Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SQL Express - Usability Improvement















I'm currently in Norway deploying a portal product we have built. This is spring time in Norway and the weather is just starting to be Colombo friendly :). It's amazing how the environment has changed from the autumn, which was when I last visited Norway. The same trees which used to be in various colors in the Automn is now has gone in to complete hibernation. The church in the picture was not to be seen in summer/autumn but now we can clearly see it from the apartment.

Our customer is a debt collection software vendor and the portal is the product he will sell for collection companies. The product is based on DotNetNuke (DNN) and the DNN DB used is SQL Express. With SQL Express we have several limitations when using the product.

1. DB Size limitation - 4 GB. Since the DNN database we are using is not expected to grow in heaps and bounds this is not really an immediate problem. But any client who has an increasing DB is encouraged to migrate to SQL 2005 server.

2. CPU Limit - 1 CPU

3. RAM Limit - 1 GB. Does not use the maximum RAM which is available in the machine.

4. Practical Problems
  • The administrators can NOT open the SQL Express DB from SQL Management studio for maintenance work while the portal is up. Since the SQL Express DB we're using is used as a file the portal gets an access violation when the DB is opened up from the management studio.
The above was the main problem we had during development. But during the deployment I came across an article which describes how u can set up a file based SQL Express Database to overcome the window file access limitation. This is a very good find since one of the problems we found hard to place the product for new customer could have been this limitation.
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