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June 2008 - Posts - SQL Server Knowledge Sharing Network (@sqlmaster)

June 2008 - Posts

SQL Server 2008 RC0 and 3.5 Compact edition Books Online - download and update your copy

As in continuation with the latest release of SQL Server  2008 that is Release Candidate, I strongly recommend you update your local copies of SQL Server Books ONline aka BOL.

Here is the link to download the latest copy of SQL Server 2008 RC0 BOL - Link_to-Download and also I recommend the SQL Server 2008 Compact Edition documentation upgrade, such as CompactEdition information.

SQL Server 2005 xp_sendmail: Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client.

Usage of SQL Mail is quite common within SQL Server environment, recently I have involved at one of the client's site with the error:

Msg 17930, Level 16, State 1, Line 0

xp_sendmail: Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client.

Further details on the issue the server (Windows 2003) has been upgraded  from SQL Server 2000 to 2005, no issues reported on database side except on the alert side of sending the emails for failed jobs. The first question I have asked them is that why not use Database Mail instead of SQLMail as DBMail qualities include (as per BOL):

  • No Microsoft Outlook or Extended Messaging Application Programming Interface (Extended MAPI) requirement. Database Mail uses the standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to send mail. You can use Database Mail without installing an Extended MAPI client on the computer that runs SQL Server.
  • Process isolation. To minimize the impact on SQL Server, the component that delivers e-mail runs outside of SQL Server, in a separate process. SQL Server will continue to queue e-mail messages even if the external process stops or fails. The queued messages will be sent once the outside process or SMTP server comes online.
  • Failover accounts. A Database Mail profile allows you to specify more than one SMTP server. Should an SMTP server be unavailable, mail can still be delivered to another SMTP server.
  • Cluster support. Database Mail is cluster-aware and is fully supported on a cluster. 

Due to the legacy application that was used here will have only use SQLMail, so thats the story to keep with this mailing solution until it is re-written to use Database Mail. So as per the pre-requisite for SQLMail they have installed Outlook 2000 with service pack3 and default mail is outlook with relevant mapi profiles existence. As usual search under Knowledge Base articles referred the links such as:

How to configure SQL Mail to use an Internet mail server by using Outlook 2003

How to configure SQL Mail

Common SQL Mail problems
None of them has resolved the issue and another search on ssqa.net (that will have only SQL Server related KBAs) I got through this link How to set up SQL Mail with an Internet mail server by using Outlook 2002 which is applicable to SQL Server 2005 (only) :
With SQL Server 2005, if you want to use SMTP and POP3 servers to send and receive e-mail messages, the best option would be to move to Database mail because it integrates with them very smoothly. If we still want to use the Legacy SQLMail component in SQL Server 2005 with SMTP/POP3 configuration, you cannot move to Database mail. In this case, use Outlook 2000 with Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed. We do not recommend that you use Outlook 2003 with SQL Server 2005 because of the reasons mentioned in this article.
For further information on what kind of issues you might get even if you use Outlook 2000 review the remaining text on the above KB article, finally I was able to resolve the issue by adding C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\NT to the PATH variable under Start --> Control Panel --> System, under Advanced Properties and choose Environment Variables then search for PATH variable (to Edit). The root cause of this issue due to the fact that SQLMail is the legacy component in SQL Server 2005 version and the profile for mail needs the SQLAgent to activate.

SQL Server 2008 features - Relational & Data Warehouse Scalability list (new)

Scalability is an important aspect in every application, a common achievement within OLTP environment and still applicable to OLAP (Anlaysis Services) environment. In any if the application or a cube or mining model may be unavailable for querying because of a hardware or software failure, also it could be one of the reasons such as unavailable because it needs to be processed.

In this case running multiple instances of SQL Server can be managed easily in terms of performance & scalability, this doesn't applicable on an easy terms for Analysis Services applications as it may cause performance issues. It may be general recommendation that hiking the processor, memory, and disk resources on the server, but more you need to concentrate on scaling the instances of SQL Server and Analysis Services across multiple computers. To achieve this say if the relational database resides along with an Analysis Services database that is suffering hard performance issues, then you can plan move these databases to a separate computer. As a baseline you need to consider the network speed and bandwidth that exist between the Analysis Services database and its underlying databases. Many times the usual suspect of network problems are missed due to the reason of slow or congested, moving the underlying databases to a separate computer will cause affect processing performance.

When you talk about Scalability then Clustering comes into mind as it can be used to scale out the applications, but if query performance is poor but you cannot increase the processor and memory resources on the local server, consider deploying an Analysis Services project onto two or more production servers. In this case you may need additional component such as Network Load Balancing application to make these instances into that cluster.

A simple list of configuring the scalability environment is goes by:

  • Ensure to keep similar level of service pack/hot fixes on all the SQL Servers, Reporting Services & Analysis Services instances if the databases (relational or Analysis Services) are shared  across the servers.
  • In  case of Reporting Services server ensure to test and apply the update on all the associated reporting servers that serve the same scalable shared database or databases.
  • Microsoft recommendation on Scalability side of hardware that no limit on the number of instances, but having a baseline on shared database configuration to 8 servers per database.
  • In the case of Reporting Services database and volumes, make sure to keep mounting a set of reporting volumes onto your reporting servers, use the same drive letter on every server to facilitate managing the volume across the different servers. 
  • In terms of Collation & Sort order ensure to keep all of the instances to use same sort order.
  • Ensure to maintain same set of hardware components such CPU, Disks and even memory settings in similar on all of the instances. In general it is better to go, otherwise if any issue arises it will be hard to identify on which instance it has gone wrong.
  • If the relational or reporting database is spread across the shared servers then ensure to test and deploy synchronized update than a rolling update of scalable shared database.

So when talking about new product features you would be looking at scalability & performance features that can be achieved, similar to this SQL Server 2008 has such advantages. Refer to this  New-Data-Warehouse_Scalability_Features within SQL Server 2008 that introduces the new performance and manageability features for data warehousing across all these components. All these features contribute to improved scalability


SQL Server 2008 Release Candidate - public download is available now

In the past week SQL Server 2008 RC0 has been made available for early download by MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. RC0 is the final step before SQL Server 2008 RTMs in Q3 of this year. After logging into their respective accounts, subscribers can view Product Keys and download SQL Server 2008 RC0 from the following links: MSDN subscribers: Download SQL Server 2008 RC0 & TechNet Plus subscribers: Download SQL Server 2008 RC0 links.

Also Tech-Ed conference has got more importance for the users to know more about pre-release of products, as in last year Katmai CTP was released officially and one year on as expected the SQL Server 2008 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) has been made public today from this downloads page.

Don't forget the best practice that install the RC0 on a VPC machine (Virtual Machine) than messing up with current SQL2008 February CTP environment (if at all you have). Like it refers in that download page don't forget:


See the new logo for SQL Server 2008

Did you see the new branded logo and desktop background for SQL Server 2008? 



Until recently many users asked about logo for SQL Server 2008 as Windows Server 2008 & Visual Studio 2008 has got their own logos to represent.

This new logo for SQL Server 2008 is entirely different and the theme is created as:

Enabling people to manage, mine, and interpret data, with high satisfaction and success.

Also see what kind of branding colors Microsoft has adopted from this DataPlatform-Insider blog post. 

This is a change to SQL Server 2005, your data any time, any place.

Ok its time to change above blog theme too Smile.

Posted by ssqa.net | with no comments

Tech-ed Online Panel: Leveraging SQL Server Technologies to Build a Solid High-Availability Strategy

Are you visiting Tech-ed, North America?

Then Don't miss the opportunity to know more about Leveraging SQL Server Technologies to Build a Solid High-Availability Strategy.

Tech·Ed offers the premier technical education conference just for IT professionals. Microsoft and industry experts will share their expertise about how to architect, deploy, manage, and help secure a connected enterprise. With only a few weeks to go, there’s still time to register for Tech·Ed IT Professionals. Don’t miss out on all the great content and learning opportunities. Register now.

This year I'm leading the Panel Discussion topic on Leveraging SQL Server Technologies to Build a Solid High-Availability Strategy.

Who should attend?

Architects, DBAs, Developers, IT Pros & Database Managers...

What is your take-away?

SQL Server 2005 and 2008 provide a plethora of HA technologies. Combining these technologies into a viable solution to support a global IT infrastructure is not as hard as it seems. Following straightforward best-practices and a solid understanding of the capabilities and trade-offs inherent in the technologies, putting together an HA strategy can be easier than you think. Come to this session to hear from SQL Server industry experts on high-availability and disaster-recovery – we’ll dispel myths and give you guidelines you can follow straight away to implement the RIGHT technology now.
When:   Tuesday, June 10 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
Speaker(s): Kevin Farlee, Allan Hirt, Satya Jayanty, Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp


Tech-ed North America - what I'm doing there?

This is first time Microsoft has divided the TECH-ED North America conference into 2 sections, Developer & IT-PRO

Why Attend Tech-ed?

IT Pros, you'll gain new solutions and new ideas for being more productive from sessions, product assessments, and interaction with experts and peers.

  • Gain real-world learning from the Microsoft IT support staff--your IT professional peers who are finding and addressing critical issues before you deploy.
  • Acquire insights from Microsoft and industry experts on the products you work with every day, and improve the security, interoperability, troubleshooting, and management of your existing IT infrastructure solutions now.
  • Get up-to-speed on the latest technologies, and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

Developers will come face-to-face with the cutting edge of the latest development trends and gain hands-on experience with the newest and coolest development tools and platforms.

  • Acquire the skills you need to build more streamlined, scalable applications.
  • Explore considerations and real-world guidance for programming mobile devices, distributing applications as a service, building Windows Embedded solutions, developing Windows Vista compatible applications, and integrating Web solutions.
  • Speed up your application development time by putting into use Microsoft application lifecycle management tools. Gain knowledge of the latest trends and upcoming technologies to address your toughest business challenges.

So What I'm doing there?

Presenting 1 BreakOut session:

DAT373 Self-Taught Database Administrator Techniques from Microsoft SQL Server 2000 to 2008

1 TLC Session: 

DAT58-TLC Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Online Index Operations for DML Concurrency: Guidelines and Best Practices

Panel Discussion:

Tech-ed Online Panel: Leveraging SQL Server Technologies to Build a Solid High-Availability Strategy


Tech-ed North America - next 2 weeks make yourself busy with learning & sharing

Blogger buttons courtesy: Microsoft

Be a part of the experience. Help spread the excitement about Tech Ed 2008!

-Satya SKJ (SQL Server MVP)