Announcing PASS Summit 2012 Community Sessions and Pre-Con

SQL PASS Summit 2012 is open for registration, go to for more details. Here is the announcement.

A Who’s Who of leading SQL Server authorities – including SQL Server MVPs, authors, trainers, and consultants – will share their expertise at PASS Summit 2012 , Nov. 6-9, in a record 195 sessions, hand-picked to help you get the most out of your database implementations and technical careers.

Today, we’re excited to announce this year’s community sessions, including:

Plus, join us for 2 days of in-depth, full-day Pre-Conference Sessions by some of the top experts in the SQL Server community Monday, Nov. 5, and Tuesday, Nov. 6.
A big thanks to everyone who submitted sessions and to our hardworking review teams, and stay tuned for sessions from Microsoft’s leading experts coming soon.
Until then, don’t miss your chance to save $700 on PASS Summit registration, only until June 30.


SQL Versions and their latest Cumulative Updates (CU)

Microsoft releases a number of updates for SQL and other products. The following table outlines the current versions of SQL server with the Service Pack and Cumulative update levels.

Product Version Latest Service Pack Latest Cumulative Update Release of CU Build Number
SQL Server 2012 CU 2 (KB 2703275) 18-06-2012 11.0.2325.0
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 (KB 2528583) CU 6 (KB 2679367) 16-04-2012 10.50.2811.0
SQL Server 2008 SP3 (KB 2546951) CU 5 (KB 2696626) 31-05-2012 10.00.5785.00
SQL Server 2005 SP4 (KB 2463332) CU 3 (KB 2507769) 22-03-2011 9.00.5266
SQL Server 2000 SP4 (KB 290211)

Cumulative update package 2 for SQL Server 2012 is available

Microsoft has now released Cumulative update package 2 for SQL 2012.

Check the Update Center for Microsoft SQL server( for other SQL updates.

SQL Server 2012 CU 2 (Build 11.0.2325.0) Download:

KB 2703275

Microsoft System Center Self-Study Guide Part I – III

A very nice collection of Microsoft System Center Self-Study guides by Scott Rachui. If you are looking at deployment, learning more or the exams check out the following blog posts.

If you need more help with System Center, don’t forget to check out the following blogs and use the forums;

Useful Blogs


Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Exams

The entire Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam portfolio is now available!

Explore the different exams available on SQL Server 2012.

Learning Plans and Classroom Training for this exam:

Learning Plans and Classroom Training for this exam:

Learning Plans and Classroom Training for this exam:

Learning Plans and Classroom Training for this exam:

Announcing Windows Azure SQL Reporting General Availability

The Microsoft BI Team has announced SQL Reporting on Azure!


Read more here:


With SQL Reporting on Azure, developers can use familiar tools such as the Business Intelligence Development Studio and SQL Server Data Tools to author reports, just as they do today when running SQL Server Reporting services on-premises. SQL Reporting on Azure provides consistent APIs to view, execute and manage reports along with rich formatting and data visualization options.

Additional capabilities of SQL Reporting on Azure include:

Elastic scale and high availability

  • The SQL Reporting scales as your requirements grow with easy self-provisioning.
  • The Service has built-in high availability and fault tolerance. SQL Reporting is available across Microsoft Data centers around the world.

Report Formats

  • With SQL Reporting, you have the ability to export reports to various popular file formats including Excel, Word, HTML, PDF, XML, and CSV.

Secure access

  • The rich authentication and authorization model in SQL Reporting gives secure access to reports and underlying data. It keeps your data secure while offering access to even more users.

SQL Reporting on Azure offers a fully backed SLA and enables you to publish reports to the cloud or embed reports directly within on-premises applications that can be accessed via your browser, mobile devices or desktops.



Poster showing SQL Azure Federation features, process, and key terms

Microsoft has releases a poster explaining the federation process for Azure.


The poster explains the federation process, including creating the federation root database, creating the scheme, and then using the split operation to partition the federation member into two partition members by row. It also explains the database infrastructure and includes sample T-SQL statements.


SharePoint Recovery with SQL and SharePoint Backup

There has been some confusion around backup with SharePoint agents over SQL native backups. In short you should use one and only one. Pick a solution and test it, then test it again, and test once more for luck. SharePoint agent and SQL native backups both have their place in recovery but can create problems when used together.

SQL is a transactional databases, SharePoint is a transactional system; both need to be reviewed when you create your backup solution. While this post will not cover different recovery options I will highlight a problem with point in time recovery.

The issue is when you backup with the SharePoint native backup (PowerShell Backup-SPFarm cmdlet or Central Administration) it updates the LSN in SQL.

First let’s start by checking the LSN in SQL:

use msdb;

select database_name,first_lsn,last_lsn,checkpoint_lsn from dbo.backupset where database_name =


Next, let’s open a SharePoint PowerShell (As Administrator) and kick off a backup

Now that the SharePoint Backup has completed, let’s check the SQL LSN again.

You can see now that the number of backups has increased. SharePoint has used SQL Native Backup to back up the database.

So what happens now when we do a transaction log back and point in time restore?

Let kick of a transaction log backup;

To do this I just created a standard SQL maintenance plan to run a transaction log backup on the database in question.

Let’s check the LSN again and you will see another line has been added which is our transaction log file;

So the next question is how to restore?

If you open SQL manager and kick off a restore, SQL will default to the last Full Backup and any Transaction logs from the last full back up till now.

As you can see the last Full Backup is the SharePoint Native Backup we run from power shell. An SQL restore now needs the SharePoint Backup files to recover.

If we attempt to restore, after a few days, the SharePoint Backup location may have changed. The SQL will report a missing device.

While the file is maybe safe somewhere on the file system, if the SQL server cannot find the file the below error will happen.

So now we need to find the backup files. The files will be located in the SharePoint backup location. To find this run the following query;

SELECT dbo.backupset.database_name, dbo.backupmediafamily.physical_device_name

FROM dbo.backupset

JOIN dbo.backupmediafamily

ON dbo.backupset.backup_set_id=dbo.backupmediafamily.media_set_id where dbo.backupset.database_name =

Now we can see the location of the backup file.

If we need to restore, we would need the SharePoint Backup file and the SQL transaction log file.