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August 26, 1998 (revised 8/27/98)

Dear SQL Server Professionals,

This is another update message about the Heartland Users Groups' SQL Server
SIG.  This e-mail message was sent to you as a 'blind copy' to protect your
privacy.  Please feel free to forward this message on to whomever you feel
may have an interest in the Heartland Users Groups and/or the SQL Server
SIG.  If you wish to be removed from this e-mail list simply send a reply to
this message and indicate so.

RECAP OF AUGUST 19th SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
************************************************************
1. We had approximately 35 persons in attendance at this, our inaugural
meeting.  Thanks to everyone who attended!

2. Effective immediately and until the end of 1998, SQL Server SIG
meetings will commence at 5:30 PM.  Based on feedback, we may decide to have
meetings in 1999 and beyond at a later hour.

3. Effective October 22, 1998 and until the end of 1998, AIC (Analysts
International Corporation) will be the place for SQL Server SIG meetings.
AIC's offices are located in the Broadway Summit Building at 3101 Broadway,
Suite 101, Kansas City, MO.  Please note that the September 16th meeting
will still be held at Empower (same place as the August meeting).

4. Effective November 5, 1998, the regular meeting day of the month for
the SQL Server SIG will be the FIRST THURSDAY of the month.

5. The following is the calendar of SQL Server SIG meetings for the rest of
1998:
   a. September 1998: Wed. 09/16/98 @ 5:30 PM at 
      Empower, 2600 Grand, Suite 400
   b. October 1998: Thurs. 10/22/98 @ 5:30 PM at 
      AIC, 3101 Broadway, Suite 101
   c. November 1998: Thurs. 11/05/98 @ 5:30 PM at 
      AIC, 3101 Broadway, Suite 101
   d. December 1998: Thurs. 12/03/98 @ 5:30 PM at
      AIC, 3101 Broadway, Suite 101

6. At the meeting I circulated a survey to help us determine future
meeting topics.  Twenty persons responded.  Here is a summary of the
results:

   a. 80% of respondents consider themselves "beginners" or
"intermediate" users of SQL Server (45% beginners, 35% intermediate)
   b. 70% of respondents have used SQL Server 6.5
   c. 35% of respondents have used the SQL Server 7.0 beta
   d. Respondents indicated the #1 reason for attending SQL Server SIG
meetings is to "Learn about SQL Server features that I am not already
familiar with."
   e. Respondents indicated the #2 reason for attending SQL Server SIG
meetings is to "Advance my knowledge about SQL Server features that I am
already familiar with."
   f.  The top 6 topics of interest for future meetings are (in order):
       [1] Configuration and Tuning of SQL Server
       [2] Logical Design / Data Modeling
       [3] Writing Stored Procedures / Triggers
       [4] Physical Implementation
       [5] Database standards (like ODBC and OLE-DB)
       [6] Query Optimization / effective indexing techniques

Please let me know if you have additional feedback for helping us
determine topics for future meetings, and please let me know if you would
like to be a speaker at a future meeting for any of the above topics.

7. The meeting's "main event" was Al Zyck from Microsoft, who presented
the new features and capabilities of SQL Server 7.0.  SQL Server 7.0 is an
improvement over SQL Server 6.5 in the areas of:  Performance, reliability,
and scalability, Ease of Use, Replication, Desktop/Mobile Systems, Data
Warehousing, and Internet.  SQL Server 7.0 features an improved Relational
Engine, Storage Engine, Utilities, Data Warehousing Services, and Decision
Support Services.  My personal favorite is that the physical storage model
has been changed to eliminate chained data pages.  This means DBCCs as we
know them today will be much less of a headache and will run much faster.  A
close second favorite new feature is that ALTER TABLE will now let you DROP
COLUMN.  One drawback is that existing SQL Server 6.5 data will have to be
converted into SQL Server 7.0's new 8k page structure.  SQL Server 7.0 comes
with a data migration wizard or you can unload/reload the data by
traditional means (i.e., BCP).  See the following web page for all the
details about SQL Server 7.0's new features and capabilities:
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/beta/default.asp .

Al also gave us a demonstration of the relative ease at which end-users can
utilize  SQL Server 7.0's new data warehousing capabilities.  Al also
recommended we consider reading the following books:  Inside Microsoft SQL
Server 6.5 (Microsoft Programming Series)  by Ron Soukup  (Microsoft Press),
The Data Warehouse Toolkit : Practical Techniques for Building Dimensional
Data Warehouses  by Ralph Kimball  (John Wiley & Sons), and Understanding
and Implementing Successful Datamarts  by Douglas Hackney  (Addison-Wesley
Publishing Company).  See the following web page for links to these books:
http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlreading.html .

Unfortunately, we did not have copies of the SQL Server 7.0 beta available
at the meeting.  However, if you want your own copy of the beta, simply send
me an e-mail message or call me and I will send one to you.  My contact
information is at the bottom of this e-mail message.  You may also request a
copy of the beta directly from Microsoft at the following web page:
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/beta/default.asp .

8. Congratulations to Mark Davis of One System Group (OSG) for winning
the door-prize drawing.  Mark won a copy of the book Teach Yourself SQL
Server 6.5 in 21 Days from Sams Publishing.  Mark, your book report is due
at the next meeting (just kidding).

9. Special thanks to:
   a. Al Zyck of Microsoft for being our speaker and for driving in
from Omaha, Nebraska and back on the same day.
   b. Mike Mizell and Platinum Software for furnishing the pizzas and
tee-shirt for our give-away.
   c. Empower Training Consultants and  Chad Means for furnishing the
place for the meeting, soft drinks, and freshly-baked cookies.
   d. Rob Kraft, Chad Means, and Robin Prinzing for staying after the
meeting to help clean up.
   e. Matt Crouch and Analysts International Corporation (AIC) for
providing us a place for our October, November, and December 1998 meetings.
   f.  all of the Heartland Users Groups' officers and SIG leaders who
attended and provided moral support for my first meeting.

SEPTEMBER 16th SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
************************************************************
The September SQL Server SIG meeting will be on Wednesday, September 16,
1998 at 5:30 PM.    This meeting will be held at the offices of Empower
Training Consultants located at 2600 Grand, Suite 400.  This building is
located SOUTHEAST of the Westin Crown Center hotel.  Please park in the lot
on the east side of Grand Street across the street from this building.  The
speaker for this meeting will be Sean Baird of Empower, who will be
addressing "SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization:  Tips and
Tricks".  This same presentation will be given at the MCP Tech Mentor
conference later this year.  Sean is a project manager, technical architect,
and co-author of "MCSE Training Guide:  SQL Server 6.5 Design and
Implementation" (New Riders) and is currently working on another book for
SQL Server DBAs.  We will also continue to accept nominations for SQL Server
SIG officers at this meeting.  Please let me know if you would like to add
any agenda items for this meeting.

OCTOBER 22nd SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
************************************************************
The October SQL Server SIG meeting will be held on Thursday, October 22,
1998 at 5:30 PM.  This meeting will be held at the offices of AIC, located
in the Broadway Summit Building, 3101 Broadway, Suite 101, Kansas City, MO.
This building is situated on the SOUTHEAST corner of 31st Street and
Broadway.  AIC's offices are on the first floor.  Please use the entrance
located on the SOUTH side of the building.  Parking in the building lot is
FREE.  We still need to decide on a topic and a speaker for this meeting.
We will be electing SIG officers at this meeting.

BE A SQL SERVER SIG OFFICER
************************************************************
For the next few months I will continue to act as the SQL Server SIG's
provisional leader; however, we need to have official elections of SQL
Server SIG officers.  Interested parties are encouraged to nominate
themselves for any of the following five offices:  president,
vice-president, programs committee chair, membership committee chair, or
treasurer.  See the following web page for descriptions of the duties of
these offices:  http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlofficers.html . Elections
will be held at the Thursday, October 22, 1998 meeting.  The following
persons have been nominated thus far:  Bob Van Cleave - nominated for
treasurer, Brent Huscher - nominated for president.  Call or send me an
e-mail message if you are interested.

UPCOMING HEARTLAND USERS GROUPS EVENTS
*****************************************************************
All Heartland Users Groups' meetings are open to the general public.
Joining the Heartland Users Groups entitles you to receive door prizes and
the monthly newsletter.  Please consider joining -- an annual membership is
only $25.00.  You can obtain a membership form at any of the Heartland Users
Groups' events.  Here is a partial calendar of upcoming Heartland Users
Groups events:

Monday, August 31, 1998 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
HUG Board Meeting (for HUG officers and SIG leaders)
At Security Benefit Companies
Corporate Woods, Building #27, Suite 150, OP, KS
(northeast of College BLVD and Grandview RD)

Wednesday, September 2, 1998 at 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Microsoft Dev Days
Among other things, Dev Days will highlight the new database design and
programming tools in Microsoft's Visual Studio 6.0 suite of applications.  
See http://www.microsoft.com/devdays/ for details and registration
information.

Wednesday, September 2, 1998 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
JAVA SIG; JAVA tutorial (first session)
At Step 1, Inc.
10551 Barkley, Suite 117, OP, KS
See http://www.qni.com/~brisk/JavaSIG/Default.html for details

Wednesday, September 9, 1998 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
C++ SIG; Ch. 12 of "C++ from the ground up" book & "Source code
documentation tools"
At Step 1, Inc.
10551 Barkley, Suite 117, OP, KS
See http://www.kcx.com/c/ for details

Saturday, September 12, 1998 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Win 9x/NT SIG; topic TBA
At COMP-USA
11421 Metcalf, OP, KS

Tuesday, September 15, 1998 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Smalltalk SIG; Progressor Framework, Monty's browser enhancements
At Information Systems Corp.
City Center Square, 1110  Main, Suite 1540, KC, MO
See http://www.kcx.com/smalltalk for details

Wednesday, September 16, 1998 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM	
SQL Server SIG; Performance Tuning & Optimization
At Empower
2600 Grand, Suite 400, KC, MO
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details

Wednesday, September 16, 1998 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Access SIG; topic TBA
At Johnson County Community College
Room TBA, OP, KS
See http://www.kcx.com/accessvb/logon.asp for details

Monday, September 21, 1998 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
General Meeting; "Riding the Waves of Technology" 
presentation by Greg Reiss of Baan
At Johnson County Community College
Room TBA, OP, KS
see http://www.hugkc.org for details

Tuesday, September 22, 1998 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
`Visual Basic SIG; "Activating Controls & Error Handling"
At Johnson County Community College
Room TBA, OP, KS
See http://www.kcx.com/accessvb/logon.asp for details


SQL SERVER JOB OPPORTUNITY
************************************************************
A large Systems Integration company located in Columbus, OH is currently
looking for an experienced SQL Server DBA.  This is a permanent position
that requires candidates to possess at least 2 years of experience as a SQL
Server DBA.  Salary depends on the amount of experience.  There will also be
a signing bonus as well as paid relocation by the company upon an offer.

If interested please e-mail or call:

Randall & Nord, L.L.C.
Matt Bruce, Account Manager
Ph.  972-278-9935
Fax 972-840-2565
bruce@rannord.com
http://www.rannord.com


MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
************************************************************
We still need to determine a discussion topic and presenter for the October
22nd meeting.  If you would like to volunteer to present at this or any
other upcoming meeting, please contact me by phone or e-mail.

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

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

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.  

Back to the main SQL Server SIG page