER LOGIN statement. This is a great way to reduce surface area for your SQL instances. Here is an example:
ALTER LOGIN sa WITH NAME = [new name here];
Additionally you can disable the account as well:
ALTER LOGIN sa DISABLE;
You can download a great presentation on the new Security enhancements for SQL 2005 here:http://download.microsoft.com/documents/australia/msdn/Session_2_Greg_Low.ppt
Here are the promised resources for the webcast I delivered today (September 7, 2005) on “A Technical Overview of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005”.
The content session number TNT1–154.
Hope you find these links useful, either as you watch the webcast live or later when it’s available On-Demand.
TNT1–154 Additional Resources
Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview
Virtual Server 2005 Frequently Asked Questions
Virtual Server Technical Overview (Whitepaper)http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/overview/vs2005tech.mspx
Virtual Server Technical Overview (Whitepaper)
Virtual Server R2 (formerly SP1) Beta Program
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/evaluation/sp1beta.mspxVirtual Server Migration Toolkit
Virtual Server Migration Toolkit Frequently Asked Questions
Server Consolidation with Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (whitepaper)
Automated Deployment Services (ADS) 1.0
Free Live TechNet Eventshttp://www.technetevents.com
TechNet Events Bloggershttp://www.techneteventsbloggers.net
Official Series Content Resource Pagehttp://www.microsoft.com/technet/tnt1-121
Free Windows Server 2003 Virtual Labs:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/traincert/virtuallab/windowsserver2003.mspx
Windows Server 2003 Evaluation kit:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/trial/evalkit.mspx
Windows Server 2003 Training and Events:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/training/default.mspx
Microsoft Events page:
Bill Steele is a developer and a skilled presenter on our MSDN team. He is also a former military pilot and currently owns one or two small planes.
Recently he was given the okay to take some time off to help out in the hurricane Katrina relief efforts. A couple days ago he sent this email update to the rest of us on the team:
Well... Today is the first day of Internet access since I started this adventure. I'm flying out of Baton Rouge International... and have so far moved enough meals to feed about 6000 people. When I say meal, I mean MRE... Meal, Ready to Eat. I've been reacquainting myself to them as well... wow... I forgot how good some of them were. I've also been delivering bottled water and some medical supplies. My plane can handle about 700 meals with a bottle of water each and a couple boxes of medicines each trip. (That puts me slightly over gross, but who's counting - we do remove the meals from the cardboard boxes to lighten the load a bit... and I only get about 50 gallons of fuel - since each trip is less then 1 hour.) Anyway, I've had to stop for a little while while some maintenance on my plane is done... I lost the left mag on the left engine on my last take off . The maintenance staff over at "Million Aire" are fixing me up no charge... that's very cool. I have to tell you, most of my flights have been to the lower part of Mississippi which was just hammered. I flew into one airport that was so badly damaged that I literally landed on an access road, because the runway didn't exist. The control tower actually fell over from the wind. It's a real mess in some places. I did a small tour of the coast line for some damage assessment purposes (I've had relief coordinators with me on every flight) and it's just shocking to see the magnitude of the damage. I've lived through some pretty bad tornados at home and the damage looks similar, but it's just so much more massive. Tornados cut paths... there's no paths down here... just destruction everywhere. Anyway, the food deliveries are actually winding down because either the people are leaving or they now have "ground transportation of goods" which means that I'll move into a new type of role shuttling medical supplies and people. (I removed the seats from my plane so we're going to have to reinstall them as well.) There are about 50 planes doing this work... and we're all running about 6 or 7 trips a day. We've got good sleeping quarters... a nearby Holiday Inn Select hotel and plenty of food... when I get hungry, I was just stealing an MRE. The best so far is the Chili Mac... nice and spicy. I'm getting ready to enjoy a Boneless Pork Chop dinner right now, however... you guessed it... it's an MRE as well. By the way... I see we're sending down the MSAM Buses... that's very cool! The thing this is really lacking down here is communications... nothing works. I'm currently using a US National Guard mobile communications van for this access - it's actually a Humvee with a bunch of antennas on it. We get to use it for about 1 hour a day (when it's available.) Oh well... I'll let you know the progress the next time I can. Bill
Bill also wanted me to mention that if you want to help him and other pilots like him who are volunteering so much of their time and resources there are ways to do that:
My hat’s off to you, Bill. You make us all extremely proud.
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 014
Q: What if I do no want to give SQL 2005 Management Studio to my Developers how to I give them access to the databases?
A: Matt was talking with some of his event attendees, and they recommend that you use SQL 2000 query analyzer for that type of access. During their testing this worked fine with the 2000 QA specifically if you used SQL 2005 Express.
My thought on this is that you should go ahead and USE THE MANAGEMENT STUDIO. The issue isn’t one of what tool is installed, but of security. If you’ve set things up right, you won’t be giving your developers anything they shouldn’t have… and you WILL be giving them a tool they can use powerfully.
With all the focus on SQL Server 2005 our team has been doing lately, I was very glad to find this web site. The team that builds the SQL Server engine has a blog of their own: SQL Server Engine Tips.
One post in general got my attention – the team is requesting your feedback on Database Mirroring. In fact, they’re even providing scripts you can use to play with Database Mirroring and familiarize yourself with it.
Here is their “Feedback requested on database mirroring” post. Help ‘em out!
VERY interesting developments on the MS vs. Open Source battlegrounds…
Yes, perhaps I’m a bit biased, considering who signs my paycheck. But to me, Stuart Cohen sounds scared. This eWeek article talks about him and OSDL turning down Microsoft’s offer of a joint, co-sponsored “independent” research study. And what were they afraid of? Well.. Cohen pretty much accuses Microsoft of taking parts of studies and only selling the news that is good for Microsoft in the midst of overwhelming bad news. He accuses us of lieing.
“What do you think about that, Kevin?”
Bullsh**. Yep… I’m getting opinionated here… probably not something I should do on a Microsoft-owned blog.
Have you seen http://www.microsoft.com/getthefacts ? Have you, Mr. Cohen?
The site has a HUGE amount of information.. white-papers and research (yes, many sponsored by Microsoft, but some not) on
These are not just snippets, either. The complete studies are included when practical, and if not, they’re linked to and made available elsewhere. Add to that the wealth of great case studies in categories of
Perhaps we highlight the good points in our marketing. That’s granted. That’s what MARKETING does, afterall. But we do not hide any of the findings. If we did so, you would have a valid concern. But your accusation is weak, defensive, and without merit. And frankly, sounds a bit whiney to me, too. Get the facts, Mr. Cohen.
What also infuriates me about the eWeek article is that it only gives Cohen’s side of the story. I’d like to know more details about how Martin Taylor approached them, and what the specifics were.. but we’ll probably never know. The original discussions were supposed to have been kept secret.
No doubt someone posted about it on their blog. Stupid bloggers.
Have you seen Start.com?
Have you seen it lately?
Eileen Brown reminded me of it this morning… Very cool.
Chris Avis also has a couple of posts on it as well. (Post 1, and Post 2)
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 013
Q: How do I upgrade SQL 2005 beta to the Full SQL 2005?
A: There will not be a setup-based upgrade from preRTM to RTM. You will need to un install the preRTM and then install RTM. The un install will not remove your user databases. Once you reinstall you can connect those databases to the new install. They will automatically upgrade when they're installed. One word of caution: it's best to move between the same editions (i.e. Beta -> Developer, Standard -> Standard, etc).
Last week was a sad one. Horrible storm. Horrible flooding. Horrible people taking advantage of both. Devastated neighborhoods, cities, and lives.
Yet out of the worst tragedies often come the best, most encouraging stories about people and their willingness to help others.
I’m proud to work for a company that has both the will and the resources to help in these situations. At Microsoft we have a great internal web site dedicated to giving, and naturally right now the relief for hurricane Katrina victims is top on the list.
And even beyond that, my team at Microsoft (internally known as the Seminar Sales Team, and externally you see us as “Microsoft Across America”) has… shall we say.. “detoured” some valuable assets in order to help in the hurricane relief efforts.
That’s right! We’re sending in the trucks!
Three of our Microsoft Across America “Mobile Experience” trucks are heading to our home base in Dallas so we can off-load the un-needed AV equipment and event supplies, and loading them up with food and water. Then we’re sending them east to help out the Red Cross as mobile communication / command centers. These trucks have Satellite internet access, with WiFi, so they’ll be quite useful in helping currntly disconnected people get in touch with their families to let them know they’re okay.
So… I’m not going to have one of these trucks parked outside of my events in Des Moines and Minneapolis in a few weeks… and I’m extremely PROUD of the reason why!
(UPDATE: Here's the Microsoft Across America Program Manager's blog, with stories and photos coming right from the folks who man the trucks.)
SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 012
An even dozen Tidbits.
Q: In Mirroring with automatic failover, how do the SQL Client applications fail over when the mirror fails?
A: It really depends on the client application and how it was written. Client applications written using ADO.NET 2.0 will automatically fail over when the database fails over. However other clients will have to manually fail over. Basically the new SNAC (SQL Native Access Client) has information about the mirror, and about where to connect if the principle connection goes down. If the principle drops, the application will try the mirror. If a failover has occurred, then the mirror is able to respond and all is good. If the mirror drops (or doesn’t answer at all), the app will then again try the original principle, and so on.
Mirroring has always generated some great questions. John Baker has a great post on mirroring.