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Wednesday, February 24, 1999

NEXT SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
************************************************************
The next SQL Server SIG meeting will be held on Thursday, March 4, 1999 at
6:00 PM.  This meeting will be hosted at the offices of Solutech, Inc.
located in the Lighton Plaza at 7300 College BLVD, Suite 165, Overland
Park, KS.  See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/img/solutech_map.gif for a map.
Solutech's offices are on the first floor, and parking in the building lot
is FREE.  Chris Miller, co-author of the new book SQL Server System
Administration (The Landmark Series), will be giving a presentation about
SQL Server 7.0 Tips and Tricks.  Please feel free to print out and
distribute the flyer for this meeting; the flyer is located at
http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlflyer.html .


BUSINESS OBJECTS FOLLOW-UP: 
************************************************** 
Here are a couple of items relating back to last month's SQL Server SIG 
meeting which featured a presentation from Business Objects: First, Grant 
Thornton LLP is now offering Business Objects training courses in Kansas 
City You can contact Grant Thornton by calling 800.366.3202 or visit 
their web site at http://www.gt.com/services/training. Second, check out 
the following link for a recent article in Information Week magazine about 
Business Objects: 
http://www.techweb.com/se/directlink.cgi?IWK19990208S0081. 


SQL SERVER 7.0 ARTICLE 
************************************************** 
See the following link for a recent article in Information Week magazine 
about SQL Server 7.0: 
http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printArticle?
article=infoweek/719/prsql.htm&pub=iwk 


HOW MANY ROWS? 
************************************************** 
Most DBAs and database developers know that executing SELECT COUNT(*) FROM 
"table_name" gives you an up-to-date and accurate count of the number of 
rows within a table. However, running SELECT COUNT(*) can take a long 
time on larger tables and doing so is also likely to have an adverse 
affect on the performance of ongoing server activities. 

If a "good enough" row count is acceptable, try executing the following 
query: 

 SELECT rows FROM sysindexes WHERE name = "[table_name]"

Keep in mind that the values you receive from this query are only 
approximations and you should not rely on these numbers as exact counts. 
You can force an update of the row counts contained in the sysindexes 
table by executing the following DBCC command (but please note executing 
DBCCs such as this one can consume a considerable amount of system 
resources): 

 DBCC UPDATEUSAGE ([database_name], [table_name]) WITH COUNT_ROWS


[Thanks to Jim Hipp for pointing out the following clarification to the 
HOW MANY ROWS article:

  If you have a clustered index on a table, the tablename does not show
  up in sysindexes.  Therefore, the following query will work better for
  finding the number of rows in a table:

    select i.rows 
    from sysindexes i inner join sysobjects o on i.id = o.id
    where o.name = 'table name' and indid in (0, 1)

  (An indid of 0 means it's a table.  An indid of 1 means it's a 
   clustered index.)

Thanks again, Jim!]


SQL SERVER MEMORY & "tempdb in RAM" 
************************************************** 
Did you know that the amount of memory you assign to "tempdb in RAM" comes 
from available physical memory that has not already been assigned to SQL 
Server? For example, if your SQL Server has 512 MB of physical memory and 
you have configured SQL Server to use 230,000 2k pages of memory then you 
will only have about 40 MB of physical memory available for the NT kernel 
and tempdb in RAM. 

A common problem is that persons tuning SQL Server machines can 
accidentally allocate too much memory to SQL Server and tempdb in RAM, 
which results in a disk thrashing and the inability to start SQL Server 
and other NT services. If you find yourself in this situation and cannot 
restart SQL Server, try the following: 

1. Stop the MSSQLServer and SQLExecutive services and make sure SQL 
Enterprise Manager and any other client tools are not running. 

2. Go to the \mssql\binn directory and issue the following command to 
start SQL in single-user mode with a minimum configuration: 

 sqlservr -c -f 

3. Ignore the text messages that appear in this window but be sure to wait 
for them to finish appearing (in total, this should only take about 10-20 
seconds until SQL Server is started). 

4. Launch the isql/w program, connect to the server as sa, and issue the 
following commands: 

sp_configure tempdb, 0 
go 

reconfigure 
go 

5. Go back to the window that SQL is running in and issue the "shutdown" 
command; SQL Server will shut down (if it doesn't then hit ctrl-c to 
shut it down). 

6. Now you should be able to start SQL normally. Your tempdb will revert 
back to the initial default size of 2 MB on the master device. 

Be sure to consult the SQL Server Books Online for guidelines about 
configuring memory for SQL Server and when (and when not) to use "tempdb 
in RAM". Also, keep in mind that the "tempdb in RAM" option is no longer 
available starting with version 7.0 of SQL Server. 


GONE WITH THE WIND 
************************************************** 
Please note that the following configuration options from SQL Server 6.x 
are no longer available in SQL Server version 7.0: 

* tempdb in RAM 
* backup buffer size 
* backup threads 
* free buffers 
* hash buckets 
* max lazywrite i/o 
* sort pages 


THE GUI REVEALED 
************************************************** 
If you are using Microsoft SQL Server 6.5's Enterprise Manager and want to 
see what commands the GUI is executing "behind the scenes", try changing 
the command line for the shortcut that launches SQL Enterprise Manager to 
include the " -ow" switch. This will generate a new window called SQL 
Spew which will display the SQL commands for processes that get executed 
by the Enterprise Manager GUI. 


UPCOMING SQL SERVER EVENTS
*****************************************************************
All Heartland Users Groups meetings are open to the general public.  Anyone
may attend any of the various monthly SIG meetings and the HUG general
meeting.  If you are not already a member of the Heartland Users Groups,
please consider joining -- an individual membership is only $25.00.  Just
ask the SIG leader or any Heartland Users Groups officer for a membership
form.  Your membership entitles you to receive the monthly newsletter and
makes you eligible to receive door prizes at Heartland Users Groups events.

Thursday, March 4, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: What's New?
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, March 4, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Chris Miller, author of the new book 
SQL Server System Administration (The Landmark Series) 
presentation about SQL Server 7.0 Tips and Tricks
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details

Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Data Warehouse Solutions
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, April 1, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Distributed and Enterprise Solutions
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, April 1, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Topic and speaker TBA
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details

Thursday, April 15, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Performance and Tuning
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, May 6, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Topic and speaker TBA
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details


MICROSOFT NEWS
************************************************************
See http://www.microsoft.com/mcp/certstep/mcdba.htm for details about
Microsoft's new Database Administrator certification program.  Exams and
courseware for this new track are expected to be available by the first
quarter of 1999.

Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Overview:  This is the one-day course that
Microsoft is offering for $99.  See
http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/sql7/oneday/ for details (this offer 
expires March 15, 1999). 

Get a voucher worth $500 towards the 5-day System Administration for
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 course (course #832).  See
http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/sql7/offer for details (this offer 
expires March 31, 1999 and the training must be completed by April 30, 
1999). 

Order your free* Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 trial CD today at 
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/go/imdb.htm
*Shipping and handling charge of $9.95 will apply to all CD orders. Trial CD
is only available in the U.S. The trial period is limited to 120 days.


MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
************************************************************
The SQL Server SIG board is looking volunteers to be presenters for future
SQL Server SIG meetings.  If you or someone you know is interested in
presenting a topic of interest to SQL Server professionals, please contact
me or any other SQL Server SIG officer.  In particular, we are actively
looking for a presenter and topic for our April 1, 1999 meeting.

The regular meeting time for monthly SQL Server SIG meetings is 6:00 PM on
the first Thursday of each month at Solutech, Inc.,  7300 College BLVD,
Suite 165, Overland Park, KS.

The SQL Server SIG's home page is at: 
http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html .  Please feel free to offer any
ideas for improving the SQL Server SIG's page or for adding any links.

The Heartland Users Groups' home page is at:  http://www.hugkc.org .

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, criticisms, and/or
referrals of persons who may be potentially interested in the SQL Server SIG.


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