Great news on Datadude licensing

When I've been doing sessions around the world on DataDude (Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals), the main feedback I've had is "great product but pity we'll never get to use it because of the licensing".

Sanity has finally prevailed. In today's PressPass announcement, while there's interesting news on product naming (Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0), there's great news that the developer and database professional editions will merge and in the meantime, people licensing the developer edition will now get DataDude as well. (and vice versa). This is a big step forward for the product.

SQL Server 2008 eBook from MSPress (and free)

Hi Folks,

 

I recently wrote a chapter in the new eBook "Introducing SQL Server 2008" at MSPress. Peter DeBetta was the main author and Mark Whitehorn also wrote. It’s now available: http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urss1q2we6

 

 

 

And it’s free !

 

Enjoy.

 

(PS: I've had a few people ask how you read it. It downloads with a cfm file extension for some bizarre reason. It is a pdf. Just rename it to be one and you should be fine). 

 

TechEd Australia and New Zealand done and dusted

Well, TechEd in Australia and New Zealand have come and gone again already this year. Congrats to the content owners Andrew Coates and Darryl Burling for their efforts again this year and for organising good shows.

I had a really busy week as I was teaching a SQL 2k8 for developers precon on Monday and Tuesday, then had to travel to New Zealand on Tuesday night, just for the day. I got into the hotel about 1am, woke up and did my session at 10:45, another one at 2:20pm and then raced out of the venue into a cab and back to the airport to go back to Sydney. I did my session at TechEd Australia on Thursday.

The tight schedule meant that I didn't get as much time as normal to catch up with people at either event this year. I think the outcome was ok though. I was very excited to make Darryl's Kings of TechEd list, (particularly given my lack of sleep) but I'm always mindful of just how good the people further up that list are. It was great to see Scott Hanselman come down under to present this year and on anyone's measure, Steve Riley is always the King of TechEd locally.

I do want to make a particular shout out to Andrew Coates for organising the "Internal TechEd" this year where we got to do some dry runs of our presentations, in conjunction with Steve Herzberg from NRG Solutions. I have no doubt at all that the session I did at TechEd Australia was better for their efforts. I've commented before that I'm always amazed when speakers are offered such sessions and don't take advantage of them.

Next similar events I have coming up are TechEd Hong Kong and TechEd Developers in Barcelona. If you are at one of these events, please come and say hello.

 

2 Sessions at the PASS Summit: Hope to see you there

Hi Folks,

The summit program committee have confirmed I'll be doing two sessions at the PASS Summit in Seattle in November. I've got upgraded versions of both "Avoiding Stored Proc Recompiles" and "A SQL Server DBA's Guide To CLR Integration" to cover SQL 2k8 changes. The first session also has a little more time allocated as a spotlight session.

I'm really looking forward to the summit this year and hope to see you all there. Summit details are here: http://summit2008.sqlpass.org/

Regards,

Greg

Need to run SQL Server VPCs faster? -> Fast flash drives do help

Fellow RD and colleague Ken Spencer posted a little while back that he was having good success loading VPC images off flash drives. I thought it was time to try it myself.

The first concept is that not all flash drives are created equal. I went and found fast ones. I ended up with Corsair Flash Voyager GT drives in 16G, which was just big enough to hold the VPC images I was working with. These are extra fast drives that have matched controllers and memory and are rated up to 34 MB/sec. In Australia, they are $119 AUD but I've seen them on US sites for about $63 USD recently.

Next concept is that I needed to reformat the drives as the VPC images were too large for the default FAT32 formatting. As I bought two drives, I tried one with NTFS and a cluster size of 4k and the other also NTFS but with 64k.

The last concept is that these drives are fast for reading but not writing. Virtual PC 2007 seems to insist that the undo disk is in the same folder as the vmc file so I placed the vmc file on my internal eSata 7200rpm 200G drive. That meant the undo disk was there too.

What can I say? The results show it's worth doing.

Operation Internal Drive 4k Cluster 64k Cluster
Boot To Login 1:27 0:51 0:50
Desktop Appears 2:09 1:07 1:06
SSMS Usable 3:09 1:30 1:28

I haven't done extensive testing of it in use yet but booting twice as fast has to be a good thing 🙂 The cluster size made only the very slightest difference.

SQLCMD mode and batch separators

I fell for this one this week. If you execute the following code in SQLCMD mode, what would you expect the output to be?

:SETVAR PrincipalServer WINSTD2K8BASE

:SETVAR MirrorServer WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV02

:SETVAR WitnessServer WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV03

 

:CONNECT $(PrincipalServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

 

:CONNECT $(MirrorServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

 

:CONNECT $(WitnessServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

I'm guessing you might not have expected:

WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV03

WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV03

WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV03

The problem is the lack of a batch separator. What I should have written was this:

:SETVAR PrincipalServer WINSTD2K8BASE

:SETVAR MirrorServer WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV02

:SETVAR WitnessServer WINSTD2K8BASE\SQLDEV03

 

:CONNECT $(PrincipalServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

GO

 

:CONNECT $(MirrorServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

GO

 

:CONNECT $(WitnessServer)

SELECT @@SERVERNAME;

GO

 

While this may be strictly correct, I can't imagine it's the behaviour anyone would wish for. Do you think that a :CONNECT statement in a SQLCMD batch should also be treated as a batch separator? Does it ever make sense for it not to?

 

PDCnoggin: The PDC Brain Relay

You've seen the Olympic torch relay. Well PDC has a brain relay with the PDCnoggin. The Regional Directors are an awesome bunch of people that I'm really honoured to be part of. Many get together for the PDC each time it's held. Our RD lead Kevin Schuler sent me the PDCnoggin to start the relay, probably because I'm about as far away as it can start. Here's the PDCnoggin:

 

And now it's on it's way to the next RD before it makes its way to the PDC in October in LA.