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New (free) Performance Dashboard for SQL Server 2005 SP2

Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Those using SQL Server 2005 may want to take note of a new "Dashboard Report" option for SP2, to help monitor and resolve performance problems, including capturing diagnostic info when a problem is detected.

Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:

  • CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
  • IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
  • Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer (missing indexes)
  • Blocking
  • Latch contention

The report is an extension of the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SQL Server 2005 SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio. Note that Reporting Services does not need to be installed.

The reports retrieve info from dynamic management views. They don't poll performance counters or require tracing be enabled. They also do not store a history of performance over time. So it's a lightweight (yet powerful) monitoring option.

You can get the extension itself at:

Performance Dashboard Reports

There's also a complete article about how to install it from Black Belt Administration: Performance Dashboard for Microsoft SQL Server, Part I , at Database Journal (and from which I obtained the image above).

Have you sought a keyboard shortcut to "open table" in SQL Server Management Studio?

Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
I'm a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts, so imagine my dismay when I noticed that the new SQL Server 2005 "open table" option, available in Management Studio when you're viewing the tables in a database, had no keyboard shortcut (or Admin menu equivalent). The feature opens an editable grid of data in the table, which is a great when you need to do a quick fix of the data. But you have to right-click to see the option--I wonder how many never even notice it?

So I asked around and got an answer to my keyboard dilemma which actually is a generic windows solution. Did you know that you can get the equivalent of the right-click by using Shift-f10? Whatever you have the keyboard focus on, it will open its corresponding context menu. Very nice.

So in SQL Mgt Studio, open the database, then its tables, then select the table (all of which can be done with the keyboard), and then use shift-F10. You'll suddenly see that each context menu option shows the standard underline under the key to hit to execute that command (it's the "o" for open table).

Hope that may help others.

Need to migrate an Access DB into SQL Server? Here's a solution you may have missed?

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
If you have need to migrate an Access DB to SQL Server 2005, Microsoft has a free tool to help, which it seems many may miss.

Check out: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/solutions/migration/default.mspx#EYC

Thanks to Teddy Payne for pointing it out in his blog entry, which also offers an additional document he's put together on the migration steps.

Solving error connecting to SQL Server from ColdFusion on Localhost

Note: This blog post is from 2006. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Are you getting the error, "Connection refused" or "Error establishing socket to host and port", trying to connect to a SQL Server database from ColdFusion?

The short answer is:

Open the "SQL Server Configuration Manager" in SQL Server, then "SQL Server Network Configuration", and its "Protocols For [yourserver]" option. Open it and ensure that TCP/IP is enabled as a protocol. If not, enable it, and restart SQL Server.

And if it is enabled, right-click on that TCP/IP option, choose the "IP Addresses" tab, and among the listed features, check if "ipall" (among the last in the list) has the port set to 1433 (or whatever is your SQL Server port), then restart SQL Server. More detail below. If you don't want to enable the "ipall" option, check the other entries to find the IP you're using, and ensure it's "enabled" and the "tcp port" is set to 1433.

And if it's "still not working" after you make these changes, do make sure that the problem is not that you're now getting a different error, like "Cannot open database "yourdbname" requested by the login. The login failed." :-) That just means you have a new and different problem to solve, now that this one is resolved.

The rest of this entry explains additional details, such as how to find and make that change, what specific errors you get, and how I found the information, in case any of it helps others.

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