SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer (January 2008) — Now Available!

It’s a new year and, with it, we come bearing gifts!  We have a pretty significant update to SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer.  It contains many new and updated rules for Analysis Services, a few important rules for the Relational Engine, a couple bug fixes for the UI and command line tools.  And all of these rules have rich documentation telling you what need to know.

New Rules

Analysis Services

In the last release, only a few rules for Analysis Services would be displayed.  These were mainly around security.  With this release, we detect potential issues with the design of your cubes.  If you have taken a look at SQL Server 2008, you’ll see that these are the same warnings you’ll find in Business Intelligence Development Studio.  Thus, the recommendations from SQL BPA will be perfectly in sync with the recommendations from SQL Server 2008.

Relational Engine

We have worked closely with CSS to identify a number of common issues that customers have been facing.  In SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2, we started logging events regarding extensive amount of memory being paged out.  With this update of BPA, it will check to see if this happened and let you know if can determine the root cause.

Documentation

The documentation is what makes these rules worthwhile.  Each new rule has a breakdown of:

  • How it was detected
  • Why it’s important
  • What you should do about it
  • Links for more information

Not only will you be able to solve problems with your SQL instances more efficiently, you’ll have a very targeted list of reading material to teach you why it’s important.

Future of BPA

We will continue to release periodic updates to the rules for SQL Server 2005 BPA.  We will also fix any major bugs reported by customers.  However, our focus for development is on the next major version.  Our team is hard at work to incorporate BPA’s functionality into the core product for its debut in SQL Server 2008.  If you’d like to see how this works, download the latest CTP of SQL Server 2008 or search the web for Declarative Management Framework.

If you have any recommendations for rules, you can submit them to http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/.

Latest Updates

The January 2008 package contains:

  • BPA UI and command line tools
  • Rules (previous rules + ~60 new rules)
  • Rich documentation

Check out the latest release here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=da0531e4-e94c-4991-82fa-f0e3fbd05e63.

(Note: January 2008 is version 9.00.1007.00.  The text on the page may take a while to update.)

Paul A. Mestemaker II
Program Manager
SQLCAT – Best Practices