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Posted Jul 2, 1998

SQL 7 Preview from TechEd '98 - Page 3

By Sharon Dooley


As to DBCC, the message was "you don't need to run it". However, it is very fast, and scans at near disk speed. It does a single scan of the database checking all objects in parallel (Current DBCC checks each tables one after another, checks each secondary index next). The 7.0 DBCC will generate its reports as a result set and will optionally repair some problems. Performance comparisons:

Object Verified

Throughput vs. 6.5

Single table with non-clustered index


Single table, 1 clustered index


Single table, 1 clustered, multiple non-clustered

95 137 X

Full database (complex customer, 47GB)


Why you don't have to run DBCC: There is a fast fail philosophy; problems are caught immediately. SQL Server 7 has simpler data structures. They recommend you run it until you gain confidence in 7.0 and that eventually you will find that it is not part of regular maintenance.

The proposed things that DBCC will repair (not definite for the 7.0 release) are Allocation structures and minor BTREE inconsistencies. It may rebuild damaged indexes, remove damaged BLOBS and records. Its repairs can be rolled back.

Bulk Data Load (BCP)

There is a new technique for bulk loading that uses OLEDB internally. You can use constraints and indexes and still have fast loading. A single client loads twice as fast as 6.5. Parallel loads into a single table scale linearly with the number of CPUs. Special techniques for BLOBs give faster load rates 5.1 MB/sec from a single client.

Alerts and Jobs ("The artist formerly known as Tasks" TAFKAT?)*

These remain under the control of the SQL Agent (equivalent to the SQL Executive of 6.5)

Very little appears to have changed in the alerting mechanism. The presenter said that there were threshold alerts, but the Books On Line (Beta 2) only refer to performance monitor threshold alerts which are just the same as they are now. Perhaps this feature will be added in Beta 3.

The Job "engine" is much enhanced. It permits multiple step jobs with dependencies. You can Script jobs with VB script. Jobs can be scheduled on a regular (calendar) basis as they can be in 6.5. They can also be scheduled to run on CPU idle, on/above/below a threshold. Jobs can be triggered by alerts just as they can in 6.5

Multi-server operation is built into the SQL Agent. Jobs can be defined centrally and support remote execution on multiple servers. Status of jobs can be rolled up to this central server. These jobs are "pulled" to remote servers. This increases scalability.

For example, one might define jobs on a server called "Queen" that backup databases on Servers A, B, and C. Servers A, B, and C connect to the Queen server and pull the jobs down. They execute them on their own schedule and report the results to the Queen. They do not need to be connected to the Queen server while running their jobs.

The demo for this section was the new version of SQLMaint. Now it will include all user db's in the maintenance plan. If you add a database, it automatically gets included in the plan. It will be possible to log success or failure of the SQLMaint runs to a table which can be either local or remote.

Data Transformation Services

The presentation on this topic in this session was short. I will describe DTS in a separate article.

SQL Profiler

This is a replacement for the SQL trace program in 6.5. It serves as a monitoring tool and also can gather a "workload" for use by the Index Tuning wizard.

It captures Open Data Services, Query Processor, Transaction Log and Lock "events". It will be possible to see "inside" stored procedures and triggers rather than just seeing the "EXEC MyProc" statement. It uses a general-purpose event model that looks like this:

It is clear that this model is extensible, though I have not yet learned how to define my own event producer or custom consumer.

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