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    Monday, December 17, 2007

    SQLUG.BE - next session on SQL Server 2008

    Our next SQLUG.BE evening will take place on Thursday, January 17th, 2008. The session will be given by Gunther Beersaerts who will be talking about the new features of Sql Server 2008.

    In this session we will provide an overview of the next release of SQL Server, SQL Server 2008, codenamed "Katmai". The session will cover the core value-proposition, major themes and scenarios, and the specific engine improvements, including the new Management Framework, datatypes (spatial,…), new Reporting Engine, FileStream, etc. We also cover the new development processes being used to build this release, the release timeline and the disclosure calendar.

    Level: 200 – 300
    Depending on the audience, we'll remain high-level (management / decision maker audience) or go more deeper (DBA, Developer or technical BI audience).

    Gunther Beersaerts is a Senior Technical Specialist at Microsoft Belgium & Luxembourg.

    18:00 - 18:30 Welcome
    18:30 - 21:00 Session with pause
    21:00 - 22:00 Drink

    Full details and free registration can be found here.

    Chopsticks, Technet Evening on HA and the 1 Euro SAN

    Microsoft Belux recently launched MSDN Chopsticks and Technet Chopsticks. These community focused websites are some kind of a Youtube with technical content. The sites already contain quite a few interesting videos. The videos are webcasts, funcasts, demos, and complete sessions.

    My Technet Evening on high availability in SQL Server 2005 was recorded and is now available online, including the demo with the 1 Euro SAN.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    AITScripts - Nice bunch of Scripts

    Nice bunch of DBA related scripts ... written by the folks of the Database Operations team at Microsoft.

    Download here.

    SQLBackupAll – Performs Full database backup for non-excluded databases by SQL native or Litespeed backup commands. The job has parameters to specify the desired backup location and compress (SQL Litespeed backup) or nocompress (SQL native backup) , whether to backup or not to backup read only database etc.

    SQLBackupDiffAll - Performs Differential database backup for non-excluded databases by SQL native or Litespeed backup commands. This job is disabled by default. This can be enabled based on the customer’s needs for the recovery requirements.

    SQLBackupTranAll – Performs Transaction Log backup for non-excluded databases by SQL native or Litespeed backup commands. The job has parameters to specify the desired backup location and compress (SQL Litespeed backup) or nocompress (SQL native backup)

    SQLBackupChecker – Checks for backups that have not occurred in more than the specified number of hours in the job. There is a parameter to specify the desired number of hours to specify for the alert.

    SQLDBCCAll - Performs database consistency checks on all system and user databases.

    SQLIndexDefragAll – Performs Index defrag maintenance for non-excluded SQL 2000 databases. This job is disabled by default. It can be enabled based on the customer’s needs. This job helps to run the index defrag for all the databases in the SQL instance or any particular database or any particular table in a database.

    SQLUpdateStatistics - Runs Update Statistics maintenance for non-excluded databases.
    This job is disabled by default. This job is disabled by default. It can be enabled based on the customer’s needs. This job helps to run the update statistics for all the databases in the SQL instance or any particular database or any particular table in a database.

    SQLCleanupMsdbBackupHistory – Cleans up the backup history information from msdb database.

    SQLCycleErrorLog - Cycle the SQL Error log periodically so the size is manageable for viewing through SQL tools.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    SQL Stuff at Tech Ed IT Forum

    I had some other stuff to do, so I didn't make to TechEd this year. Fortunately Peter made an excellent review on TechEd IT Forum.
    Looking forward the hear Peter's review on Day 5 ;-) See you Thursday!!

    SQL Server 2008 - November CTP (5) released

    Today Microsoft released CTP 5 aka The November CTP of SQL Server. This release is a major step forward and includes 18 major improvements:

    • Data Collection and Performance Warehouse for Relational Engine
    • Service Broker Enhancements
    • Registered Servers Enhancements
    • Synchronous net-changes change tracking for SQL Server
    • T-SQL IntelliSense
    • Declarative Management Framework (DMF) Enhancements
    • Geo-spatial Support
    • Analysis Services Query and Writeback Performance
    • Robust Report Server Platform
    • Integration Services - Lookup Enhancements
    • Analysis Services MDX Query Optimizer - Block Computation
    • Analysis Services Aggregation Design
    • Analysis Services Cube Design
    • Reporting Services Scale Engine
    • Transparent Data Encryption
    • Resource Governor - Limit Specification
    • Backup Compression
    • Plan Freezing
    • Fully Parallel Plans Scale on Partitioned Tables

    Yoohoo, Intellisense is back and the stand alone Report Designer got a major GUI upgrade!!

    You can read the details in the "What's new" doc for the November CTP.

    Download it here.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    TechNet Evening: High Availability in SQL Server 2005 - Delivering 99.999 % uptime

    On December 5th, I will be presenting a Microsoft Technet Evening on High Availability in SQL Server.

    Session Abstract:
    SQL Server 2005 is designed to reduce both planned and unplanned downtime, provide solutions for disaster recovery, and provide greater system availability to database users through High Availability technologies. In this presentation Frederik will discuss various features (including Failover Clustering, Database Mirroring, Log Shipping, and Peer-to-Peer Replication) of SQL Server which help you meet your 99.999% uptime SLAs.

    To finish off, we will have a sneak preview on the new high availability features of the upcoming SQL Server 2008.

    Frederik Vandeputte is a Senior Consultant and trainer for Kohera, the Microsoft SQL Server/Business Intelligence Competence Center of the Cronos Group. Frederik is the Vice-President and co-founder of the Belgian SQL Server User Group (SQLUG.BE).

    Free registration here.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Next SQLUG.BE Session on Reporting Services

    On November, 22nd we are organizing our next SQLUG.BE event. Marc Martens will talk about Reporting Services.

    Reporting Services is Microsoft's server based reporting solution that is delivered together with SQL Server 2005. In this session you will learn how to create a report, deploy and manage it. Also covered is how you can use Reporting Services to control the load on your source system when running a report. If there is time left we will shown how to write custom extensions for your reports.

    Prepare yourself for a long night. First we have the session, afterwards we are offered a guided tour in "Huis van de Toekomst". Doors will be closed far after 22:00 hour.

    The starting hour will be 18:30, doors open from 18:00 hour.

    The event will take place in Huis van de Toekomst

    Indringingsweg 1
    B-1800 Vilvoorde

    Registration is needed and seats limited, so hurry up. You can register here.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    July CTP of SQL Server 2008 released

    As expected, Micosoft released the July CTP of SQL Server 2008. The new download is available on the Connect website. This new CTP contains quite a bunch of nice features; including new datatypes and a first public release of TABLIX. See the full list below and in the updated Improvement Pillars. There is also a series of webcasts on the new features.

    Analysis Services Time Series

    This improvement adds a new time series forecasting algorithm (ARIMA: Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average) to the data mining algorithm suite that provides more stable long term predictions.

    Enterprise Reporting Engine

    Improvements represent the two major infrastructure changes for Reporting Services. Reporting Services enhances the processing engine and rendering extensions to enable new functionality, such as Tablix support, and scalability as well as remove the dependency on IIS. Additionally, new report designer and configuration tool are provided that improve usability and workflow for RS customers.

    T-SQL Improvements

    Object Dependencies: The object dependencies improvement provides reliable discovery of dependencies between objects through newly introduced catalog view and dynamic management functions. Dependency information is always up-to-date for both schema-bound and non-schema-bound objects. Dependencies are tracked for stored procedures, tables, views, functions, triggers, user-defined types, XML schema-collections, and more.

    Database Mirroring Enhancements

    SQL Server 2008 builds upon the momentum of SQL Server 2005 by providing a more reliable platform with enhanced database mirroring:

    • Automatic bad page repair – allows the principal and mirror machines to transparently recover from 823/824 types of data page errors by requesting a fresh copy of the corrupted page from the mirroring partner.
    • Log stream compression – compression of the outgoing log stream in order to minimize the network bandwidth used by database mirroring.
    • Miscellaneous performance enhancements:
      • using asynchronous log write requests on the mirror in order to shorten the log write time and thus speed-up the commit acknowledgement.
      • better utilization of the mirroring log send buffers in order to pack multiple smaller log blocks into a single network send.
    • Supportability and diagnosability improvements:
      • additional performance counters to allow for more granular accounting of the time spent across the different stages of the DBM log processing.
      • new DMVs and extensions of existing views in order to expose additional information about the mirroring sessions.

    Extended Events

    SQL Server Extended Events is a general event-handling system for server systems. The Extended Events infrastructure supports the correlation of data from SQL Server, and under certain conditions, the correlation of data from the operating system and database applications. In the latter case, Extended Events output must be directed to Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) in order to correlate the event data with operating system or application event data.

    Performance Data Collection

    Collect data from various sources in SQL Server and OS to help with performance troubleshooting and server maintenance. With this improvement, organizations improve their analysis of common performance issues:

    • Define what data is collected and organize the collection into collection sets
    • Start/stop/manipulate collection sets programmatically (T-SQL and .NET API)
    • Define where data is stored (relational database)
    • View data through reports in SQL Server Management Studio.
    • Provide platform to plug in more data collectors in the future.

    Improved XML Support

    To leverages the new date and time types, SQL Server’s XML Schema collection now provides full support for the xs:date, xs:time and xs:dateTime data types. Support for union types is also enhanced by returning correct results for “instance of” queries when union types are involved, and adding support for lists of unions and unions of lists constructs in XML Schemas.

    DATE/TIME Data Types

    SQL Server 2008 introduces new date and time data types. The new data types enable applications to have separate date and time types, larger year ranges for date value, larger fractional seconds precision for time value, time-zone offset aware datetime type that containing date, time and time zone offset portion, user defined option on fractional seconds precision of time related types and datetime2 and datetimeoffset provide standards conformant semantics. Along with the T-SQL support on the new types, both native (ODBC, OLEDB) and managed (SqlClient) providers also provide the full support through the client driver APIs.

    Large User-Defined Types Improvement

    Large user-defined types allows users to expand the size of defined data types by eliminating the 8‑KB limit.

    ORDPATH Improvement

    ORDPATH improvement provides an important new functionality to our customers who use hierarchical data. It provides a superior way of modeling hierarchies in SQL Server by introducing the HierarchyID system data type and corresponding built-in methods which are designed to make it easier to store, query and operate hierarchical data. HierarchyID is also optimized for representing trees, the most common type of hierarchical data.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    BIDS Helper - A must have for BI developers

    BIDS Helper is a set of Visual Studio.Net add-ins that extend and enhance the functionality of the SQL Server BI Development Studio. The current release ( containts the following add-ins:

    I really like the "Deploy MDX Script" add-in. This feature allows you to right click on a cube in an Analysis Services solution and deploy just the calculation script. This comes in very handing while debugging and testing MDX calculations in offline mode.

    It's a open source and available as a free download on CodePlex. Toeltje van de week!!!

    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Rumor: new CTP of SQL Server 2008 coming soon

    Rumor has it that a new CTP of SQL Server 2008 is on its way. A recent article on the MCP Magazine mentions the planned +/-60 days release schedule between CTPs. CTP3 aka the June CTP was released on June, 4. The June CTP was nice but lacks a lot of the announced features. So ... looking forward to the new stuff to spend those rainy Belgium summer evenings ;-)

    If you wanna get a good overview of the new stuff, check out these resources:

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Next SQLUG.BE Session on Analysis Services

    On September, 27th we are organizing our next SQLUG.BE event. The event - an introduction to Analysis Services 2005, will take place at the Kohera Office and will be presented by my colleague Nico Verbaenen.

    Full details and free registration can be found on here.

    SQL Internals Viewer

    Just discovered a great tool via Kalen Delaney's Blog. This tool gives you a low level graphical view on how data is stored in a database. Toeltje van de week!!!

    SQL Internals Viewer is a tool for looking into the SQL Server storage engine and seeing how data is physically allocated, organised and stored.

    All sorts of tasks performed by a DBA or developer can benefit greatly from knowledge of what the storage engine is doing and how it works. This tool has been designed to make database internals more accessible.

    The Quick Start section gives a guide on how to use SQL Internals Viewer.

    The Resources section lists articles and books with information on SQL Server internals.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Office 2007 - mapping the old menus to the ribbon

    I really like the ribbon in Office 2007. I think it is a great improvement over the old menus. However, every now and then I get lost in the ribbon and can't seem to find that very nice little menu option. Microsoft released an excellent set of Excel workbooks. The Excel sheets list every single menu option in the old Office applications and their corresponding place in the Office 2007 ribbon.

    Nice to see this one in the Help Menu ;-)

    Show the Office Assistant > Removed from product

    Bye Bye Clippy :-)

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    SQL Server Launch Date: February 27, 2008

    At it's annual Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday, Microsoft announced the release dates for it's next trio of products: Windows 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. On February 27, 2008, Microsoft will launch these products in Los Angeles with a wave of kickoff events around the world to follow.

    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Try Catch

    Bart Bultinck, fellow at SQLUG.BE, and some other top bloggers in the Belgian Blogsphere started the excellent blog site Chummy, Kurt Roggen, Peter De Tender, Tom Vandaele, any many more to come are blogging now on this must have RSS feed.

    SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer RTM

    Microsoft released a new version of the SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer (July 2007). "CTP" was dropped from the name, so we are RTM now, I guess.

    The SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) gathers data from Microsoft Windows and SQL Server configuration settings. BPA uses a predefined list of SQL Server 2005 recommendations and best practices to determine if there are potential issues in the database environment.

    Download here.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Free online training on SQL Server 2008

    Microsoft released a first free online course on SQL Server 2008.

    Full details can be found on

    Title: Clinic 7045: What's New in Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2008
    Course Type: Self-paced Course
    Available Offline: Yes
    Estimated Time of Completion: 2 Hours
    Language: English

    In this clinic, you will learn about the new and enhanced features included in SQL Server 2008. You will explore the new data types and the data management features. Additionally, you will learn about the enhanced Integration Services, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services included in SQL Server 2008. This online clinic is composed of a rich multimedia experience.

    To get the most out of this clinic, it is recommended that you have:
    • Knowledge of general SQL database concepts that are largely independent of a specific version of SQL Server.
    • Knowledge of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 features.
    • Knowledge of deploying and upgrading database solutions.
    • Knowledge of how to solve performance issues related to SQL Server hardware.
    • Performed the job role of a SQL Server 2005 database administrator or database developer.
    • Product or technology experience in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005.

    At the end of the course, students will be able to:
    • Describe the features of SQL Server 2008 and their benefits.
    • Describe the features of enterprise data platform that help you to secure data in applications.
    • Describe the dynamic development features that facilitate the development of database applications.
    • Describe the features of SQL Server 2008 that provide data storage solutions beyond relational databases.
    • Describe the enhanced features in SSIS that help you to integrate data effectively.
    • Describe the enhanced features in SSAS that help you to improve the BI infrastructure.
    • Describe the enhanced features in SSRS that help you to improve the scalability of the reporting engine.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Speaking at Community Day

    On Thursday I will be presenting on the first Belgian Community Day.

    Five belgian usergroups, BIWUG, VISUG, SQLUG, IT-Talks, and Pro-Exchange, have decided to combine their efforts to organize a joint-event just before summer starts. This event will be the biggest community event in Belgium! So if you are eager to learn, eager to get answers to your questions and eager to socialize, come and join us for our very first Belgian Community Day.

    I will deliver a fun introduction to Microsoft BI. My collegue Werner Geuens will give an in depth session on statistics.

    Full details and free registration can be found on

    Here are the session abstracts.

    Intro Session - biTunes – A fun introduction to Microsoft BI with SQL Server 2005 and… iTunes !

    Session abstract:

    SQL Servers 2005 gives you all the tools you need for building end-to-end business intelligence (BI) applications. In this demo driven session we walk through the complete SQL Server 2005 BI stack. We'll use SQL Server Integration Services to import the iTunes (yes, that's right) music library. We'll build an OLAP cube on top of our MP3 library with SQL Server Analysis Services. Finally we'll use SQL Server Reporting Services and Excel 2007 to reveal information you thought you could never retrieve from iTunes. Come take a walk on the BI-side…

    Frederik Vandeputte, Senior Consultant at Kohera and Vice President of the Belgium SQL Server User Group

    Deep dive: Statistics in SQL Server 2005, what can go wrong

    Session abstract:
    Maybe you are not aware of it but every index is accompanied by its statistics. You can create statistics without index, but why would you do that? Even the engine creates statistics when it feels like doing so, how can that be of use to us? We have new database settings concerning statistics in SQL Server 2005; let's take a look at these. Once you know the use of statistics you'll realize that they need maintenance, how should we do that?

    Werner Geuens, Senior Consultant at Cronos.

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    SQL Server 2005 builds that were released after SP2

    This nice KB article lists the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 builds that were released after Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) was released.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    SQL 2008 - Declaring variables and assigning values in 1 statement

    I just discovered a little nice to have in Katmai (oops, SQL Server 2008). Finally we can declare variables and assign values in one statement.

    If you try this in SQL Server 2005 or earlier:

    declare @myVar VARCHAR(10) = 'Yoohoo';

    This is what you get:

    Msg 139, Level 15, State 1, Line 0
    Cannot assign a default value to a local variable.

    In SQL Server 2008 it just works:

    declare @myVar VARCHAR(10) = 'Yoohoo';

    The cool thing is that it also works for multiple variables:

    @myVar VARCHAR(10) = 'Yoohoo',
    @myVar2 VARCHAR(10) = 'Cool!!'

    Command(s) completed successfully.

    So ... bye, bye to:

    DECLARE ...

    DECLARE ...

    DECLARE ...

    DECLARE ...

    DECLARE ...

    DECLARE ...

    SET ...

    SET ...

    SET ...

    SET ...

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    SQL 2008 - Truncating the logfile

    In the SQL Server 2005 the BACKUP LOG WITH TRUNCATE_ONLY statement was marked depricated, but still worked. In SQL Server 2008 it returns an error.


    Msg 155, Level 15, State 1, Line 3
    'TRUNCATE_ONLY' is not a recognized BACKUP option.

    So how can we truncate the logfile in SQL Server 2008? Well, just switch to SIMPLE RECOVERY and back to FULL.


    Be carefull, don't run this on an production database. You are erasing the transaction log file and will loose the possibility to do point in time restores.

    SQL 2008 - MERGE is Back

    So what's is the MERGE statement all about? Well basically it's doing an INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE in a single statement. It used to be part of the early betas of SQL Server 2005 but didn't make in the RTM version. And now it's back :-)

    Here's a little example:

    MERGE Departments AS d
    USING Departments_delta AS dd
    ON (d.DeptID = dd.DeptID)
    WHEN MATCHED AND d.Manager <> dd.Manager OR d.DeptName <> dd.DeptName
    THEN UPDATE SET d.Manager = dd.Manager, d.DeptName = dd.DeptName
    INSERT (DeptID, DeptName, Manager)
    VALUES (dd.DeptID, dd.DeptName, dd.Manager)

    Departments_delta contains updated Department information. Based on the primary key we decide wether to insert, delete, or update the Department table.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Community day 2007

    Five belgian usergroups, BIWUG, VISUG, SQLUG, IT-Talks, and Pro-Exchange, have decided to combine their efforts to organize a joint-event just before summer starts. This event will be the biggest community event in Belgium! So if you are eager to learn, eager to get answers to your questions and eager to socialize, come and join us for our very first Belgian Community Day.

    The event will take place at the premises of SemCom in Keerbergen on Thursday, the 28th of June 2007.

    Free registration and full details can be found on

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Blog Silence Over

    Due to some technical problems with Blogger and SFTP issues I dind't blog very much recently. The problems are now fixed, so we are ready to go again :-)

    Microsoft released the first public CTP of Katmai yesterday ... so we have new stuff to play with and to blog about :-)

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Katmai announced

    Today at the first Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) Conference, Microsoft Corp. presented its vision for the next version of its flagship data management and analysis platform. SQL Server™ code-named “Katmai,” the next release of Microsoft® SQL Server.

    Read the full press release.

    SQL Server “Katmai” is scheduled to be delivered in 2008. More information is available at

    Sunday, April 22, 2007

    Jumping To SQL Server 2005 - 3161

    Microsoft released yet another cummulative patch for SP2 . After applying this patch you will be running on build 3161. Full details and downloads are available here.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    SQL Server 2005 SP2 - Wrap-ups

    Confused by the various post fixes and re-rereales of SP2? Bob Ward from Microsoft PSS SQL Support wrote an excellent blog post: "SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Re-release and post fixes explained". Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral compiled a nice list of all SQL 2005 build numbers and corresponding KB articles.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Next SQLUG evening: Replication with SQL Mobile

    With the use of mobile devices becoming more and more mainstream, it is likely that we will see an increased need to integrate the data stored on these devices with other databases. Replicating data from and to mobile devices is probably one of the more technically challenging parts of mobile database development and management. On Thursday, April 19th Erik Bollen will be walking us through replication with SQL Server Mobile and point out some of the common pitfalls.

    This event will take place in the offices of Info Shelf  in Asse-Zellik.

    Driving directions can be found here.

    Registration is open.

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    One more year of SQL Server 2000

    Still running on SQL Server 2000? Time to move on!! Exactly over 365 days Microsoft will end the main stream support for SQL Server 2000. Extended (payed) support stops in 2013. Check out SQL Server 2000 Support Lifecycle.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    SQL Server 2005 SP2 - To Continue, Click Next

    There are quite a few issues with SQL Server SP2. Many people have blogged about it and MS is releasing post SP2 hotfixes every now and than ;-)

    One of my colleagues encountered this funny dialog box while installing SP2.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Estimating backup/restore duration

    How many times have you been watching the progress bar during a SQL Server Backup or restore operation? And how times have you answered "Wel, I guess ... " when people asked you "Hey mister DBA, how much more time will it take before the restore has completed?".

    I have been doing quite some backup/restore operations during recent upgrading and migration projects. The sys.dm_exec_requests DMV contains one row for every running command on a SQL Server instance. Two interesting columns (estimated_completion_time, percent_complete) help you answering the "when" and "how much longer" questions.

    The SELECT statement below will give you a time estimation for every running "BACKUP DATABASE" or "RESTORE DATABASE" statement. Play around with the WHERE clause to monitor other long running operations.

    /* Created by free online sql formatter */

    SELECT command, 'EstimatedEndTime' = Dateadd(ms,estimated_completion_time,Getdate()),
    'EstimatedSecondsToEnd' = estimated_completion_time / 1000,
    'EstimatedMinutesToEnd' = estimated_completion_time / 1000 / 60,
    'BackupStartTime' = start_time,
    'PercentComplete' = percent_complete
    FROM sys.dm_exec_requests

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    KHM BI Event follow up

    Last Thursday KHM Mechelen organized an event on Business Intelligence. Together with 5 other colleagues from the Cronos Group we gave 6 presentations. This was the agenda:

    • Positioning of BI tools in the market – Bart Van Mulders
    • The Buzz Words – Nick Wuyts
    • Skills required for a successful BI project – Bart Gorremans
    • Competitive comparison of some important Business Intelligence Suites
      • BusinessObjectsJorn Vandendriessche
      • Microsoft Business Intelligence – Frederik Vandeputte
      • Oracle BI – Stijn Vandereycken

    Given the audience of about 100 (ex) students I decided to do a rerun of my biTunes presentation. I got pretty positive feedback from a lot students, Thanks for that. Here's a wrap up of the Q&A:
    • What's that nifty tool you used to zoom in and out?
      It's called ZoomIt and is available as a free download from the MS Sysinternals website.
    • Can I download the biTunes source code?
      Yes, I posted it here.
    • Why is the Undo feature missing from Integration Services.
      This is known issue, and feature request on many people's which list.
    • Can you load the iTunes Library with plain T-SQL code?
      Yes, you can check out Peter Debetta's post.
    • Cronos, Datamotive, I4BI, Kohera ... Who's Who?
      • Datamotive is the BI competence center in the Cronos Group using tools like BO, Cognos ...
      • I4BI is the competence center with full focus on Oracle BI
      • Kohera is dedicated to implementing Microsoft's Business Intelligence suite and delivering services on the MS SQL Server platform.

    We really liked the event, and are planning more BI roadshows comparing Microsoft BI with other vendors. So, if you are interested ... drop me a line.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Adding and removing Custom Reports in SQL Server Management Studio

    SQL Server 2005 SP2 contains quite a few interesting new features. A few months ago I blogged about my old time feature requests: logon triggers. Another nice feature in SP2 are the Custom Reports in SQL Server Management Studio which allow you to add your own Reporting Services reports to the Management Studio.

    Just right click anywhere in the Object Explorer, Choose Custom Reports and point to your favourite .RDL file. From now on this report will be just a mouse click away.

    So, adding reports is easy, but how about removing them? All data about custom reports is stored in the a file called reports.xml which resides well hidden in your profile folder (%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Shell\reports.xml).

    If you want to remove a report from the Context menu follow these steps:
    • Close all running SQL Server Management Studios
    • Open %UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Shell\reports.xml
    • Remove the corresponding section from the XML
    • Save reports.xml
    • Restart SQL Server Management Studio
    • The report should be gone

    By default the Management Studio gives a warning message when you start a custom report. You can suppress these warnings via the GUI. However if want to unsuppress these warnings you need to edit the same reports.xml file. Check out : "How to: Unsuppress Run Custom Report Warnings" from Books Online.

    One more note: Microsoft recently released a set of reports called "SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports". They are pretty cool and can be download here.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    SQL 2005 SP2 - Second try

    Microsoft quietly released an updated version of SQL Server 2005 SP2. The new build number is 9.00.3042.01. The previous build number was 9.00.3042.00. The update corrects an issue with the cleanup task in maintenance plans. Here is the download link for SQL Server 2005 SP2.

    Kinda reminds me of the SQL Server SP3a story ;-)

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    SQL Server presentations on Dev IT Pro Days

    The Belgian Developer and IT Pro days are comming soon. If you want to take advantage of the early bird offer, hurry up, because the offer expires tomorrow.

    There are quite some interesting SQL Server/BI presentations scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday. Jake Zborowski and Ashvini Sharma from Microsoft Corp will be delivering a complete BI track on Wednesday. On Thursday Gunter Staes from MS Belgium will give a session entitled "MOSS 2007 Configuration of Excel Services, SSO & Data Conections - The Mac Guyver Techniques !". Also on Thursday, one my favourite SQL Server authors and speakers, Bob Beauchemin will give 4 SQL Server sessions. Check out the full agenda.

    Keep an eye on the SQLUG.BE homepage because we are working on something special for our members.

    Sunday, February 18, 2007

    SQL 2005 SP2 Ramblings

    CTPs of Service Pack 2 for SQL Server have been around for a little while now. Rumor has it that SP2 will finally be released on Monday. That's a nice coincidence, since on Thursday we are celebrating the first anniversary of the Belgian SQL Server User Group . Gunter Staes, Partner Technology & Solution Advisor at Microsoft will highlight the top features of SP2. We will conclude the evening with a nice buffet. We still have a few seats available, so if you wanna join us, click here.

    [UPDATE 19-FEB-06] SP2 is indeed released and can be downloaded here.

    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Belgian Dev IT Pro Days

    On March 27th, 28th and 29th Microsoft is organizing the Belgian Developer and IT Pro Days in Ghent. Registration is open since last week. Eearly birds will get a 15% discount.

    Microsoft published a preliminary agenda. On March 28th Jake Zborowski and Grant Dickinson from Microsoft Corp will present a full track on SQL Server Business Intelligence.

    Keep an eye on the Dev IT Pro Days website because there are more SQL Server related topics comming soon ...