A year or two back, I was involved in a project with my colleagues (led by Ron Talmage) to construct an Upgrade Technical Reference for SQL Server 2008. It seemed to be well received.
We've updated it now to SQL Server 2008 R2 and it's just been published. You'll find it on this web site: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/product-info/why-upgrade.aspx You'll need to click on the Upgrade Guide link towards the middle of the RHS under the "Why Upgrade" whitepaper.
One of my colleagues, Itzik Ben-Gan is known to most in the SQL Community, particularly for his passion around the T-SQL language.
He's recently written an amazing blog post that describes why these functions are needed, along with a plea for helping promote the ideas to the Microsoft product group via the Connect site.
Anyone with an interest in T-SQL should read the post as, by itself, it provides great insights into the language and the possibilities that some subtle changes could bring.
You'll find it here: http://www.sqlmag.com/blogs/puzzled-by-t-sql/tabid/1023/entryid/13085/Window-Functions-OVER-Clause-Help-Make-a-Difference.aspx
Highly recommended reading!
I also got an email from one of our Brazilian colleagues today. Diego Norgare was telling me about the upcoming Worldwide Online TechDay that will be running on October 30th. Sessions are running in both Portuguese and also in English. You'll find more about it here:
I was particularly intrigued by the session on liposuction for your database.
One of the biggest pushes I was trying to make while on the PASS board was to help grow the organization into other areas of the world, and probably a little out of the organization's comfort zone. We in western English-speaking countries often totally underestimate the passion for SQL Server and the number of professionals that work with it around the world. In my time on the board, I was both amazed and privileged to see the types of events already occurring and the vast number of attendees. Often these numbers simply dwarfed the typical numbers of attendees in more familiar locations.
Latin America is a great example of this. Our friends from the regional mentor team at PASS in Latin America have organized a local edition of 24 hours of PASS. This will bring you oodles of free SQL Server goodness in both Spanish and Portuguese. It's great to see PASS continuing to spread its wings. Please help support it.
For more information and registration: http://sqlpass-latam.org/Inicio.aspx
I love the data profiling task that was added to SSIS in SQL Server 2008. It allows you to get a profile of the data in a table – this includes things like what are potential candidate keys, what length are the data values in each column, what percentage of rows in a table are null in each column, what is the distribution of values in the data, etc. etc.
If you haven't used it, I'd suggest taking a look at it. It's a real hidden gem in the product.
However, I think they missed the #1 place that this sort of functionality would be useful. Imagine if you could just right-click a table in Object Browser in SQL Server Management Studio and say "Profile this table…". That would be so insanely cool.
If you think so too, you know you want to vote for this at: https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/feedback/details/610847/data-profiling-needs-to-be-also-in-ssms-object-explorer
Every so often, Microsoft sends MVPs a set of MSDN subscriptions that we can give to someone that would benefit from them. I have found it to be very interesting in past years and have to say that the most pleased I ever felt giving these away has been to students who are struggling to get into the workforce for some reason (one with a notable disability comes immediately to mind) or to developers that are just down on their luck for some reason.
So I was really excited when I saw that one of our buddies Arnie Rowland had decided to formalize a program that give the subscriptions to people that can really benefit from them. In Arnie's case he started an effort to give MSDN Subscriptions, training, books, and tools to unemployed developers that would take on a project for a non-profit, school, or church. To date, 27 MVPs have joined the effort and contributed one or more of their MSDN subscription cards. Ten proposals have already been selected to receive awards. And the project continues until the end of the year. Full details here: http://sqlblog.com/blogs/arnie_rowland/archive/2010/07/30/like-a-phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes.aspx
The project is not just US-based either. Another MVP buddie Rod Colledge is helping to make this happen in the ANZ region. It's likely that several MVPs in our region will be involved. Details of the local project are here:
Please help to get the publicity happening and to get the word out to more unemployed developers, even invite eligible non-profits, schools, etc. to submit a project that could be matched to an eligible developer.
I've (fortunately) ended up with a new notebook recently and had to reinstall everything. One problem I ran into was with Master Data Services. The config program seemed happy but it shouldn't have been. What threw me was that it seemed to have a dependency check for IIS 7, etc. while configuring MDS. That led me to think I'd already configured IIS appropriately. I hadn't and when I tried to use the site, I got the above error. IIS needed to have the following:
Common HTTP Features
· Static Content
· Default Document
· Directory Browsing
· HTTP Errors
· .NET Extensibility
· ISAPI Extensions
· ISAPI Filters
Health and Diagnostics
· HTTP Logging
· Request Monitor
· Windows Authentication
· Request Filtering
· Static Content Compression
· IIS Management Console
Plus NET Framework 3.0 Features
· WCF Activation
· HTTP Activation
· Non-HTTP Activation
Plus Windows PowerShell
Plus Windows Process Activation Service
· Process Model
· .NET Environment
· Configuration APIs
I'm sure that'll be covered in a "readme" somewhere (that sadly we often neglect to read each time we install) but I was lulled into a false sense of security by the dependency check in the installer. It would be great to see it upgraded to fully test for dependencies.
Another of the free eClinics that we've been building for Microsoft was released today. This one was put together by our Australian team with Bill Chesnut as the lead author and provides an introduction to the virtualization of SQL Server and the surrounding tooling. You'll find it here:
I got the super sad news from Adam Machanic tonight that Kent Tegels had passed away. At the time I recorded my last podcast with Kent, he seemed to be getting better.
I cannot begin to express how sad I am about this tonight. The SQL and XML communities are weakened by this loss.
Farewell Kent and thanks for all the fish.
Together with the folk from Microsoft DPE, my colleagues and I have helped put together a series of free training materials for SQL Server 2008 R2. The presentations from these are now available in bite-sized pieces on the Microsoft Channel 9 site.
You'll find them here: