SQL SERVER – SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit and Sample Databases

SQL Server 2014 RTM is around the corner (2014). There is plenty of the interest in the SQL Server 2014 in recent time. One of the most frequently asked questions is about learning resources of SQL Server 2014. Everybody wants to learn SQL Server 2014 but there is not enough learning material available currently in the outside world.

Microsoft has released two important resources around it.

SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit

The SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit includes technical content designed to help you learn how to develop SQL Server 2014 databases, BI Solutions, and gain insights into the new cloud capabilities to simplify cloud adoption for your SQL databases and help you unlock new hybrid scenarios.

SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit Sample Databases

This download contains several sample databases for the SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit which showcase many of the new and improved features of SQL Server 2014, including Clustered Columnstore, Online Operations, and Resource Governor IO.

Here are few of the key features in SQL Server 2014

  •  Resource Governor IO
  • Online Operations
  • Updatable Columnstore Index
  • In Memory OLTP Engine
  • Enhencements in SSDT and BI tools
  • Power BI Integration

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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SQL – Download Database Cheat Sheet for MongoDB, NuoDB, MySQL for FREE

In the new database world there are so many different solutions, vendors and options available that it is super hard to figure out which database is the right solution for us. First of all the world of the big data itself is very confusing. It is so hard to figure out from where to start and where to stop. There are so many tutorials out but none of them addresses the need of the absolute beginner.

Now the same thing goes to the next level when one has to select the right database for their organization and there is no clear guidance. I was discussing the same thing with the NuoDB folks last month. The NuoDB is a great product, but it is extremely important to know where exactly NuoDB stands when compared with other product. Interesting enough the smart folks at NuoDB has come up with a Cheat Sheet which compares NuoDB with the other industry known database.

The best part is that even though we do not have enough time for learning all the other database in depth, it is totally possible to take 60 seconds of the time and see the comparison of the features in this cheatsheet.

Download “The Decision Maker’s Cheat Sheet” to compare NuoDB, MySQL and MongoDB on:

SQL / ACID transactions
Distributed Multi-version Concurrency Control (MVCC)
Elastic scale-out performance
Integration with existing tools and frameworks
Geo-distributed data management

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Product Guide

Today in User Group meeting there were lots of questions related to SQL Server 2014. There are plenty of people still using SQL Server 2005 but everybody is curious about what is coming in SQL Server 2014.  Microsoft has officially released SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Product Guide. You can easily download the product guide and explore various learning around SQL Server 2014 as well explore the new concepts introduced in this latest version.

This SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Product Guide contains few interesting White Papers, a Datasheet and Presentation Deck.

Here is the list of the white papers:

  • Mission-Critical Performance and Scale with SQL Server and Windows Server
  • Faster Insights from Any Data
  • Platform for Hybrid Cloud
  • SQL Server In-Memory OLTP Internals Overview for CTP1
  • SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Frequently Asked Questions for TechEd 2013 North America

Here is the list of slide decks:

  • SQL Server 2014 Level 100 Deck
  • SQL Server 2014 Mission Critical Performance LEvel 300 Deck
  • SQL Server 2014 Faster Insights from Any Data Level Level 300 Deck
  • SQL Server 2014 Platform for Hybrid Cloud Level 100 Deck

I have earlier downloaded the Product Guide and I have yet not completed reading everything SQL Server 2014 has to offer. If you want to read what are the features which I am going to use in SQL Server 2014, you can read over here.

Download Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Product Guide

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Three Important Documentation to download – Standards Support, Protocol, Data Portability

SQL Server Standards Support Documentation

If you are new to the documentation set or new to Microsoft SQL Server, reading the SQL Server system overview document will help familiarize you with the organization of the documentation set as well as with SQL Server concepts and how the protocols relate to each other.

The SQL Server standards support documentation provides detailed support information for certain standards that are implemented in Microsoft SQL Server.

Download Now

Microsoft SQL Server Protocol Documentation

The Microsoft SQL Server protocol documentation provides technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary protocols that are implemented and used in Microsoft SQL Server 2008. This whitepaper provides an overview of the client and server protocols used by Microsoft SQL Server. It covers protocols that are commonly shared by SQL Server components and protocols that are used only by specific SQL Server components. Where appropriate, the document describes the relationships between protocols and provides example scenarios to show how they are used.

Download Now

Microsoft SQL Server Data Portability Documentation

The SQL Server data portability documentation explains various mechanisms by which user-created data in SQL Server can be extracted for use in other software products. These mechanisms include import/export functionality, documented APIs, industry standard formats, or documented data structures/file formats. This whitepaper provides an overview of the client and server protocols used by Microsoft SQL Server. It covers protocols that are commonly shared by SQL Server components and protocols that are used only by specific SQL Server components. Where appropriate, the document describes the relationships between protocols and provides example scenarios to show how they are used.

Download Now

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQLAuthority News – Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Released (SP1)

Last week, I was attending SQLPASS 2012 and I had great fun attending the event. During the event long awaited SQL Serer 2012 Service Pack 1 was released. I am pretty excited with SP1 as new service packs are cumulative updates and upgrade all editions and service levels of SQL Server 2012 to SP1. This service pack contains SQL Server 2012 Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) and Cumulative Update 2 (CU2).

The latest SP1 has many new and enhanced features. Here are a few for example:

  • Cross-Cluster Migration of AlwaysOn Availability Groups for OS Upgrade
  • Selective XML Index
  • DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS works with SELECT permission
  • New function returns statistics properties – sys.dm_db_stats_properties
  • SSMS Complete in Express
  • SlipStream Full Installation
  • Business Intelligence highlights with Office and SharePoint Server 2013
  • Management Object Support Added for Resource Governor DDL

Please note that the size of the service pack is near 1 GB.

Here is the link to SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1.

SQL Server Express is the free and feature rich edition of the SQL Server. It is used with lightweight website and desktop applications.

Here is the link to SQL Server 2012 EXPRESS Service Pack 1.

Here is the question for you – how long have you been using SQL Server 2012?

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Follow up on Beginning NuoDB – Who will Benefit and How to Start – Part 2

Earlier I blogged about Beginning NuoDB – Who will Benefit and How to Start, I received a few follow up questions about it so I decided to write a short article as a follow up. One of the questions I received was why I started with this product. Well, the reason is that I decided to learn more in the database field. This product got my attention and would like to explore more. I started to play with the NuoDB beta 7 and I am finding it very interesting. There were a few more questions as well and I decided to write them in the following post to my earlier post.

The power of NuoDB becomes evident when you need more Transaction Engines to handle load.  You can add these to (and take them away from) a running chorus dynamically.  Transaction Engines in a chorus can run on a mixture of networked hosts – on a variety of operating systems, including ones in the cloud – as I mentioned above.  Let me quickly divert here, by saying that the idea that a database can span multiple computers and run across multiple operational systems is mind boggling to me.  You know that I am a geek but this is more than super-cool and a true revolution in database technology and architecture.

During beta 7 (and beta 8 as far as I know), the broker hands out the connections to Transaction Engines in a round-robin fashion.  NuoDB will provide different load balancing mechanisms as needed.  I expect that load balancing algorithm could get very interesting.  To browse NuoDB and test my SQL code, I use DBVisualizer as recommended by NuoDB.  SQuirreL is also supported, and your tool of choice likely works with very little configuration – as long as it uses ODBC or JDBC to connect.  There is also a command line tool called NuoSQL, which can run SQL in interactive or batch mode.  Another tool, NuoLoader, imports your CSV-formatted data.

This should be enough information to be dangerous.  I very much recommend that you give it a try and tell me how it goes.  By beginning to embrace NuoDB’s innovative SQL database concepts, I am sensing that we might be on to something very big that hasn’t happened in the database market in a long time. You can download the NuoDB beta software at this link.

Action Items:

  • Download and try out NuoDB (The same link will work for future versions of the product)
  • Leave a comment with your experiment

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

SQL SERVER – Beginning NuoDB – Who will Benefit and How to Start

I finally got some time to play around with the beta 7 release of NuoDB that I downloaded a few weeks ago.  Personally I don’t think NuoDB yet gives downloaders enough information on how to get started so I decided to tackle that here myself.

Before I get into the details, why bother?  Who will benefit from this beta?

IMHO, if you are working on developing a web-scale app that will require the supporting database to scale a lot, both out and in, then you should try this software.  In working with the NuoDB team, I haven’t had any issues pushing my test up to 50 nodes.  NuoDB has said that they will be offering even greater elastic scaling out/in in future releases.  If they do, then this software is going to be the answer for many next-generation SQL apps.

Second, developers who need to migrate an existing app onto the cloud will also benefit from NuoDB.   Let me state the fact that NuoDB is a cloud database that’s fully SQL compliant and offers the ACID guarantees we all have come to expect from a transactional database.  I haven’t tried migrating a SQL application myself but I’ve heard from a couple of other beta users who have and they didn’t have issues.  They indicated it was pretty easy.   It really depends on how many vendor-specific SQL extensions you have used.

OK, now that you know you are, or aren’t, someone who could benefit, where to start?

NuoDB seems to be doing a new beta every 4-5 weeks before they release the product later this year; so it may be that beta 8 is due out shortly.  Whatever the version, you can find the latest release here.   You will need to fill out a short form but approval is automatic.

Installation is as simple as it gets.  For Windows, you can download an EXE install. MacOS is a tarball. For Linux platforms, it is a rpm or deb file or a tarball.  Make sure you have at least Java JRE 1.6 installed.  Then add the <NuoDB>/bin directory to your system PATH.

The peer-to-peer, asynchronous nature of NuoDB lends itself to a configuration that is a little bit different from what you are used to with SQL Server or other “client/server” databases.  You provision your system by defining a NuoDB domain – a group of servers that can host NuoDB engine processes (they also call these nodes!) – by running an instance of a Java process called “NuoAgent” on each host.  At least one of these “agents” must be run in ”broker mode”.  A broker is the initial connection point for any application client.  It helps establish direct connections between the clients and Transaction Engines in the domain.

This brings me to the beauty of this database.  NuoDB separates transaction processing from storage by defining two types of database engine processes – the Transaction Engine and the Storage Manager.  If your app requires more throughput from the database, just add another Transaction Engine.  If you want durability of your data, add another Storage Manager.  Each Storage Manager maintains (and keeps in sync) an entire copy of your database.

A minimal system requires at least one NuoDB broker to define a domain.  Start a broker like so:

$ java –jar nuoagent.jar –broker –domain mydomain –password domain_pwd

NuoDB has a nice management GUI called NuoDB Console.  It lets you tap into NuoDB domains and start up (and manage) engine processes.  A collection of these processes is called a “chorus”.  Effectively, a chorus is a database.

Upon starting the Console for the first time, it will ask you which domain you want manage. In our example, that would be ‘mydomain’.  Select the domain and then “add process”.  Step through the wizard to define and start a Storage Manager.  It is here that you will define a chorus (database) name.  Run the wizard again to create a Transaction Engine in the same chorus.    That’s it!  You have a minimal database up and running.

Action Items:

  • Download and try out NuoDB
  • Leave a comment with your experiment

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)