This & That
Info To Go
by Karen Bemowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
Favorite Tools and Favorite Articles
Scripting tools and scripting articles are a few of my favorite things. I'm not familiar with too many scripting tools, so last month I asked you to tell me about your favorite utilities. Unfortunately, I received only one response. (Thanks Jim!) I asked for a rather short turnaround time, so I'm guessing that's why I didn't receive more.
Because I feel strongly that this information will be helpful to all scripters, I'm going to ask you again to tell me about your favorite utilities. This round, I'll give you lots of time--until December 15-- so that you can procrastinate a bit. Just send me an email (email@example.com) telling me about one or more utilities you often use in your scripting endeavors. The utilities must be freeware or shareware so that all scripters can have access to them. However, because many people already know about the various Microsoft utilities, please don't include any Microsoft tools. After I receive your list of favorite utilities, I'll enter your name in a drawing for $100. I'll announce the lucky winner of the drawing and share the list of readers' favorite tools in the January 5, 2007, issue of Scripting Central.
Although I'm not familiar with too many scripting tools, I am familiar with many excellent scripting articles. Having worked on the Windows Scripting Solutions newsletter for almost 8 years, I have a long list of favorites. I'll be narrowing that list to two articles, which I can honestly say won't be easy. In the November 3 and December 1 issues of Scripting Central, I'll tell you about those articles
And provide a link to them. Maybe they'll become some of your favorite scripting articles, too.
This & That
10 Troubleshooting Tips
If you've run into problems when writing command shell scripts, you might want to check out Bill Stewart's article "10 Keys to Command Shell Scripting" in the October 2006 issue of Windows IT Pro (http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Issues/IssueID/855/Index.html). These tips can help you avoid common problems and create more robust scripts. The tips include instructions on how to use double quotes correctly and when to use the escape character.
Bone Up on PowerShell
If you want to learn about Windows PowerShell or are simply curious as to what it's all about, check out Windows PowerShell Week. Microsoft will be holding five Webcasts at the beginning of November:
- And Now for Something Completely Different: Introducing Windows PowerShell (Monday, November 6)
- One Cmdlet, Two Cmdlet, Three Cmdlet, Four: An Introduction to Windows PowerShell Commands (Tuesday November 7)
- Objects, Objects Everywhere: Working With Objects in Windows PowerShell (Wednesday November 8)
- New Kid on the Script Block: Writing Scripts with Windows PowerShell (Thursday November 9)
- Amazing But True: Things You Never Dreamt You Could Do With Windows PowerShell (Friday November 10)
For more information about Windows PowerShell Week, go to http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/webcasts/ps.mspx.
Talk Tech With Some Tech Experts
Spend a day with technical experts Michael Otey, Gil Kirkpatrick, Dustin Puryear, and Randy Dyess. Designed specifically for IT professionals who work in a "Windows Plus" environment, TechX World is a four-track, one-day event featuring information about OS interoperability, data interoperability, directory and security integration, and virtualization. The content will focus on interoperability tips to help make disparate systems work well together.
The regional event series will visit four cities between October 24 and November 2, including Washington DC, Chicago , Dallas, and San Francisco. For complete agenda and speaker details, go to http://www.techxworld.com.
TechX World is brought to you by people who understand that the world you live in never fits the textbook IT infrastructure.
Handy Script Reports Mailbox Statistics
If you regularly perform analyses on mailboxes in your Exchange Server 2003 machine, you'll want to check out MailboxSizes.vbs. This script retrieves mailbox data about all the mailboxes on all the mailbox stores from an Exchange 2003 server, then outputs this information to an XML file. You can then import the XML file into Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access for analysis. Learn more about MailboxSizes.vbs in the Reader to Reader article "Script Lets You Easily Review Mailbox Data." This article, which will appear in the November issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator, is now available for public viewing at http://www.windowsitpro.com/MicrosoftExchangeOutlook/Article/ArticleID/93350/93350.html.
Extend the sp_spaceUsed Stored Procedure's Usefulness
SQL Server supplies the sp_SpaceUsed stored procedure for getting information about database size. With this procedure, you can obtain the current database's name, size, and amount of unallocated space, reserved space, space used by data, space used by indexes, and unused space. However, sp_SpaceUsed doesn't provide information about the transaction log's size or the amount of used space in it. However, you can extend the ability of sp_SpaceUsed to obtain transaction log statistics by compiling a stored procedure named sp_LogSpace in a master database and calling it from an updated version of sp_SpaceUsed. Here's the code for sp_LogSpace:
CREATE PROC sp_LogSpace (@dbName sysname = NULL)
SET NOCOUNT ON
IF (@dbName IS NULL) SET @dbName = DB_NAME()
CREATE TABLE #tempLogSpace (dbName sysname,
LogSize real, LogSpacePctUsed real, stat int)
INSERT INTO #tempLogSpace EXEC ('DBCC SQLPERF (LOGSPACE)')
SELECT CAST (convert (decimal (8,3),
ROUND (LogSize,3)) as varchar(20)) + ' MB' AS LogSize ,
CAST (convert (decimal (8,3),
ROUND (LogSize * LogSpacePctUsed / 100.0,3)) AS varchar(20))
+ ' MB' AS LogSpaceUsed
WHERE LOWER (rtrim(ltrim(dbName))) = LOWER (rtrim(ltrim(@dbName)))
DROP TABLE #tempLogSpace
SET NOCOUNT OFF
As this code shows, sp_LogSpace uses the DBCC SQLPERF statement to get the transaction log statistics. The procedure enters the DBCC SQLPERF data into a temporary table and extracts the log-size and space-used statistics, which it outputs to the varchar(20) string. The size is specified in megabytes (MB).
To use sp_LogSpace, you provide the database name as an input parameter. If you don't provide this parameter, the current database name is used. For example, the code
EXEC sp_LogSpace 'pubs'
EXEC sp_LogSpace 'msdb'
first uses sp_LogSpace to get the transaction log statistics for the current database (in this case, Northwind), then uses sp_LogSpace to get the transaction log statistics for the pubs and msdb databases. The sp_LogSpace has been tested on a Windows XP machine running SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1). You can download a commented version of the sp_LogSpace.sql at http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/49252/sql_server_49252.html.
Thanks to Eli Leiba for writing and sharing his sp_LogSpace stored procedure.
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