March 2006 Entries

Proactive Caching - SQL Server Notification Permissions
I did a presentation at the Melbourne SQL Server User Group this week on the proactive caching feature in Analysis Services 2005. One of the topics that I covered was the different notification methods that Analysis Services 2005 can make use of in order to discover that something has changed in the underlying relational source. The first notification method on the list is SQL Server notifications, but you will notice that as soon as you select this option a warning message appears at the bottom ......

Posted On Sunday, March 26, 2006 7:18 PM | Comments (22)

When is a variable not a variable?
When it is a SQL Server table variable! This topic came up a little while ago on the SQLDownUnder mailing list and surprised me because it went against most things I had heard about table variables. In fact a few days later I got a newsletter from with the following tip in it: If you need a temporary table in your Transact-SQL code, consider using a table variable instead of creating a conventional temporary table instead. Table variables are created and manipulated in memory ......

Posted On Sunday, March 26, 2006 5:54 PM | Comments (3)

Not going to Redmond :(
Last week I got an email from Microsoft inviting me to a meeting in Redmond (same as Rob), apparently due to the fact that I was 'high performing beta examinee'. Rob make the cut, but unfortunately I missed out :(. I thought I responded fairly quickly, but I would not have been suprised if there were only a limited number of overseas people that MS were prepared to fly in. I held off on blogging on this until now, as I did not want to “jinx” myself - I was half expecting to get a “sorry, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 21, 2006 7:20 PM | Comments (1)

Chris Webb launches Crossjoin Consulting

[via Chris Webb]

Chris's blog is a must read for anyone in the Microsoft BI space and last week he announced that he is starting up his own consulting company - Crossjoin Consulting ( What is better is that he is planning to build time into his schedule to do blogging. So good luck Chris and keep the posts coming!

Posted On Monday, March 20, 2006 7:18 PM | Comments (1)

SQL Server 2005 SP1 CTP released
This announcement has been doing the rounds of the blogs today, so why not put a note up on mine. :) Microsoft has released a Community Technology Preview of SP1 for SQL Server 2005. There is a list of some of the issues that have been addressed in the service pack here: . Although this list really only covers issues for which hotfixes were released. There is no mention of the OPENQUERY bug that I blogged about here, but there is a standard cover all statement ......

Posted On Monday, March 20, 2006 7:12 PM | Comments (2)

Speaking at Melbourne SQL Server User Group

I'm speaking this Tuesday at the Melbourne SQL Server User Group on the new real-time BI features in Analysis Services 2005.

Details of the event can be found at

I'm currently going over (& over) my presentation and triple checking my demos. :)

Posted On Sunday, March 19, 2006 7:36 PM | Comments (1)

Some simple SQL Rules
[via Jeff at] I really liked this list of rules that Jeff has put together and got quite a kick out of them as I was nodding my head as I read each one. The first one about always fully qualifying column names caused me a few head aches a few weeks ago on a multi developer project. One of the developers added a new column and fixed and tested their stored procedures, not realising that they had broken the stored procs of one ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:53 PM | Comments (0)

Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs
[via Andrew Connell] HOWTO: Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs I'm not spending nearly as much time working in VPC images as I used to while SQL Server 2005 was in beta. But I still use them for playing with Sharepoint and Business Scorecard Manager and they are a great technology for experimenting with things. This blog post from Andrew provides some great tips on how to get the very most from your VPC's ......

Posted On Monday, March 13, 2006 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

Key Value Pairs in Database design
There was an interesting thread on the SQLDownUnder mailing list last week about the use of Key Value Pairs in database design. It raised some very interesting points and I have reproduced some of the content from that thread in this article.

Posted On Sunday, March 12, 2006 7:09 PM | Comments (0)