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Richard Hundhausen: The DBAgilist

This is a mirror of Richard Hundhausen's (aka The DBAgilist) blog "Tales from the Doghouse."

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  • SQL Server 2008 Report Builder Available

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Report Builder 2.0 delivers an intuitive, Office-like report authoring environment enabling business and power users to leverage their experience with Microsoft Office 2007 products. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Report Builder 2.0 supports the full capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services including:

    • Flexible report layout capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Report Definition Language
    • Data Visualizations including charts and gauges
    • Richly formatted textboxes
    • Export to Microsoft Office Word format

    Features specific to Report Builder 2.0 are focused on simplifying the process of creating and editing reports and queries and include the following:

    • Easy to use wizards for creating table, matrix and chart data regions
    • Support for directly opening and editing reports stored on the report server
    • Support for using server resources such as shared data sources
    • Query designers for multiple data sources including a Microsoft SQL Server-specific query designer
  • Boise SQL Server User Group Presentation

    Thanks to those who attended the second meeting of the Boise SQL Server User Group. We had a good turnout of around 30 people and I hope everyone enjoyed my presentation of SQL Server 2008 Integration Services (SSIS). I tried to balance the presentation between those who hadn't used SSIS and those who have.

    If you are interested in the sample projects, packages, and data files from the talk, here they are.

  • Boise SQL Server User Group

    The newly formed Boise SQL Server User Group kicks off its first meeting with Kalen Delaney on June 25, 2008.

    I'm happy to see a Microsoft SQL Server user group in Boise. It will fit nicely with the other development and SharePoint groups in town.

    For more information, contact Cindy Gross of Microsoft.

  • SQL Server 2008 November CTP Available

    I've been so involved with the VSTS RTM yesterday, that I almost didn't notice this one.

    Click here to download the latest SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP) and try out the latest features of SQL Server 2008.

  • Microsoft Positioned in the leader quadrant in Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS, 2007

    Way to go Microsoft, and SQL Server 2005!


    For the first time in the report’s history, Microsoft is positioned in the Leader quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS. The analysts say that SQL Server 2005 is expected to grow in the data warehouse space and Microsoft’s vision for SQL Server 2008 makes clear the company’s intent to become a major presence in the data warehouse market.


    Read more about this great announcement here.

  • Code that Writes Code (or TSQL that writes ASP.NET)

    Call it a code generator, software factory, or just a clever script. If you can write code that writes code - you win, even if just a small victory for humans in this contest we call software development.

    For example, I've been working on an ASP.NET application which contains many data entry screens. You know the kind: very simple, table-format with a label and a textbox of a certain width, that may or may not require some validation. In other words, a whole lot of markup like this:


      <td class="EditLabel">Number</td>

      <td class="Edit">

        <asp:TextBox ID="txtNumber" runat="Server" Width="200px" MaxLength="20"></asp:TextBox>




    Now, if you have to type the above more than once or twice, you will go insane (been there, gone there). More importantly, you will probably introduce a bug or two. So, I opened up SQL Server 2005 Management Studio and wrote the following T-SQL code:

    USE SomeDB



    DECLARE @Table  varchar(128)

    DECLARE @Column varchar(128)

    DECLARE @Width  varchar(10)

    DECLARE @Length int

    DECLARE @Type   int


    SET @Table = 'Employer' -- Pass this as a parameter



       SELECT C.Name, C.Max_Length, C.User_Type_ID FROM Sys.Columns C

       INNER JOIN Sys.Tables T ON C.Object_ID = T.Object_ID

       WHERE T.Name = @Table

       ORDER BY Column_ID


    OPEN ColumnCursor


    FETCH NEXT FROM ColumnCursor INTO @Column, @Length, @Type



      IF @Type <> 36 -- No GUIDs


        IF @Length < 0 SET @Length = 100

        IF @Length < 10

          SET @Width = '50px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 20

          SET @Width = '100px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 50

          SET @Width = '200px'

        ELSE IF @Length < 100

          SET @Width = '300px'


          SET @Width = '400px'


        PRINT '<tr>'

        PRINT '  <td class="EditLabel">' + @Column + '</td>'

        PRINT '  <td class="Edit">'

        PRINT '    <asp:TextBox ID="txt' + @Column + '" runat="Server" Width="' + @Width + '" MaxLength="' + CONVERT(varchar(10),@Length) + '"></asp:TextBox>'

        PRINT '  </td>'

        PRINT '</tr>'


      FETCH NEXT FROM ColumnCursor INTO @Column, @Length, @Type



    CLOSE ColumnCursor

    DEALLOCATE ColumnCursor


    You get the picture. Feel free to customize this code to introduce additional formatting, a slick UI, or other business rules to the mix.

  • Service Release 1 (SR1) update available for Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

    Microsoft has published a detailed KB article about the problems fixed by SR1. The article includes a link to download the update.

    Aside from many fixes, there are three major improvements found in this release:

    • Cross-database references - support is improved so that you can reference objects within different databases by using database project references or by referencing a database metafile (.dbmeta). This support reduces or eliminates the cross-database reference warnings within a database project
    • Improved file support within SQL Server file groups - you can define files within file groups as database project properties instead of having to create files and file groups within the pre-deployment storage script.
    • Variables - a Variables page is added to the database properties. This new page enables you to define setvar variables for use in the deployment scripts.
  • Cool DBA Automation Jobs

    I saw a demo of these at Tech-Ed, and thought I would share with my friends.

    Essentially, the Database Operations team at Microsoft uses a suite of jobs on all their servers for performing backups, automated database maintenance, improve performance , and improving disaster recovery. I'm sure every SQL Server expert/consultant out there has his or her own bag of tricks, but Microsoft is finally sharing theirs.


    These SQL maintenance jobs provide automated tasks such as database or transaction logs backup, performing database optimization like Index defrag or update statistics, cleaning MSDB backup history and recycling the SQL error log. Each of these jobs runs stored procedures that are installed when the jobs are created.


    The following are the jobs get installed with this package.

    • SQLBackupAll
    • SQLBackupDiffAll
    • SQLBackupTranAll
    • SQLBackupChecker
    • SQLDBCCAll
    • SQLIndexDefragAll
    • SQLUpdateStatistics
    • SQLCleanupMsdbBackupHistory
    • SQLCycleErrorLog

    Download the automation jobs here, and then refer to the Word document inside.

  • New, simpler AdventureWorks sample database

    Trainers and presenters have been wanting a sample database that is less complex than AdventureWorks, but more interesting than Northwind. Thanks to my friends at SolidQ for letting me know about AdventureWorksLT (Light) ...

    (Click to see a larger view)

    You can download AdventureWorksLT from CodePlex or Microsoft.

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