Just in case you've not been watching, Microsoft has announced the MSRP line up for SQL Server 2005, including a re-affirmation of a what's already been a great story and a huge advance in the position of the product (at least IHMO).
First off, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SSX) has been confirmed “free license to use.” That doesn't mean that its “free as in Open Source,” but free as in “you don't have to buy a CAL or CPU license for it.” SSX lacks many of the performance limitations that made MSDE less than desirable for a many reasons.
Second is the annoucement of the Workgroup Edition. I think of the as Super-SSX since it appears that the bigger differences are:
Michael Rys posts links to three key white papers on XML storage, XQuery and XML indexing internals.
What are you waiting for...? :)
He gets it and he offers a demo.
It's happening... unstructured text search. Been a long time in coming and when it gets into the hands of users look out, a whole new way to manage information.
Glen Gordon is doing a web cast on it this Thursday. Register here. It should be over before mine (on Reporting Services) if you're interested in both.
With Community Server up and going, I've created myself yet another blog at GoSQLServer.com. That one will be mostly about things related to the Users' Group and the local (Omaha) and regional (North Central District) IT community. You're welcome to subscribe to the RSS here or the Atom here.
I'm pleased to announce that the Greater Omaha SQL Server Users'Group web site has been "kicked up to notches unknown" with theintroduction of Telligent's Community Server! This means that our members can now have blogs and can engage with each other in our forums.
Interested in joining in the fun? Just log into the registration page to create yourself an account, then dive right in.Or just subscribe to our Announcement RSS feed for news about group events, then come join us.
Darshan Sighn, publisher of YukonXML posted an interested question on the SQL2005 XML newsgroup yesterday asking how to force an untyped XML instance to be like an normal XML document where there is a single root element. I'm not sure there's a way to do that just yet, short of a column constraint based in an XQuery that Darshan later posted. But our conversation brought out an interesting question from Roger Jennings; "For typed instances, isn't the document modifier superfluous?"
So how do you use InfoPath and SQL Server 2005 Service Broker together? Rushi Desai to the rescue: Integerating InfoPath with SQL Server 2005.
Man this guy is cranking out the good stuff!
SSWUG's daily newsletter announced it this morning:
Getting Started with SQL Server Reporting Services
Our next webcast, all about SQL Server Reporting Services, is just days away. Please register ASAP. Here's the description on this great opportunity to learn more about RS and get started quickly with your own reports:
Kent Tegels, SQL Server MVP, will be joining us for this webcast - Kent's a long-time devotee of RS and has extensive experience building solutions using Reporting Services. He'll be presenting and taking your questions as we present all sorts of outstanding information about RS. We'll review tips for installation, how to get your first report going and how the overall system of report generation works. You'll be all set to start building your own first reports after this webcast!
Register Now (webcast is free for everyone, you must pre-register)
Feb 24, 2005 11:00a PST
Not that'll be able to answer every question about RS. See you there!
I think we're getting really close to a very interesting convergence of two very different forces that's going to be the catalyst for the next big thing.
Force one: Yesterday's thinking is failing to give us the ability to build solutions today that help us solve tomorrow's problems. Need proof? We still don't have a ubiquitous way to relate knowledge with machine processable annotations. Yes, I really do believe there is a relational algebra for knowledge, but I'm not seeing good methods evolving for the machine processing of that. But that's really what we need to cope with the InfoGlut.
What exactly do I mean? Let's take the simplest of business problems: assigning somebody to do a task. Building a database to track that who assigned who to do what is easy. Tracking the status of the task is always easy. Documenting what that task was needed, why it was assigned to one person and why the person that assigned to them is not. However, if you're interested in building systems that aggregate that kind of knowledge -- for whatever reason -- into something as simple as reading a document, you need processable linkage data. Theres just no simple way to build such a thing today.
Force two: XML and its related technologies are spurring creativity. Its been interesting to me to see how XML has grown from being another medium for the transmission of information (either in bulk or as messages) to a serialization of meaning. The first time this really caught my eye was when I started reading Norm Walsh's DocBook book. No, he never says that XML is the perfect format for the serialization of knowledge. It isn't. But its better, I think, than our current alternatives because of communicability and potential semantic richness. DocBook lead to readings on XSL-FO, which beget an interest in using Reporting Services as knowledge analysis tool. A few failed experiences with that taught me what seems like a really valuable lesson: The simpler you make a relation, the more relations you need to make something mesh fully in such a use case. The more relations you have, the less a human can fully process them. That's when you need a query processor and a query language.
That's more or less the whole reason why I think XQuery is important. Its those things. Obviously, though, its not all you need. You need ontologies to translate the “fuzziness“ of human understanding into processable factors. And that's the hard thing to achieve with yesterday's thinking and today's technology. I don't know we have anything in our toolkits for making building effective ontologies possible for “Knowledge Management Morts.“
Still, I get really exciting when I see something like this article on MSDN that talks about transforming Word XML into XSL-FO as pointed out by John Durant. It give me hope that were going the right direction toward that goal.
So what happens when these two forces collide? Big things. Really big things. Need proof? Go listen to James Burke talk about the Knowledge Web.
That's the real Web, and its real future of the browser.
Feel free to discuss.
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