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Thursday, February 11, 1999

RECAP OF FEBRUARY 1999 SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
*****************************************************************
The February SQL Server SIG meeting was held on Thursday, February 4, 1999
at 6:00 PM at the offices of Solutech, Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas.
David Banks and Chris Lambert of Business Objects presented and
demonstrated Business Objects' decision support (aka "analytical
reporting") tools.

David Banks began by giving a presentation detailing the need for analytical
reporting tools.  David related that the recent trend towards implementing
ERP systems has dramatically increased the volume and availability of data
in our business environment.  In addition, the demands of our business
environment continue to require business persons to make ever increasing
numbers of decisions.  

Unfortunately, the availability of persons with knowledge of how to extract
meaningful data from the various sources of data has not increased in
parallel with the increase in the supply of data; in fact, there appear to
be fewer persons available today then there were just a few years ago.  The
resulting disparity between the availability of data and the unavailability
of analytical persons to extract the data is known as a 'fact gap'.

The 'fact gap' accentuates the need for more straightforward analytical
reporting tools.  This need is also underscored by the realization that
analytical reporting is not a key element of most ERP systems.  In addition,
most non-technical business users simply are not interested in learning how
to use the relatively complex SQL-based report writers that come with ERPs.


Business Objects addresses these needs by providing a suite of analytical
reporting tools that allow non-technical business users to extract various
types of business information from a wide variety of data sources.  Business
Objects' tools allow the user to focus on the end results and not worry
about learning the complex relationships among the tables of the ERP's
relational database system.  Business Objects' tools allow users to easily
extract data from ERPs by using understandable business-oriented
representations of the company's information.  Business Objects' tools
leverage the use of MS SQL Server 7.0 components such as the SQL Server 7.0
OLAP engine and SQL Serer 7.0's support for querying data from heterogeneous
sources.  In addition, Business Objects tools support an array of non-SQL
Server database platforms.  Business Objects' tools also support sharing
data through e-mail, web publication, and scheduled production reports.  For
those who request it, I can e-mail you the PowerPoint slides from David's
presentation (the file is about 500k zipped up).

After David's presentation Chris Lambert provided us with a live
demonstration of DSS Web, which is Business Objects' web-based client
interface program.  After the demonstration Chris and David fielded
questions from the users group.  For more information about Business
Objects, please see their web site at http://www.businessobjects.com .  

I would like to thank Chris and David from Business Objects for traveling
from Dallas, Texas to be our presenters.  Also, thanks to Solutech, Inc. for
providing us with the meeting place and snacks.


NEXT SQL SERVER SIG MEETING
************************************************************
The next SQL Server SIG meeting will be held on Thursday, March 4, 1999 at
6:00 PM.  This meeting will be hosted at the offices of Solutech, Inc.
located in the Lighton Plaza at 7300 College BLVD, Suite 165, Overland
Park, KS.  See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/img/solutech_map.gif for a map.
Solutech's offices are on the first floor, and parking in the building lot
is FREE.  Chris Miller, co-author of the new book SQL Server System
Administration (The Landmark Series), will be giving a presentation about
SQL Server 7.0 Tips and Tricks.  Please feel free to print out and
distribute the flyer for this meeting; the flyer is located at
http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlflyer.html .


COMPRESSED?  GET HELP NOW!
*****************************************************************
Q: Is it OK to use compressed drives or NTFS compression for SQL Server
devices / data files?
A: No; Microsoft's recommendation is NOT TO USE compressed drives for SQL
Server devices or data files.  Doing so can result in the inability to
recover your database.


CPU REQUIREMENTS FOR SQL SERVER 7.0
*****************************************************************
Q: What are the CPU requirements for running SQL Server 7.0?
A: You MUST have a CPU that supports the full Intel Pentium instruction set.
Please note that SQL Server 7.0 WILL NOT RUN on some Cyrix and IBM
processors that do not support the full Intel Pentium instruction set.  In
addition, Microsoft Product Support Services relates the following about the
CPU requirements for SQL Server 7.0:

"When using SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft recommends a processor speed of 166Mhz
or higher for server machines. Our extensive testing of the product has been
done on machines of this caliber and we believe customers will get a better
price performance with the product when used in this configuration.
Microsoft will support SQL Server 7.0 when run on server machines with
slower processors. However customers should recognize that if our findings
are that major problems can be eliminated by using faster processors we will
continue to recommend, and in some cases may require, compliance with this
suggestion."


SQL SERVER 7.0 CHAT TRANSCRIPTS AVAILABLE
*****************************************************************
The transcripts of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Developer Chat on
SQL Server 7.0 are now available online. Microsoft experts give answers to
questions about developing scalable business applications with SQL Server
7.0. "Can we selectively rollback transactions in the transaction log? How
can I set SQL Server 6.5 compatibility mode?" Find answers to these and many
other questions at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/developer/news/chat/011499/SQL7chat.htm.


UPCOMING SQL SERVER EVENTS
*****************************************************************
All Heartland Users Groups meetings are open to the general public.  Anyone
may attend any of the various monthly SIG meetings and the HUG general
meeting.  If you are not already a member of the Heartland Users Groups,
please consider joining -- an individual membership is only $25.00.  Just
ask the SIG leader or any Heartland Users Groups officer for a membership
form.  Your membership entitles you to receive the monthly newsletter and
makes you eligible to receive door prizes at Heartland Users Groups events.

Thursday, March 4, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: What's New?
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, March 4, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Chris Miller, author of the new book 
SQL Server System Administration (The Landmark Series) 
presentation about SQL Server 7.0 Tips and Tricks
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details

Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Data Warehouse Solutions
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, April 1, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Distributed and Enterprise Solutions
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, April 1, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Topic and speaker TBA
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details

Thursday, April 15, 1999 at 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM	
Maximizing SQL Server 7.0: Performance and Tuning
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
Register via the web at http://www.solutechinc.com or call 913.451.8703

Thursday, May 6, 1999 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM	
Monthly SQL Server SIG Meeting
Topic and speaker TBA
At Solutech Inc.
7300 College BLVD, Suite 165
Overland Park, KS
See http://home.gvi.net/~spyder/sqlserver.html for details



MICROSOFT NEWS
************************************************************
See http://www.microsoft.com/mcp/certstep/mcdba.htm for details about
Microsoft's new Database Administrator certification program.  Exams and
courseware for this new track are expected to be available by the first
quarter of 1999.

Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Overview:  This is the one-day course that
Microsoft is offering for $99.  See
http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/sql7/oneday/ for details.

Get a voucher worth $500 towards the 5-day System Administration for
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 course (course #832).  See
http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/sql7/offer for details.

Order your free* Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 trial CD today at 
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/go/imdb.htm
*Shipping and handling charge of $9.95 will apply to all CD orders. Trial CD
is only available in the U.S.


MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
************************************************************
The SQL Server SIG board is looking volunteers to be presenters for future
SQL Server SIG meetings.  If you or someone you know is interested in
presenting a topic of interest to SQL Server professionals, please contact
me or any other SQL Server SIG officer.  In particular, we are actively
looking for a presenter and topic for our April 1, 1999 meeting.

The regular meeting time for monthly SQL Server SIG meetings is 6:00 PM on
the first Thursday of each month at Solutech, Inc.,  7300 College BLVD,
Suite 165, Overland Park, KS.

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

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

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