SQLAuthority News – Download Whitepaper – Power View Infrastructure Configuration and Installation: Step-by-Step and Scripts

Power View, a feature of SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers, and information workers. Microsoft has recently released very interesting whitepaper which covers a sample scenario that validates the connectivity of the Power View reports to both PowerPivot workbooks and tabular models. This white paper talks about following important concepts about Power View:

  • Understanding the hardware and software requirements and their download locations
  • Installing and configuring the required infrastructure when Power View and its data models are on the same computer and on different computer
  • Installing and configuring a computer used for client access to Power View reports, models, Sharepoint 2012 and Power View in a workgroup
  • Configuring single sign-on access for double-hop scenarios with and without Kerberos

You can download the whitepaper from here.

This whitepaper talks about many interesting scenarios. It would be really interesting to know if you are using Power View in your production environment. If yes, would you please share your experience over here.

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

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SQL SERVER – Download Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 SP1

Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 is a free, embedded database that software developers can use for building ASP.NET websites and Windows desktop applications. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is the default database for Microsoft WebMatrix. For enhanced development and debugging capabilities, including designer support, Visual Studio can be used to develop ASP.NET web applications and websites using SQL Server Compact 4.0. Enabled to work in the medium or partial trust environments in the web servers, and can be easily deployed along with the website to the third party website hosting service providers. SQL Server CE 4.0 also provides stronger data security with the use of the SHA2 encryption algorithms for encrypting the databases. Latest version also supports T-SQL syntax enhancement by adding support for OFFSET and FETCH that can be used to write paging queries. Used with ADO.NET Entity Framework, SQL Server Compact now supports the columns that have server generated keys like identity, rowguid etc. and the code-first programming model. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is freely redistributable under a redistribution license agreement. SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 can be installed and work side by side on a desktop.

Download Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 SP1

Here are my earlier article on SQL Server CE

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

SQL SERVER – Download PSSDIAG Data Collection Utility

During an early career of mine as a database consultant – when I was dealing with SQL Server 2000, I often needed to collect various data related to SQL Server. My favorite tool to collect the data is PSSDIAG tool. It is a general purpose diagnostic collection utility that Microsoft Product Support Services uses to collect various logs and data files. It collects Performance Monitor logs, SQL Profiler traces, SQL Server blocking script output, Windows Event Logs, and SQLDIAG output. The data collected can be used by SQL Nexus tool which help you troubleshoot SQL Server performance problems. PSSDIAG is a wrapper around other data collection APIs and utilities, the performance impact of running PSSDIAG is generally equal to the impact of the traces that PSSDIAG has been configured to capture.

If you are using SQL Server 2000 – you need to seriously consider to upgrading it to SQL Server 2012.

Here is a PSSDIAG Data Collection Utility updated in August 2012. My friend and SQL Server Expert Amit Benerjee have written an excellent article on this subject, I encourage all of you to read the same.

Note: For SQL Server 2012 there is SQLDiag.

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

SQLAuthority News – 2 Security Updates for SQL Server 2000 SP 4 Users

If you are using SQL Server 2000 still today my very first recommendation to you is to upgrade to SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2000 is now 12 years old product and since then many new enhancements as well features which are relevant to current growth and progress in Informational Industry. Now is the time to catch up with the latest trends. Here is one more point for you to notice if this helps you consider to upgrade to the latest version. One can’t upgrade directly from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012. You need to first upgrade to either SQL Server 2005/2008/R2 and then further plan to upgrade to SQL Server 2012. There is no direct upgrade path for SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012. I strongly believe this is the time to upgrade to the latest version.

Well, also there is a rule that to let something continue if it is not broken and working fine. If you are following that rule and still using SQL Server 2000 I strongly suggest that you upgrade your SQL Server 2000 SP4 and update it with latest Security updates.

Here are two important SQL Server Security Updates.

Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB983811)

Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB983812)

As we are talking about SQL Server 2000 let me ask you a quick question – how many of you are still using SQL Server 2000 or earlier version in a production system on at least one server?

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)

SQL SERVER – Services Pack 2 for SQL Server 2008 R2 – Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2

Service packs are very critical and important. In the industry I have seen many people waiting for the first service pack to arrive before moving to opting the product. I often see it as a good practice because there are some unknown bugs or missed enhancements in original product which are later covered in the SP2. I believe it is not limited to SQL Server but pretty much true across most of the softwares. Here is a single suggestion, you may delay adopting the product but must not delay in adopting service packs. As soon as they are released, grab them, test them on your development thoroughly and move to production server after validating.

Microsoft has recently released SQL Server 2008 R2 service packs. Please note these are for SQL Server 2008 R2 and not for SQL Server 2008. They will not work on SQL Server 2008 but will work only on SQL Server 2008 R2. If you have  have a fresh install of SQL Server 2008 R2, you just have to download and install SP2 and there is no need to install SP1 as this service pack is cumulative SP and contains all the previous upgrades of SP1.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 Express Edition

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 Feature Pack

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