Downloading that cumulative update or hotfix…

I recently answered a question on Twitter regarding the availability of Cumulative Update downloads for specific platforms.

Starting from SQL Server 2005, our Release Services team moved to an Incremental Servicing Model to deliver fixes for issues identified on current releases of SQL Server[s]. We now release a Cumulative Update package for a Service Pack periodically which contains all the fixes released since the RTM version of the Service Pack and hence the name “Cumulative Update”.

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Now you click on the link mentioned in the picture below, you will get an option to download the packages associated for all the platforms.

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I know this is quite trivial information but I have answered this question a few times and hence the post.

The GenNext for SQL Server

The SQLPASS Keynote on Day 1 of the Summit kicked off a slew of announcements which would ensure that Twitter received it’s fair share of activity for SQL Server. Look up the #sqlpass hashtag on Twitter to understand what I am saying. There are over 4,500 registrations from 49 countries for the streaming keynotes.

Among all the announcements, the one that created the maximum amount of buzz was the next major version of SQL Server, code-named Denali CTP1. As soon as Ted Kummert, Senior VP at Microsoft, made the announcement, a flurry of Tweets went out from the Tweeps attending the Keynote announcing to the world about Denali. SQL MVP Aaron Bertrand (Twitter | Blog) posted walkthrough for installing Denali on his blog. Read his narration of the Keynote session here.

The key features of Denali are:

  • SQL Server AlwaysOn – A Mission Critical Platform that helps in increasing up-time, reduce unplanned downtime due to OS patching, simplify High Availability management, support for multiple secondaries and multi-site clustering.
  • Column-based query accelerator – This will help improve query performance manifold and reduce the time taken for performance tuning.
  • SQL Server Tools code-named “Juneau – A unified environment which is a one-stop-shop for your developers and helps accelerate your time-to-market.
  • IT administration enhancements – Improved security facilitated through various improvements built into the product. You can now take advantage of the powerful XEvents to monitor SQL activity.
  • Beyond relational enhancements – Performance improvements for FileStream, Full-text search, 2D-Spatial Support and FileTable.
  • Pervasive Insight – Expand the use of Business Intelligence to business users by providing new and engaging ways to discover insights through a drag-and-drop interface, smart and powerful data querying and interactive storyboarding to allow users to quickly create and share visual presentations of large datasets.
  • Read more about it here.

    Other announcements include:

    Microsoft Code-name “Atlanta”

    Microsoft codename Atlanta is a secure cloud service that proactively monitors your Microsoft SQL Server deployments. It helps you avoid configuration problems, reduce downtime, improve performance, and resolve issues faster. Atlanta agent can analyze both versions x86 and x64 versions of SQL Server 2008 and above. Now you get a vital insight into multiple known issues that you could plague your SQL Server installation without having to manually check for known issues. Atlanta will re-define pro-active monitoring for SQL Server instances.

    SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW)

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (previously code named project “Madison”) is a highly scalable appliance that delivers performance at low cost through a massively parallel processing (MPP).

    New Path to Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

    If you have an aspiration to earn the coveted title of a Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server, then there is a new path to do so. Click on the above sub-title to learn more.

    If you feel that you need more food for thought, then read the Press Pass: Microsoft Introduces New Offerings for Business Intelligence and Mission-Critical Workloads

     Watch Rushab Mehta, SQL Pass President, and Ted Kummert, Senior VP at Microsoft, discuss SQL Server:

    

    Denali CTP1 is now available

    SQL Server Denali CTP1, the next major release of SQL Server, is now available for download on the Microsoft Download site.

    You can create your Hyper-V virtual machines and get your hands dirty with the installation bits. Post your questions or queries regarding Denali on the MSDN Forums. If you want to log a defect with the CTP1 release, then please do so on the Microsoft Connect Site.

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    Data Type Mapping for OLEDB Providers

    I recently had a question on the #sqlhelp hashtag on Twitter regarding how OLE DB Providers map the data columns to SQL Server data types.

    The Data Type Mappings for SQL Server for distributed queries are mentioned here. The DBType values for each data that you are retrieving from a non-SQL data source like Oracle, Excel, Access can be found out using RowSet Viewer. The Microsoft® Developer Network (MSDN®) Platform SDK contains an OLE DB RowsetViewer sample application written in Microsoft Visual C++®. This application enables you to connect to either the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for AS/400 and VSAM or the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for DB2, open a table window, type the host file name or DB2 database, return a rowset, and browse the contents.

    Using Rowset Viewer you can get the DBType of each column returned from the remote data source. The function used is IColumnsRowset::GetColumnsRowset. Using this you can create the necessary schema on the SQL Server database which will act as the destination for the data received from the remote data source.

    Happy DB Scheming! Smile

    [Blog Update] SQLServerFAQ posts for September

    September has been a content month for me both on the SQLServerFAQ blog on MSDN as well on this blog. Here is a round up of my posts on SQLServerFAQ for September:

    I was intrigued by this when someone asked me what the Scan Count value meant w.r.t. SEEKs/SCANs:
    SCAN COUNT meaning in SET STATISTICS IO output

    I had worked on multiple issues for SQL Server 2005 regarding 511. Wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to troubleshoot this on SQL Server 2008 with XEvents:
    Troubleshooting Error 511 using XEvents

    Ran into a Compile Lock blocking issue because the Stored Procedure being used had an Open Symmetric Key command in it. Here is the post talking about the issue and how to workaround it:
    Open Symmetric Key command prevents plan caching

    I ended up doing a sequel for the Scan Count values w.r.t. Joins in the post below:
    Scan Count meaning in SET STATISTICS IO output: Part 2

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