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SQL 2012 Hosting :: SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate is now Available!

clock November 20, 2011 16:03 by author darwin

Building on our announcement at the PASS Summit 2011 in early October, today we are excited to announce the SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC). SQL Server 2012 RC is the first release which is feature complete and represents an exciting milestone for customers and partners looking to experience the full value of SQL Server 2012.

Over 100K customers have downloaded the SQL Server 2012 Community Technology Previews to date which, through customer feedback, has helped Microsoft deliver a high-quality Release Candidate.

As the foundation of the cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server 2012 will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by mission critical confidence.

The SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate delivers great value to customers:

-          Greater availability. Deliver the required 9s and data protection with AlwaysOn, delivering added functionality over CTP3 that allows customers to experience multiple, readable secondaries for distributed scale of reporting and backup workloads and support for FileTable and FILESTREAM which brings first-class HA to complex data types.

-          Blazing-fast performance. More effectively govern performance in multi-tenancy environments like private cloud. Resource Governor enhancements include support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of physical resources and predictable resource allocation.

-          Rapid data exploration. Empower end users with new insights through rapid data exploration and visualization. Discover new insights at the speed of thought with more feature/functionality in Power View, the highly interactive, familiar browser-based data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience for end users. 

-          Credible, consistent data. In addition to CTP3 functionality delivered for Data Quality Services and Master Data Services, customers can better support heterogeneous data within Data Warehouses through new Change Data Capture (CDC) support for Oracle.

-          Optimized productivity.  Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with the new SQL Server Data Tools, a unified development experience for database and business intelligence projects, and cloud-ready capabilities within SQL Server Management Studio for snapshot backups to the Windows Azure Platform.  Additionally, SQL Server 2012 offers a new version of Express – LocalDB. SQL Express LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express with all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode with a fast, zero-configuration installation and short list of pre-requisites.  For more information and to try it out, go here.

Today, you have the chance to download, preview and deploy the full marquee capabilities being delivered in SQL Server 2012. RC is a production quality release that includes access to upgrade and migration tools like Upgrade Advisor, Distributed Replay and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). Upgrade Advisor and Distributed Replay allow you to perform thorough analysis and testing of your current SQL Server applications before upgrading so you know what to expect. You can also use SSMA to automate migrate non-SQL Server databases to SQL Server 2012.

Download SQL Server 2012 RC today here.  Learn more about SQL Server 2012 at www.microsoft.com/sql server.

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Reporting Services 2008 Hosting :: Reports Parameter in SSRS 2008

clock November 16, 2011 13:36 by author darwin

What is Report Parameters in SSRS?
In SSRS, parameters are used to specify the data to use in a report, narrow down your report data for better analysis, connect related reports together, and vary report presentation. Report parameters can be Single-Valued and Multivalued.

Using Parameters in Reporting Services:
The most common use of parameters is to vary report data retrieved by dataset queries. In this scenario, users are prompted for a value or values when they run the report, and the dataset query retrieves only the data that is requested. You can change the report parameter properties in the report design tools to include a valid values list that displays at run time.

You can also create cascading parameters, which retrieve hierarchical data from a data source. I'll explain cascading parameters in my nect post. First I want to explain creating a report parameter in SSRS 2008.

Below are the uses of report parameters:

- To Control Report Data - by selecting required parameters values to filter the report data.
- To Control Report Appearance - use parameters to change report appearance using expression-based properties, including conditionally hiding report items and conditionally changing text color.
- To Connect to Other Reports - use parameters to link to drillthrough reports, subreports, and linked reports.
- To Select Specific Data Columns - parameters can be used to select specific columns of a table/matrix at run time.

How to create Report Parameters:
Query parameters are added to a dataset query by way of the query designers or the Dataset Properties dialog box. After you create a query with parameters, Reporting Services automatically links query parameters to report parameters with the same name. Below are the steps to create parameters:

STEP 1:

To begin, start a new Report Server Project project in Visual Studio 2008 by clicking on Start --> All Programs --> SQL Server 2008 --> SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. Then, from the menu, select File --> New --> Project to open New Project wizard. Now select Report Server Project from Visual studio installed templates and specify Name, Location and Solution Name.

I'll use the solution ctreated in my previous article. I'll use
FirstReport.rdl for this example and I'll create a parameter Designation to filter report data for selected designations.

STEP 2:

Create a new Data Set for the report parameter. I will add a dataset dsDesignation for Employee's Designation using query

SELECT DISTINCT Desg AS Designation FROM Employee

as shown below:



STEP 3:
Now I will add a parameter Designation. In Report Data section, right click on Parameters node and click Add Parameter... as shown below:



STEP 4:
In Report Parameter Properties window, enter Name and Prompt of the parameter and select the Data type from dropdown box. For our example, enter Designation in Name and Prompt text boxes and select Text as data type.



STEP 5:
Now click on Avaliable Values to set available values for the parameter. Select Get values from a query. Select dsDesignation as Dataset, Designation as Value field and Label field.



STEP 6: Click on Default Values, Select Get values from a query. Select dsDesignation as Dataset, Designation as Value field. Click OK to save changes.



STEP 7:
Double click on your main dataset (dsMain) to open Dataset Properties. Now Select  Parameters and click on Add button to map Designation parameter.

STEP 8:
Now final step, just add parameter in your query as shown in below snapshot:

WHERE [Desg] = @Designation



Now preview the report to check the action of parameter used:

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Reporting Services 2008 Tutorial :: Create First Report in SSRS 2008

clock November 15, 2011 13:48 by author darwin

In this article, I will explain how to create a simple report (that could be first report for a newbie) using SSRS 2008. Here I am assuming that you have successfully installed SQL Server 2008 along with SSRS.

There are two ways to create Reports in SSRS. You can develop the report manually, or you can use the Report Wizard to give yourself a head start. For this first report, I am going to take advantage of the wizard.

STEP 1:

To begin, start a new Business Intelligence project in Visual Studio 2008 by clicking on Start --> All Programs --> SQL Server 2008 --> SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio. Then, from the menu, select File --> New --> Project to open New Project wizard. Now select Report Server Project from Visual studio installed templates and specify Name, Location and Solution Name. I am specifying these ReportProjectSSRS, D:, and ReportProjectSSRS respectively as shown below:



STEP2:

In Solution Explorer, right click on Reports folder and select Add New Report. This will open Report Wizard. Click Next on the Welcome screen and this will bring you to the Select the Data Source screen.



STEP 3:

Enter the name of Data Source as dsLocal and select type as Microsoft SQL Server. Now click on Edit button to set the connecting string for data source, this will open Connection Properties window. Enter Server name and database name and click on Test Connection buttion to make sure the connection is established. Click OK button twice to close Test Results and Conection Properties windows.



You can check the Make this a shared data source checkbox to make this data source as shared so that it can be used for other reports as well. Now click on Next to proceed.



STEP 4:

This will open Design the Query wizard. Here you can define your Query string. Alternatively you can use Query Builder... to build your query. I will use below query to pull data from Employee table:

SELECT

   [Emp_code],[Emp_Name],[Desg],

   [Head],[DOB],[Basic],[Dept_Code]
FROM Employee (NOLOCK)

Click Next to proceed. It will display Select the Report Type wizard. Select Tabular option and click Next to proceed.

STEP 5:

Now you can see Design the Table wizard. Select required fields from Available fields and clicked on details button to make these fields available in details part of a report. You can do data grouping as well using Group button. Click Next to proceed.



STEP 6:

Now you can see Choose the Table Style wizard. Select default style Slate and click Next. Finally you can see Completing the Wizard. Enter report name FirstReport and click Finish to complete the wizard.



Thats all. We are done with our First report in SSRS 2008. Report at design time will look like one shown below:



Click on Preview to generate the report:

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SQL 2005/2008 Hosting :: How to Send Automated Job Email Notifications in SQL Server with SMTP

clock November 6, 2011 13:56 by author darwin

When you have automated backup jobs running on your database server, sometimes you forget that they are even running. Then you forget to check to see if they are running successfully, and don’t realize until your database crashes and you can’t restore it since you don’t have a current backup.

That’s where email notifications come in, so you can see the job status every morning when you are sipping your coffee and pretending you are working.

SQL Server provides a built-in method of sending emails, but unfortunately it requires you to have Outlook and a profile installed on the server, which isn’t necessarily the ideal way to send an email. Thankfully there is another method, that involves installing a stored procedure on your server that will allow you to send email via SMTP.

You will want to edit one line in the stored procedure to put the IP address of your SMTP server:

EXEC @hr = sp_OASetProperty @iMsg, ‘Configuration.fields(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver”).Value’, ’10.1.1.10′

Install the stored procedure into the master database, so it can be easily used from wherever needed.

Open up the SQL Server Agent \ Jobs list, and select the properties for the job you are trying to create a notification for:



Click on the Steps tab, and you should see a screen that looks like this:



Click the New button to create a new job step. We will use this step to send the email notification on success.

Step Name: Email Notification Success

Enter this SQL into the Command window as seen below. You will want to customize the email addresses and message subject to match your environment:

exec master.dbo.sp_SQLNotify ‘se[email protected]’,'[email protected]’,'Backup Job Success’,'The Backup Job completed successfully’



Click OK and then click the New button again to create another step. This will be the failure notification step.

Step Name: Email Notification Failure

SQL:

exec master.dbo.sp_SQLNotify ‘[email protected]’,'[email protected]’,'Backup Job Failure,’The Backup Job failed’

Now the idea is to make the items follow a specific workflow. First click Edit on step 1, and set the properties as shown here:



What we are saying is that on success, go to the success step, and on failure, go to the failure step. Pretty simple stuff.

Now edit the second step, the one labled “Email Notification Success”, and set the properties as seen here:



We are saying that if the notification job is successful, then just quit the job without running step 3. If we don’t specify this, then we will end up getting two emails, one with success and one with failure.

Now edit the third step, the one labled “Email notification failure”, and set the properties as seen here:



Now your job steps should look like this:



You should now have email notifications in your inbox for either success or failure. 

Note: The stored procedure used in this article was found
here.

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SQL 2008 Hosting :: How to Fix Error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified

clock November 2, 2011 15:21 by author darwin

This is the error message that I almost find everyday on forum. So, I decide to make this post to help the people who face this problem. Actually, the solution is very simple and I hope this tutorial below can help you.

First of all, you get this error message only if you are trying to connect to a SQL Server named instance. For default instance, you never see this. Why? Because even if we failed at this stage (i.e. error locating server/instance specified), we will continue to try connect using default values, e.g defaul TCP port 1433, default pipe name for Named Pipes. You may see other error message due to failure later, but not this error message.

Every time client makes a connection to SQL Server named instance, we will send a SSRP UDP packet to the server machine UDP port 1434. We need this step to know configuration information of the SQL instance, e.g., protocols enabled, TCP port, pipe name etc. Without these information, client does know how to connect the server and it fails with this specified error message.

In a word, the reason that we get this error message is the client stack could not receive SSRP response UDP packet from SQL Browser. It's easy to isolate the issue. Here are the steps:

1. Make sure your server name is correct, e.g., no typo on the name.
2. Make sure your instance name is correct and there is actually such an instance on your target machine. [Update: Some application converts \\ to \. If you are not sure about your application, please try both Server\Instance and Server\\Instance in your connection string]
3. Make sure the server machine is reachable, e.g, DNS can be resolve correctly, you are able to ping the server (not always true).
4. Make sure SQL Browser service is running on the server.
5. If firewall is enabled on the server, you need to put sqlbrowser.exe and/or UDP port 1434 into exception.

If follow the steps above correctly, you should not see this error message anymore. Good luck.

If you're looking for Windows hosting, please check our site at http://www.asphostcentral.com.

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SSRS 2012 Hosting

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