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April 2008 - Posts

First I will start by saying that the Microsoft has no official position regarding the project codenamed MatrixDB. Everyone from Microsoft you will ask unofficially or officially about this project has the same answer: “I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING!”. So, the following are just my own suppositions.

In 2007 a job posting on Microsoft site made a mistake by mentioning a product named SQL Server 2007 and this way the imminence of a new version of SQL Server was unveiled. The product was in the end SQL Server 2008 but the mistake wasn’t the only one. In 2008 another job posting revealed a Microsoft project codenamed MatrixDB that at least in description resembles a lot with the Oracle RAC technology. I included the original text of the job posting later in this article (meanwhile the text was modified but google cache still has it).

What is certain?

If enough customers require a feature Microsoft will deliver it (if it’s possible). Now, that the MatrixDB leak occurred what is certain is that Microsoft tries to come up with a solution similar to the Active-Active Cluster (or RAC) from Oracle.

MatrixDB has nothing to do with Katmai (SQL Server 2008).

Is there any other leak besides the job posting? Yes! There are more than one but I am not going to tell you more.

Another certain thing is that at this point no one under any kind of NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) will comment about it.

What is uncertain?

Will this technology be available in a future release of SQL Server? I suppose that no one can say an authoritative YES! Vista promised lots of things that weren’t delivered.

If MatrixDB becomes a SQL Server feature, then when will this happen? Considering the SQL Server release cycle (36 months), probably not sooner than 2010-2011.

Can we blame Microsoft for keeping this a secret? I personally don’t. I don’t like false hopes!

I will end here this post hopping that now you know a little more !

Various links on the same subject:

Scalability features I would like to have in SQL Server

Software Development Engineer (google cache of the post that started the fire).

[quote from=”job description”]

Software development engineer position focused on database server scale-out cluster manageability tools and infrastructure

Full Description:

Imagine a database system that could automatically adapt to the scaling needs of our most demanding customers and workloads and would run on commodity hardware. You could add additional hardware resources online, and it would automatically use them to run your workload faster. Components could fail, and it would seamlessly adapt without any downtime or any admin intervention. And no query or workload would be too big for it, because to get more horsepower, all you would need to do would be to add more hardware components. The SQL Server team is building exactly such a system in the next SQL release, under a project codenamed MatrixDB - a shared-nothing, large scale-out architecture fully integrated into the SQL codebase.

SQL Server is one of the big 3 enterprise-level database products in the industry, a 2.6 billion dollar business growing rapidly, and facing fierce competition. Within Microsoft itself, SQL Server has also gained strategic importance, as a core on which future server and storage technology will be built. MatrixDB is the next big bet for SQL Server. This is your chance to get involved at the V1 release of the product that will shake up the database industry. This is a ground-breaking opportunity to become the industry leader in ease-of-use innovation.

The SQL Server Manageability team (MPU) is looking for Software Design Engineers to work on MatrixDB project. The team is chartered with ensuring ease-of-use and constant management cost for the database system as it scales out. Those are the key factors to win over competition. Getting in at the beginning of the product cycle, you will contribute to a critical area and help to drive it from concept to a shipping product. As a member of the MPU development team you will work closely with development, program management, and test in a scenario-based feature team to contribute to our programming and user interface designs, prototypes, infrastructure, and implementation to enable enterprise SQL Server management scenarios using state of the art infrastructure and visualization tools. You?ll work with the latest development technologies, like Visual Studio, Power Shell, MMC, and SQL Server, and clustering technologies. This is a rare opportunity to help build a V1 product that will change the industry perception of enterprise database servers.

Required Skills:

A Bachelor?s degree in Computer Science or related field is key, and a master?s degree is preferred.

Excellent problem solving skills.

Strong track record in development & debugging skills in C#/C++.

Strong OO design and development skills.

Experience with infrastructure and management tools development.

Ability to work in cross-collaborative environments with commitment to Engineering Excellence.

Ability to transition between different complex algorithmic implementations over short periods of time.

Experience with concurrent programming or distributed programming models is a plus.

Experience with ADO.NET, XML, and TSQL preferred.


Information Week Article - Microsoft Plans Internet Scaling With MatrixDB For SQL Server After 2008



Greg is an internationally recognised consultant, developer and trainer. He has been working in development since 1978, with SQL Server since version 4.2, holds a PhD in Computer Science and a host of Microsoft certifications. Greg is a mentor with Solid Quality, a SQL Server MVP and one of only three Microsoft MSDN Regional Directors for Australia. Greg hosts the SQL Down Under podcast (www.sqldownunder.com), organises the SQL Down Under Code Camp, co-organises CodeCampOz and is a PASS board member. He is the author of a number of books including The Rational Guide to SQL Server CLR and The Rational Guide to Building Technical Communities.

We talked with Greg about technical communities as Greg is the author of The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities book.

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Chris Webb is a Solid Quality Mentors Associate Mentor who has been working with the Microsoft Business Intelligence toolset since 1998. His main focus is Analysis Services - complex MDX queries and calculations are his particular interest - although he has much experience with Reporting Services, Integration Services and various other related tools. He has worked both as a consultant, including three years with Microsoft Consulting Services, and on internal BI development projects in a wide range of industries including pharmaceuticals, banking, finance, manufacturing, engineering and retail. He is a co-author of the book "MDX Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 and Hyperion Essbase" along with George Spofford and others, and is an active member of the Microsoft BI community, contributing regularly to newsgroups and online forums and speaking at conferences. His weblog can be found here.

We talked with Chris about Analysis Services 2008.

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Marco Russo is a consultant, writer and trainer specialized in Business Intelligence with Microsoft technologies. He runs the SQLBI.EU website, which is dedicated to distribute resources useful for BI developers, like Integration Services components, Analysis Services models, tools, technical information and so on. Marco is certified as MCT, MCDBA, MCSD.NET, MCSA, MCSE+I. Also Marco Russo is one of the authors of Introducing Microsoft® LINQ and Programming Microsoft® LINQ.

At the European PASS conference (2008), Marco had a session named The many-to-many revolution: SSAS data modeling. However we spoke with him about LINQ.

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Remus is a database consultant for SQL Server projects and he is specializing in data transfer, batch processing and workflow programming using Service Broker. He is the moderator of the Service Broker forum on MSDN and answers frequently SQL Server questions on other forums and newsgroups. He is a former member of the SQL Server development team with Microsoft where he contributed to the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 releases and was often involved directly with customers and early adopters asking for guidance and project reviews. He now spends his time between Redmond, WA and Bucharest, Romania.

At PASS conference, Remus had a session named Service Broker Administration, Monitoring and Troubleshooting. The slides of the session are published on Remus' blog: SQLPASS 2008 Slides and Demo

We (Narcis and I) managed to get a short interview with Remus:

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I don't know German but according to http://www.freetranslation.com "Dies ist meine" is translated as "This is mine". So in the May edition of SQL Server Magazine the supplement named SQL Server 2008 - Pocket Guide is written by yours truly. Due to some publishing constraints my name does not appear on the cover but trust me, I am the author. Obviously if you buy this book your life will be better! (In fact if you buy the May edition of Sql Magazine).

The European PASS Conference is over. One of the best speakers this year (in my opinion the best one) was Bob Ward. I attended both his sessions at PASS Europe and if they were the only sessions at this conference it would be enough to justify my travel to Germany (the location of the conference). I don't think that it is really necessary to introduce Bob. If PSS sounds familiar to you then you probably heard of Bob Ward. It's enough to say that if you have a problem with your SQL Server and Bob Ward can't solve it then you are in a big big trouble. Here's the man talking bellow:

Windows Media Video archive (higher quality): Download


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Ok, another personal post - you know the rule - don't care don't read. 15 minutes of fame? That was the 1968 phrase of the american artist Andy Warhol. I guess that now it's my turn. I can hear some of my readers thinking, yeah, yeah - keep bragging. To quote Wesley Snipes in the unfogetable movie White Men Can't Jump "I don't mean to brag but I'm the greatest".

8 Years ago I was talking with a friend about our future careers. We dreamed of becoming Microsoft Certified Professionals. The dream seemed so hard to make it real.

8 years later:

  • I have over 14 MCP exams passed
  • I am MCT since 2002
  • I was the 4th time awarded as MVP
  • Wrote 4 Books, lots of articles and other kind of SQL Server content
  • I was Advisory Council Member for Culminis EMEA
  • I was one of co-founders of ITBoard - a community having 1400 members now
  • I raised the Romanian SQL Server User Group from thin air - made it the first Romanian chapter of PASS (with me the president of course)
  • I introduced the Microsoft Influencer program in Romania and got nominated as Influencers 6 of my user group members

And the beat (list) keeps going on.


Ok, why do I brag now? Dave is to blame because he by called me "names" - There are even SQL Heroes in Romania!
Who's the SQL Hero? Me of course :)

And another reason I make it to the SQL Server hall of fame, at least my blog did: MSDN SQL Server - Blogs and TechNet SQL Server - Blogs.


So for 15 minutes I am famous or the other version "I am famous for 15 people" (according to Google Analytics  every month 3500 people read my blog so ...) and I wish you the same.


Oh, and since I mentioned White Men Can't Jump - last year I participated at the Streeball Arena event and guess the team name? White Men of course. 5 games - 3 wins. That's good for some old boys :) (I am #4).


I’ve been asked on first of April if the SQL Hero contest is real or not. Just because the guy that asked me saw a post on a blog that day it doesn't mean that it's a joke. It is as serious as it can be.
To clear this out I abused the kindness of David Reed the man behind this contest, and got a small interview.

But who is David Reed? In his own words a SQL Ranger - one of the few people that achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect Database certification. He is also the Program Manager for SQL Server Community & Samples, and another important thing one of my friends.

Enough talking here’s the good stuff:

CL: Tell us more about the SQL Hero.
dr: You are a SQL Hero, my friend! Teaching people how to use SQL Server is no easy task, is it? SQL Heroes are those folks out there who are getting the job done every day. The ones taking really cool (but sometimes quirky!) products and turning them into real solutions that help people live better lives and make money. Y’all could just as easily go do something easier, and maybe more lucrative, but, I guess, like me, you love what you do.

CL: How do you see the ideal project?
dr: Wow. Hrm. Ideal? I think that every non-trivial project entry will be ideal for someone. One sophont’s signal is another’s noise, no? I would like to see contest entries all over the map. I want to see XNA games that use SQL Server 2008 under the hood. I want to see heart monitor applications that record their sensor data to SQL Server 2008. I want to see chemical and DNA analysis solutions. I want to see tools and utilities that make SQL Server 2008 easier to use. Take any part of SQL Server 2008 (and there are a LOT of parts) and dream with it. Dream big!
I don’t care what SKU level the projects use; if they use Express 2008, that rocks! Two personal project that I would love to see using SQL Server 2008 are a Windows Home Server add-in that functions like a proxy server (so that I don’t have to go fix/learn how to use SquidNT to keep my kids out the scary, dark corners of the internet) and an IPX-proxy/game browser for old games that were cool before TCP/IP was king that I’d like to play with my kids as they get older (like Warcraft). I think both of those would be cool with Express 2008 as the backing store.

CL: Why CodePlex and not Microsoft downloads?
dr: For SQL Server product samples, you mean? Or just the contest? We couldn’t use Microsoft Downloads for the contest because that stuff all has to be signed and vetted carefully… by the time we got everything signed and approved after the contest was over, it would probably be time to start filming my SQL Server reality TV show next year.
The SQL Server Community & Samples team switched over to CodePlex over a year ago, I think. It was before I took this job anyway… The primary drivers, as I understand them, were to get some flexibility in delivery schedule and decouple the samples a little bit from the ship schedule. Also, I think that the focus is really more on growing the open source community around SQL Server.
Since I’m still making this job up as I go along (with significant input from management), I’m really more focused on the community than the product samples. Our samples historically are narrowly feature focused and don’t necessarily give you the best end-to-end focus on the technology. I was an MCS consultant in the field for a couple years before I was abducted by the mothership, and I know that customers want more and better howto samples, but they also need to see real, soup-to-nuts solutions.
Take DotNetNuke, for example. Nobody thinks of that as a SQL Server application, but it’s a great portal that’s waaay outgrown its humble origins as the IBuySpy sample. And last time I checked, it only runs on SQL Server… but I digress.

CL: Can we trust CodePlex?
dr: As in “trust not to lose your code”? Or “trust to be around next year”? With Code Gallery popping up as the flavor of the month, I guess you mean the latter, so I’ll say this: CodePlex had better be around for while, or else! Heh. My team does not “like” CodePlex, but we are committed to using it because it’s central to Microsoft’s open source initiative and because we’ve already invested heavily in our presence there. There are things that we wish they would implement to make our lives easier, and I’m still going to pester them to do it. [I hope they’re listening.] Visual Studio’s open source strategy is so big that it includes both CP and CG as part of their long-term strategy. Code Gallery is intended as the place to put things that aren’t in active development.
Code Gallery is a fork of the CodePlex codebase, and both have warts (like all software products do), but for a product that gives everyone who wants it FREE access to Team Foundation Server and all its plumbing over the internet, a project wiki and a lot of other cool features to support distributed development, I think it’s pretty good. Code Gallery is *not* what we [SQL Server] want for our samples because there’s no way for users to browse the code online @ CG, and we know from experience that the wiki is not intended for formatting code, either. I know DevDiv wants to do more with CG than just a wiki, and we’re optimistic that their improvements to CG will be introduced to CP, too, but without TFS behind it, CG isn’t really what we need. We’ve got a page over in Code Gallery and a number of MVPs and other folks dump SQL Server-related things there that are not being maintained; if it’s under active development by more than one person, CodePlex is the place to put it.
Back to the contest, though. I chose CodePlex for the contest for a number of reasons, but the one to focus on is that CodePlex is where the SQL Server Community & Samples team (all three of us – heh) put our code, and its where we help the rest of the SQLBU put their samples, too. We practically live on CodePlex all day, every day. It’s the place to go when you want to find great examples of how to use SQL Server.

That's all folks, now go to Dave's blog to read more (Calling all SQL Heroes!) and of course to enter the contest. 

TechNet Magazine - April 2008 - In Focus SQL Server 2008 just read it Cool