SQLAuthority News – Learn Fundamentals of MySQL Online – Pluralsight Course

Here are few of the question I often receive –

  • Do you know anything besides SQL Server?
  • So how does it feel when the only thing which you know is SQL Server?
  • Have you worked in the past with any other programming language?

Actually, I find these questions very interesting as I do work with other technologies and I still do work with many other technologies besides SQL Server. Recently I got the opportunity to work with MySQL and have also built quite a lot of knowledge about the application as well. I found MySQL very interesting and easy to learn. It is the most popular database technology since the year 2008 and used by most numbers of database professionals in the world (including me). The latest version of MySQL is very popular and it is very easy to install on Windows Platform. One just has to download MySQL Installer and execute it. Just click next, next and you are done!

Though, MySQL is very easy I have noticed that not everyone knows it well. The pace of the software industry has changed and people change their expertise quite frequently based on the project they are assigned. There are two kinds of beginners in the industry 1) Those who have very little experience in the software industry and just beginning their career in this field. 2) Those who have plenty of the years of the experience but beginning their career in the particular technology. When you look at both the kinds of the people they both need training but they have different level of understanding of the subject matter.

Looking at this, I decided to build a beginners course on MySQL which addresses both the kinds of the people 1) Beginners with IT field and 2) Beginners with MySQL technology. I have build following beginners course on MySQL Technology. This is part 1 of the course and for anyone who wants to learn MySQL at express speed. The length of the course is 2 hours and 37 minutes, this means anyone can learn the fundaments of the MySQL in a very short period of the time.

You can watch this entire course of Fundamental of MySQL at Pluralsight. To watch the course, you will have to subscribe to Pluralsight library. If you do not have a subscription you can opt for a FREE Trial. If you go to the page and do not see any link enable, please login to Pluralsight and you should be able to watch this course.

Here is the video teaser which I have build for this course. Let me know what you think about it. Here is the content of the course.

  • Introduction to MySQL
  • Getting Started with MySQL and GUI Tool
  • Fundamentals of RDBMS and Database Designs
  • Introduction to MySQL Workbench
  • Data Retrieval Techniques
  • Data Modification Techniques
  • Summary and Resources

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

SQLAuthority News – Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant 2008 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1

Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 2008 is a toolkit that dramatically cuts the effort, cost, and risk of migrating from MySQL to SQL Server 2008 and SQL Azure. SSMA 2008 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1 provides an assessment of migration efforts as well as automates schema and data migration.

Download Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant 2008 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1

Download Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant 2005 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1

Abstract courtesy : Microsoft

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

SQLAuthority News – Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant 2008 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1

Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 2008 is a toolkit that dramatically cuts the effort, cost, and risk of migrating from MySQL to SQL Server 2008 and SQL Azure.

Download Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant 2008 for MySQL v1.0 CTP1

Abstract courtesy : Microsoft

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

SQL SERVER – Download FREE SQL SERVER Express Edition and Service Pack 1

Here is the quick link from where SQL Server 2008 Express Edition can be downloaded.

Download SQL Server 2008 Express Edition

You can download it with many additional details as described in following image. Click on above link to go to page and select desired version.

SQLExpress SQL SERVER   Download FREE SQL SERVER Express Edition and Service Pack 1

Additionally, please install SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1.

You can read one of my previous article where I have covered SQL Server 2008 Express in detail SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide.

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

SQLAuthority News – Migrating to SQL Server from Other Database Products

Guide to Migrating from MySQL to SQL Server 2008
In this migration guide you will learn the differences between the MySQL and SQL Server 2008 database platforms, and the steps necessary to convert a MySQL database to SQL Server.

Guide to Migrating from Oracle to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from an Oracle 7.3 database or later to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects, SQL dialects, and procedural code between the two platforms. The entire migration process using SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 2008 for Oracle is explained in depth, with a special focus on converting database objects and PL/SQL code.

Guide to Migrating from Informix to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from an Informix 11 database to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects and procedural code between the two platforms. Emulation of system functions is also discussed.

Guide to Migrating from Sybase ASA to SQL Server 2008
This white paper explores challenges that arise when you migrate from a Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere (ASA) database of version 9 or later to SQL Server 2008. It describes the implementation differences of database objects, SQL dialects, and procedural code between the two platforms.

Guide to Migrating from Sybase ASE to SQL Server 2008
This white paper covers known issues for migrating Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise database to SQL Server 2008. Instructions for handling the differences between the two platforms are included. The paper describes how SQL Server Migration Assistant, the best tool for this type of migration, can help resolve various migration issues.

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

SQL SERVER – Differences in Vulnerability between Oracle and SQL Server

In the IT world, but not among experienced DBAs, there has been a long-standing myth that the Oracle database platform is more stable and more secure than SQL Server from Microsoft. This is due to a variety of reasons; but in my opinion, the main ones are listed below:

A. Microsoft development platforms are generally more error-prone and full of bugs.

This (unfairly) projects the weaknesses of earlier versions of Windows onto its other products such as SQL Server, which is a very stable and secure platform in its own right.

B. Oracle has been around for longer than SQL Server and must therefore be more stable and secure.

Well, this does not count for anything. Being around longer does not mean that you are necessarily wiser. Need more proof? – look at General Motors.

Let us look at the comparisons between Oracle’s DB platform and SQL Server:

Number of reported vulnerabilities for per product

In my opinion, this is the most basic test for stability and security – the number of errors and bugs reported for a product is roughly proportional to its security and stability. Note that this number is usually compiled by independent information-security companies; so, there is no question of “hiding the numbers.”

In this regard, Oracle fares poorly as compared with SQL Server. Oracle Corporation releases an amazingly large number of patches and Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) for its DB platform. To be fair, following are some of the arguments that support Oracle DB (together with answers for those same arguments):

Oracle runs on several platforms, while SQL Server only runs on Windows

Answer: No, the patches and bugs reported are almost all cross-platforms, which implies that they are OS-independent.

Oracle DB also includes several other components, so we are not comparing like with like

Answer: Here, I considered only the database server components. This implies that any problem arising from components such as the Intelligent Agent or the Oracle Application Server has not been included.

Let us compare the Nov 2009 vulnerability reports of the both Oracle11g [1] and SQL Server 2008 [2].

Product Advisories Vulnerabilities
SQL Server 2008 0 0
Oracle11g 7 239

This is not only for the latest DB platforms: Oracle 11g and SQL Server 2008. No, if we take a historical perspective, Microsoft patched 59 vulnerabilities in its SQL Server 7 – 2000 and 2005 databases in the past 6 years, while for the same period Oracle issued 233 patches for software flaws in its Oracle 8, 9 and 10g databases. Moreover, in 2006, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with Service Pack 4 was ranked as the most secure database in the market together with the PostgreSQL open source project. Oracle10g was placed at the very bottom of the same list.

DBAs are wary and tired of patching the Oracle DB

A survey conducted in January 2008 [3] showed that two-thirds of Oracle DBA’s do not apply security patches. The underlying cause of this is that Oracle Corporation releases a huge number of patches and fixes for various bugs, which itself leads to this secondary problem. There is a lot of fatigue and effort involved in tracking, testing and installing several patch releases every year. In 2009 alone, Oracle released 33 patches for its DB.

However, I am not at all suggesting that Oracle DBAs are lazy or do not take database security seriously. The main reason why many DBAs are very wary of patching Oracle databases is the complexity involved. First, note that patch testing, and also CPU testing is a long and intensive process. Because of the large numbers of bug fixes and CPUs released by Oracle, many application vendors whose products run on an Oracle DB simply do not have the time to test a patch, or as soon as they do so, another one is released. This, in turn, implies that if their clients risk installing unapproved patches, then the vendor can rightfully refuse to support them in case that patch then causes an error in the application.

Slavik Markovich, the Chief Technology Officer of database vendor Sentrigo Inc, said at a conference:  “To apply the CPU, you need to change the binaries of the database. You change the database behavior in some ways that may affect application performance. So applying security patches to a database typically involves testing them against the applications that feed off the database. This is a very long and very hard process to do, especially if you are in enterprises with a large number of databases and applications. Applying these patches means months of labor and sometimes significant downtime, both of which most companies can’t afford.”

Microsoft has a working system of patch testing and rollout, whereas Oracle does not have such a system

Trustworthy Computing is a Microsoft tool that proactively identifies and allows you to install missing patches. When Microsoft launched this initiative, many people did not take it seriously. But now it has proven to be a lifesaver for many busy DBAs and system administrators who simply do not have the time to worry about installing patches. Oracle does NOT have an equivalent tool.

Also, Oracle also does not make life easier for companies who want to keep their databases secure, making it complex to download and install patches. With SQL Server, you can schedule automatic installation of updates and patches. Moreover, if it causes an undesired effect on your application, you can simply uninstall it, leaving the database at it was prior to the update. This is somewhat similar to the System Restore feature of Windows. With Oracle DB, both the installation and removal of patches are complex events that are not easy to do and undo, except for a seasoned DBA.

However, the single most crucial factor in Microsoft’s DB-security-management success is its Security Development Lifecycle (SDL). The use of SDL [4] implies that knowledge obtained after resolving the problems is never lost; instead it is ploughed back into the cycle. Therefore, instead of repeating the same mistakes every time, you can at least ensure that the new code is more secure than the old code, even though it is not completely secure. For instance, the mistakes that were committed and resolved while developing SQL Server 2005 were not repeated during the development of SQL Server 2008. However, there is one issue that bothers developers and DBAs who use Oracle DB: they come across the same mistakes in every version used by them. Eventually, when one problem is resolved, many a time the results are not problem-free and in turn, a new error or problem is created – overall, there is no consistent and reliable problem-solving technique for correcting bugs and fixes. In fact, database consultant Karel Miko estimates that Oracle Corp. is about 5 years behind Microsoft in patch management.


I hope this article helps to debunk the myth that SQL Server is a less stable and less reliable platform than Oracle DB. As many researchers and security consultancy firms worldwide have pointed out, SQL Server is consistently more secure and much less prone to errors and bugs than Oracle DB.


[1] http://secunia.com/advisories/product/18050/?task=statistics_2009

[2] http://secunia.com/advisories/product/21744/?task=statistics_2009


[4] http://www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/database-expert-oracle-trails-microsoft-patch-management-166

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

SQLAuthority News – SQL Server 2008 for Oracle DBA

This 15 modules, level 300 course provides students with the knowledge and skills to capitalize on their skills and experience as an Oracle DBA to manage a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 system. This workshop provides a quick start for the Oracle DBA to map, compare, and contrast the realm of Oracle database management to SQL Server database management.

Module 1: Database and Instance
Module 2: Database Architecture
Module 3: Instance Architecture
Module 4: Data Objects
Module 5: Data Access
Module 6: Data Protection
Module 7: Basic Administration
Module 8: Server Management
Module 9: Managing Schema Objects
Module 10: Database Security
Module 11: Data Transport
Module 12: Backup and Recovery
Module 13: Performance Tuning
Module 14: Scalability and High Availability
Module 15: Monitoring

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

SQL SERVER – Choose Right Edition of SQL Server Express for Your Application

SQL Server Express is better alternative of MySQL. I have recently helped quite a few organizations to move to SQL Server Express recently. However, one question keep on coming up quite often regarding which is the right edition for SQL Server Express. SQL Server Express have more than one edition available.

Here is the quick guide to select right edition for SQL Server.

After reading above guide if you are still not sure which edition you should select, leave a comment here or send me email and I will get back to you.

SQL Server 2008 Express with Advanced Services – 546.6 MB

  • SQL Server Database Engine
  • SQL Server Management Studio Basic
  • Full-Text Search
  • Reporting Services

SQL Server 2008 Express With Tools – 230.4 MB

  • SQL Server Database Engine
  • SQL Server Management Studio Basic

SQL Server 2008 Express Runtime Only – 82.5 MB

  • SQL Server Database Engine

SQL Server 2008 Express Management Studio Basic – 38.5 MB

  • SQL Server Management Studio Basic

SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express is also known as SSMSE.

You can refer my complete reference article SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide.

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

SQL SERVER – Difference between SQL Server Express and MySQL

Both SQL Server express and MySQL are two of the Relational Database Systems (RDBMS) available today. Both are freely available and meant for running smaller or embedded databases, yet there are also significant differences between them.

SQL Server Express is a freely-available small-brother version of Microsoft’s enterprise system, SQL Server. It is the successor to MSDE (Microsoft Desktop Engine), but it is also a huge improvement over it, especially regarding the user interface design and the included feature-set. Its main features are:

  • Database size limit of 4GB. This excludes logfiles and can be overridden by using multiple databases.
  • Support for only one CPU (but multiple cores).
  • No SQL Server Agent.

SQL Server Express offers a number of advantages. The first and arguably most important is the complete scalability and integration with SQL Server. This allows you to seamlessly upgrade your database as your needs also grow (remember SQL Server Express is limited to a database size of 4GB). In fact the database upgrade is so smooth that even with no prior experience it can be done in about 10 minutes for a 3GB database.

The SQL Server Express interface is much improved over its MSDE predecessor, and offers such GUI tools like the SQL Server Management Studio Express, the SQL Configuration Manager, the SQL Business Intelligence Development Studio and SQL Server Reporting Services. All these work together to make the little RDBMS almost as rich in features as its SQL Server enterprise sibling.

SQL Server Express also has a strong family heritage. Being a Microsoft product, one can expect such features as excellent integration with Windows (for example domain authentication), support for dotNET, ODBC and XML, and comprehensive help and support from both the mother company and a large community of users on the web.

On the other hand, SQL Server Express’s most severe limitation is that it only runs on Windows. Given the large number of organizations and individuals running other operating systems especially Unix and Linux, it is locked out of an important market segment. Others are of course its aforementioned 4GB size and single-CPU handicaps. These, however, are not usually a problem for small databases.

MySQL, on the other hand, is a completely open-source RDBMS, as contrasted to SQL Server Express which is a free ‘lite’ version of a commercial database engine. Its largest arena is as the backend database for about 12 million websites around the world. Many of the world’s high-traffic websites like Yahoo Finance and Slashdot use MySQL as a backend database, a testament to its reliability. MySQL is open-source and its source code is freely available under the GPL (General Public License); so it can be argued that it is in fact a competitor to not only SQL Server Express, but the full-bodied SQL Server as well.

One unusual offering from MySQL is its ability to incorporate different database storage engines depending on the user’s primary need. If the DBA determines that the database will mainly be used for either quick data access, or transaction input speed, or accessing heavily partitioned tables, then he or she can choose the appropriate storage engine to suit this need. Of course, this also adds a new complexity- you must know the right engine to use and how to install and configure it. Examples of these engines are InnoDB, Memory, and NDB Cluster.

Unlike SQL Server Express, MySQL will happily run on almost all operating systems, although unofficial comparison tests run by several independent companies and individuals point to anecdotal evidence that MySQL performance is excellent on Unix and Linux, but not as good as either SQL Server Express on Windows platforms, much less the full SQL Server. This is partly attributable to SQL Server’s optimization within Windows, but also partly to MySQL’s reputedly weak Query Optimizer. In fact it is only recently that MySQL has incorporated advanced RDBMS features such as foreign key support and multiple-stage data commit.

Another important area in which MySQL comes up short is system stability- sudden power loss on a server hosting MySQL can very well cause severe data corruption. SQL Server and Express are more robust and tolerant to such outages because the data save process goes through multiple checkpoints.

I hope this has provided you with a good overview of the differences between SQL Server Express and MySQL. Even though both are free RDBMS systems and worthy competitors, they have areas of market overlap but also distinct market segments. Experience has taught many database administrators that each system has it strengths and weaknesses, and one would be advised to research thoroughly before settling on one or the other.

You can read the complete reference over here SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide.

Please contribute here with your comments and opinion.

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

SQLAuthority News – Effect of Oracle acquiring MySQL – A Delayed Analysis

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On 20 April 2009, Oracle Corporation announced its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in a deal worth about US$ 6 billion. This would have been just another one of corporate mega-deals that sound interesting in the news but really have no effect on your life. Except for the fact that with the purchase, Oracle acquired the world’s most widely used open-source database engine- MySQL. About 12 million small databases, mainly in websites and small businesses, run on the open-source MySQL platform, since it is stable, easily adaptable and most important of all for cash-strapped small companies, free. Note that ‘free’ here means that there is no software license to purchase (unlike commercial database engines like Oracle DB and Microsoft SQL Server), but most customers still have to pay third-party vendors for additional services like user interface design, technical support, bug fixes and so on. This is what makes the open-source model paradoxically both free and profitable.

First of all, why did Oracle buy Sun Microsystems? The main reason for the purchase was to get Sun’s major products- Sun hardware, Solaris and Java. The SunServer+Solaris+Oracle combination (especially the Oracle database), is globally used in mission-critical systems, from banks to hospitals to nuclear power stations, because of its stability and robustness. It is perhaps the most trusted combination of hardware, operating system and database there is. Java is also a key platform and supporting component for several Oracle products, for example Oracle’s Fusion Middleware is wholly built to run on Java.

So the MySQL acquisition was not really the focal point of the purchase, but it was nevertheless an important aside. Sun itself acquired MySQL in 2008 for about US$ 1 billion, Oracle now owns both of them. While Sun was known for its commitment to open source software, Oracle is a corporate giant without a track record for supporting open-source initiatives. So there arose understandable concern within the IT community about what will happen to MySQL. Will Oracle try to kill MySQL so that it does not compete with Oracle’s own offering? Will Oracle help to develop MySQL further as a platform? Will they leave it alone and not be bothered? Will they sell it off to another company? The real answer right now is that nobody knows, except perhaps Oracle senior management.

Major Outcomes

Let us now examine the different outcomes being put forth by pundits. The first one, from insiders like IHL Consulting Group President Greg Buzek, is the glum opinion that Oracle will kill off MySQL because it partially competes with Oracle’s own database engine. Matters are complicated more by the fact that even though Oracle is mainly bought by large organizations (whose chief concern is system stability, vendor robustness and support, and not the software license fee), while MySQL is primarily used by small companies and small websites, its development has recently scaled up and MySQL can now offer enterprise-class computing, which then becomes a major headache for Oracle.

Another reason given for Oracle deciding to bury MySQL is that the company is not really a supporter of the open-source model, instead preferring the tried and tested pay-per-license route. In fact Oracle is viewed with some suspicion in the open-source community- a sort of mega-corporation bent on world (software) domination. This is the chief cause for concern for the MySQL community. However, Oracle does have some redeeming acts in its interaction with open-source products. For example, the company has fully supported development of its software products to run on Linux.

The second possible outcome is that Oracle will continue to encourage and support MySQL development. One argument for this is that MySQL, as part of the Sun purchase together with Java and Solaris, offers Oracle CEO Larry Ellison a weapon to fight his main rival Microsoft. Also, don’t discount the fact that Oracle is keenly aware that MySQL is open-source, meaning its source code and original developers are still around. So even if Oracle were to try and kill MySQL, either by stopping development or by licensing and charging for it, the development community can simply start working on an open-source, similar clone application. This is how Linux itself was originally conceived- as a free spin-off of commercial Unix operating systems.

A third possibility is that Oracle executives may decide that MySQL is simply too much bother, and decide to sell off the company to someone else. Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL for about a billion dollars, and Oracle may decide that since MySQL was not the main reason they bought Sun anyway, they might as well dispose of it for roughly the same amount.

A fourth possible outcome is that Oracle may elect to offer support contracts and consulting on MySQL to companies that need a lighter-weight solution than Oracle’s full, and at times bloated, database products. In this way, they offer the comfort of their large-vendor status to the potential clients who may be worried about using open-source software- a shrewd market-capturing move.

But that same decision may have its own potential pitfall. Oracle’s main reason for buying Sun was to integrate and sell whole computing platforms. But IT managers might choose to avoid this one-vendor offering, from server to database application to support services, because it can also result in a single point of failure or arbitrary price changes in the platform’s licensing.


In conclusion, the truth is that simply don’t know what Oracle will do with MySQL. There are several interesting alternatives, some more viable than others. But it is safe to assume that in the short-term, Larry Ellison will not take any drastic steps that may alienate his huge client base. Only time will tell.

My Opinion

In many of the application, I do not need full featured SQL Server Enterprise Version. I just need something simple and free. This is when I use SQL Server Express Edition. You can read the complete reference over here SQL SERVER – SQL Server Express – A Complete Reference Guide.

Please contribute here with your comments and opinion.

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