Friday, May 16, 2008

This blog will move

For reasons that may be clear from the address this blog will move to
I hope you will all continue to read my blog on this new address!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

SQL Server 2008 Performance

SQL Server 2008 has not yet been released but nevertheless there are already some test results from the CTP versions. Do note that the performance will probably improve even more when the final product arrives but the results today are already quite amazing. They can be found on

Apart from the performance improvements you get by installing SQL Server 2008 there has also been a close collaboration with the Windows Server 2008 team giving even better performance. Check out this post which discusses the performance improvement in replication because of the SQL Server 2008 / Windows Server 2008 combination.

This confirms that building on the strengths of SQL Server 2005 was certainly the right decision. For those of you who did not have the time to test Windows Server 2008, grab a server and install it! It offers some great enhancements on many different areas like security, high availability and more. As an extra benefit it has amazing performance. The I/O improvements together with more intelligent scheduling of threads and a rewritten TCP/IP stack make it blazing fast and the best choice for your new SQL Server 2005 and 2008 installations.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Self-Service Hotfixes

Those of you who read my blog regularly may have noticed the previous post and maybe more important the comments on this post.Somehow I think we were not the only ones having this questions and remarks. As a follow-up please read the following blog posts as they are very relevant to the discussion.

First of all there is the Self-Service hotfix which is explained here. This allows you to download CU's without formally contacting Microsoft Support.

Second of all there is a nice explanation about the new Service Pack approach here. Basically is sums up the ISM model again but the news is that they will include Service Packs into this model too, which means they will also be released on schedule and more often!

Great news and again excellent proof that Microsoft is willing to listen to it's customers.

*NOTE*Self-service: I had to change my country to United States in order to get the download link on top.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SQL Server 2005 SP2 Cumulative Hotfix Packages and SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3

The guys @ Microsoft have been busy improving the quality of SQL Server even more.

First of all CU7 was released (Build 3239) here.
As usual this means CU8 has been announced here.

I know there has been a lot of requests from the customers to release Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 2005. Although I see the benefits in the Incremental Servicing Model many people like the "certainty" of a good old service pack. Because Microsoft listens to its customers they have decided to release Service Pack 3 this year. More information can be found here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Table Variable vs Parallelism

There are many myths surrounding table variables and one of the most common is probably the 'in memory' story. There are however a couple of other interesting facts about temp variables which you should also know about. The guys from the Storage Engine have an excellent post about table variables so you definitely have to read it.

One of the things that caught my eye in the post was the fact that queries do not go parallel when table variables are involved. This was actually something I had never come across so I decided to put it to the test. I borrowed a query from Craig Freedman who has an excellent series on parallelism. Here we go:





(NumberOfRows int)


For those of you who want to try it with a temp table:

(NumberOfRows int)



Saturday, April 05, 2008

SQL Server Area

It looks like I maybe convinced another (ex) colleague to start blogging.
Welcome to the blogginghood Egon ;-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How many files should my database have?

A question I get asked quite a lot is "how many files / filegroups should my database have?".
As we all know there is only one right answer to all of life's questions and that is: "it depends!".

Lucky for us the guys from the SQLCAT team have taken the time to explain a little how to evaluate how many files you need for specific workloads.
In the first post they talk about OLAP environments and imho this is a must read!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Techdays 2008 - Belgium

The Techdays (and launch event) are coming pretty close so get ready for some nice sessions about SQL Server 2008, Windows 2008, Visual Studio 2008, Hyper-V and more!

You can always pay me a visit at the Euricom stand. Tip: There will be "champagne" on Thurday ;-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SQL Server 2008 February CTP (CTP6)

In case you have not noticed, the February CTP is out there!
Go get it!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mainstream support on SQL Server 2000 SP4 & SQL Server 2005 SP1

One last reminder that the mainstream support for SQL Server 2000 SP4 and SQL Server 2005 SP1 will end on 08/04/2008.
For more information about this visit the guys from Microsoft SQL Server Release Services.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Windows Server 2008 RTM

This time I am not just trying to draw your attention to this post, it has really RTM'ed!
More information here.

Together with the announcement of Windows Server 2008 they have also announced Windows Vista SP1 here.

They will probably be available somewhere next month so just a little more patience.

Monday, February 04, 2008


The nice people from the SQL Server Customer Advisory Team have started a new website called
It is a great source of information for large SQL Server implementations so make sure to check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Remembering Ken Henderson

Some sad news on this blog. Ken Henderson was one of the SQL Server gurus who wrote wonderful books and had a real passion for SQL Server. We will sure miss him in the community. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We will see you in the next life khen1234 :'(

Update: Ken's sisters have asked for stories about Ken you would like to share. Please check out this post for more information.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

SQL Server 2008 RTM

I got your attention didn't I?

Unfortunately the news in this post is not as good. The guys from the Data Platform Insider blog posted a 'Roadmap Clarification' for SQL Server 2008 and I am afraid it has a sad statement: "Microsoft is excited to deliver a feature complete CTP during the Heroes Happen Here launch wave and a release candidate (RC) in Q2 calendar year 2008, with final Release to manufacturing (RTM) of SQL Server 2008 expected in Q3. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product possible and we simply want to use the time to meet the high bar that you, our customers, expect."

Is it really a sad statement? I think we can all agree that we need the highest quality product for our projects. Apart from this I think many of us still want to implement a lot of SQL Server 2005 features where we have not gotten around too. The leap from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 was quite a large one and many projects are still running SQL Server 2000 or did 'simple' migrations to SQL Server 2005. Because SQL Server 2008 builds on the SQL Server 2005 strength the move will be less complicated so maybe we should start implementing those very needed SQL Server 2005 features and have some patience for SQL Server 2008 to come out.

Nevertheless I want to play with data compression so get the next CTP ready please :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer (January 2008)

In case you have not noticed yet, the SQLCat team has released a new version of the Best Practices Analyzer. Among other things it contains 60+ new rules and the Analysis Services rules have been updated so they match the Best Practices warnings in BIDS 2008.

More information can be found here and the download can be found here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A question about and answer to the MERGE Statement and the CLR version in SQL Server 2008

I was giving a presentation on the new programmability features in SQL Server 2008 when the following question popped up:"Does the MERGE statement support multiple WHEN MATCHED clauses?"

As you know it is possible to say "WHEN MATCHED AND myField = 0 THEN...", so it would make sense to have multiple WHEN MATCHED statements because depending on the criteria you could have different actions. Since you see this blog post you might have guessed that it is not the obvious answer. Trying to add a second WHEN MATCHED statement will result in the following pretty clear error: "An action of type 'WHEN MATCHED' cannot appear more than once in a 'UPDATE' clause of a MERGE statement".

A second popular question was: "Which version of the .NET framework is included in SQL Server 2008?". This question has been answered by Bob Beauchemin on his blog with a very detailed explanation. Basically it loads the latest CLR version but there is a little catch which is explained by Bob so I recommend you read his post.

Friday, January 04, 2008

SQL Server 2005 SP2 Cumulative Hotfix Package 6 - Announced

Because CU5 is released here is the next announcement.
The question is of course how many of you have already implemented CU5?