All tools listed are free with no known expiration date. In order to download them, some sites will require you to register which might result in a phone call or e-mail from the vendor. Some tools are free versions of vendor's purchasable software with features disabled. While others tools are on par or better than what you can purchase.


As we work with other Professionals in our industry, we quickly learn that there are many ways to accomplish a given task. When presented with multiple options in a situation, there are times where one option stands out as the optimal choice based upon our general knowledge of the database engine.

There are also times where the optimal choice may not be so obvious and will vary depending on many considerations such as database architecture, level of use, indexing, hardware configuration or general best practices. Any given approach may perform superbly with one database and drag on another.


Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 is the latest release of SQL Server. This article will introduce the top 10 features and benefits of SQL Server 2008 R2. The “R2” tag indicates this is an intermediate release of SQL Server and not a major revision. However, there are a number of interesting new features for both DBAs and developers alike. At the time of this article, R2 is available as a CTP (Community Technology Preview). In addition to new features, there are two new editions as well, SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse.



Is Microsoft SQL Server superior to MySQL or not? What are the pros and cons of using SQL Server over MySQL? Is MySQL mature enough to compete with a big player like Microsoft and Oracle? Can we fairly compare both products?


In my modest opinion there is not a simple answer to this question, because we are not comparing apples to apples. Microsoft SQL Server is a feature rich database compared to MySQL however; MySQL's goal is not to keep up with MSSQL or Oracle instead; MySQL’s priorities are: reliability, performance, and ease of use.

So, in my opinion, the answer to the question “Is SQL Server superior to MySQL or not” is: it depends. It depends on the kind of application, environment and budget we have to work with.


Do you plan on upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008?  Well, this has certainly been a hot topic for our readers. We’ve had an overwhelming response to an editorial and commentary on this subject. In fact, we’ve devoted an entire page in the October issue to give you an idea of where our readers stand. But, like every opinion, there is always another opinion that has merit and is worth considering. In response to “Too Soon for SQL Server 2008”, one of our regular forum posters and SQL Magazine reader, Kalman Toth, sent us his opinion on why he’s taking a serious look at SQL Server 2008. Kalman has been a regular contributor on our forums since 2005. His article follows:

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